When I moved to San Francisco from the east coast four years ago, one of the first things I did was switch to T-Mobile. The smartphone market wasn’t as booming as it is today but I had noticed that the handsets offered overseas were just better than the offerings than the US. There were a handful of unlocked phones I wanted to use so I decided to find the right GSM carrier for me.
T-Mobile was the only choice I had, as I never wanted to use AT&T in this city (those of you who live here and are on AT&T know what I mean) and since Magenta was the cheapest, it was the one for me. In four years, any issue I’ve ever had with the carrier has been solved lickity split, with little to no hassle on my end. The one time I attempted to leave T-Mobile, it was to go back to Verizon for the original Motorola Droid, which I liked but there were some issues “that shouldn’t happen but if it does happen, there’s no way to fix it,” so I naturally went back to T-Mobile and signed up for the Even More Plus plan. Ya know, just in case.
T-Mobile may be the smallest for the four largest carriers in the US today and that may be why it has been able to provide the top-notch customer service it’s known for. When I heard that AT&T would be acquiring the only carrier I desired to use, I knew I’d be leaving at some point. Then the T-Mobile G2X came along and I decided to finance the thing and wait until that unfortunate day finally happened, and only then I would leave.
Recently, I’ve been having issues with my data connection on my G2X when on HSPA+. My coverage was never all that awesome, but at some point Magenta did flip the switch for its “4G” network in my neighborhood. It rarely resulted in the speeds I would see downtown but I no longer had to stare at that EDGE symbol atop of my screen, mocking me.
It was about a month ago that I had noticed my not so great HSPA+ connection became down right unusable at times. Since I’m usually always connected to my home WiFi network, I dismissed it and thought it was just some heavy congestion within the network itself and thought nothing of it. It wasn’t until last week that I tried to test my speeds on the network and noticed my already bad connection was deteriorating. I immediately went online to make sure I wasn’t over my data limit, and of course, I wasn’t, so I decided to call the trusty customer service that T-Mobile has always provided me.
I explained my situation to customer service, saying that my download speed seems to be unhealthily low but my upload speed seems to be fine. The CS rep informed me that I was still using a 2G SIM card and that I should upgrade to the 3G SIM card (which he said would be free for me), which sounded reasonable enough but first he wanted to reset the network connection to my phone. This actually yielded slower speeds than before after the reset. So he told me to go grab the 3G SIM card. He did inform me, though, with resistance, that if that doesn’t fix everything that there may be something wrong with the tower. So, off I go to get my 3G SIM card at the closest T-Mobile store. The entire transaction took five minutes and after the quick swap, off I went.
When I got home I immediately launched the SpeedTest app and to my dismay, there was no change. At this point I began to think that my G2X was defective and since my warranty has been voided from hacking the crap out of the day I got it, I was SOL. So I decided to call customer service again. The CS Rep was very nice and told me to use a speed test website that T-Mobile uses instead of the SpeedTest app. I did. It sucked still. So I had to file a service ticket in regards to the network connection to my phone, which I wasn’t completely sold was the issue at this point. I was informed it would take up to three days before I received a response, so I played the waiting game for two days.
On the second day I got the myTouch 4G Slide to review and decided to try out the SpeedTest app on it. Same shit. Horrible download speed with a semi-normal to normal upload speed. Call to customer service number three: I explained everything and now it’s definitely not the issue with my G2X but the tower and maybe I was just too far away from it. The customer service rep told me that the closest active tower was actually right across the street from where I lived. Sure enough, there it was. Service ticket number two was filed, and the CS rep was nice enough to say he would call me over the weekend to keep me updated with what was happening.
That never happened. Thanks for that.
Now it’s been a week since the whole ordeal and T-Mobile hasn’t contacted me in any way. I almost decided to let it go but then realized, “wait, I’m paying for this shitty service.” In the four years that I’ve been with T-Mobile, I’ve never dropped a call. In the past week, I’ve dropped two calls while at my house now on both the myTouch 4G Slide and G2X, and it’s hard to hear the other end of the call because I’m almost deafened by the echo of my voice I’ve begun to hear.
T-Mobile will happily fix any problem you have, given it can be done on a computer. Now let’s just think about how any of this will be handled when AT&T is holding the reins. Or is that already happening?
If the issue is actually solved within a timely manner, I’ll update this post. Since that likely won’t happen, I’ll probably be jumping ship from Magenta sooner rather than later. Sprint Galaxy S 2, please be announced soon, k?