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'Mark the Spot' iPhone app aims to find AT&T trouble areas

post #1 of 148
Thread Starter 
AT&T has released an iPhone application that gives customers the ability to notify the carrier of their location when they experience poor service.

"AT&T Mark the Spot" was released in the iPhone App Store Monday. The 0.3MB free application, version 1.0.1, requires iPhone OS version 3.0 or later.

"AT&T Mark the Spot is an application that provides customers a means to provide feedback on network user experience to AT&T," the application's description reads. The nation's second-largest wireless carrier also listed the following features for its new software:

Simlicity of operation
Submit a real time report capturing local GPS coordinates at time and place of event
Submit a report after the fact when a customer is not at the place of event
Submit a report of dropped call, failed call, lack of coverage, data service failure, or poor voice quality
Submit optional specific comments about an event
Receive an SMS acknowledgement that the reported event was sent and received successfully.


Following the launch of the iPhone 3GS, network struggles on AT&T caused the carrier to be the subject of serious criticism that continued to grow. More recently, competitor Verizon has attacked AT&T's 3G coverage in a series of advertisements, to which AT&T has since publicly fought back.

AT&T has also taken numerous steps in 2009 to improve its coverage. Still, studies have found that the network is users' least-liked aspect of the iPhone 3GS.
post #2 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Simplicity of operation
Submit a real time report capturing local GPS coordinates at time and place of event
Submit a report after the fact when a customer is not at the place of event
Submit a report of dropped call, failed call, lack of coverage, data service failure, or poor voice quality
Submit optional specific comments about an event
Receive an SMS acknowledgement that the reported event was sent and received successfully.

Failing to see the item "Be rewarded for doing AT&T's job"

We mean Apple no harm.

People are lovers, basically. -- Engadget livebloggers at the iPad mini event.

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We mean Apple no harm.

People are lovers, basically. -- Engadget livebloggers at the iPad mini event.

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post #3 of 148
Over the last week my reception at home has gone from 1 bar to 4 bars and I can now make calls from anywhere in my house, so AT&T actually seems to be really improving something, at least in this area.
post #4 of 148
...and there will be a Map for That! Should be interesting to see if they do anything about it.
post #5 of 148
If you don't have service, how are you going to tell ATT about it?
post #6 of 148
How are you going to submit the failure with the location if you don’t have service at that location?
Can their network handle the extra load of reporting all these problems?

We are talking about the company that needed several months to get ready for MMS.

I guess it will mentally buy them a year since people will buy in after reporting the problem and wait to see if anything gets done about it.

It would also be funny to see what percentage of reports are for data problems when they can't use data and voice at the same time when outside of a 3G area. (But the commercial said...)

"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 #7 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by ToomeyND View Post

If you don't have service, how are you going to tell ATT about it?

"Submit a report after the fact when a customer is not at the place of event"
post #8 of 148
Why do I have a feeling that they are going to be flooded with reports?
post #9 of 148
is it a case of piling on? is it a case where people dont read anymore? is it a lack of cognitive thinking? I dont know I guess all those are possible....short of calling people names about their intellect or lack of it let me just repost what was in the article that people are commenting on

"Submit a report after the fact when a customer is not at the place of event"

I dont know, maybe its just me but couldnt someone do this if they are not getting coverage in a particular area?
post #10 of 148
It could be an effort to improve the service now that Verizon has embarassed them
post #11 of 148
Anybody else looking forward to the Verizon commercial with the hacked information from this app showing a map of the US covered in red dots of AT&T coverage problems?
post #12 of 148
I'm sure the Verizon fanboys on this forum (aka employees) will find a way.

No Wireless Carrier can identify all of their weak spots. To do so, it would require an army of engineers to literally walk over every square meter of this country with listening devices/probes. And then once a new building is erected, that local data is obsolete.

