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Apple Genius says dropped AT&T calls in NYC 'consistent'

post #1 of 94
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A man who took his iPhone 3G in to a New York City Apple Store because of a large number of dropped calls was allegedly told that a 30 percent failure rate is average for a local AT&T customer.

In a diagnosis issued by the Genius Bar, the proposed resolution for the issue was for the customer to contact AT&T, because "the problem is consistent with the service provided" by the wireless carrier. Not included in the report, however, is what a Gizmodo reader claimed he was told by the Apple Store Genius: That a 30 percent dropped call rate is average for the New York area.

The man took his iPhone 3G to the Apple Store in SoHo, located at 103 Prince Street in New York City, to see if his dropped calls were as a result of the hardware. The man said that roughly a third of his calls disconnected.

The Genius plugged the phone in for a "behavior scan," where logs showed that over 22 percent of calls were dropped. The customer told the employee that the failure percentage is likely higher, because he often manually disconnects once a call begins to fail.

Purchased in July 2008, the phone was found to be "fully functional" by the Genius, with no liquid damage or major cosmetic blemishes. The Genius told the customer that AT&T would need to address his problem.

Image credit Gizmodo

The iPhone has placed a significant strain on AT&T's network, particularly in large cities such as New York. The issue has been so serious that the company, in recent months, has admitted its shortcomings since the launch of the iPhone 3GS, and vowed to make improvements and do better.

This summer, the wireless carrier announced it strengthened its 3G signal in the populous Tri-State region. The 850MHz spectrum was deployed across portions of New York City, Long Island and New Jersey, in an effort to bring better reception and speed.

In the future, some of AT&T's network woes could be addressed by the new 3G MicroCell, which offers unlimited calling via home Internet access with new hardware. The technology is currently in testing in North Carolina, and AT&T officials have not yet announced plans to further expand it.
post #2 of 94
Well, this is AT&T we're talking about.

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(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

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post #3 of 94
OK, even I admit: I feel bad for teckstud. This is unacceptable.
post #4 of 94
I wonder if I would still own an iPhone if I had gone to AT&T. Instead I purchased a used 2g iPhone and jailbroke to T-mobile.

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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post #5 of 94
Dude...this makes me LOL. Man, AT&T really is horrible.
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post #6 of 94
I'm glad I don't live in NY: my friends there had such a terrible dropped call rate with Sprint that it scared me off of cell phones! Sounds like AT&T is just as bad or worse. You'd think a major city would be a top priority for quality infrastructure, yet my medium-sized city seems to fare much better.
post #7 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

OK, even I admit: I feel bad for teckstud. This is unacceptable.

haha- good one.

However this quote from AI (not you) I have issues with:

Quote:
The iPhone has placed a significant strain on AT&T's network, particularly in large cities such as New York.

AT&T is creating their own strain by relentlessly advertising new 3g phones all the time here in NYC both on TV and in print. Just yesterday the NYTimes had a full page AT&T ad advertising some new Acer netbook with a 3G AT&T plan. Yet they are trying to defer blame from themselves to the iPhone. They need to stop this BS PR propagande they are perpetuating on Apple especially for what they charge us iPhone users.
post #8 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

OK, even I admit: I feel bad for teckstud. This is unacceptable.

I feel bad for the guy in the article and other people who have this problem in select areas of select cities, but not for Teckstud. He was well aware that AT&T had issues in his particular area but decided to sign up with AT&T anyway. I was weary about going back to Cingular as the new AT&T back in 2007 but I had 30 days to test it out and everything was within reason. If it sucked during that first 30 days and I hadnt canceled my contract with them then I have no right to complain about service.
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post #9 of 94
A great phone like the iphone deserves more than AT&T. Put that thing on Verizon and see how many dropped calls you get.

I don't know about New York, but here in northern VA AT&T is on par with like TMobile in terms of signal strength, but Verizon just seems to have strong signal EVERYWHERE.
post #10 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by nagromme View Post

I'm glad I don't live in NY: my friends there had such a terrible dropped call rate with Sprint that it scared me off of cell phones! Sounds like AT&T is just as bad or worse. You'd think a major city would be a top priority for quality infrastructure, yet my medium-sized city seems to fare much better.

I paid a $200 ETF with Alltel just so that I could get an iPhone 3GS on launch day. This was despite hearing all the report online that AT&T's service is crappy and that 3G speeds are often horrible.

Luckily for me, here in Garner, NC (just outside the city limits or Raleigh), my 3G reception and phone service has been excellent. I've only had maybe 3 or 4 dropped calls altogether since I've had the phone, and three of those were while I was driving.

