May 18, 2024

AT&T + Samsung = Complete idiocy and incompetence


When it comes to technology especially my cellphones I always like to think I make the best choices when it comes to the model and network carrier that I use. About two years ago I left Tmobile back in April of 2022 because in my opinion they didn't value me any longer as a customer when I wanted to upgrade my phone at the time. As usual they were so busy trying to attract new customers instead of making sure the customers they already have would stay loyal. At the time I was going through this issue my mother was in the process of upgrading her cellphone with AT&T to a Samsung Ultra S22 5G. So the sales agent that was helping my mother was informing me of the deal they had at the time for new customers who wanted to buy the same phone model as well. Needless to say I did some research and even went back to Tmobile to see if they would match the upgrade deal. Needless to say Tmobile was pretty much NOPE and I said well, "Fuck you" and I took my business to AT&T. 

My phone with Tmobile had been paid off for a while, Samsung S10e, so that wasn't an issue. In fact I used a different phone for the trade in to qualify for the new customer deal. I used my Samsung Note 8 and the sales agent was so shocked because it looked like it was just taken out of the box. I protect my phones that well. I used to use Otterbox cases back in the day when the built in screen protectors were still available. 

While at the AT&T location we called Tmobile to start the porting of my number from them to my new provider. Do you know they had the nerve to ask if there was anything they could do so save my business? I was like are you kidding me? You should have thought about that back when I first told you that I was considering leaving. I told the rep it was too late and to just finish the port.

Within a hour I had my new Samsung Ultra S22 5G with 512GB and new service through AT&T. Now lets fast forward a lil bit and let me enlighten you to what I have since discovered with AT&T service. When I used my Sasmsung Note 8 as a credit towards my phone the way it was presented to me was that my phone was worth $800 and that would be put on my account in monthly installments to help keep my bill down. Well to me this is a sham because as of write now I have 12 payments left on the phone out of 36 and apparently I still owe $466 and some change left on the phone yet I have already made over $500 in payments on the phone already. So I'm like where did my $800 go? I feel like I'm still paying for the phone 100%. 

Now also let me add that I also had a case ready for my phone as well. An I-Blason case that I highly recommend to anyone with a cellphone. Some of their cases come with built in screen protectors. I CAN NOT STRESS THIS ENOUGH. If you have a cellphone try to go with a case that has a built in screen. I think they are better than those that are Gorilla glass protectors.

I aslo noticed my bill became higher because some type of promotion fell off but when I first purchased the phone I didn't hear about any promotional special. The only discount that I was aware of was because I'm in the education field. So I'm seeing my bill rising a slightly more within a year. So after all of this lets forward to what has happened in the past 72 hours.

Back on Thursday while I was at my job around 11:30am my phone was on my desk and I tried to use it to make a phone call. I see the following message:

This problem continued for the remainder of the day on Thursday. Even as I'm driving home. My phone would not connect wirelessly to my car. Nor could I use it at my house. I had reset it countless times while at work and at home.

Now we are on to Friday. The problem still has not fixed itself and I'm nervous because with this issue NO ONE is able to reach me and I'm not able to call out. I make sure my operating system is up to date and did have to do one update, but even that didn't fix the problem. So I decide to leave work early to go to the ATT store near my job and have them check it out. I was hoping it was just a simply Sim card issue. My phone still uses a physical sim card and I was hoping that it just needed to be converted to an ESim to correct the issue. 

Now here is where this situation becomes super weird. So remember I said I can't get ANY type of signal anywhere. Yet when I arrive at the ATT store near my job my signal comes back as though nothing is wrong. It is the weirdest shit. So imagine me explaining this info to the agent because I know it sound crazy and farfetched as all out. So after explaining my dilemma to the agent we change out my physical sim card to an Esim. 

Now while we are dealing with the issue, the sales agent is asking me if I want to add an Apple or Samsung Watch to my account. I know he is just doing his job but it takes everything inside of me to just be nice and calm because I'm thinking why in the fuck would I want to add any additional mess to my account when my primary means of communication isn't even working properly?

After the Esim card change I decide to walk to the REI store to test it out and sure enough the signal drops again and the same error message that I received in the picture above comes back. Yet what I also failed to state before was that when I was receiving the error message instead of the bar icon that represent signal strength I was receiving a circle with a slash across. It looked like below:

This is the symbol that I saw majority with the issue of my phone and I still am even as I am writing this blog post.

So back to the ATT store I go and inform them that the change over to ESim does not work. So they recommend that I call customer service from my phone because Abra-fucking-cadbra my signal comes back on while I am in their store. I am connected with Asurion, the phone insurance claim company. I speak with a rep and he is having me go through all these tests on my phone and resetting the Mobile Network access on my phone. He then asks me to walk outside the ATT store and walk back to REI. 

So I make my trek back to the store and as usual, the signal drops and I'm back to square one. I have some place I need to be by 5:30pm so I leave the ATT location with my issue still not resolved. Later on that night when I arrived home. I decided to call ATT customer service again since my phone was still acting up. I called them between 8pm and 9pm. I spoke with a tech agent who tried to assist me and tried everything he could think of only to have to escalate my issue to a person higher than himself. Yet Unfortunately I had to wait over 35 minutes before the 2nd technician came online and also tried to help me but he only duplicated the same techniques as the first technician. 

