Fewest dropped calls? Doesn't matter when everything else is bad

AT&T Mobility - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

"The research company later stated that Cingular did indeed have a 'statistically-significant lower dropped-call rate than the competition across some market/time period groupings,' but that Telephia had 'no knowledge of the specific methodology (markets, time periods or statistical thresholds) that Cingular used for its 'lowest dropped call' claim.'"

If you live in the US and watch television, you would have certainly come across one of the AT&T commercials where they claim that they have the fewest dropped calls. The commercials are definitely funny to watch but having the fewest dropped calls might not even matter all that much....

Especially when your calls do not even get through in the first place! This is not even funny. This is the epitome of unreliability. Important calls cannot even get through to me. This has happened not once, not twice, but more than 10 times in the one month that I switched to AT&T from T-Mobile. Most calls are not that important and people will try a couple of times. But last week I was expecting a call from my insurance agent and he was not able to get through. He was not even able to hit my voice mail! It was as though my phone was turned off. Since it was a Friday and they don't work on weekends, he was only able to get to me on Monday morning.

I do realize that calls cannot get through if I am using the EDGE service on my iPhone but rest assured that I was not using that. The times that people told me that they were not able to get through to me were times when I was not even using the phone! It was either just sitting on the table or in my pocket. And since it is in my apartment, I get great reception and the phone was showing full bars.

And not only that, today I was not even able to make calls. I had to redial twice or thrice to get through. That is more annoying than dropped calls.

Furthermore, ever since getting onto AT&T my mom has also been complaining that every time I call her the voice quality is not as good as last time. Previously I had a Razr and was on T-Mobile. Because the iPhone is tied down to AT&T it is impossible to tell which one is the culprit for the lousy voice quality. I do not exonerate the iPhone from all blame since it is not possible to test it on any other network. So the iPhone could potentially be the culprit here.

Moreover, compared to T-Mobile, AT&T has terrible international calling rates. I have a brother who is studying in Australia and to call him using AT&T I need to pay $3.67 a minute (it's $0.25 a minute if I sign up for AT&T World Connect which costs $3.99 a month). With T-Mobile, I pay a mere $0.34 a minute without signing up for anything. I don't call that often and I don't want to sign up for World Connect.

What about international roaming? In Malaysia, T-Mobile charges $1.99 a minute to make a call. AT&T wants to charge me $2.29. They charge $1.99 if I sign up for AT&T World Traveller! Another stupid plan that I need to sign up for before I get decent rates that T-Mobile is able to give me.

And AT&T is really evil. I am not sure if this is even legal but they signed me up for a trial of their road side assistance service! It'll cost me $3.99 a month if I decide to continue with it. I did not even sign up for it! I just received a letter one day telling me that I had been automatically enrolled in their Asurion road side assistance program. And they have been sending useless offer letters to my mailbox. I never received this kind of stuff from T-Mobile.

So, I would gladly take a few dropped calls from other networks (actually I have never experienced dropped calls with T-Mobile at all) compared to having important calls not even reach me in the first place and all the other crap that I have to take. Rest assured that if T-Mobile begins to support the iPhone in the US I will gladly pay the early termination fee of $200 and just get away from AT&T. Verizon or Sprint are not really options since they are even more ridiculous - their phones do not use SIM cards!

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