AT&T customer service is pretty good

Published on 06/28/10

I thought I would take a minute to put a plug in for AT&T’s customer service. You always hear how good Verizon’s customer service is, but I have had nothing but good experiences with AT&T. I’ll illustrate with a quick story.

The backstory

Last week I got my iPhone 4 upgrade which I had pre-ordered through AT&T (got it a day early, actually). I was excited about the phone because it really is the best phone I could ever dream up. Enjoyed the phone all day Thursday and everything was going, as some would say, “swimmingly.” Friday morning, however, my shiny new iPhone decided to go for a swim in the toilet.

There are a bunch of web pages detailing what you should do in a such a case, so I promptly had my phone sitting in a warm dry place completely submerged in a bowl of uncooked rice to draw out the moisture. After two days of that, the phone looks good and works well, except for the fact that it won’t stay on for more than a few minutes. Every few minutes it tries to restart itself, and sometimes the battery just craps out and it shuts down (despite the fact it says there is about 84% charge on the battery).

So I decided to let the phone sit in rice for a few more days and then decide if I am going to pay the $199 to have my iphone fixed or replaced by Apple or try to have it fixed someplace else.

In the meantime I needed a phone. I was using the kitchen cellphone, but that could only last for a short while because I need my data. I can’t just put the sim card from the iPhone 4 into the old phone because they are different. So I put the sim card from the kitchen phone into the old iPhone.

The part about AT&T

The problem is the kitchen phone doesn’t have a data plan. So I called AT&T and within a few minutes I had the data plan for my iPhone moved to the number for the kitchen phone. So I’ve got a fully functional iPhone (including the tethering plan) which works great (except for the cracked screen and slower processor) and I can go about my work like normal. It also helps that my business phone number is a Google Voice number so I could route it to the temporary number I am using.

Since I had just renewed the contract on my number, I was thinking I wouldn’t be able to suspend the data plan on that number, but it was not a problem at all. The customer service reps that I spoke to were very knowledgeable, kind, and helpful.

The only bad thing

The only thing negative that I would say about the customer service is that it is not available 24 hours a day. There have been several times that I have been doing something during off hours and have not been able to fix a problem right then because the office wasn’t open. I don’t know if this is normal in the cell phone industry or not (never had a need to call customer service on Verizon when I was with them).


On 07/08/10 David said:

The, "I never had to call customer service when I was with Verizon," reflects my experience with Verizon. I had an AT&T cel phone several years ago. Making calls was not always flawless. When I moved to a new part of the country there was hardly no reception in the entire town at all. Often, I would travel with it and get reception; however, only on the good old "roaming." I have traveled extensively with my Verizon phone for several years now. I have never had a problem which needed customer service. Neither has it ever given me frustrating trouble with calls. I want an iPhone more than anything. I'm sure AT&T would not be too bad; however, I am loyal to Verizon for the great relationship which we have had. I dream of a CDMA iPhone, but I am not holding my breath. Oh well.

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