AT&T, aka the Devil, when it comes to customer service and a number of other things has finally learned their lesson when it comes to the competition. Personally, I’ve been with AT&T when it was called Cingular since 16 years old and the bad publicity still lingers primary because AT&T’s/Cingular’s network WAS sub-par given the amount of customers they support. AT&T’s Achilles’ heel was their lack of smartphones. Why? Their sole priority was “THE NOW” not “THE FUTURE.” As a result, their non-progressive mentality spun a media war and resulted in bad publicity. In addition, their main priority was the upcoming iPhone so the other millions of non-iPhone users took a backseat as second class customers. Meanwhile, T-Mobile, Sprint, and Verizon were light-years ahead when it came to broadband technology and an infrastructure to support it.
Dropped calls were the norm with my iPhone, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS and then I jumped ship to an Android. Didn’t drop as many calls afterwards so the culprit seemed to be Apple’s hardware right? Not positive but it felt that way. During the late 90′s and early 2000, it doesn’t negate the fact that AT&T lagged behind in adopting a healthy variety of phones and they failed to admit their infrastructure could not support the throngs of data intensive Apple iPhones. Were the lessons learned? There is hope…!
So, fast forward to the present day and I have to give AT&T credit when it comes to their plentiful selection of Android phones and their promise to expand LTE/4G data. In November 2011, I took a family cruise to the Bahamas and AT&T beat the competition as we boarded the ship. AT&T worked, no roaming, for a good hour as the ship left the port of Miami with 4G coverage. I was impressed. I will also disassociate myself with AT&T’s past failures because they have kept me as a customers because of several key reasons.
1) AT&T has a large coverage area throughout the United States. The coverage might not be 3G/4G in remote areas but they have decent coverage in many remote places. You will be surprised that AT&T has coverage in smaller cities and towns throughout the U.S. versus the competition. This is where T-Mobile falls behind.
2) AT&T, in my opinion, is excellent in large metropolitan areas. The call quality is decent and dropped calls are a thing of the past. I can’t remember the last dropped conversation.
3) AT&T is allowing me to use my unlimited data plan…yes it’s capped and yes it’s a grandfathered plan, but I know a workaround and it works perfectly.
4) Nearly every family member and close friend has AT&T so leaving doesn’t make sense when I can call them for free.
5) In addition, AT&T is aggressively adopting tablets, phablets (Samsung Note), Windows Phones, expanding UVerse, and a number of other services that work in-sync with my phone. I can’t complain.
6) Lastly, I love GSM/SIM phones. The fact that I can take my SIM out and place it in another phone is a commitment issue but it’s an issue with luxury that allows me to sell my phone on Craigslist without doing an ESN change, etc. My friend bought a Spring phone off Craigslist only to learn the phone is still attached to the previous account holder until the account is paid in full. Total confusion.
Now, does AT&T have competitors who provide value and a faster network; YES!! Am I an AT&T worshiper absolutely NOT! Given all the above, I think I will stay with my unlimited Internet and AT&T for now. We will see what the future holds.
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