Why I’m (Rationalizing) Enduring AT&T

I’ve been complaining a lot lately about AT&T. I’m sorry. I tend to talk to my wife in the evenings while I’m sitting on my laptop and it’s easy to open Twitter and complain while I’m trying to reconnect the call. I guess I should stop. I’ve always had a problem when I get frustrated and have easy access to Twitter. You have no idea how hard it was not to rant on Twitter while I was working as a Realtor. I had other people’s businesses at stake, so I forced myself to keep my digital mouth shut.

I have no love for AT&T. I’ve endured them for a long time. I’ve been with “The New AT&T” since 2005, but before that I kept bouncing between Cingular and AT&T Wireless for 5 years prior to that as I’d leave one for the other only to be bought back by the one I left.

I used to be a Windows Mobile user. Microsoft rebuilt the platform from scratch and calls it Windows Phone now. I still see the same problems that have plagued it all along, except that none of the Windows Mobile applications I’ve bought over the years will work with Windows Phone, and most of the developers of applications I like to use have no plans to develop for it. You can’t even get Kindle for it, and Amazon has written a Kindle app for just about every other platform with more than 20 users.

People helpfully recommend that I switch to Verizon. I’m sure it’s a much better carrier, especially considering Consumer Reports rates AT&T as the worst U.S. Cell Phone carrier. My experience validates that. It’s nice to have some objective data to back experience. And it’s not like I live in the sticks. The majority of our time is spent in the Washington D.C. and Philadelphia metropolitan areas, where all cell providers should have a full and reliable network established.

So why don’t I just switch to Verizon and get a Droid of some kind? No doubt, there are some nice android devices. A coworker of mine just got an Incredible. They sure are nice.

I heard somewhere that we never make an objective decision. We mostly make decisions based on emotion THEN look for objective reasons to justify those decisions. Yes, my wife and I bought a timeshare once.

These are the rationalizations I’ve chosen for continuing to endure AT&T, even though it sucks and I can’t talk to my wife for 10 minutes without the call dropping 5 times:

1: I really do like the iPhone– Yes, I’m a true believer. I like the iPhone. I just got my iPhone 4 a few weeks ago, and I’m really happy with it. It’s far from perfect, but it does what I need it to do. I’ve long since integrated iTunes into my workflow for music, podcasts, and audiobooks. That’s probably what I use the iPhone for the most. In the dark days of Windows Mobile, I had to manually transfer podcasts to the device each and every day, and delete those that I listened to. It just happens on the iPhone. It’s beautiful. It works for me.

Also, I already had to rebuy some of the apps I used on Windows Mobile for the iPhone. I don’t want to have to buy them again for a droid device, and again if I switch droid devices.

2: I’m afraid a droid device will end up with some of the same problems I had on Windows Mobile– I agree, droids are wonderful, but hear me out. I know Apple is a “closed” platform. Steve jobs calls it integrated. Rather than “open”, he refers to Android as a fragmented system.

This is one of the biggest problems I had with Windows Mobile (beside the fact that it sucked). I would go out and buy a new Windows Mobile phone. Then Microsoft released a new version of the OS. Microsoft made the OS, then released it to the hardware manufacturers. The hardware manufacturers would then integrate it into their devices. They’d often add extra software. They also wrote the drivers. But they often had many different models of phones, and I’m not convinced they tested them well enough. They’d release a buggy phone to the market and not support it. Even if support was provided, it took months to come out, leaving the paying customer with a buggy product. Then, when Microsoft releases a new version of the OS, it’s up to the manufacturer to provide an update for the device. Most manufacturers had the attitude of “You want a new OS, buy a new phone”. Even if the last one was under 6 months old. I went through that when I bought an HP 68xx not too long before Windows Mobile 6 came out. HP had no plans to provide an upgrade for the device.

I’m afraid of that happening with Android, because I’ve lived through it on Windows Mobile. Then, with all the different versions of the OS floating around on different devices, it becomes a nightmare for developers to support. They often discontinue support for older devices, leaving you unable to use some good apps.

Don’t’ forget, Verizon was originally offered the iPhone. They turned it down, because they wouldn’t bend to Apple’s demands. As much as I don’t like AT&T, I’m happy not to have an iPhone full of stupid icons and apps like “AT&T Music”, “AT&T Navigator”, and all that other pointless junk that never gets used. Can you imagine how much crap Verizon would install on the iPhone? Don’t forget, Verizon neuters Bluetooth and other capabilities on phones that run on their network. Even though AT&T objectively sucks in the service they deliver, at least they were willing to bend on those issues.

If I could only delete “Stocks” and “Game Zone” from my iPhone. But thanks to iOS 4, I have them grouped in a folder “Undeletable BS”.

So that’s why I’m making the choice to endure AT&T’s crappy network and lack of service until I can get the iPhone on a real network.

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2 Responses

  1. I’ve been an AT&T user for about 5 yrs now with an iPhone the last 18 months. Haven’t had any problems with AT&T service.
    I love the iPhone and iPad but think iTunes needs some serious work. It is not intuitive at all. It crashes at the least little thing. I spent 8 hrs this past weekend uninstalling, installing and rebuilding my iTunes library.

    • I’ve been using iTunes long enough to not give it much of a thought. The only place I run into trouble is when I want to move my library to another computer, but I have a system for that figured out now, so it switches flawlessly, unless I’ve exceeded activations for things like Audible books.

      The best thing about iTunes is, it’s not Windows Media Player. Now there’s a non-intuitive, unworkable piece of junk.

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