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AT&T: You Lie!

Got a fresh anecdote for you. It involves AT&T and failure. Ready?

All right so I found myself in midtown Manhattan today around 4pm needing to make a call real bad, a call that had dropped a half hour earlier, as it was business-related, you dig? I had a full array of bars yet there wasn’t even enough data bandwidth available in order to initiate a Google Voice dialing (just the call initiation over IP, not the voice) so I figured, well, that’s AT&T for you, and proceeded to make the call sans Google Voice, so just plain old voice this time, somewhat confident the call would go through as voice data gets prioritized. Negative. Couldn’t even make it to the ringing. Rebooted just to make sure it wasn’t my phone (it wasn’t my phone, it was AT&T sucking — their choice behavior in my city).

I made my way into Central Park where there weren’t too many people around on account of impending rain and the call went through fine. Business taken care of, AT&T forgiven somewhat. Crossing the park I figured I’d better fire up a Google Reader sync to give me something to do on the subway as I exited the park — only to find the reader client thing had only downloaded twelve out of eighty articles over a good ten minutes’ worth of walking. To put that into perspective for you, that sucks.

No matter, twelve would be enough, short ride. Get in the station, the C train shows up perfectly on time as declared by Google Maps Mobile (I love it when it happens), get on, start enjoying the AC (I was sweating my ass off so much that one lady asked me if it was raining), bust out the Google Reader client, start flipping through and bam I land on this article which reports that AT&T announced today, maybe around when I couldn’t make that damn call, that they’ve beefed up their New York infrastructure, 3G this and 7.2Mbps that, promising “improved 3G wireless voice and data connectivity and performance, especially during peak hours,” noting call quality improving 47% by their measurements and data speeds 25% better.

Double digit percentages of improvements, AT&T? Yeah, well, I guess the math on that could check out when the calculations are relative to your own stunning and embarrassing history of mediocrity — at least in midtown Manhattan during business hours. Look AT&T, lay off the bullshit press releases, jack up the network noticeably and watch everyone else do all the talking for you.

Doug Simmons