So while I'm glad my service with AT&T has been great, sucks to hear that all the rest of you are having problems
post #11 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I feel bad for the guy in the article and other people who have this problem in select areas of select cities, but not for Teckstud. He was well aware that AT&T had issues in his particular area but decided to sign up with AT&T anyway. I was weary about going back to Cingular as the new AT&T back in 2007 but I had 30 days to test it out and everything was within reason. If it sucked during that first 30 days and I hadnt canceled my contract with them then I have no right to complain about service.

I'm actually stuck with Sprint because of that 30 day thing. See, I bought my phone online, and it took a week to get to me. I tried to cancel after 25 days but they said I went over because the 30 day service evaluation period started from the date of purchase!

I was pretty livid at the time, but they hooked me up on a Touch Pro and I've been stealing internet tethering ever since
post #12 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by nagromme View Post

I'm glad I don't live in NY: my friends there had such a terrible dropped call rate with Sprint that it scared me off of cell phones! Sounds like AT&T is just as bad or worse. You'd think a major city would be a top priority for quality infrastructure, yet my medium-sized city seems to fare much better.

Verizon has no such problem in NYC. Must be the CDMA thing. But whatever, they work and most corps here use them. I had them for 6 years- never a problem.
post #13 of 94
I have never ever been to NY and have no current plans to, but it's common knowledge that it's a packed area. With cell towers taking up some space for their usage, where can they possibly place them? It's not like Houston that has vast amounts of open land in many areas where they can build those substations. I assume they just mount them on top of buildings. Teckstud is correct. AT&T heavily promotes their 3G plans with all sorts of devices and that is easily the only reason why they are so burdended. However for a Genius to say 30% is normal, obviously all heroes don't wear capes and have no logic to boot.
post #14 of 94
22-30% of calls are either dropped outright, or so bad that customers are abandoning them rather than try to stick it out.

... and people really think Apple is going to tough it out and extend the exclusivity agreement...
post #15 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by chronster View Post

A great phone like the iphone deserves more than AT&T. Put that thing on Verizon and see how many dropped calls you get.

I don't know about New York, but here in northern VA AT&T is on par with like TMobile in terms of signal strength, but Verizon just seems to have strong signal EVERYWHERE.

I was in a major city this past weekend and had to jump to Edge to get decent data. 3G just wasnt working. Havent had that problem since the first couple weeks of the 3GS launch.

For me Verizon is just not an option because getting data while on a call is very important. Ill never go with a CDMA-based phone.


Quote:
Originally Posted by chronster View Post

I'm actually stuck with Sprint because of that 30 day thing. See, I bought my phone online, and it took a week to get to me. I tried to cancel after 25 days but they said I went over because the 30 day service evaluation period started from the date of purchase!

I was pretty livid at the time, but they hooked me up on a Touch Pro and I've been stealing internet tethering ever since

That is a pretty shitty policy.
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post #16 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I feel bad for the guy in the article and other people who have this problem in select areas of select cities, but not for Teckstud. He was well aware that AT&T had issues in his particular area but decided to sign up with AT&T anyway. I was weary about going back to Cingular as the new AT&T back in 2007 but I had 30 days to test it out and everything was within reason. If it sucked during that first 30 days and I hadn’t canceled my contract with them then I have no right to complain about service.

Dude I could give a rat's *** what you feel about me. I've never complained about my iPhone's service- in fact I've mentioned that I was pleasantly surprised that it's as good as it is. We've had a major upgrade here in August- havent you heard? and I have a 3Gs not a 3G. BTW I love the new MMS feature and speed that made me wait 2 years before I purchased -unlike you and your fellow beta testers.

PS- I'm glad to see you've finally stopped defending AT&T like you had for the last 2 years especially now that it's been proven you don't know what you were talking about.
post #17 of 94
The two biggest complaint areas are NY and San Fran. I bet if you took any phone, on any network, and drove around town thru hills and valleys (San Fran) and steel/concrete structures (San Fran and NY), you would have the same drop rate.

Physics is physics. Radio signals do not like to go through steel, concrete, tinted windows, passing Semi's, etc.
post #18 of 94
At least now we know why AT&T gets away with this... it requires a genius to figure it out.
post #19 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by noexpectations View Post

The two biggest complaint areas are NY and San Fran. I bet if you took any phone, on any network, and drove around town thru hills and valleys (San Fran) and steel/concrete structures (San Fran and NY), you would have the same drop rate.

Physics is physics. Radio signals do not like to go through steel, concrete, tinted windows, passing Semi's, etc.

And reality is reality. Verizon has no such problem here in NY.
post #20 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by noexpectations View Post

The two biggest complaint areas are NY and San Fran. I bet if you took any phone, on any network, and drove around town thru hills and valleys (San Fran) and steel/concrete structures (San Fran and NY), you would have the same drop rate.

