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New Member

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40 Messages

Mon, Dec 20, 2021 6:32 PM

4G S8 to be disconnected with 3G shutdown - here is what you can do

If you own a Samsung S8 starting with model number G955U or G950U, and you have received a text/letter from AT&T saying they will disconnect you in February for using a 3G phone, take note.

FIRST: Your phone is 4G and should is supported. Samsung has confirmed this for me and showed me an AT&T web page that doubly confirms it (see https://www.att.com/device-support/article/wireless/KM1273778/Samsung/SamsungG955U/).

SECOND: AT&T is ignoring complaints about unilaterally disconnecting 4G phones under the guise of dropping 3G service. Some are speculating that AT&T is railroading you into upgrading your phone when it is not necessary.

THIRD: You should make your concerns heard by the following interested parties:

SAMSUNG: They should be concerned that AT&T is misinforming customers about Samsung product capabilities. Here is a shortcut to voicing your concern https://www.samsung.com/us/support/contact/?model=N0022597&topic=SYM0000442

FTC: Since AT&T is providing customers fraudulent information, telling the Federal Trade Commission about it will get a response. Visit https://reportfraud.ftc.gov/#/form/main?pid=B

FCC: Since AT&T rents the public airwaves, and since the FCC has many consumer protection rules, they too should be made aware at https://consumercomplaints.fcc.gov/hc/en-us/requests/new?ticket_form_id=39744

Be sure to note that (a) you have a 4G phone, (b) AT&T is incorrectly identifying it as 3G and (c) is preparing to kill your service in February (and maybe scaring you into upgrading).

ATTHelp

Community Support

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200.7K Messages

Il y a 10 m

We understand your concerns, @guyshomenet2.

 

It is correct that the model number you've provided will not be supported after our 3G shutdown and you'll need to upgrade your device.

 

Thanks for your understanding!

 

Lynn, AT&T Community Specialist

New Member

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40 Messages

Il y a 10 m

Well, that is sad news, but thanks for the clarity.

Now, what is the make and model of the replacement phone that is being sent?

The (Edited per community guidelines) of this is that I plan on upgrading after Samsung's February announcement, but AT&T dropping 3G in February make having to suffer whatever branded phone they send ... and it goes into the surplus pile after that.

(edited)

ATTHelp

Community Support

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200.7K Messages

Il y a 10 m

No problem, @guyshomenet2 we're glad to help!

 

For the replacement of Samsung devices, you may receive:

  • Galaxy S9 or S9+ 
  • Galaxy S10E

Let us know if you have any additional questions, and we'd love to continue to assist. 

 

Thank you.

 

Lynn, AT&T Community Specialist

New Member

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40 Messages

Il y a 10 m

Interesting, because the online AT&T help person said it would be an A21.

Any way you can force the S9 or S10 through the pipeline for me, as the A21 is quite a demotion from an S8?

ATTHelp

Community Support

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200.7K Messages

Il y a 10 m

Thank you for responding @guyshomenet2.

 

After additional research, we can confirm that the replacement device will be a Samsung Galaxy A12. This is the default free replacement and cannot be changed. However, if you prefer to have a different device, you are welcome to trade in your current phone, purchase a new device, and, if the device is in good condition, receive trade-in credits towards the cost of the new device. 

 

If you have any questions about how this process works, please let us know and we'll be happy to guide you further.

 

Darais, AT&T Community Specialist

New Member

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40 Messages

Il y a 10 m

Anyone who thinks an A12 is a suitable substitute for an S8 needs to learn how to read a spec sheet.

This fiasco has destroyed 20+ years of rabid customer loyalty (and as someone who coaches Silicon Valley tech companies in branding and brand management, this is where you should perk-up).

  • AT&T has two huge strategic partners on devices - Samsung and Apple. To schedule the 3G shutdown before or during a major Samsung release schedule is dumb. It leaves people like me out while waiting for announcements, pre-order options, etc.
  • Not communicating well is the big sin. The SMS and paper letters were vague, the AT&T online help gave wrong and changing answers, and the replacement device selection was absurd.
  • The disinterest by AT&T in finding the right answer swiftly was appalling. I have built and led tech support teams, and I would have fired nearly everyone associated with ATTHelp.

Do pass this closing missive to your head of branding operations. It will be better if they get it from you before my letter to them arrives in the mail.

OttoPylot

ACE - Expert

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18.9K Messages

Il y a 10 m

The shutdown of AT&T's 3G network, and when, has been public knowledge for well over a year now. I doubt it AT&T, or any provider, works with the Samsung or Apple on the timing of the OS releases. You could say that Samsung should have worked more closely with AT&T on when the 3G/4G shutdown would happen and timed their release better.

The replacement devices are cheap, no question about that. They did the same thing with the iPhone replacements. But to expect AT&T to offer an expensive alternative for free is ridiculous. AT&T is giving you a free phone to get you thru the transition with minimal interruption of service. If you want a better phone, that's on you.

