Can I vent about my phone service for a minute?

8 Mar

The other day I tried to talk to my sister on the phone while driving from my neighborhood to Burbank.

As you can see we had attempted to call each other 16 times.

The calls were either dropped or could not be placed.

Man, AT&T, what happened?

You used to be the king of phone service. (Especially back when you were Cingular.)


Consumer Reports cell-service Ratings: AT&T is the worst carrier

I hear now that they are starting to offer small towers to improve service inside your home. Which is great because I can’t remember the last time I could successfully send a text while I was at home.

But how does that help me when I want to leave my house?

I’ve never posted a bad consumer review. But having to speak to my family in 20 second increments has become incredibly frustrating.


Thanks for listening.

70 Responses to “Can I vent about my phone service for a minute?”

  1. Michael BK March 8, 2011 at 8:24 pm #

    Yeah Jorge, that’s a dagger. The short answer to your question re: a ‘network extender’ type device in your home is it doesn’t help when you want to leave said home. You should consider coming over to where the weather is a little warmer… Verizon. Considering asking your friends about their experiences with Verizon. I live in the DC Metro area and it’s pretty much flawless everywhere I go.

    Verizon even has the iPhone now! Although if you’re a world traveler, as I’m sure you are, most Verizon phones, including the iPhone, will not work abroad.

  2. Petra March 8, 2011 at 8:26 pm #

    We had to change carriers because we couldn’t get cell reception in our own house. This is NOT new technology. So frustrating.

    : ) P

  3. Sharon March 8, 2011 at 8:28 pm #

    You need to get Verizon, not only better service, but now you can have an iPhone too and not have to have At&T’s service. Also Verizon works the best in Hawaii, for when you visit the islands.

  4. Jennifer March 8, 2011 at 8:29 pm #

    I have AT&T and don’t have any problems.. but then I refuse to use Apple anything.. go HTC!

  5. B.E. Earl March 8, 2011 at 8:30 pm #

    Well, now you can switch to Verizon. Me? I’m a Sprint guy, and I haven’t had any coverage problems in years.

    My girlfriend has AT&T, and she’s constantly having dropped calls. Especially at home. Now that she has an iPad that she takes with her everywhere, she doesn’t really need her iPhone for anything other than making calls. Its least function-able function. We are in the process of getting her a new phone and carrier.

  6. Lurkertype March 8, 2011 at 8:32 pm #

    The same thing happens to my husband’s AT&T phone — there’s a spot between his office and our house where there’s no coverage. And it’s on an 8-lane freeway, all built up.

  7. allison March 8, 2011 at 8:38 pm #

    whats that little bar in between the bluetooth logo and your battery count???

  8. Maggie March 8, 2011 at 8:49 pm #

    I have the same problems at home (sending texts? ha!). I tried to call AT&T to find out if I could get one of those signal boosters for my house, since I heard sometimes they will offer them. The answer was basically that I could pay a couple hundred dollars for one. To get a free one, you have to get an offer for one from AT&T (and you can’t just ask them to offer you one) and I believe it requires a one-year contract when you get one. I basically asked AT&T to convince me not to switch to Verizon, and she basically told me she wouldn’t blame me if I did. I don’t get it.

    So come July with the new iPhone, if Verizon gets it I may well switch. I’ve only stuck with AT&T so far because of the iphone. I didn’t switch if Feb just because a new phone will be out in like 4 months, so I didn’t want to be getting a 4 when the 5 might be out soon.

    • Lisa March 9, 2011 at 8:17 am #

      I’m with Maggie on this one. I’ve got AT&T and an iPhone 3GS. I wanted to get rid of the “old fashioned” land line, but can’t with the lousy AT&T signal. I checked in on a friend’s cat over the holidays while she was out of town. I would take a picture of the cat and then compose and email to give her a status report. I could NOT send that damn email from inside her apartment – in Newport Beach of all places!!! I’m holding out for the iPhone 5 and then I am back to Verizon!

  9. Slovak34 March 8, 2011 at 8:51 pm #

    What are you complaining about? I see you ended up getting a good six minute conversation in there…although 3 minutes was probably spent asking “what? Can you hear me?”. By the way…looks like you’re on the Edge network, which is below 3G.

  10. mel March 8, 2011 at 8:54 pm #

    ATT has a free app (Mark the Spot) that you can use whenever they drop a call. It doesn’t mean they’ll magically fix it, but at least if you ding them 16x in a matter of minutes it will flag someone that there’s obviously an issue underway.

