iPhone meet Compressor

File this under Doh! I started having issues with charging my iPhone. Based on timing I thought it was because of a recent update. I tossed a few cables, bought new ones making sure they were “certified”. The issue just kept getting worse. Even with the OEM cable. I would insert the cable and unless I pressed firmly it would never register and eventually I would get the annoying Apple message about not being an approved accessory.

I went to the AT&T store to inquire because it was getting worse and no juice there is no phone and let’s face it, that is just not going to work. The representative mentioned that it was probably lint, dust etc and that if I take it to the Apple store they will clean it but they can’t do it at the AT&T store. This is puzzling since the Apple store won’t apply the screen protectors but AT&T will but moving on. Doing everything I can to avoid going to an Apple store it was time to try something.

I had read about tweezers and toothpicks but hey I was never very good at that game called Operation back in the day so… First I tried to use the Shop Vac in my shop. Concentrating the nozzle, results were no improvement. Now what… So I use the air compressor to blow saw dust from crevices in my tools when the Shop Vac can’t get it… Fire up the compressor and attach the fine nozzle… a couple quick shots, now let’s test. First cable that had sporadic connectivity… simple insert, no manipulation and ding “charging”, moved the phone and stayed charging. Now let’s test the car charger that no matter what would not register as being connected… gentle insert and nothing else… ding “charging”.

No doubt a short term fix for what I think is less than great engineering but I got to use a power tool and saved myself from finding time to get to an apple store and wait in the queue. Maybe this will help someone else.

Insurance

Just a quick post.  My Samsung Focus went for a swim the other day.  Despite efforts to save it, the screen went psychedelic.  I debated whether I should pay for insurance on the device, but in this case being lazy saved me.  I called the device insurance claim number went through the annoying automated prompts and then spoke with a representative.  The whole process was much easier than I expected, but I was also quick to admit the destruction of the phone was my fault and not a warranty issue.

So the claim was made and now I was at an awkward point with no phone and expecting a few calls.  I followed the fedex tracking information.  In the end I had a new device the very next afternoon.  I would have to say I was very surprised and satisfied by the whole process.

Now I do have to disclose that I did get a new device via the device warranty period.  That process was in no way as customer friendly.  The power/data port stopped recognizing chargers.  Luckily using the USB cable from my old Motorola Droid I was able to keep it charged up.  I spoke with AT&T and went through the barrage of questions, then took it to an AT&T store.  I was told there was a location I could go to locally to complete the warranty replacement.  While it was local, it wasn’t very convenient.  I took it to another AT&T store, where they actually tried to help.  They connected my device to the charger used for the floor display model, when that didn’t work, they brought out a new battery and connected it back to the charger.  When the device still signed no recognition of the charging source, they called technical support and started the warranty replacement. 

The kicker is they want us to use our cell phones to be our primary device but the support model doesn’t really conform to that.

Windows Phone 7–Carrier (AT&T)

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.Winter Returns

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.