Physics is physics. Radio signals do not like to go through steel, concrete, tinted windows, passing Semi's, etc.

Perhaps, but then why aren't the competing phone boards complaining about their own issues? I am sure blackberry, palm and other 3G enabled users would be upset as well.
post #21 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post

Perhaps, but then why aren't the competing phone boards complaining about their own issues? I am sure blackberry, palm and other 3G enabled users would be upset as well.

Well, does that mean that these issues are only on the iPhone? Do the Blackberry users, on AT&T, experience the same % of dropped calls? Not sure.
post #22 of 94
Well, we knew that some of those major cities were suffering terrible network issues so this seems pretty consistent. I'll be in San Francisco soon, so I'll get to experience this first hand (I'm curious if it'll be as bad as some have made it out to be--almost everywhere else I've traveled AT&T has done just fine).

I'm not sure how much weight we should put in the response from a single low-level Apple employee, though. It could be that they have statistics of different areas and are simply being honest, or it could be that this is a poor employee who just fired off some general response without much attention or thought, and may not even have reliable information on the subject. 22-30% dropped calls is an extremely high percentage relative to normal statistics.

Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

And reality is reality. Verizon has no such problem here in NY.

To be fair, and assuming the statistics discussed here are true, Verizon also isn't managing the iPhone.
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post #23 of 94
That would piss me off.

Here where I live in a city with a population of about 50,000 and a city of about 500,000 about 15 miles away. I never, unless inside certain buildings get dropped calls, almost always have full 3G speeds.


I should count my blessings it sounds like!
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post #24 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by noexpectations View Post

Well, does that mean that these issues are only on the iPhone? Do the Blackberry users, on AT&T, experience the same % of dropped calls? Not sure.

Well, my friends in those areas and here in Houston with competing phones don't complain about issues. Granted my friends are an extremely small amount in those areas, so it's hardly a scientific poll.
post #25 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

Dude I could give a rat's *** what you feel about me. I've never complained about my iPhone's service- in fact I've mentioned that I was pleasantly surprised that it's as good as it is. We've had a major upgrade here in August- havent you heard? and I have a 3Gs not a 3G. BTW I love the new MMS feature and speed that made me wait 2 years before I purchased -unlike you and your fellow beta testers.

PS- I'm glad to see you've finally stopped defending AT&T like you had for the last 2 years especially now that it's been proven you don't know what you were talking about.


Sweet, so you didn't go with the Pre! lol


No if only I could text from in apps, I would be happy... for now, haha
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post #26 of 94
I can't MMS when I am on wifi, does anyone else have this problem?
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post #27 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post

Well, my friends in those areas and here in Houston with competing phones don't complain about issues. Granted my friends are an extremely small amount in those areas, so it's hardly a scientific poll.

Wait, you're saying that hearsay from an unnamed low paid single employee at a single store isn't a scientific poll? Not to mention that the source of the supposed hearsay is already an unhappy customer?

Wierd!
post #28 of 94
On September 11, 2009 my iphone just got the best of me with the drop calls and decided to take action.. I live in New York City and travel all over the city for my job.. Anyway I called AT&T and after waiting 15 minutes i got someone to pick up the phone and i started with my complaint about the drop calls issue, only to have my called dropped while talking to the AT&T dude.. SO to make a long long long story super short the AT&T person did call me back and stated that 25 to 40 cell towers throughout NY CT NJ LI went down and they are working on the issue.. He also stated that i can not terminate my contract due to this issue or i will get charged for the early termination fee.. So now having a phone in my opinion drops about 50% of my calls and forget the voice mail thats a whole another issue.. Bottom line is I am stuck paying for this BS service and looking to go to METRO PCS for my carrier at 35 bucks a month everything included of course minus the drop calls and waiting 15 to 30 mins to get your visual voicemail. Hey guys i believe AT&T is a Lemon and what the hell is the iphone doing in there line up...
post #29 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by noexpectations View Post

Well, does that mean that these issues are only on the iPhone? Do the Blackberry users, on AT&T, experience the same % of dropped calls? Not sure.

Well he had a 3G and many complaints were during the 3G era. I know 3 people (myself included) with 3Gs's that don't have problems. Was it a 3G problem ? We'll never know because Long Island , NJ and NYC have all been upgraded as of Aug so you can't compare now.
post #30 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mazda 3s View Post

I paid a $200 ETF with Alltel just so that I could get an iPhone 3GS on launch day. This was despite hearing all the report online that AT&T's service is crappy and that 3G speeds are often horrible.

Luckily for me, here in Garner, NC (just outside the city limits or Raleigh), my 3G reception and phone service has been excellent. I've only had maybe 3 or 4 dropped calls altogether since I've had the phone, and three of those were while I was driving.

