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Miesian Corners

The Apple iPhone

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I caved back in May when my Motorola Razr died a painful death (I dropped it and then stepped on it when attempting to retrieve it). Due to the fact I was in the middle of my contract with AT&T, a cheap phone was going to cost me $200. I decided that I would go ahead and buy into the hype and purchase something I REALLY wanted: an iPhone.

So here I am two months later. The price of my old 8 gig phone was lowered by $200, and the new 3G version appeared on the store shelves at half the price I paid for my phone in May. The new phone has better Internet browsing than mine and features a GPS function than my phone lacks. Now I can accept that I am stuck paying a higher price, but what did I get for my money? At this point I have nothing more than a great iPod and a LOUSY telephone. A phone that drops calls several times a day. Further complicating matters is that the device crashes all the time. When I complained to AT&T, they directed me to Apple; when I complained to Apple, the blamed AT&T and the user (that'd be me). No one stands behind the product. Not AT&T, not Apple. I am actually more upset with Apple than AT&T--Apple employees drink the Kook Aid handed down from Cupertino. In their eyes, they see absolutely no possible way that their company could EVER produce a bad product; therefore blame for problems is placed anyone but them.

So here's my question: is anyone else unhappy with their iPhone? My Razr never dropped calls. It kept a pretty good signal here in my house (I don't have a land line). My iPhone's signal seemingly goes up and down at the drop of a hat. As I sit typing this message, the signal bars have gone from 4 to 1 to 2 to 3 to none and back to 4. My roommate's phone (a Samsung smart phone on the AT&T network is sitting next to it and has had the same signal strength the entire time--4 bars) never drops calls. What do I have to do to get Apple to admit my particular phone is a piece of crap? I've gotten nowhere in the store and am apparently required to make an appointment to even speak to someone about it (they're real busy over there, no time for customer service). I'm at my wits end. Any advice is appreciated.

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My sister-in-law loves hers and has never had any problems with it.

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When the first iPhone was announced I was determined to get one because of the great user experience I had with my iPod. I "came back to Earth," so to speak, and decided I needed a device that was more business class rather than for looks and entertainment. I bought a Samsung Blackjack that met my needs initially, but the OS, Windows Mobile, grew rather boring and looked old. The Windows Mobile 6 update came out for the Blackjack and that satisfied me till the monotonous characteristics of the phone crept back in. I had my phone stolen in April and was issued a Samsung Blackjack II as an insurance replacement. Wider screen, GPS, 2 megapixel camera and a 3rd party desktop-class web browser I downloaded (Skyfire) keep me thoroughly enjoyed with this new phone. It was tempting to switch to the new 3G iPhone, but given that it doesn't have MMS, Flash, video-recording, photo editing capabilities (a camera on my phone gets a lot of use for my job and UP), and IM, it wasn't worth the money. I'll continue to hold out to see what OCD Turtle-Neck puts out next summer, but I have my sights set on the new Samsung Omnia or Nokia Tube in the meantime.

As for your situation Miesian Corners, I would try to get in contact with an AT&T supervisor over the phone or throw an extreme pissy-fit with the manager at your store. Depending on your timeliness of payments and length of contract with AT&T, they could grant you a buyer's remorse and issue you a new phone; however, I'm not sure if they could due to Apple controlling everything iPhone over AT&T. I believe Apple is offering discounts to 1st generation iPhone owners if they upgrade to the new 3G version.

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I have had a first generation iPhone (8GB) since October and I love mine. It was well worth the $400 I spent for it as I use almost every major function of the phone daily (e-mail, weather, stocks, web, third party apps, phone, etc).

The iPhone (including the phone part) has been flawless since day one, though I do have a couple of issues with the new 2.0 software that I have found workarounds for the most part. The wi-fi doesn't work on some of the same routers that it worked with using the older 1.x software for example. Applications also seem to continue to run in the background in some way and that eats away at battery life, but you can get around this by holding down the home button for ~8 seconds to force quit an open application (this is for third party apps using the new 2.0 software). I'm assuming Apple will be releasing a 2.0.1 update fairly soon to address some of these issues.

The new 3G phone is a waste of money if you're upgrading from a first gen IMO. Particular since I'm just outside of 3G coverage (yet I would still be required to pay the extra $10 month for 3G coverage anyway) and you get 0 SMS messages vs the current 200 I get with my first gen iPhone.

For anyone who wants to be tied to the web for e-mail, browsing, maps, etc. then I have absolutely no reservation in recommending the phone if you can pay the monthly payments. The cheapest plan for the new 3G version will set you back ~$80/mo so it is obviously not for everyone, particularly if you just want a phone. I must say though, it is the best phone I've ever owned.

I believe Apple is offering discounts to 1st generation iPhone owners if they upgrade to the new 3G version.