This will pinpoint the troubles and allow AT&T to focus on those areas to an accuracy far greater than anyone else can provide.
post #13 of 148
AT&T already has this information. By creating this app, they are preventing another app by Verizon with this function from becoming popular. The difference is AT&T will discard the data, VZ would publish it.
post #14 of 148
Well AT&T is getting slammed and rightfully so in many markets and I feel this app is a step in the right direction. I don't think we should be doing AT&T's job, but I'll help when I can with this app. Forutnately I don't have any issues with them here in Houston.
post #15 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by eehd View Post

"Submit a report after the fact when a customer is not at the place of event"

But then how are they going to get the location that is lacking in coverage?
post #16 of 148
What a joke! This amounts basically to a publicity stunt to give the impressioon that they're on it. Us iPhone users are supposed to help salvage their crap reputation? HA!
post #17 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shinrah View Post

"Submit a report after the fact when a customer is not at the place of event"

I dont know, maybe its just me but couldnt someone do this if they are not getting coverage in a particular area?

The iPhone has GPS, so even though you have no network, the phone knows where it is. It can simply log this location at the time the user notifies it, and then send in the log once a connection becomes available.
post #18 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by noexpectations View Post

I'm sure the Verizon fanboys on this forum (aka employees) will find a way.

No Wireless Carrier can identify all of their weak spots. To do so, it would require an army of engineers to literally walk over every square meter of this country with listening devices/probes. And then once a new building is erected, that local data is obsolete.

This will pinpoint the troubles and allow AT&T to focus on those areas to an accuracy far greater than anyone else can provide.



Can you hear me now?
post #19 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaarrrgggh View Post

...and there will be a Map for That! Should be interesting to see if they do anything about it.

I image a map of the USA and one BIG spot! Or I could see Verizon getting wind of this app and making a commercial of similar suggestion stating, "We were Right!"

With regards to a "Mark the Spot" app to find AT&T trouble areas, does AT&T inform the respondent about their corrective actions to eliminate the problem? Otherwise it is just a "vent release" type app that allows people to quietly bitch, all the while allowing AT&T showing their customer base that they are in tune with the problem and that, with the introduction of this app, show that AT&T cares! Kind of like Obama holding a jobs summit, that will result in squat, a year after spending nearly $1,000,000,000,000.00 on a stimulus bill that supposedly would hold the unemployment rate at 8 to 8 1/2%...

'Mark the Spot' app and a 'Jobs Summit' - BIGGEST LOSERS for those that know not what else to do! and I thought 'biggest losers' was only a tv show!

Ten years ago, we had Steve Jobs, Bob Hope and Johnny Cash.  Today we have no Jobs, no Hope and no Cash.

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Ten years ago, we had Steve Jobs, Bob Hope and Johnny Cash.  Today we have no Jobs, no Hope and no Cash.

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post #20 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by noexpectations View Post

I'm sure the Verizon fanboys on this forum (aka employees) will find a way.

No Wireless Carrier can identify all of their weak spots. To do so, it would require an army of engineers to literally walk over every square meter of this country with listening devices/probes. And then once a new building is erected, that local data is obsolete.

This will pinpoint the troubles and allow AT&T to focus on those areas to an accuracy far greater than anyone else can provide.

It's AT&T responsibilty to figure out where and why their network craps out not its customers. They should have people in the field doing tests of their signals etc. This is really pathetic. I'm surprised this app made it through the Apple censorship board. It should be automatic and require no app per se. This is frkn ridiculous.
post #21 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by spoonyfork View Post

But then how are they going to get the location that is lacking in coverage?

It's all smoke and mirrors. PR designed to make you think they're on it.
post #22 of 148
Umm... Am I the only one who noticed that in the example of a customer report given, the map shows the problem happening in the middle of a highway, with the report made for "current location". Also clearly shown is a warning NOT to report problems while driving. But ... looks like that's exactly what this customer did. LOL
post #23 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

Everytime we submit this data on their crap app - will AT&T issue us a credit for the problems we've incurred? Noooooo.

if its crap dont use it please go to verizon and live happily ever after
post #24 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

It's AT&T responsibilty to figure out where and why their network craps out not its customers. They should have people in the field doing tests of their signals etc. This is really pathetic. I'm surprised this app made it through the Apple censorship board. It should be automatic and require no app per se. This is frkn ridiculous.

Ok, then invite an AT&T wireless service engineer into your home so they can see how strong your voice and data signals are. Oh, is that too much of a hassle for you, then stop complaining. AT&T and any other wireless provider cannot predict and/or prevent bad coverage for all of the millions of places and unique situations they face. This app will allow them to pinpoint specific places where they believe they should have adequate coverage but for whatever reason there isn't.
post #25 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by fulldecent View Post

The difference is AT&T will discard the data, VZ would publish it.

