Unhappy with iPhone 3G Service? AT&T Says Break Your Contract

Would you pay your full cable bill if there was static on the screen all month? Buy a dozen eggs if three of them were broken? How about paying $30 a month for the same service that others get for $20 a month?

This is exactly what I pay for a service I can't use. I love the iPhone 3G, but I can only use the EDGE network. I leave the phone set to EDGE because it works. The moment I switch over to 3G, data latency times shoot through the roof, voice quality decreases noticably, and calls drop every five minutes.

iphone 3G network dead

Apple and AT&T both deserve kudos for pioneering such an outstanding new product. I am willing to be patient with their growing pains. The network is going to be a perpetual work in progress. But it's not right to force me to pay for something that doesn't work. See, if I had an original iPhone, my data plan would be $20 a month and limited to EDGE. As it is, I have an iPhone 3G with a $30 data plan limited to EDGE.

I continue to try and use 3G at least twice a week to check up on the network but there has been no improvement. Various customer service representatives at AT&T have listened to my story. Of course I've updated to 2.0.2. Yes, I've rebooted my phone. A million times. No, not just using the sleep button. Yes, I've held down the home button and sleep button to reset. Nothing works. Nothing works except for EDGE.

And EDGE works great. I'm so satisfied with the iPhone 3G on the EDGE network that I probably need to get my head examined. So I continue to call AT&T and voice my concerns. Sorry, you own the iPhone 3G hardware and that's the data plan charge, $30 a month. That's just how much it is. I'm sorry, I can't give you a refund. No, you can't switch to the $20 EDGE data plan.

Of course! I must be in an area with limited 3G coverage. Except that I live and work right in the middle of one of the most solidly covered areas on the entire map. Not the problem.

On another call, the customer service rep politely suggested that I could break my contract, (paying a $175 fee to AT&T) locate and purchase an original iPhone (2G), and then sign up for the $20 iPhone EDGE data plan! Thanks, but this doesn't bring me closer to my goal.

Why am I paying a monthly surcharge for nothing? A refund of $10 for the months 3G isn't working is a small price for AT&T to pay to improve customer satisfaction.

To their credit, another representative offered me a $5 refund to cover the day (Sept. 3, 2008) when EDGE went down across a wide swath of the country. I thanked her. It's the principle. Something I paid for didn't work for a while. Even Comcast cable prorates refunds for service that's down. They allegedly have some of the lowest customer service ratings in the corporate world.

I've even received apologies, telling me that AT&T is not intentionally ruining my 3G experience. It's just the way it is. In a month or so everything will be fixed after things sort themselves out and they have more time to work on the 3G towers. So when I turn on the tap and the water trickles, it's just the way it is. Pay your water bill and take showers from a bucket for a while.

I don't mind using EDGE for a while, but... I want my ten dollars!


Oh, so the solution to their poor planning and incompetent technical team is for you to spend $175 to break your contract and then go find a used phone on eBay so you can downgrade to their 8 year old EDGE network?

Apple and AT&T need to reach out to their loyal customers and make things right.

What a bunch of horseshit.

I have had the same response, The iPhone is great, but AT&T is just plain BS. Its like I am donating $10 to them...I would rather donate it to some charity or nonprofit organization instead.

I got the same exact response, except no $5 off. They insist I just "need to be patient" while they continue to charge me $10 a month for service I can't even use.

Why do I need to be patient while they keep taking my money? It is preposterous.

Everyone post your opinions on this outrage and let's send them to AT&T!

To their marketing department, not customer service. All customer service agents are jaded and miserable and act like the money you're rightfully due is coming out of their paychecks.

its funny how you called customer service reps jaded, i guess you would rather talk to a machine huh, would wouldn't know what sympathy is. Don't get me wrong there are some people who really don't care about there job. But to say customer service reps are, you could have at least said some.

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AT&T will now credit your account if you call customer service and they confirm that their is outage in your area.

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just think if apple had a deal with any other carriers how much you think they would charge for the iphone , and how much bandwith does a iphone use anyway.

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i had the same problem even though the iphone was updated to 2.0.2. and even when i did get 3g it didn't load anything and apps couldn't update themselves. went to apple swiched for another 3g phone. everything works great now. even in doors. apple was excellent. as i hear they are usually very easy to get to replace a product if a customer wants. i for one had no problems getting a replacement. installed the 2.0.2 update and like i said everything works excellent.

Are you sure about that? They had me on the phone with an product engineer for over an hour and with an AT&T rep trying all of this reset network settings, turn it off, made some changes on the backend then turn it back on mess. I should have not flashed the phone from the original 2.0 firmware--at least then I rarely got dropped calls, always see three bars at and nothing lower than two bars. I also always see it at 3G, but ever since I flashed from 2.0.1 problems after problems came up. Phone went completely dark and would not wake up unless I did a reset (home+sleep). I also was told I people called but it kept ringing. I neither got any missed call notices and the persons calling claimed that it did not go into voice mail. After restores and reflashes, at least I could receive calls, but 3G started to switch over to EDGE quite often. 2.0.2 was the worst. I started to see NO SERVICE when 3G dropped and attempted to switch over to EDGE. A few times it would just stay at NO SERVICE forcing me to reboot the phone. So if I leave it on 3G now, a few times while on call, the signal strength would drop all the way down and drop the call. The only way it is reliable now is to turn off 3G. Every now and then, it would even drop from EDGE to GPRS, or even to no data service at all. There is quite a comparable difference between all the firmware revisions, especially when I at consistent locations. So through out my 1.5+ hour support call, all the AT&T support rep could offer was to open a service ticket and said that the engineers have been working on this type of issue for a while now and to monitor it for the next week or so. There was no offers for credit, nor to switch out the phone.

Even if the phone is traded out, what firmware is on the stock phones now that are being sold or traded out? 2.0 or 2.0.2?

in your situation is may have been a firmware corruption , like when you were downloading it to update the firmware , in the download process before the install it may have had an issue that carried over to the phone.

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Your notion of paying extra $10 for 3G is inaccurate. You got a AT&T subsidized phone and are paying standard AT&T smartphone data plan rates. Which is what EDGE only BlackBerrys were charged ($30) when the Original iPhone was $20. Apple made you pay more for the phone and had AT&T subsidize the data plan.

Now AT&T subsidizes the iPhone 3G and treats is like any other smartphone it sells 3G or not.

You are paying for DATA services on a smartphone. Not how the data is transmitted. If you can get to your data then you are getting the service you are paying for.

For example,
BlackBerry® Pearl 8120 Wifi EDGE only $199. Data plan personal is $30/month.
Palm® Centro EDGE only, $30/month.
iPhone 3G $30/month
Samsung BlackJack II 3G $30/month

Smartphone Data plans are $30 EDGE/3G. This is true for Verizon and others as well.

So if the phone is subsidized $200 and the iphone data plan is increased by $10... a two year contract (24 months = $240 increase) means they're still ripping you off $40 for a broken network. What if I keep the phone even longer month-to-month? It's a racket. I'd rather pay up front.