  11. ErikaJean March 8, 2011 at 8:55 pm #

    AT&T has never been a top dog in the cell word – All they had was the Iphone….. VERIZON. 100% the best service!

  12. Jesso March 8, 2011 at 9:22 pm #

    This is why you couldn’t PAY me to use AT&T. Horrible service! I love T-Mobile and Verizon, they are both good in the DFW area. Right now I’m on Verizon with a lovely HTC Incredible, and I don’t ever ever ever want to switch.

    Also: You couldn’t pay me to use an iPhone, either. I used to think they were super swanky, and I even had an iPod Touch to play with… then I got my Incredible and it totally blows the iPhone out of the water. Android >>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Apple

  13. David Nescio March 8, 2011 at 9:28 pm #

    I remember having Cingular. It was great!

    Then it became AT&T. ΰ² _ΰ² 

  14. Guess typing in braille becomes the next option. Ugh.

  15. Johanna March 8, 2011 at 9:54 pm #

    I LOVE my iPhone, but can’t stand the service. Oh well. The best phone in the world with the WORST signal! Score.

  16. Jill March 8, 2011 at 10:20 pm #

    Same thing happened with my sister & her husband when AT&T took over Cingular. They went Verizon. My sister even threw her phone against a wall in her basement after it dropped the same call 3 times in a row!

  17. Angela Rynan March 8, 2011 at 10:33 pm #

    I had to switch from Sprint to Verizon five years ago because the service was so twitchy. Literally. If I moved a fraction of an inch off, I would lose the signal. It was maddening. Verizon had better coverage, but stricter contract obligation–what are ya gonna do? Ironically, when I started my current job, my boss handed me a BlackBerry, which I loved. And which has Sprint as the carrier.

    Ah, progress. What WOULD Laura Ingalls have made of all this?


  18. Debbie M. March 8, 2011 at 11:03 pm #

    Funny, they are the ones who can’t get their signals straight but it’s their customers who to have to buy a tower for their home in order to get what they are paying for in the first place. I say it’s time to switch carriers.

  19. Jinxie March 8, 2011 at 11:05 pm #

    Me and my 2 roommates all have ATT iPhones, and service has been so bad for the last year that we complained and scored one of those microcell towers. Good news? When we have the tower connected, we have GREAT cell phone reception! Bad news? When we have the tower connected our wi-fi is about as slow as a dial-up connection. Since we also have a land line (and because we got the microcell for free and aren’t losing money by NOT using it) we mostly keep the micro unplugged (because I get cranky if I don’t have my internet).

    • Maggie March 12, 2011 at 12:05 pm #

      Wow, the microcell screws up your wifi? I guess it’s best I didn’t pay for one then!

  20. Heather Crandall March 8, 2011 at 11:45 pm #

    I must side with many people on this post… Verizon is the way to go. It IS a bit more expensive… but I get service EVERYWHERE, even out in the middle of nowhere. I’ve never EVER dropped a call (I’ve been a Verizon customer for eight years)… You must switch. You must! πŸ™‚

  21. MARTA March 8, 2011 at 11:46 pm #

    I do not know the telephone services in the U.S.A, but it must be frustrating, in Spain there are many companies, the truth is not bad services, some have problems with coverage. good luck Jorge!!

  22. Tricia March 9, 2011 at 1:18 am #

    I have that blasted mini tower from AT&T. We moved into an apartment with zero service and AT&T promised this would fix all of our problems. And it works. Sometimes. Just like your cell phone drops calls, the tower will all of a sudden, in the middle of the call, just go out. For no reason. It works with your high speed internet so if your net goes down, so does the tower. And there’s no real reason for us not having service, we are smack in the middle of a ‘great service area’ according to their map.

    I don’t understand how AT&T gets away with charging money for a service they cannot provide. Plus it’s a bit dangerous when I’m on my tenth dropped call. At some point, there will be an iphone going through a window πŸ˜‰

  23. Claudia March 9, 2011 at 2:47 am #

    When things like this happen it is SO annoying. Don’t take any nonsense from AT&T, not being able to call is just not acceptable. Drop them!!!
    Verizon Wireless is awesome. Never had one problem with them.

