Go To SXSW With An iPhone? AT&T Wants To Buy You a Free Month

Messages (-1) I got off the phone with AT&T yesterday, registering a complaint on the really atrocious coverage they had in Austin during SXSW.

They denied having any outages in Austin during this time.

Which is a total joke.  There was a NYTimes piece on the network being down: ‘Call Failed’ Feature Revealed at SXSW Gathering.  And a Wired piece too.

I couldn’t make or receive a call for a week down there.  Txt messages would sometimes take four hours to go from one iPhone to another.  The data network would work perhaps once a day.

iPhone SXSW Fail PhotosBut they don’t have any recorded outages in Austin.

So they finally want to say ‘sorry!’ with a free month of service.  Well they don’t really, but they should.

Here is how to do it:
Call customer support 1-800-331-0500

  • Press 1 if you are calling from your iPhone
  • Press 0 to get to an operator

Write down your point.  “The phone service was unacceptable during my recent trip to Austin.  Txt messages took …”  Talk to your outstanding customer service rep.  Be nice, they didn’t do this to you.

They will offer you to comp the time you were down there, at a prorated rate, and without data.  For me this was $27.

Nicely explain that that is unacceptable.  Read your point over to them.  Ask for a months service credited.  If they can take care of it, great, if not, ask for someone that can help out, perhaps the floor manager.

Hey, your now on the phone with the floor manager.  They will try to play some mighty games with you, like start off the conversation by making a binding offer, like this:iPhone SXSW Fail Photos

Great, I would like to personally apologize for the problems you had and credit your account $27.

Read your point.  Their offer is unacceptable.  We pay a premium for working service.  Read your point again.

Cool, they up the offer.  Careful though, this doesn’t include your txting plan or data.

Keep asking.  It took me about five minutes.  Be nice, but firm.

My whole month was comped.  As should everyone that attended SXSW.

This is 2009.  We should have figured out how to get cellphones working for 4000 geeks.

**UPDATE** The tweet about this post has been retweeted 78 times, and by all the email and comments, I am estimating that $10,000 has been refunded.

**UPDATE #2**  Over 500 retweets of this post, about $100,000 in refunds is my guess.

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