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  • AT&T's Free 3G MicroCell Giveaway May Be Far Less Widespread Than Believed


    Over the weekend, scant reports began surfacing of AT&T giving away free 3G MicroCells to a select few individuals deemed by the carrier to be 'loyal customers." Since then, adequate coverage has been afforded to these isolated incidents to make it seem as though AT&T has rolled out a massive giveaway rooted in the type of generosity we've never seen from this particular carrier or any other.

    But before we all get our hopes up too high, let's hold our feet more firmly to the ground as we dig deeper into this giveaway, which, by all accounts, is anything but a mega-inventory-threatening campaign to give away tons of mini cell towers. As our friends at Apple Insider reported Monday, AT&T has recently distributed "certificates" to "some customers," that effectively serve as coupons for a free 3G MicroCell, a device that works to boost at-home reception strength via broadband Internet connection.

    So far, the notes have been linked to a highly targeted category of AT&T customers - those who have either logged a long history of complaints (unconfirmed but highly suspected) or are only weeks away from the end of their two year contract. The carrier's motive, logically, could be to help retain some customers through this MicroCell ploy and potentially bate other customers into staying as a result of the heady one-two punch born of a positive PR boost and the prospect of getting something for free by staying with AT&T.

    As far as we can tell, however, the letter from AT&T promising a free 3G MicroCell with no hidden costs or other strings attached has reached only a very, very, very - dare I say "micro" - base of AT&T subscribers. But the clever carrier is picking up the most positive PR it's received in months as a result of the move. That's all fine and good... just don't be under any illusion that you're next in line for a free 3G MicroCell. You're probably not.


    Apple Insider
    This article was originally published in forum thread: AT&T's Free 3G MicroCell Giveaway May Be Far Less Widespread Than Believed started by Michael Essany View original post
    Comments 59 Comments
    1. drloco149's Avatar
      drloco149 -
      I got the letter in the mail on saturday, and went to pick it up yesterday, the own at&t employees didnt even know at&t was handing out free towers, o i guess i got it for complaining a lot about their service and being a "loyal customer"
    1. tom28's Avatar
      tom28 -
      ATT customer service credited me $150 because of my constant complaints. I went to buy the device and discovered if you tell them in the store you're in a crapy area (they will confirm it via your home zip code) the managers are authorized to sell you one for $50. I made $100 on the these idiots. Too bad the device provides lousy performance with the callers voice cutting in and out and (as stated before) at times the voice is quite garbled. BTW... you don't always have 5 bars as they advertise.
    1. Faxmonkey's Avatar
      Faxmonkey -
      Quote Originally Posted by 8r00k1yn8411!n View Post
      instead of the free bumper case, everyone will get a free roll of duct tape to fix the problem
      A whole role? Apple isn't made of money. You'll get a 2 foot long piece of duct tape and you'll be thankful for it.
    1. CZroe's Avatar
      CZroe -
      Quote Originally Posted by BitTitan View Post
      Looking to cancel my overpriced LAN line, I was shopping around different VOIP options. Most of the options I looked at where around the 25-30 range for monthly fees and it did not include the equipment. (With the exception of Skype, which is incredibly cheap, but for my needs most expensive on equipment.)
      ...
      It's called a "land line."
    1. RICO_'s Avatar
      RICO_ -
      So what's the point of this article again? To remind everybody that might need this product that they're not going to get it for free? Way to rub it in.
    1. CZroe's Avatar
      CZroe -
      My mother and brother live an an area marked "good" on their map and yet they haven't been able to talk indoors for years... since switching from Sprint to Cingular back in 2003. Outdoor coverage is terrible too with no reception at all only a little way down the street (where we frequently visit good friends). Even so, they've purchased 6 iPhones, maintained 3-4 lines on a family plan, and stayed with Cingular AT&T ever since (Sprint's coverage wasn't much better back then). All along, even back on their old RAZR V3 phones, they have been complaining to AT&T about the time on their phones jumping to 1hr earlier and staying that way for random amounts of time. It frequently caused me to be late for appointments, work, etc. They are located in West GA(Newnan; I moved to San Diego, CA) but no where near the boarder of Alabama, where the time zone changes. In fact, I've had it stay 1hr earlier all the way into Fayette County (traveling from Senoia to Peachtree City). It's a problem for ALL AT&T customers in the area and they still haven't acknowledged it... much less, fixed it. In all the years since rolling out the iPhone 3G, they have not added a single 3G tower in the city despite it being metro Atlanta. They have focused exclusively at increasing capacity where there is already coverage, which pretty much means only the Interstate highways in metro Atlanta.

      Being armed with all these complaints, my brother made the call a week or two ago to request a comp microcell. They refused and only offed a slightly discounted one. Until he recently scaled back the minutes in the family plan, he had THOUSANDS of rollover minutes expiring every month due to over-buying for many, many, MANY years. Did that earn him NO "loyalty points?" What is wrong with AT&T?
    1. 8r00k1yn8411!n's Avatar
      8r00k1yn8411!n -
      Quote Originally Posted by Faxmonkey View Post
      A whole role? Apple isn't made of money. You'll get a 2 foot long piece of duct tape and you'll be thankful for it.
      Doesn't Apple have over 20 billion dollars? How is that not made of money?
    1. KartRacer's Avatar
      KartRacer -
      Got mine for free after pointing out to the assholes at AT&T that I've been complaining about piss poor service FOR 18 MONTHS. After ******** at three people I shouldn't have to pay for something to have service I already pay for they very quickly reimbursed me.