    • gaila15 March 9, 2011 at 5:26 am #

      Morning Joe had the same rant,I believe he dropped AT&T. Daniel Dae Kim did a cell phone test on his fan page. πŸ™‚ I’ve always had Verizon and never have problems, but then again I hate chatting on any type of phone.

  24. Ali M. March 9, 2011 at 6:26 am #

    AT&T sucks, that’s why I have Verizon. Now, a question; please tell me you at least have a blue tooth or some hands free mechanism. Jorge, you aren’t one of those people I scream at for talking on their phone while driving are you?

  25. Missy March 9, 2011 at 6:31 am #

    Man, that sucks:(

    I have to agree with most of the comments and say that I’m happy with Verizon. The only time it doesn’t work for me is when I’m visiting my in-laws in the backwoods of Missouri.

  26. Karen March 9, 2011 at 6:55 am #

    Switch to Verizon – its the best in MA. I agree though – Cingular rocked!!!

  27. Janet March 9, 2011 at 8:17 am #

    That must be frustrating.

    I have 3 phones, all with different service. Virgin Mobile comes in the clearest. Optimum (land line) comes in last. No J.D. Power award for them.

    • kake79 March 9, 2011 at 5:16 pm #

      Virgin Mobile runs on the Sprint network.

      • Janet March 10, 2011 at 3:09 am #

        Didn’t know that kake. Thanks for the info.

  28. Teresa Avalon March 9, 2011 at 8:52 am #

    I’m bummed. I left AT&T a year ago or so because of the political issue of them giving Fatherland, er, Homeland security all of my phone calls and texts (yours too, btw, though I’m sure yours could be sold on Ebay – mine, not so much.) I went to the one that starts with V and suddenly I can’t even walk around my house without dropping calls. I have been waiting for my contract to end so I could compromise my closely held political feelings and go back to AT&T. Et Tu, Brute?

    • kake79 March 9, 2011 at 5:17 pm #

      It’s not either or between Verizon and AT&T. Sprint also offers good service.

  29. Sylvan March 9, 2011 at 8:59 am #

    I’ve had Verizon for several years. I do have excellent coverage in general, but there are places where I just don’t have a signal. Inside some big box stores, or at my cousin’s place where there’s rock ledge with lots of iron in it. I live in RI and have taken my phone out to Alaska, Oklahoma, DC, and all points in between OK & DC (driving) and never had a problem when I needed it.
    I guess we’re lucky the government hasn’t put a lockdown on which cell companies you can have in certain parts of the country yet. πŸ˜›

  30. H Ski March 9, 2011 at 9:07 am #

    I feel your pain. I originally switched for the IPhone. Now I am over the service and not being able to place phones and don’t care enough to stay just for the phone. I will probably be switching in the next couple of months.

  31. Tena Lynn March 9, 2011 at 9:09 am #

    Preaching to the choir, babes!! I feel your pain. Geez, did you ever get to have a complete conversation?

  32. Shannon March 9, 2011 at 9:40 am #

    I had a friend go to an AT&T store to complain about how lousy the service was, and he couldn’t make a call from INSIDE THE STORE. It was so bad that even at the AT&T store itself, he couldn’t connect a call. That right there is some sucky service. He got to cancel his contract though. Switch to Verizon, they aren’t great dealing with their customers, but at least the phone works!

  33. Melody March 9, 2011 at 9:47 am #

    We have a theory about this as I have just switched to ATT too. I had tmobile (which is awesome BTW) and never dropped a call at all. I never had any problems of any kind. When I had to call customer service they were great. Prior to that I had Sprint which had good service in the area I used to live and was the best there but then we moved and are now right by their headquarters. Their customer service always sucked, like seriously, seriously sucked and made eating a staple seem like something so awesome that there would be a huge line in order to even try it. As soon we moved there the service was AWFUL. I had a lot of the same things as you just had with ATT. No service while standing outside in my lawn, dropped calls, slow data, etc, etc.
    Anyway, my theory is that too many people have it and they just can’t handle the load. My husband and neighbors had Cingular and it was great. He switched after the iphones came out because the service went downhill and he wanted to be on the same company as the rest of his colleagues so he went to Sprint. What an idiot. I just left them so he knew how bad they were! It took MONTHS to port his number over and his account got all messed up. He was probably on the phone with them just trying to port the number for at least 30 hours total. that should take like 3 minutes. My neighbors said their service started getting bad over a period of time that coincided with when the iphone came out and more and more people were leaving other companies to go to ATT. Same situation with Sprint for me, it was great when I lived in an area that was not heavily populated but bad when I moved to an area where so many people used it. Tmobile has never had a problem with having too many people and their service is great! My iphone was faster without 3g on the tmobile network than it is with 3g on ATT. Ridiculous. Maybe some people will move to Verizon and alleviate some of the traffic. My lame husband switched to Verizon a year or so ago and his service sucks too. I should have stayed with tmobile and he should have gone with me.

