Monday, December 29, 2008

No Go, Go Phone

I know this next admission may make me sound like a fossil from the dinosaur age, but I was slow to jump on the cell phone bandwagon. I’ve only had a cell phone for about 3 or 4 years and when I did get one, I did so begrudgingly because I didn’t want to have to deal with an additional bill and I cringed at the idea of folks having unlimited access to me.

I went with a AT&T’s Go-Phone because the no contract, pay-as-you-go seemed ideal for my emergencies only cell phone policy. This lasted for about a year, then slowly but surely I started using my cell more frequently. This was cool since I never used all my monthly minutes and with my pay-as-you –go deal I even got to roll over my unused minutes from month to month.

When we moved into our house about 2 years ago, I noticed I didn’t get a good signal in the house or even in the surrounding blocks of our street. I called AT&T to try to rectify the problem, but was assured that there are plenty of cell towers in my region and I should be able to get a signal. The only thing they could come up with is the fact that we live in a stone house and maybe the stones were interfering with the signal. After a while, I didn’t give it a second thought and simply instructed everyone to call my home phone to leave a message if they couldn’t reach me on my cell. But, soon I realized this could be a problem since my primary purpose for having the cell phone was for emergencies and what if I ran into an emergency in my house or in my neighborhood and needed use of my cell? Well… I’d be ass out! So, I got back on my landline with AT&T in an attempt to solve this problem. I was even willing to purchase a new cell if they thought maybe my current phone was the problem. The customer service rep couldn’t identify the reason for my lack of a signal and agreed a new phone may be in order. She suggested I go to an AT&T store, so I could return the new phone if it didn’t solve my signal issues. I followed her instructions, bought a new phone and was pleasantly surprised to secure two strong signal bars if the far north corner of the master bedroom and on our front steps.

My satisfaction lasted for about another two weeks until I shared my experience with a friend of mine, who also used AT&T and lived a few blocks from me, yet got great signal use throughout her house and our neighborhood. The only difference is she was one a two year contract, and I was using the Go Phone (or what had become my No Go, Go Phone). My friend told me to give another call to AT&T or to move on to another carrier since I wasn’t on a contract. I called AT&T for a third time and told the rep that I was about to move on to a new carrier because of this signal issue. She reviewed my account and guess what she told me… or should I say admitted? Customers using the pay-as-you-go service don’t have access to all the cell towers and are provided with limited service. Can you believe that shiggity? Why did it take almost 2 years to learn about this? Is this vital info provided in the fine print of the paperwork that comes with the phone? What a flim flam!

Well.. once I thanked the customer service rep for providing me with the real deal, I made my way back to the AT&T store and switched to a two year contract and upgraded to a great phone for which I received most of its purchase price back in a rebate. I rushed home and as soon as I hit my neighborhood I checked the phone and was happy to see 5 strong signal bars, and these bars followed me all the way home and throughout my house.

Talk about deceit in advertising… sheesh!


QueenGeek said...

Sorry to hear about the scam...because that's exactly what it is. In short, the low-end plans are targeted and designed to be problematic so you'll upgrade to a more expensive plan and a more expensive phone. They are all scam artists in my opinion. I'm glad you finally got decent services.

Mango Mama said...

Girl, I didn't know, but I should've expected. This is dangerous, because a lot of parents use this service for their kids and if it only provides limited service it sort of defeats the purpose.

QueenGeek said...

I can understand about the parent's purpose but we have to understand the target audience from the makers point of view. Unfortunately, it's to prey on the those that have less and force them into spending more than they can afford. The so-called American dream of living the good life.

Instead of providing the same coverage to everyone regardless of economic means, the poor get shafted. Fortunately, you were able to afford an upgraded phone and full-plan.

CreoleInDC said...

Now that sucks. I'm glad you could upgrade.

Mango Mama said...

Yeah, me too... it's so sad how they set things up for folks who may not have the means to be treated like crap.

Thanks for visiting. Stop by again soon. Happy New Year!