No discounts are being given, but AT&T will not make you EXTEND your current contract, they'll just let you start over with a new 2 year contract without penalty. You're also guaranteed to get the phone at the $199/$299 price point given your credit is good.

A new customer can walk in and get the new 3G iPhone at $199/$299 (8GB/16GB) though, so there is no 'discount'.

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But what to do about Apple? The store's employees simply can't comprehend that someone is unhappy with one of their products and do little in making things right. I am not seeking a refund, simply an answer from Apple as to why my phone doesn't work? I can't rely on this phone; I miss phone calls constantly due to it's poor performance. I am frustrated that all they (Apple) can tell me is to "make an appointment". Their time is apparently more important than mine.

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But what to do about Apple? The store's employees simply can't comprehend that someone is unhappy with one of their products and do little in making things right. I am not seeking a refund, simply an answer from Apple as to why my phone doesn't work? I can't rely on this phone; I miss phone calls constantly due to it's poor performance. I am frustrated that all they (Apple) can tell me is to "make an appointment". Their time is apparently more important than mine.

There does seem to be a variance in how qualified the Apple 'Geniuses' are. The people on the floor (the ones not behind a counter) aren't the ones to go to about a problem. Unfortunately Charlotte only has one Apple store so we don't have the luxury of just going to another location in hopes of getting a better Apple Genius.

If you have AppleCare on your phone (iPhone comes with the first year free) then they should take care of you. If you can't get assistance in the store then call Apple over the phone and tell them the local Genius isn't being helpful at all with your problem...keep escalating things up.

Steve Jobs supposedly has his minions monitor his e-mail account so I would send an e-mail there ([email protected]) if all else fails. Consumerist has had several articles on this working for folks having issues with all other attempts having failed.

The appointments with Apple are there for a reason though as the Apple Genius will give you his/her undivided attention and not feel rushed or burdened with multi-tasking with other customers.

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No discounts are being given, but AT&T will not make you EXTEND your current contract, they'll just let you start over with a new 2 year contract without penalty. You're also guaranteed to get the phone at the $199/$299 price point given your credit is good.

A new customer can walk in and get the new 3G iPhone at $199/$299 (8GB/16GB) though, so there is no 'discount'.

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The iPhone seems like a decent device.. having used one for no more than 2 minutes.. but yet very lacking in certain key features that you would think they would include (MMS?!?!)

As for AT&T.. I haven't had experience with the cellular side.. but if the customer service is anything like the landline (DSL) side.. good luck. We have approx 30 DSL lines (in addition to many phones lines) at our office that we support, and STILL get crappy customer service from them.. very unhelpful, with a lot of wasted time, to say the least, lol.

The only other thing i've got to say is.. BlackBerry Thunder :thumbsup:

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As for AT&T.. I haven't had experience with the cellular side.. but if the customer service is anything like the landline (DSL) side.. good luck. We have approx 30 DSL lines (in addition to many phones lines) at our office that we support, and STILL get crappy customer service from them.. very unhelpful, with a lot of wasted time, to say the least, lol.

Every wireless carrier on the planet is evil, particularly the two biggies in the US (AT&T and Verizon). I will never go back to Verizon due to a specific incident that happened to me, nor will I recommend it to anyone else. AT&T would most certainly do the same crap to me if given the chance I'm certain so it definitely doesn't make AT&T the crown jewel here.

I have never had to call AT&T for an issue, but I have had experience with Apple's customer care and they tend to go above and beyond if you get the right person. One benefit of Apple's customer service is that you'll never talk to someone that has been outsourced, you talk to a real Apple employee every time.

For a phone and an otherwise VERY useful device for someone that wants to remain 'connected,' the iPhone is the device to have. If there is a problem with service from AT&T then I'm deeply sorry for what you'll have to go through to get it fixed though, but I would say the same about any device from any other wireless carrier. At least with the iPhone you have Apple to help you out, and they seem to be more willing to do so.

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^ I don't doubt anything you say regarding Apple and the actual device.. i'm sure it's just great (assuming you got a good one). But I once again must mention BlackBerry Thunder :) (I have high hopes anyway)

I will say that it seems to be a known fact (for the most part, according to many) that the VZW network is overall better.. that being said.. they are not perfect either. I have ran into issues with them on business services and it can be just as frustrating as dealing with ATT.

The main problem, I think, with ATT (landline anyway) is they are just too big.. they have too many different departments.. I literally spent 2 hours on the phone with them a couple weeks ago trying to get a tech scheduled to move a DSL line across town. And just now, actually, a DSL line suddenly went down (while in use, of course) and after 30 minutes on the phone, the best they (and the "supervisors") could do is schedule a tech between 1PM and 5PM to come out and take a look. Recently.. we have been running into issues like this more and more often.. more so since their big "merger" a year or two ago, it seems.

