I remember when a company would try to keep you as a customer. They would be nice to you on the phone and treat you with respect.

I have been dealing with an issue with my Blackberry Bold 9000 on AT&T where my phone will malfunction and become utterly useless. The red hangup/disconnect button will type "nm" on the screen and other keys will produce similar output so that you can not make a call or hang up a call. A hard reset by removing the battery is inefective. I wouldn't be so upset about the situation except that I spent $300 for the phone about 18 months ago. The trackball stopped working 11 months later, just before the warranty ran out. They were unable to transfer my information to the "new" refurbished Blackberry Bold 9000 that replaced my failing one.

So not only was I inconvenienced by having to go to a service center on the other side of town and waiting for service, but they lost my information as well, all of which was absolutely necessary as my phone didn't work otherwise. So almost immediately I began having problems with the refurbished phone. It did some screwy stuff and I did a hard reset and everything seeemed ok. That's when I should have brought it back. AT&T only covers you for 90 days or the length of the original warranty on a replaced phone. The problems got worse until it is almost impossible to get the phone working again. By the way, I am not hard on phones. I don't drop them, they don't get wet, most of the time they are on the desk as I work all day.

So fast forward to this weekend (May 16th 2010) when I went into the AT&T store to find out what could be done about my non-working phone. They offered to upgrade my phone at a cost of $299! I am on a family plan and they were going to use the upgrade for the other line to replace my phone. Wow, so count this up $300 original phone price, $300 upgrade phone price, approximately $100/mo for 2 phones with 1 data plan and 700 minutes per month with a $10 text messaging package. Thats $2400 for 18 months of service. I did call RIM also to see if they could help. The first time AT&T gave me the number for them it was a singles hotline. The second time RIM was as unhelpful as AT&T and offered to repair my phone for $300. I said no thanks, I can get a brand new phone for that price.

I wouldn't be so upset about the issue had it not been for the poor customer service. The AT&T store offered to sell me a new phone and didn't take responsibility for replacing my original phone with a non-working replacement. (The Spring AT&T store will sell me a new BlackBerry for $199 by the way, so go to them instead of a corporate store). The customer service representative that I talked to was just rude when I explained the situation to her. I called back and they gave me the wrong phone number for RIM. Third time is a charm and they finally gave me the right phone number (which is 1 877 255-2377 by the way).

I remember when Sprint would give me a new phone for free when it broke, without making me sign a new contract, just because I had been a customer for a long time. Gee, I guess AT&T doesn't care about all the bad publicity they are getting. Our service is so bad that we were thinking of leaving anyway, but now we definitely are. I have dropped calls all the time when the signal is at full strength. Which is another great story. AT&T offered to replace our sim cards and I told them don't ship them out I will go into a store to replace them. They sent the sim cards to my old address and now the stranger who bought my house has my new sim cards. Thanks for listening AT&T, very helpful, I'm glad you sent my sim cards to the wrong address after I asked you not to.

So this all leads to the conclusion. I won't be using AT&T or Blackberry in the future. I'm surprised that they won't spring for a couple hundred dollar phone to keep the $100/mo in service fees coming. What's your experience with AT&T or Blackberry been? I have talked to multiple people who say that they have to replace their Blackberry every 6 months or so because it is always breaking. Just for reference, my old Samsung phone lasted me over 5 years after been dropped multiple times. It had a half broken antena and no paint left on the plastic. I never had a problem with it at all.


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