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See what Otto Pylot has to say about the Microcell...
~ REGRET NOTHING~
~ we live & learn~
AT&T gave out the MicroCell to some of it's customers a year or so ago but there was no obvious reason why some got one for free and others didn't. Being a loyal AT&T customer probably had nothing to do with it. I've been with AT&T since the days of PacBell (before Cingular) and had to purchase mine. All you can do is document with support the difficulties you are having with cell phone reception and you may be able to purchase one for a slight discount, but that's not guaranteed. Keep in mind that living in an apartment may pose its own set of unique issues when using a MicroCell.
I'm glad that worked for you. Most won't be so lucky. The corporate stores have to buy (albeit at a huge discount) their MicroCells and then get reimbursed by AT&T if Support approved. If not, getting a MicroCell the way you did is purely at the kindness of the corporate store Manager (which was really cool).
Good luck with that. It is in no way a guarantee that you will get a free MicroCell. In fact I think it's highly unlikely now. I do have a conference call with the other ACEs and support on Tuesday and that is one of the points for discussion so we'll see what they have to say.
Even tho they are a little pricey ($150-$200). I have had mine for around 3-4 years and I don't have any problems with it and we initally bought it cuz we were in a basement but, a couple months later we moved into an apartment and we didn't have any service so once we got AT&T hooked up we haven't had any problems since. So, I highly recommend getting one. You can also add up to I think 5 other phone numbers so if you have family or friends that have AT&T they can use it so they will have the same great service you do. We also added a feature so whenevr we are connected to the MC the minutes we use don't count against our monthly limit soi we were actually able to drop our monthly plan down and it worked out to be cheaper even with the cost of that service ($20/mo) so that's something else to keep in mind and ask about. I really hope this helped you out and in my opinion I would def get the MC and the service so when your connected it don't count against your monthly minutes. Sorry so long but, I just want to give as much info as possible. Just keep in mind if you don't use your phone at home a lot then the extra wouldn't benefit you. So, maybe for a month try it and see if it helps and if it does keep it if not cancel it. We were on the 900 and after we tried it we were actually able to knock it down to the 450. GOOD LUCK I really hope this helped and again sry it was so long
Thanks for the post. BTW, you can add up to 15 mobile phones on a single MicroCell and it will support up to 4 voice or data users at once.
I just signed on to the AT&T Community Forums. We have had AT&T Mobility service "forever" and just found out about the (former) offer of a FREE MicroCell. No one told us about this offer and we have been living in a dead zone since before cell phones were invented (we moved into our home in 1972). We just thought that our dead zone was "the way it is" and that nothing could be done about it. In order to use our cell phones (we have two lines), we have to drive about two (2) miles to get service. We also have AT&T home and business landline service and never received any offer of a FREE MicroCell for our mobile phones. Our Verizon friends can make and receive calls from our home and we, embarrassingly, tell them we live in an AT&T DEAD ZONE.
We have been a loyal, paying AT&T customer for many, many years; is there any solution, except for spending $200, to get cell phone coverage at our home???
I have an informational document on the MicroCell that I will be posting on Monday and one of the items discussed is the "free" MicroCell.
When the MicroCell was first introduced (2009-2010), AT&T identified some areas with poor coverage and offered some of their customers a MicroCell free of charge. It was basically a marketing move. Other individuals, who had documented issues of little or no coverage were also given a MicroCell free of charge. That program has since ended and there are no current plans to start the program again. The length of time that you've been an AT&T customer has no bearing at all on whether you can get a free MicroCell or not. What you could do is call support and document your lack of coverage and ask what your options are. Be nice because there is only so much the phone support people can do. At best, you may be able to get one at a discounted price. Some people have been able to get them discounted at the local corporate store but that is totally up to the store manager and is definitely not company policy.
I think if you read the posts carefully you would have found that while it's not common to get a free MicroCell after the marketing campaign ended a couple of years ago, it's not impossible. It's certainly not AT&T's policy to hand them out to anyone who requests them but it can, and does, still happen. However, the fact that "everyone of your neighbors has a MicroCell" indicates that your area has a documented history of poor coverage so it's not surprising that AT&T gave you one. What ever the reason, at least you got one so hopefully it will be trouble free.
I just got off of chat with an AT&T Support representative. I explained to her my current situation:
1. The contract for myself and my wife is up.
2. We'd rather not leave AT&T.
3. The only way we get service is if we stand in the back of the house, and even then, we only get 1 bar (which is true).
I was very nice in talking to her and she gave me a $200.00 credit to my account for me to go to a store and purchase one. The credit has been applied to my account, so I have a -$84 balance on my account right now.
To add to this, I'm sure there is a history of me calling in about lack of coverage at my house, so that might have played into it. But, I am very grateful that she was able to credit my account. I do have to spend the $199.99 to purchase one, but it balances out since she gave me $200 credit towards my monthly bills that I won't have to pay.