      Quote Originally Posted by CZroe View Post
      In all the years since rolling out the iPhone 3G, they have not added a single 3G tower in the city despite it being metro Atlanta. They have focused exclusively at increasing capacity where there is already coverage, which pretty much means only the Interstate highways in metro Atlanta.
      They have expanded their coverage all the way down to Macon Ga in te past few years and pretty far down I-85 towards Columbus too. I've not had any coverage problems in the metro area and was surprised they fixed the huge dead zone between Stockbridge and Macon. There was little to no coverage there and now it's all 3G. I don't know about Peachtree City but they've continuously expanded 3G further and further out of the metro Atlanta area over the past few years.
    1. tgabriel123's Avatar
      tgabriel123 -
      I literally do not service at my house, and they will not give me a free one because I complained about it...screw ATT
    1. joeynice's Avatar
      joeynice -
      I saw two weeks ago that someone got one for free by complaining to att customer service. I called and told them that in the past 12 months that I've had them, I have used 6 phones (2 nokias, 2 3gs, and 2 iphone 4's) and I never had good service with any of them at home. After about half an hour of complaining to them and eventually to technical support they offered to credit my wireless acct the $150 that it costs. I have had it two weeks now and I havent had the feedback problems that others say they have had. The only concern with the MicroCell that I can think that some people may have is that it ALL minutes that are used with the MicroCell are regular minutes deducted (no more night and weekend minutes, or A list minutes.
    1. KartRacer's Avatar
      KartRacer -
      Quote Originally Posted by joeynice View Post
      The only concern with the MicroCell that I can think that some people may have is that it ALL minutes that are used with the MicroCell are regular minutes deducted (no more night and weekend minutes, or A list minutes.
      Where did you hear this? I've heard that mobile to mobile and nights and weekends are no different than if you were connected to a regular tower. If every minute you use is just straight plan minutes I'll be royally pissed.
    1. ecd5000's Avatar
      ecd5000 -
      this is fishy. i have had att for years and never complained that much wheres mine. yeah valued customers my *** i guess my $100 month for 2 iphones isnt valued as att would put it. *******
    1. tudtran's Avatar
      tudtran -
      Damn It. I hated at&t. I should of complaint more.
    1. skj8100's Avatar
      skj8100 -
      Quote Originally Posted by iadventure View Post
      have one, it gives a terrible delay in voice!!!
      And have you really used it set up right before? Because I have one and it works perfect.
    1. tudtran's Avatar
      tudtran -
      I'm gonna called at&t ten times tonight and complaint. I been looking into buying one of the MicroCell tower for coupe of weeks. I better get one of those tower or I will be so mad.
    1. skj8100's Avatar
      skj8100 -
      Quote Originally Posted by oo3 View Post
      Don't you have to pay per month to use this? Kinda dumb you have to pay more in order to get additional coverage in an area where there is supposed to be coverage in the first place.

      I was on the phone with at&t and all they did was apologize about my dropped calls and sent me to tech support. All the tech guy did was tell me to go to my nearest at&t store and pick up a new sim card.
      No. you do not have to pay extra. You can pay $19.99/month and then you get unlimited through the microcell instead of it using your minutes.
    1. ceramicwhite's Avatar
      ceramicwhite -
      **** at&t
    1. xxscaxx's Avatar
      xxscaxx -
      my brother got a letter for this the other day.

      this really pisses me off because ive been an at&t customer for longer than him. i went out and bought one of these a few weeks ago and then he gets a letter for a free one? what the ****! on the contrary i guess i cant say anything because maybe if i waited till now i would have gotten that letter.

      im returning mine and letting my bro pick his up. i think its ridiculous that my brother who lives at the same address as me gets this and i didn't. just my luck i guess lol.
    1. joeynice's Avatar
      joeynice -
      @KartRacer Thats what the customer service lady told me...however I just checked my bill and it looks like my minutes are correctly being billed. Sorry for the bad info. lol
    1. Windmeel's Avatar
      Windmeel -
      Quote Originally Posted by skj8100 View Post
      No. you do not have to pay extra. You can pay $19.99/month and then you get unlimited through the MicroCell instead of it using your minutes.
      And I pay the $20 for the unlimited. I love it. I basicially have a call 911 only landline now so I break even. I get everyones argument about having to pay extra for something you should already have but the fact is, you're the ignorant one if you get a cell provider and you don't have service where you need it the most. I knew and know for the last 9 years of being an AT&T customer, I have spotty service in my area and one bar at best in my home (which cannot make a phone call and sometimes cannot text out). But the iPhone is worth it to me. Then this device came along and made everything better. Would I like AT&T to make service better where I live? Absolutely!!!! The truth is though, I don't expect this area to be a priority. It's a county with 40,000 people with Sacramento, an hour away which has a half million people in the CITY.