07-10-2013 1:50 AM
09-19-2014 12:18 PM
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.
09-19-2014 1:16 PM
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.
09-19-2014 1:45 PM
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
09-19-2014 2:40 PM
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.
09-20-2014 10:04 AM
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.
09-20-2014 10:26 AM
I've also got this really cool tin hat that I wear around the house as well. It really seems to improve the reception.
09-23-2014 4:32 AM
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
09-23-2014 9:17 PM
It never hurts to try and plead your case instead of just paying up. A discount or possibly even free is worth the effort.
01-27-2015 8:23 PM
I just spoke to online tech support and they are sending me a free microcell. they said my line luckily qualified for a free one. they did not mention what the qualification criteria was, but I'm thrilled nonetheless.
01-27-2015 9:17 PM
I was able to convince AT&T to give me a free Mcell after complaining about poor cell tower coverage in my area two years ago. That isn't the norm as most people purchase new or used Mcells at a variety of prices.
The Mcell needs a DSL or cable internet connection with a minimum bandwidth of 3 Mbps down/512 Mbps up. Wireless or satellite internet is not supported. You will need to connect the Mcell to a modem or router via Ethernet cable and locate it where it has a clear view of the sky so it can establish a GPS lock. Then you will need to go online at AT&T's Microcell website to activate your Mcell.
If you need help, post up!
01-27-2015 9:30 PM
03-16-2015 11:41 AM
I just spoke to AT&T customer service at length on the phone. The representative told me directly that at this time no AT&T customer, regardless of circumstance, qualifies for a free microcell. She also relayed that there is no possible way I can be provided with one unless I pay for it.
Unfortunately that specifically contradicts the reports in this forum. I believe the users who received account credits, or who's 'lines qualified' for a free microcell. I did report this to the customer service representative who only stated in the past there were promotions but that now none exist.
I find it surprising and disappointing that the customer service representative would tell me this. I pointed out that the previous owners had received one free of charge and she admitted only that 'years ago there may have been promotions' but that no such promotions or possibilities of a free microcell exist any longer.
I live in the center of a decently sized town and Verizon has good coverage in my new neighborhood. Based on the inconsistent, possibly dishonest treatment from AT&T and its customer service I plan to switch providers.