  34. Marilyn Kanes March 9, 2011 at 10:03 am #

    Ah, I’m sorry. I must be one of the few that hasn’t had problems with AT&T. Which means I’ve just screwed myself, and all call will be dropped from now on! Hang in there, and again, thank you for being so generous with blogging with your fans.

  35. Theresa March 9, 2011 at 11:04 am #

    I have had Verizon for years and have probably only dropped a call maybe 10 times? Ever? I love Verizon. But I’m also on the other side of the country, so who knows?

  36. Anastasia March 9, 2011 at 12:35 pm #

    We’ve had our iPhones for over 2 years and have NEVER had good service with AT&T. Someone might have already told you this above, but iPhone 5 is coming out this summer and you can get it on Verizon. That’s what we’re doing, we were on Verizon before we got the iPhone, and it was excellent.

  37. jacqui March 9, 2011 at 3:24 pm #

    i’ve been on verizon for 11 years and i will never switch. it’s simply the best.

  38. Becca March 9, 2011 at 3:54 pm #

    That’s crazy! I’ve been with AT&T since they were Bellsouth (15ish years ago) and have always had stellar service. Granted, this was living in central NC and all over FL and traveling all up and down the East coast. That’s so strange that it took forever to get for you through.

  39. MerryKarma March 9, 2011 at 4:22 pm #

    We switched from Cingular/AT&T to Verizon many years ago. We take lots of trips to the Pacific Northwest, the Rockies, western Canada – and we would have horrible service with C/ATT. Haven’t looked back since the switch.

  40. Elaine Pennarola Cyr March 9, 2011 at 5:18 pm #

    Yes the service was much better when they were Cingular. I can’t get good service in my home, either. My husband wants me to join him on Verizon. Problem is my son and I are on our own plan and we can talk anytime which is nice because he lives 6 hours away!

  41. James Hernandez March 9, 2011 at 5:38 pm #


    I am always amused that AT&T ended up with the initial iPhone monopoly. Someone must have liked them.

  42. Jules March 9, 2011 at 7:12 pm #

    You poor thing. I have AT&T and have the same problem. I cannot encourage you more to find a new path through this traverse. What a messed up situation.

  43. jackie March 9, 2011 at 7:29 pm #

    trust me..get sprint.they own the towers.

  44. Bill March 9, 2011 at 9:10 pm #

    “…I tried to talk to my sister on the phone while DRIVING (?!!!) from my neighborhood to Burbank.”

    What are you doing talking on the phone while driving?

    • Jorge Garcia March 11, 2011 at 12:53 am #

      I was using a handsfree device.

      • Ali M March 12, 2011 at 9:44 am #

        πŸ™‚ glad to hear

  45. LSE March 9, 2011 at 9:13 pm #

    AT&T does NOT work in Los Angeles/Southern California (if that’s where you were making these calls). I’ve had it in a million other states and my phone works brilliantly abroad. I’ve even had people visit, having no complaints about AT&T and suddenly they can’t get a call in to save themselves.

    I think it’s probably a lot of factors, lack of towers, the hills and just the general air space. But yeah, I feel your pain!

  46. Dan March 10, 2011 at 3:07 am #

    It’s amazing reading about this matter…I have the same issue with Vodafone in Italy… It gets on my nervs… definitely!
    We are smashed around by life and always in a hurry, the few minutes we have to call “home” can’t be so frustrating!!!

    I suggest to switch to carrier pigeon for text

    Nice blog Jorge

  47. Kate C. March 10, 2011 at 6:19 am #

    This string of comments is why some of us are immobilized with fear when trying to sign a cell phone contract and therefore don’t have cellphones. Yikes!