So while I'm glad my service with AT&T has been great, sucks to hear that all the rest of you are having problems

I can assure you that I would rather live (as most) in NYC with a lousy AT&T network than live in NC with a great network.

That being said the iPhone needs to be on multiple carriers. It is clear that AT&T cannot handle the load. Apple is as much to blame, if not more so, than AT&T for the lousy network.
post #31 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reztek View Post

On September 11, 2009 my iphone just got the best of me with the drop calls and decided to take action.. I live in New York City and travel all over the city for my job.. Anyway I called AT&T and after waiting 15 minutes i got someone to pick up the phone and i started with my complaint about the drop calls issue, only to have my called dropped while talking to the AT&T dude.. SO to make a long long long story super short the AT&T person did call me back and stated that 25 to 40 cell towers throughout NY CT NJ LI went down and they are working on the issue.. He also stated that i can not terminate my contract due to this issue or i will get charged for the early termination fee.. So now having a phone in my opinion drops about 50% of my calls and forget the voice mail thats a whole another issue.. Bottom line is I am stuck paying for this BS service and looking to go to METRO PCS for my carrier at 35 bucks a month everything included of course minus the drop calls and waiting 15 to 30 mins to get your visual voicemail. Hey guys i believe AT&T is a Lemon and what the hell is the iphone doing in there line up...

Do you have a 3G or 3GS?
post #32 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reztek View Post

On September 11, 2009 my iphone just got the best of me with the drop calls and decided to take action.. I live in New York City and travel all over the city for my job.. Anyway I called AT&T and after waiting 15 minutes i got someone to pick up the phone and i started with my complaint about the drop calls issue, only to have my called dropped while talking to the AT&T dude.. SO to make a long long long story super short the AT&T person did call me back and stated that 25 to 40 cell towers throughout NY CT NJ LI went down and they are working on the issue.. He also stated that i can not terminate my contract due to this issue or i will get charged for the early termination fee.. So now having a phone in my opinion drops about 50% of my calls and forget the voice mail thats a whole another issue.. Bottom line is I am stuck paying for this BS service and looking to go to METRO PCS for my carrier at 35 bucks a month everything included of course minus the drop calls and waiting 15 to 30 mins to get your visual voicemail. Hey guys i believe AT&T is a Lemon and what the hell is the iphone doing in there line up...

Your not stuck....sell your used iPhone, take part the money and pay the early termination fee, and take the rest of money to buy a new phone with a new service provider. You have options...other than complaining.
post #33 of 94
I've had no dropped 3G calls in NYC on my Nokia E71.

Maybe the problem is with the design of the iPhone making its 3G performance intrinsically weak?
post #34 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by MissionGrey View Post

Sweet, so you didn't go with the Pre! lol


No if only I could text from in apps, I would be happy... for now, haha

NO way - that little plasticy thingy!
post #35 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

Do you have a 3G or 3GS?

I have 3g 8 gig with the latest O/S installed.. Would like to upgrade to the 3gS but whats the point...
post #36 of 94
It's easy to deflect blame to AT&T. I'm sure that when the executives of the other carriers meet in the back rooms (the rooms nobody knows about), they are collectively sighing relief knowing that they were probably in the same - or worse - shape with their network infrastructure. You don't see them getting on the podium and telling everyone that their network would have easily handled the millions of new high-bandwidth-hogging internet devices right?

I think AT&T did bite off more than they could chew. They are doing what they can do and I'm sure the other carriers are keeping an eye so that they don't have to repeat AT&T woes should / if the iPhone or other heavy-bandwidth device is plugged into their network.

Problems aside, I live in San Francisco and I rarely, have any problems with dropped calls. Bummer for the folks that do. It's a great device.
post #37 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reztek View Post

I have 3g 8 gig with the latest O/S installed.. Would like to upgrade to the 3gS but whats the point...

Ya, I am waiting till the 4G (or whatever they call it, hopfully just iPhone again), only like 9 months to go!
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post #38 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by noexpectations View Post

Your not stuck....sell your used iPhone, take part the money and pay the early termination fee, and take the rest of money to buy a new phone with a new service provider. You have options...other than complaining.


U Got a good point and i did think about it but i use the iphone for much more than the phone.. You know music games etc etc... So no point in selling because i got to buy something to replace all those functions... don't mean to be complaining just adding my 2 cent to this post...
post #39 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

NO way - that little plasticy thingy!



Good Man!

Would be nice to send texts from inside of apps don't you think?
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post #40 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xian Zhu Xuande View Post

To be fair, and assuming the statistics discussed here are true, Verizon also isn't managing the iPhone.

...it appears they handle an equal amount of mobile data.

http://gigaom.com/2009/09/22/us-lead...ile-data-boom/
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