The confusing information on AT&T's site about which phones will work, and if there is anything you need to do for some of the Samsung phones definitely should have been clearer. But this is also a very dynamic situation, which is changing as it gets close to sunset and AT&T should have been a bit more proactive in disseminating correct and current information.

Nobody is going to pass anything along to AT&T Branding, or whatever the correct department is because this is a public, customer to customer forum only. And outside of the few ATTHelp members who do post and try to help customers, nothing will be sent up the chain from here. Go ahead and threaten all you want but it won't change anything, unfortunately.

GLIMMERMAN76

ACE - Expert

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23.4K Messages

Il y a 10 m

Personally I think Att should have not given anyone a phone.  It's your choice to use a dinosaur for a phone.  It's a free phone and your still complaining.

New Member

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40 Messages

Il y a 10 m

Follow-up: Now that we have concluded that the difference is between the branded and unbranded handsets, we can start getting this right.

SAMSUNG CONFIRMATION: Samsung has confirmed to me that the software patch to enable HD voice was not created for the unlocked/unbranded phone. This was the speculation of many participants here and elsewhere, though it took AT&T about forever to cough-up anything even close to this (and the answer was still incomplete).

SHAMBOLIC CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENT: This isn't about gift phones and such. It is that AT&T botched customer engagement.

  • Planned 3G shutdown for the same month as a new Samsung flagship handset release. This was bad because many folks (including me) who are awaiting S22 specs and availability before upgrading.
  • First direct communication to customers only a week or so ago.
  • Snail-mailed communication only last week.
  • All communications vague concerning dates and options.
  • AT&T "support" and "help" gave multiple contradictory or incorrect answers (heck, one online chat rep said they would replace my S8 with an iPhone).

In short, though the 3G takedown is necessary, the customer engagement  -- especially for a forced march -- has been an endless disaster.

POOR JUDGEMENT ON CUSTOMER NEEDS: AT&T thinks that an A12 is a "similar" phone to an S8.

Here is a comparison of an S8, S9 and A12. Anyone who compares these specs and thinks that an S8 and A12 are "similar" needs to quit their wake-and-bake habit.

https://www.gsmarena.com/compare.php3?idPhone1=8161&idPhone2=8966&idPhone3=10604 

What are the gaps?

  • Physically much larger, and I slip my S8 into my front pants pocket. An A12 will look like I'm smuggling bricks.
  • No Gorilla Glass.
  • Significantly lower screen resolution.
  • Benchmarks 1/2 of the S8.
  • Significantly heavier.
  • Even an outdated USB socket.

In short, the vague AT&T messaging about providing a "similar" phone is bunk, and they should be ashamed of making such a statement. They should replace S8s with S9s if they are giving away hardware. Though I'll transition through the A12 before I get my S22/21 (two migrations when only one should be necessary), the A12 will quickly be gifted as a tablet computer for a grandchild.

CLOSE? I'm going to keep this thread open as there may be more developments. The short of it is that whoever was in charge of the customer engagement aspect of the 3G takedown screwed the pooch. Total SNAFU, and one that cause me -- a rabid AT&T promoter and fan -- to now tell everyone I know to avoid AT&T. 20+ years of customer loyalty shot to (Edited per community guidelines).

(to add insult to injury, I got an AT&T branded spam call last night trying to sell me DirectTV)

(edited)

Fl_retire

ACE - Professor

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2.6K Messages

Il y a 10 m

@guyshomenet2 I have an iPhone 3 and Samsung Galaxy Skyrocket SII. That will no longer work on AT&T’s network come February 2020. My iPhone 6 along with any iPhone 6 released worldwide  in 2014 will work after February 2020. Seems that Samsung was not proactive in adding ability for their phones that were released in other countries or other US cell providers versions. 

New Member

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40 Messages

Il y a 10 m

FL_retire, I certainly don't disagree. No telling if either party didn't want the unlocked S8 to be patched to "encourage" upgrades ... in much the same way that they don't update the OS.

That being said, the Samsung support person did say they would push the suggestion up to engineering and let me know if Samsung does release a patch.

OttoPylot

ACE - Expert

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18.9K Messages

Il y a 10 m

@guyshomenet2 Good luck with Samsung "pushing a suggestion up to engineering".

New Member

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40 Messages

Il y a 10 m

OttoPylot, my expectations of that having any results are very low  ;->

New Member

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12 Messages

Il y a 9 m

What about Samsung a515F? Seems to be some Latin American phone (which I did not realize when I bought it). But it's new and works fine. I don't want a new phone e from tracfone. A) their phones are outdated garbage and B) my phone is almost new.

New Member

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12 Messages

Il y a 9 m

What about Samsung a515F? Seems to be some Latin American phone (which I did not realize when I bought it). But it's new and works fine. I don't want a new phone e from tracfone. A) their phones are outdated garbage and B) my phone is almost new.

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