HTC Sensation 4G

I got the HTC Sensation 4G phone when I got T-Mobile service.    I had no complaints about the Android operating system (this was not my first Android phone), HOWEVER there were two flaws with this phone that I found.

1. If I would hold the phone the wireless internet would drop completely (aka death grip).
2. The call quality when someone would talk was not good at all, it sounded high on treble and the speakerphone sounded worse.

Needless to say I brought the phone back… could not justify getting a phone for $249.99 with those two problems.


T-Mobile vs Verizon

I had a decision to make after my AT&T fiasco, what mobile service provider would I go with?   I had already decided that I did not want to use Sprint.    That left me with T-Mobile or Verizon.

I have T-Mobile service already through work.   The coverage is OK around town for the most part, except at my wife’s mom’s house and inside Super Target where I have no service at all.    I don’t use that phone too often but when I have used it in the past other places had service.   It definitely wasn’t as bad as my AT&T service and it worked around my house.

Going the T-Mobile route was going to save me about $70 a month vs Verizon.   I knew I had a 14 day return period so I decided to give them a try.   I got the HTC Sensation (I had an Android phone before so knew what I was getting into) and unlimited voice/data/text plan.   I had the service for probably 5 days and it only took me 3 days to decide that I didn’t want it.    There were deadspots around the neighborhood and in the house and while it wasn’t as bad as AT&T it was still not ideal.   I guess I never really noticed it with my work cell phone because that has UMA (voice calls over wireless).    Also there were problems with the HTC Sensation which I’ll get into in another post.

So Verizon was my only other option.   I have a friend that has had Verizon for the past year and said he’s never had problems using his phone at my house.   Let me just say that signing up with Verizon was the best decision I made.   The service is SOLID.   I have not had any dropped calls and while I’ve read the data is slower on Verizon then AT&T, I don’t notice it.    Regardless, making calls is more important to me.   I also beat the July 7th deadline for unlimited data through Verizon so I’m locked in on that instead of tiered pricing.

Fast forward a few days later and my wife discovered she can get 22% off our bill monthly through Verizon, so I’ll be paying a little less then what I paid for my AT&T service.   SCORE!

AT&T Nightmare

I feel I should post my AT&T experience incase years later I am considering using them again.    Maybe other people will want to vent about their AT&T experience (nightmare?) as well.

I have been a customer since 2002.   During that time I lived in various locations around town where the service was great.   I was 100% satisfied with AT&T’s service and had no thoughts of switching to a different carrier.

Last September we moved into a new house and again the service was perfect.   Then somewhere around January is when things started to go downhill.   One afternoon our phone had no service and kept switching to Edge.   We were having a hard time making or receiving calls or text messages.   After calling AT&T Customer Service they checked the area for problems and indicated there was a tower down in the area.   We would get use to hearing that for the next few months…

Fast forward to present day and we still had problems with service.   Sometimes the phone would work great around the house or in our neighborhood, but most the time we still had problems using the phone.   I called AT&T Customer Service at least four times between when it was working great and July 2011 and was always told a tower or multiple towers were down in the area.

I was fed up.   What was the point of having a $150/month cell phone bill if I can’t use it?  That’s also the only phone we have in the house, what if I needed to call 911?   I had posted a rant on Twitter (@gobi) about how bad the AT&T service was.   I had a lady who worked at AT&T contact me on Twitter who worked in her social media care team (@ATTMollica).   I told her my problems and said I had read that other customers who had service problems had good success with AT&T’s 3G MicroCell.  The device retails for $199, but I told her since I was having so many problems that I wanted it for free.   I was a long time customer and had documented problems.   She said a manager would contact me.    Within a few minutes a manager contacted me to discuss the problems I was having. She asked what could AT&T do that would make me happy since I was a long time customer and I stated that I wanted the MicroCell for free.   She said they could not give it to me for free, but I could pay $150 for it and get it.   I indicated that I was not happy with that option being that I PAY FOR SERVICE THAT I CANNOT USE.    She said if there was anything else I can think of that would make me happy to let her know, I said I’d call back.

I talked to a buddy of mine that works as a manager at a local AT&T store in Lafayette, LA. He could not help me either… So a few weeks later I waited it out to see if the problem would clear itself up (maybe the magical towers down would be fixed), but it wasn’t cleared up.   If anything it was worse.  I called Customer Service and after explaining the story to the representative for over 10 minutes my phone dropped the call.   I had to walk outside down the road to call Customer Service.   I talked to two manager’s, none of them would give me the MicroCell for free and wanted me to pay $99 for it.    I refused, tried to get out my ETF (early termination fee) but could not. My ETF was over $500 and I had over a year left on my contract.   At that point I was so fed up the next day I ported my phone numbers and decided I would eat the ETF fee.

I also posted a my feelings about AT&T service on my Facebook page.   Someone commented with the following, which makes sense:

this is all because of the acquisition of centennial by att, the government stepped in and gave south louisiana’s centennial towers to verizon. att got the north, att is losing alot of coverage they used to use off those towers, so actually problems/coverage will get worse as verizon converts those towers. :\

… However it not a reason not to try to accomodate a customer.