And you base this penetrating insight on... what exactly?
post #26 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

It's AT&T responsibilty to figure out where and why their network craps out not its customers. They should have people in the field doing tests of their signals etc. This is really pathetic. I'm surprised this app made it through the Apple censorship board. It should be automatic and require no app per se. This is frkn ridiculous.

Glad to see all your concern. Actually this app is a great idea IMO. If you know anything about networks you would realize that finding problems is not as simple as most folks think.

UMTS and HSDPA are noise-sensitive systems. The data speed delivered is directly related to the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). Every cell in a UMTS/HSDPA network use the same frequency, and signals from different cells overlap, collide, and interfere with one another. This interference is due to a lack of cell isolation. This phenomenon reduces data speeds and decreases network capacity since it causes inter-cell interference in the overlapping areas. The overlap issue impacts mobile operators' ability to deliver service in urban core areas and inside of buildings, where broadband users rely on service most. Most urban areas are covered by more than one UMTS cell, so that user devices hunt from cell to cell. This limits HSDPA performance, and degrades network capacity. T
post #27 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

It's AT&T responsibilty to figure out where and why their network craps out not its customers. They should have people in the field doing tests of their signals etc. This is really pathetic. I'm surprised this app made it through the Apple censorship board. It should be automatic and require no app per se. This is frkn ridiculous.

your right, but this is a responsive argument above that ATT is looking for the most troubling spots for customers. the more complaints an area gets, the more likely ATT will try to stop the bleeding their.

why? cause the ATT Jig is up.... people know ATT service sucks. so finally... they are trying to plug some of the worst holes. but will this be enough?

will they do it in a timely fashion? hard to believe ATT will, i have been a customer for years. and their service has gone from second place, maybe first in some areas, to worst and unreliable.

many times i can't get data at all, just voice, and poor voice coverage... in the center of LA.
post #28 of 148
GOOD JOB AT&T - at least you're proactive (or reactive) and seem to want to fix the problem. Now, if only my fellow iPhone owners can provide solid data - maybe your service can continue to improve.

Oh, and nice job with the ads. I didn't realize that with Verizon, I can't talk on the phone and use data services. A very good point indeed.

Now, can we get the voice and data plan for iPhone down to that of other phones - if you could, I think a lot of AT&T haters would start to change their tune.
post #29 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shinrah View Post

if its crap dont use it please go to verizon and live happily ever after

I use it in spite of AT&T's crap- and I'm not the only one. You have a problem with that?
post #30 of 148
It's not very pretty.
post #31 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

It's AT&T responsibilty to figure out where and why their network craps out not its customers. They should have people in the field doing tests of their signals etc. This is really pathetic. I'm surprised this app made it through the Apple censorship board. It should be automatic and require no app per se. This is frkn ridiculous.


Quote:
Originally Posted by pats View Post

Glad to see all your concern. Actually this app is a great idea IMO. If you know anything about networks you would realize that finding problems is not as simple as most folks think.

UMTS and HSDPA are noise-sensitive systems. The data speed delivered is directly related to the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). Every cell in a UMTS/HSDPA network use the same frequency, and signals from different cells overlap, collide, and interfere with one another. This interference is due to a lack of cell isolation. This phenomenon reduces data speeds and decreases network capacity since it causes inter-cell interference in the overlapping areas. The overlap issue impacts mobile operators' ability to deliver service in urban core areas and inside of buildings, where broadband users rely on service most. Most urban areas are covered by more than one UMTS cell, so that user devices hunt from cell to cell. This limits HSDPA performance, and degrades network capacity. T


LOL - who's the 'teck (mispelled, btw) stud' now. BAM! (agree's with pats) It's funny how everything is someone elses job, until it's yours.

Teck - maybe you should switch to Horizon and buy a Dell. They would welcome your almost eery stalking of their forums with over 6500 posts.
post #32 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

It's AT&T responsibilty to figure out where and why their network craps out not its customers. They should have people in the field doing tests of their signals etc. This is really pathetic. I'm surprised this app made it through the Apple censorship board. It should be automatic and require no app per se. This is frkn ridiculous.

This is a tough crowd to please.