That's good to hear. It seems that AT&T is looseing up a bit with the "free" MicroCells which is good. It sounds like they've had a policy change and are not doing this as a marketing gimmick like they did a couple of years ago and are taking it case by case. Kudos to AT&T for this.
I recently moved to Foster City, CA and the area where I live is known to be low coverage area.
So I contacted AT&T via chat session to check what options I have. They informed me about this microcell and mentioned that it will cost me $150.
But my point is if it is not customers fault, AT&T should improve the reception in that area or give it to loyal customers for free.
If any AT&T employee is reading this, please take it up. They will loose out on to loyal customers like me. Looks like AT&T don't care about their customers and they dont need customers any more.
AT&T has been known to give account holders free Mcells in the past but that appears to be on a case-by-case basis these days. I know I was able to convince AT&T to give me one for free a few years ago after documenting my reception problems and being very polite but insistent on the phone with a customer service rep. I would like to think the fact that I was a long-time AT&T customer that had four iPhones with full data and text plans and was paying them $2,500/year had something to do with that decision. Your mileage may vary.
From an objective standpoint, AT&T may have plans for improving cellphone coverage in Foster City but those plans may be a bit down the road. No one knows where Foster City's coverage needs stand in the grand scheme of AT&T's cell network improvement plan. They can't make every area of poor coverage a top priority. Some areas are going to have to wait their turn.
It would appear to me that you have a choice. Try to convince AT&T to give you a partial or full credit on you bill towards a Mcell, purchase a Mcell from AT&T, live with the problem or change carriers. Let's face it, you chose to live in an area of poor cell coverage. To say that AT&T doesn't care about you as a customer because they haven't met your demands within your timeframe is somewhat of an unrealistic viewpoint.
You can try contacting ATTCustomerCare using the link below and politely explain your situation and see what they can do for you. Perhaps you can contact AT&T's Customer Retention department and convince them that either you get a free Mcell or you're taking your business elsewhere.
As Avedis53 pointed out, the free MicroCell program a couple of years ago was more of a marketing thing than anything else. It certainly was not a free program in the sense that anyone who asked for one got one for free, regardless of how long they've been at AT&T customer.
As suggested, you can contact CustomerCare (link in the sig line) and ask, nicely. I mention nicely because if you start demanding or making threats to cancel your service, you probably won't get anywhere. The best you may be able to do is get some sort of credit applied to your bill. That's what happened to me years ago when I had issues. I ended paying something like $50 for mine when they were charging $200 at the time. BTW, I live just down the road a bit from you in San Jose and coverage in our home hasn't changed much in the 30 years or so we've lived here. With tower sharing, as mandated by the FCC, some areas won't ever see an increase in signal strength because of current regulations.
Thanks for the suggestion Avedis53 and OttoPylot .
I don't think the expectation is unrealistic.
We as a customer are paying for the service that AT&T promises to fulfill and so expecting the reliable service. If the area is not supported then it should not have been included as the service area with good coverage on the coverage map. If it is clear on the coverage map that Foster City area where I live is a black spot then users can decide easily.
As far as improving the coverage, I see very bleak chances, as OttoPylot has pointed out, it is not improved in 30 years in San Jose so not sure what can we expect. So meanwhile the expectation is that they should provide free microcell meanwhile and that too when they agree that it is low coverage area (The chat associate agreed on that)
Any way, I will connect with AT&T customer care and try my luck again
Coverage maps are a bit of smoke and mirrors by any cellular provider. If a signal can be detected above a certain dB limit, then it's part of the coverage area. Of course all cellular providers fudge that to indicate how much better their "coverage" is than the competition. What that doesn't take into consideration is quality of signal. You may be able to get a signal, hence your "covered", but reliability is a different matter. A lot of those maps were determined a long time ago. And since then, buildings and other structures, trees, environmental conditions, etc have changed, all of which affect signal propagation/quality. The signal is nice and strong in my street for3G/4G. And if I walk down the street I eventually get LTE. But inside my house, it's questionable enough to require a femtocell.
There ya go again with those technical terms...... but yes, my house is like a Faraday cage with chicken-wire reinforced stucco and a metal roof. However, to be honest our in-home cell coverage was just as bad with and without the metal roof. But, with my MicroCell (new and old) that's never been a problem.
I've also got this really cool tin hat that I wear around the house as well. It really seems to improve the reception.
As far as free Microcells go, you'd be better off spending your time just paying for the device than spending your time with customer service on trying to get a free one. The free microcell promotion ended some years ago. Unless you have been targeted for a for a special promotion or was sent something in the mail then you'll have to pay like everyone else. You may be eligible for a discount of $50 making the cost 150 instead of 200. Call customer service to see if you qualify for that. Trust me the device is well worth the 150 or 200 you pay for it considering it boosts your signal to full for multiple devices within 5000 sq foot radius
It never hurts to try and plead your case instead of just paying up. A discount or possibly even free is worth the effort.
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