Well I was hoping to post this one before Verizon Wireless’ announcement of the iPhone, because this is not necessarily sour grapes and looking at the greener grass on the other side of the fence, but yeah it is.
My only hesitation about being an early adopter was the carrier. Being a ZuneHD user the Samsung Focus was the device I wanted when considering the display type. That device is only carried by AT&T. I had AT&T many years ago (I believe back when they were not Cingular), and the service was less than stellar and then there was an issue with replacing a phone and the contract game they played.
Reluctantly I took the plunge. At first, in my normal radius (work and home) the 3G was better than what I was getting with the other carrier. Then during the holiday I drove across the state of Pennsylvania, using the two major thoroughfares (PA Turnpike & I-80). The signal was so bad that despite being plugged into the Ford Sync USB port the phone battery was going down. I saw the “E” for edge more than I saw anything and that’s when I actually had a signal. I have made this commute many times, with my other device on another carrier while there were holes in the coverage it was never consistently out of signal. So these commercials about connecting 90+ percent of the people, the lack of coverage must be the 3 or four hour stretch I witnessed in central Pennsylvania right?
Then there is the bill. Granted I was an employee plan with my last device on the other carrier, but not comparing raw numbers, it was at least consistent. My first bill was at least $30 dollars more than quoted and I do get a discount due to the affiliation with who I work for now. Yes I know there are always fees and ridiculous taxes but $30??? I walk in the store, they tell me texting was being charged, that I needed to call customer support to have that rectified; I call customer support and they act surprised that the retail store couldn’t perform the credit (remember this because it comes up again). I add a second device to my line after a second bill (glutton for punishment obviously), and pay for the phone at the store and ask several times that it includes unlimited texting. Third bill shows up and its $120 more than originally quoted. <Refer back to scene of going to retail store only to be told to call customer support> Not only was unlimited texting not been defined for the second line, but now I have an activation fee.
I am in no way saying AT&T is the only carrier guilty of this pricing and contract lunacy. This has been the worst experience I have had in many years, at least since I was last an AT&T customer. If the ETF wasn’t so steep I would be using my Samsung Focus as a wifi only device and licking my chops for the leaked Verizon Windows Phone.