If AT&T did not ask for customer feedback, you'd be all over them. And now when they do, you complain. AT&T is doing exactly what they should: Identify the most critical problem areas, and allocate resources to correct them...ASAP. It's called "low hanging fruit". It increases customer satisfaction and reduces costs.....which is exactly what every company should do.
post #33 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by pats View Post

Glad to see all your concern. Actually this app is a great idea IMO. If you know anything about networks you would realize that finding problems is not as simple as most folks think.

UMTS and HSDPA are noise-sensitive systems. The data speed delivered is directly related to the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). Every cell in a UMTS/HSDPA network use the same frequency, and signals from different cells overlap, collide, and interfere with one another. This interference is due to a lack of cell isolation. This phenomenon reduces data speeds and decreases network capacity since it causes inter-cell interference in the overlapping areas. The overlap issue impacts mobile operators' ability to deliver service in urban core areas and inside of buildings, where broadband users rely on service most. Most urban areas are covered by more than one UMTS cell, so that user devices hunt from cell to cell. This limits HSDPA performance, and degrades network capacity. T

It shouldn't require an App - plain and simple. If something fails - this info should be automatically sent to AT&T just like when your Mac applications fail. You're automatically asked if you want to send a report to Apple detailing the log, etc. AT&T is trying to reboot their image and this ap crap is lame. I for one am not using my HD to give AT&T a helping hand. I doubt the info they get will even get looked at for a long time. Is AT&T going to update us on how they intend to coorrect the situation. Hell no.
post #34 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shinrah View Post

if its crap dont use it please go to verizon and live happily ever after

That's a nice delusion. I had Verizon for several years before switching to Cingular (and now AT&T) even before getting the iPhone. Both Verizon and AT&T have their problems. I haven't seen ANY difference in service between them except that AT&T is better when I travel to Western States. Customer Service for Verizon was horrible so the slightly more competent AT&T customer service has been a nice change.
post #35 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by noexpectations View Post

This is a tough crowd to please.

If AT&T did not ask for customer feedback, you'd be all over them. And now when they do, you complain. AT&T is doing exactly what they should: Identify the most critical problem areas, and allocate resources to correct them...ASAP. It's called "low hanging fruit". It increases customer satisfaction and reduces costs.....which is exactly what every company should do.

Dude - they've got more than enough customer feedback over the years - from customers, consumer reports, etc, etc. It's up to them alone to fix it. ENOUGH!
post #36 of 148
Once they plot all of the points where the AT&T network has problems, they'll have a pretty impressive map.
post #37 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by macFanDave View Post

Once they plot all of the points where the AT&T network has problems, they'll have a pretty impressive map.

Like I have time to run this AT&T app- " Oh excuse me I have to run an app and issue a report to my cell phone carrier- I'll be with you in a minute."
post #38 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

It's AT&T responsibilty to figure out where and why their network craps out not its customers. They should have people in the field doing tests of their signals etc. This is really pathetic. I'm surprised this app made it through the Apple censorship board. It should be automatic and require no app per se. This is frkn ridiculous.


Lets be real. Noone here is leaving for VZ because they're not getting the iphone anytime soon. Noone here is leaving their iphone behind for another carrier because lets face it, there's nothing better out there. So why don't all you disgruntled iphone users enjoy your product by assisting att in this trivial matter. I mean how hard is it to report your outage. Worst case data gets discarded, best case...hey, your network will get better.

It's not your responsibility but neither is helping to clean up your block when trash is everywhere but in front of your doorstep
post #39 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

Dude - they've got more than enough customer feedback over the years - from customers, consumer reports, etc, etc. It's up to them alone to fix it. ENOUGH!

This application will allow AT&T to help eliminate dead zones that are much more precise than, say, "New York". "New York" doesn't tell them which tower, which antennae, which frequency to focus on.
post #40 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shinrah View Post

is it a case of piling on? is it a case where people dont read anymore? is it a lack of cognitive thinking? I dont know I guess all those are possible....short of calling people names about their intellect or lack of it let me just repost what was in the article that people are commenting on

"Submit a report after the fact when a customer is not at the place of event"

I dont know, maybe its just me but couldnt someone do this if they are not getting coverage in a particular area?

Thank you! Reading is a lost art, apparently. It boggles the mind.
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