Our adventures in getting online.
Wow… where to begin. Well, as you may have seen from the title, it is the AT&T slogan. I guess that’s as good as place as any to start.
Once upon a time in a land far-far-south and very-very remote, I wanted internet. “Heh, this should be easy.” I said to myself. Spoke to a few local people, and was told “Out in these here parts, AT&T is KING, all other cellular services plain ole don’t work.”
So I called AT&T to see if there is a way to change my old U-verse account to a mobile internet account. After about 2 hours on the phone with the knowledgeable staff, we determined a few things.
1. AT&T U-verse and AT&T mobile are not allowed to talk to each other; there may be too much communication.
2. My account with them on my “Go phone” was not actually a valid AT&T account, even though I had to set up an account, it was not a valid mobile account. And from what I can make of it, it is another department that the standard mobile people are not allowed to talk to.
3. If I want to get a hotspot, I will have to purchase it online or at a local retailer, they DO NOT sell their own equipment.
4. Once I get a hotspot, I can have the retailer set it up without a contract, but will not get those elusive rebates or I can call in to customer service and have them activate it for me. Should take about 17-20 mins from call to surfing.
I packed up my trusty Miata with all this new found knowledge and headed off down the dry creek bed that is considered a road, to the nearest AT&T dealer within 90 mins. RadioShack! After agonizing over their massive selection of 2 options, the usb single device or the hot spot, I chose the hotspot. Well apparently the pros at this particular store were not prepared for this transaction. I wanted to buy the devise without a contract! (Dramatic music here)
“Oh, wow, really? You’ll miss out on those fabulous rebates! And unfortunately, the other person who works here knows how to set that up, I never have.”
“Well,” I responded, “I am armed with knowledge of the ATT world and happen to know that I can call them from home and be surfing in about 20 mins.”
Those need to go on the wall of Famous Last Words….
Now I’ll try to summarize up the next 6, yes 6 hours with AT&T….
What?!? You don’t want a contract!!!
Please hold while I transfer you…
Yes, I’ll need all of your information, even though I have access to it from our other departments, you’ll need to give it to me again.
Oh, I’m sorry; you are in the wrong department for that, please hold while I transfer you.
Thanks for waiting, oh you want what? You were in the right department…. please hold…..
Ok, got you all setup with a new sim card, is there anything else you wanted? (Didn’t ask for or need a sim card, for that matter, she didn’t even ask if I had/needed one)
Oh, I’m sorry, this is for contracts… please hold…
About 3 hours in:
What’s your associate number? What, you’re a customer? You have no business being on MY Line! This is for Reps only to set up service. You need to call back the first number you dialed and talk to someone who CAN talk to me. *Click*
Shortly after a small fit of rage, I called back, the first number….
Oh, no. You are in the wrong department…. please hold….
About 1.5 hours and a few muffled curse words later:
Oh, you need to set up a new MYFI device without a contract, no prob. Let me get all your information
20 mins later, as promised, I’m surfing.
So after some tweaking, setup, installation of ambiguous software, I get to Google! Woo-hoo! And it was on the EDGE network, doesn’t that sound fast and ready for the modern internet? Well it’s not… .06kps speeds on average. I peaked it at .12kps.
According to the AT&T speed test; even though I already went to my own testing site, they claim that a 4.5 Meg mp3 should take 4-5 mins at my speed. Try 45 mins to get a 2.5 Meg pdf file…
(For those of you that are not speed savvy, on old FREE NetZero dialup, I was getting speeds up to 25kps. This was so slow, it made AOL dialup look like modern broadband.)
So back to 1-800-att-haha
And to my surprise, it only took 40 mins to get to someone to answer/help troubleshoot my problem.
“Well, you’re on the edge network; you should consider yourself lucky to get .06kps. You need a booster to get on the 4g/3g network.”
Well, RadioShack is closed, so I’ll have to try again tomorrow.
If you have been following the blog, you may have noticed it takes about 30-45 mins to get to town. And there is never a fast run. With it being a production, we try to get as much as possible in one run. So after +/- 4 hours of a town run, we now have a new fan dangled cell booster!
A few more mins to set it up and I’m surfing, again.
Still painfully low speeds, 10kps at best.
Well, the next 2.5 hours of customer care was much like the first. Only it was more like “Oh, you need the mobile troubleshooting department” followed by “Oh, you need the wireless data troubleshooting department…”
So anyway, I finally get to tier 2 troubleshooting and here I am informed simply that “…Just because your device SAYS that you have 4 bars of the 4g AT&T network, that doesn’t mean that you are really getting on the AT&T network. You are seeing 4 bars of a network, but it could not possible be AT&T at your current location.”
I’d like to remind you here of the current slogan “Think Possible”
Did I mention that I was using my AT&T Go Phone? Yeah, I was. And I was getting 3g+ speeds on it to.
So after being informed that there is no way I could be on or using the AT&T network at my location, I agreed and hung up.
(Insert heroic music)
Enter Sprint, ole faithful… turns out that my new fan dangled cellular amplifier actually picks up not only service but 3g. And to think no one here can believe that I am using Sprint, because, they don’t work here. “Sprint is better but they don’t make it all the way down here, so that’s why AT&T is king in these here parts!”
Well, not that I am a net junkie, but I was hoping for better than 3g speeds. So I figured that I would try the Myfi again.
Hmm, doesn’t work, at all… will connect, to Edge AND 4g but will not grant internet access. No matter what… Well I figured that I would save myself the stress, and accept the gift of 3g. AT&T, at any of their speeds, just doesn’t seem to be worth the effort of getting through their customer service.
I would have to give their service, both cellular and support 2 thumbs down. And a few other fingers up…..
I’ll post updates as they pertain. Returns, service cancellation, etc….