AT&T is a bleepity bleeping bleep

Wed, Jun 17, 2009 01:29 AM
So, on June 19th, the new iPhone comes out. I have a first generation iPhone.  I have loved it.  My area is not well covered by 3G so I did not bother upgrading.  But, my two year contract is up next month and just the other day I dropped and cracked my iPhone screen.  So, this is a good time to upgrade.

I ordered my new phone via the Apple web site.  It took me through a wizard that checked my AT&T account and showed me the options for upgrading.  That all went smooth.  This all took place on Thursday, June 11, 2009.  Well, at 11AM on Saturday, June 13th, something happened to my account.  On my account are 4 phones.  Mine, my wifes and my two oldest kids.  My daughter says from the back seat (did I mention we are on our way to the beach for a week?) "That took them long enough.  I got a welcome text from AT&T."  She has had her phone since Christmas.  Later I noticed I had no data connection.  Just bars.  I was getting calls.  Then later my wife commented that no one was returning her SMS messages.  So, we tried sending some to each other.  Nothing. My son sees he got a welcome SMS too. OMG, wtf did AT&T do?!?!?!?

We are driving (I mentioned that I think) and have time on our hands, so my wife calls them about it all.  Sure enough, they claim that "someone" removed our family unlimited text message plan from the account.  Well, that someone would be AT&T.  See, I had reduced my iPhone to the lower plan a while back because I was getting the family unlimited text messaging plan when I added my kids phones.  But, the new iPhone only has one data plan available.  It's a $30/month unlimited data plan.  Apparently, me changing the data plan for the new iPhone that is not even shipped yet removed all text messaging for my whole family.  The lady claims to have it fixed so we hang up.

Time passes and I still don't have and EDGE connection.  My daughter tries to send a MMS picture and is blocked. We call back.  Apparently the brilliant person my wife talked to the first time added a pay per SMS feature and NO MMS OR DATA!  ARGHHH!!!!  We tell the lady, "Look, just put it back like it was on the last bill."  That worked, we were happy with that.  A few minutes later I had data and we could send pictures again.

So, you would think it is over.  But, apparently I don't have voice mail.  And now I am really wondering what will happen when I activate my new iPhone this week.  Be thinking about me as I am sure it will hose my account again.  And I leave town on Sunday to attend Velocity

Please, please, two years from now, when my contract is up, please let Verizon have the iPhone.  Our accounts payable people at dealnews don't like their billing practices, but I have never had a customer service issue with them and their network is the best ever.

Some interesting things to note:
  1. You can't buy or activate an iPhone without a data plan.  But, clearly they had mine working without one.
  2. They turned off SMS for my whole family, but, the first thing my kids got after they turned it off was an SMS that I bet they would have charged us for.
  3. We could not send MMS at all for our whole account after the new iPhone was purchased.  It is well known that AT&T is not allowing MMS on the new iPhone yet.  Guess they control this at the account level?

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