  48. Lisa Brown March 10, 2011 at 6:35 am #

    Hi Jorge – I’m an employee at AT&T and would encourage you to call our support center and let them know of the issues you’re having. I know that it can be frustrating as a customer just as it is very frustrating to me as an employee to hear someone that is having trouble with our service. It makes me want to do anything in my power to assist. We have an employee escalation center which I can use to refer issues that my friends and family are having, and i would be happy to do that for you if you’d like to contact me. At the very least you would be sent to the right folks to discuss the issue and that could provide you with the best options for improving your service. I know it may sound cheesy, but I’m very proud of being an employee of AT&T and personally have had very good experience with our products and services. I thank you for being one of our customers and I sincerely hope that you continue to be and that we can provide you with the best support.

  49. kathy March 10, 2011 at 8:50 am #

    One word – Verizon. It’s the only company I’ve ever been with and there’s a reason for it. Hardly ever experience a dropped call! In my opinion, they’re the best…

  50. LUANN RUCKER March 10, 2011 at 9:34 am #

    I have At&t too. Lots of dropped calls..Text recieved hours after they are sent…And there is always something wrong with my bill and i call them every month to fix it…But they are alway nice when I call and always give me stuff for my trouble(like minutes or back date stuff so I pay less ect…) BTW love you and Beth….

  51. Lindsay March 10, 2011 at 11:40 am #

    I used to be on Verizon, but switched to Sprint a few years ago when I got my first smartphone because their data plan was cheaper. I never had any problems with either Sprint or Verizon. I accidentally hang up on people way more often than my calls get dropped!

  52. Tori March 10, 2011 at 1:19 pm #

    I have A T & T as well and the service is crummy. I’ve always wondered why I talk so highly of the company. Not really sure…
    But yes, I agree with you the hassle is a pain.

  53. Gia March 10, 2011 at 6:46 pm #

    Yeah, AT&T sucks in some areas.

    What I want to know is how you got a picture of your calls and posted it to this blog. How’d you do that?

  54. Gia March 10, 2011 at 6:48 pm #

    P.S. Does C have AT&T, too? If not it could have been her phone dropping the calls.

    • Jorge Garcia March 11, 2011 at 9:28 am #

      C was at home.

      • Gia March 11, 2011 at 2:19 pm #

        Ah. Then there’s no excuse. πŸ™‚

      • Gia March 11, 2011 at 2:24 pm #

        and how did you do the graphic of your calls list? Did you take a picture with another camera, or is there a way to screen capture from your iPhone?

      • Gia March 11, 2011 at 2:40 pm #

        never mind, I forgot there’s a way to take a screen capture from my iPhone. Figured it out.

  55. pamelalovescharlie March 10, 2011 at 7:50 pm #

    We had Verizon but only because they bought Alltel…I was not a happy camper, I hate Verizon…they charge WAY to much for everything!!! We switched to T-Mobile last June and ended up with 5 free (after rebates) cell phones on the family plan (2 are Android with everything) 3 of us have unlimited Internet, we all have unlimited texts, mobile to mobile, free nights and weekends, free long distance and they got us out of our Verizon contract for free. We are paying $100 less than V charged us for 3 old alltel phones, they wouldn’t let us upgrade so we left and I’m so glad we did πŸ™‚

  56. Tammie March 11, 2011 at 8:06 am #

    I am so with you Jorge!! I live in a small town near a big town, and when I had Cingular, my service was good. Now that it is AT&T, I can’t go to my garage, sit at my computer, go in my laundry room, bedroom, bathroom, or sit on the floor in my house without losing a call. Of course, somtimes I lose it anyway just sitting still. I tried 6 times yesterday to call my Mom and got a ‘Call Failed’ from AT&T. I am seriously considering switching to Verizon. I had them before I switched to Cingular, and I can’t remember what they did that made me switch anymore.

  57. Chrissy March 11, 2011 at 10:27 pm #

    Get US Cellular, baby! i love this carrier.

    stick with AT&T for tv tho. U-verse is da bomb.

  58. devonellington March 12, 2011 at 12:43 pm #

    My first cell phone was AT&T, when we were shooting an indie film in upstate NY. I choose them because they promised me they covered that particular area (which was kind of in the middle of nowhere).

    We get out there on location, and, of course, none of us with AT&T could use our phones. Sometimes it was a 35 mile drive to get coverage. Sometimes 50.


    I returned it within the 30 day framework and fought to get my money & deposit back for three years. The Attorney General had to intervene to get it done.

    As much as I wanted an iPhone, when AT&T was exclusive w/them, I wasn’t willing to go back.

    And yes, when Cingular was on its own, they were fantastic. Which is probably why they went out of business. ;(

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