Overall I WAS ON THE PHONE FOR 2 HOURS, 36 MINUTES AND 30 SECONDS with NO positive outcome to my situation. The last technician I spoke to instructed me to go back to the ATT location and have them delete the Esims that he and the previous technician created on my phone and reinstall a physical Sim card to see if that would fix the issue and if it didn't have the store call customer service. By the time I was done it was past 11pm and all I could do was sit there in frustration and in tears.

I was so angry last night with this bullshit I didn't get that much sleep. I went on ATT appointment site and made an appointment for this morning for 10:30am. 

So now fast forward to this morning I arrive at the ATT store and once I'm seen by an agent I tried to explain the situation but became frustrated because he wasn't letting me explain fully at first the situation. I told him what the ATT Technician told me to inform them and he just pretty much goes into sales agent mode that most likely I'll need to upgrade and that the store doesn't call customer service. He then tells me that sometimes the sim card can shift inside the phone but them I'm replying yet even after installing an ESim the problem was still happening. He said that it can happen either way. 

I let him know I'm not interested in upgrading and I shouldn't have to because this problem is ATT's fault with THEIR TOWERS. I have 12 more payments left out of 36. I find it very suspect that all of a sudden I'm having these issues and you are telling me the only way to fix it is to get under A NEW CONTRACT with your company? Fuck no. 

Sometimes I honestly wonder if network providers and cellphone manufactures are in cahoots and purposely will sabotage older model phones to force customers to upgrade through system updates.

Let me tell you something.......I used to sell cellphones back in the day. I used to work at Best Buy so I'm more than well versed when it comes to cellphones and how to use them and how they work. 

As I am waiting at the counter for the Sim card change out I am using an additional phone, Iphone 8plus (with a different phone number) I've been able to use to keep contact with folks that is thankfully not on the AT&T network. It is with Tello, a MNVO cell network company that contracts their use with T-Mobile's network yet at cheaper rates.

Definition of a MNVO:

mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) is a wireless communications services provider that does not own the wireless network infrastructure over which it provides services to its customers. An MVNO enters into a business agreement with a mobile network operator to obtain bulk access to network services at wholesale rates, then sets retail prices independently.[1] An MVNO may use its own customer service, billing support systems, marketing, and sales personnel, or it could employ the services of a mobile virtual network enabler (MVNE). From Wikipedia

So after the sim card change out I AGAIN make my way to the REI store and unfortunately the same issue happens AGAIN. I go back to the ATT store and that this point I'm speaking with either a Supervisor or a Manager and he informs me that the issue I'm having is not the first that he has seen. He tells me that there is another customer currently having the same issue and also has the same model phone as me. Now I'm thinking to myself is he being honest or is this just a sales tactic to try to get me to upgrade because at this point I'm just furious.

He informs me that an option I have is to call Samsung's customer service. He provides me the number and I give them a call. To their credit I will say it was a hell of a lot faster to get someone on the line with their company versus AT&T where their automated system is just a fucking nightmare. Trying to get a human to answer a phone call with them is like winning the lottery.

So after informing the Samsung rep of the situation, he then tries to say it's possibly an issue with AT&T's towers. I told him that AT&T is blaming the issue on their company. He informs me that since the phone is out of warranty that if I wish for a tech to look at it there will be a charge. He then also tried to suggest I swap in my phone for the latest model with ONLY a $700 difference that I would have pay for. At this point I'm sick and disgusted with both companies. 

I'm overall fucked because now I'm stuck with a phone that is pretty much useless I'm near a damn AT&T store. So I decided that I'm done with both companies. I'm gonna research and look into a different MVNO company to port my primary number to once I pay off the remaining balance on this sorry ass phone. I'll sell it and possibly look into the Google Pixel 8 Pro. The reason I don't want my primary number to be on the same MVNO as my additional phone is that I rather have them on 2 different networks just in case one network goes down my other phone will hopefully still work. Remember what happened a few months ago when AT&T's network went down and it effected a lot of users? Well my Tello phone was still up and running.

I refuse to go back directly to the big 3 MNO (Mobile Network Operators) T-Mobile, Verizon is a nightmare, and AT&T at this point can just kiss my ass. At least with T-Mobile I was with them for over 20 years before they pissed me off. AT&T took only 2 years to before they became a colossal let down. They were more interested in just upgrading my equipment. 

If there is one thing I have learned, Loyalty to a brand or service doesn't mean shit because they do not have your best interest. They are only trying to make their bottom line even it means sinking you.

update: So I found a Community Forum from Verizon that is highlighting the EXACT issue that I'm having. Some of their members had this issue back in January with the Samsung Ultra S22. When I tell you I feel validated!!! Screenshot below just in case the link 'disappears'.

Oh....and would you look at it, Samsung's own Community forum has the same thing going on and they are stating it's possible owed to an UPDATE done back in November of 2023 that has affected this particular model. 

A response from someone in this forum.

Oh AT&T is aware of this issue via their forums.

Now that I know that I am fully validated in this whole situation this makes me even angrier because clearly AT&T was made aware of the situation and did not do anything along with Samsung to make consumers aware that this was an issue. AT&T also failed to train your sales rep to be aware of the issue when customers come to your location and rightly become aggravated and angry thinking it was something that they did to their equipment when clearly that is not the case.

If I had the influence and power I would suggest a class action lawsuit again Samsung for this situation.

Copyright @ All That MsJazz. Blog Design by KotrynaBassDesign