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The main problem, I think, with ATT (landline anyway) is they are just too big.. they have too many different departments..

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I hate to turn this into a complete dis-ATT thread.. but here's something else to chew on..

I have a friend who used to work for Cingular/ATT as an RF Engineer. He worked for them before, during, and after the merger with landline ATT.

Pre-merger (as Cingular).. they had some issues with the network.. basically lack of coverage, slow deployment, and a few things dealing with reception and clearness and what not.. but they actually fixed them, somewhat, back then.. sometimes it was a bit of a struggle to get people to do things, of course, being a big company and all... but they usually got done.

Post-merger.. they just pretty much just stopped fixing the problems, according to him, lol. They completely dropped the budget for RF projects, for the most part. The techs (such as him) would report issues that they would discover.. things that truly needed to be fixed, otherwise customers would definitely notice problems, and these issues were basically ignored. There just wasn't a budget anymore for things like this. I suppose ATT just decided that its not worth spending the money on something unless they are actually losing customers because of it. My friend said the show was being run, after the merger, by the "suits," who only saw the bottom line.. and made decisions simply based on financial matters (as opposed to listening to their RF engineers).

He has since moved on from ATT.. as of about a year ago.. so I can't speak of them since then.

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Ok, so.... The actual name turned out to be the BlackBerry Storm. Thunder was the codename, apparently.

I am posting from one now.... And I must admit, at this point, although I really like it (especially the screen), its not quite as good as I expected (yet).

Granted, its only been out for 2 months. iPhone killer? No. Major iPhone competitor? Definitely.

Especially in the coming months.... Once some bugs are worked out, themes are created, and even more 3rd party apps are developed.

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I do think that Blackberry is going to get a big boost because Obama uses one and it became part of the news. Apparently they worked out a way for him to keep it and maintain all the secrecy that is required now that he is in the whitehouse. Originally he was going to have to give it up when he became President. Can you imagine the advertising? "So secure and safe the President of the United States uses it".

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Yeah really.. im glad he got to keep it (or is getting a new one, i guess), even if it is mainly for 'personal use'. Did you see the shots of that WinMo phone they were gonna try to make him use? Sectra Edge? Wow. That thing is a brick.

I think one of the issues they had with BlackBerry is that RIM is a Canadian company, meaning the device could end up using servers not even located in the USA.

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After owning an iPhone for a year and a half, I'm still a proud owner and use mine more than I did the first week I had it. It has become a permanent attachment, especially since Apple allowed third party applications on the device. I have several pages of applications that I use regularly (I'm not kidding!). I'm looking forward to a revision though with more space. I have a first gen 8GB version and I could really use a 32GB version. I'm holding my breath for a July/August release date for a new revision. :)

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my last 3 phones have all been razors. I just can not deal with carying around a thick phone or a large phone.

I also would only use Verizon (living in the North East) The company is horrible as Neo said, but they are all horrible, and really its just a matter of being patient and polite and admitadly a little charming, but I do evntually get someone that can help me and have always gotten what I wanted for free. this includes a complete replacement for one phone because i simply stated, the origonal was a lemon. they ask to repair the phone for 5 days or whatever, you say you need your phone, you repeat its a lemon, i would really like a replacement as a long time loyal customer... and eventually after shooting down all of their ideas you get your new phone. and if you are polite and charming enough you get it for free.

cell phone companies suck.

cell phone manufacturers are even worse

they all build devices designed for a minimal usable life because they want you to get a new phone every 2 years. the providers oblidge the manufacturers by including upgrades in the service contract every 2 years. this allows the provider to charge a crazy price for service because you are really paying for the price of the phone pro-rated into the service cost. and the device breaks in 2 years anyway. total crap!!!

I would get an I phone if the service costs were cheaper and if Verizon sold them. oh and if verizon didnt disable the GPS thing because they do that.

my wife and I pay 72 a month for the two of us

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I miss my old Startac.. simple, dependable, durable (well, except for the antenna) lol

The iPhone is cool, but I wouldn't switch from Verizon, I'm happy with their coverage and their service. (Also, since my work uses them, we get extra discounts as employees to have our personal service with them.)

Anyone have a Blackberry Storm? I'm really thinking about maybe upgrading to one this year...

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After owning an iPhone for a year and a half, I'm still a proud owner and use mine more than I did the first week I had it. It has become a permanent attachment, especially since Apple allowed third party applications on the device. I have several pages of applications that I use regularly (I'm not kidding!). I'm looking forward to a revision though with more space. I have a first gen 8GB version and I could really use a 32GB version. I'm holding my breath for a July/August release date for a new revision. :)

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