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AT&T Asks Its Customers to Become Unpaid Network Testers

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C'Mon with the article title...

SockMonkey

Dec 7, 2009, 11:39 AM
AT&T doesn't have a way to report outages...people complain...AT&T then comes out with a way for you to report outages...Phonescoop uses the title "AT&T Asks Its Customers to Become Unpaid Network Testers"?????

Get real...they're damned if they do, damned if they don't !!!!

I'm not a fan of AT&T myself, but I know AT&T bashing (like Microsoft bashing) is all the rage these days...I didn't think Phonescoop would stoop to that level.
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AshDizzle

Dec 7, 2009, 12:08 PM
I'm usually impressed with Phonescoop's professional, unbiased ways of reporting articles. This is disappointing.

Customers don't HAVE to do this, no one is forcing them. It's simply giving them more options.
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bluecoyote

Dec 7, 2009, 12:16 PM
"VZW asks customers to be well lubricated with new ETF.."


But seriously yeah Phonescoop... way to take a positive and view it glass-half-empty.
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AshDizzle

Dec 7, 2009, 12:19 PM
Engadget has always been known to have wise*** remarks on their headlines, seems like PS is trying to do the same thing.
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JeffdaBeat

Dec 7, 2009, 2:18 PM
Right...but if we wanted the smart*** titles, we would just go to Engadget. I think one of the biggest reasons why I come here is because there is no obvious favoring of one device, manufacturer, or network...
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MrGoofball

Dec 7, 2009, 3:34 PM
You are forgetting something. Phonescoop has a past history of being extremeley anti ATT. Or am I on the only one that remembers Eric's hissy fit in the att forum because of something about a year and a half ago where he said he was a super hero and was mad he pulled his phonescoop creditials and didn't get special treatment over overseas roaming?
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Eric M. Zeman

Dec 7, 2009, 7:07 PM
Please remember that Eric Lin does not equal Eric Zeman We are two totally different dudes. Eric Lin DID have a problem w/overseas roaming no doubt, but that doesn't have anything to do with AT&T's network performance in the U.S. (which is what this article is about).
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MrGoofball

Dec 8, 2009, 12:39 PM
Yeah I know there are more then one Eric on the PS staff. I just couldn't remember the last names. Wasn't saying both instances were you. Why I said this site not this person.
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Rhino1

Dec 7, 2009, 12:22 PM
At face value (IMO) it does seem to have a bit of a negative slant, but it is what it is. That aside, it remains to be seen how many iPhone users will D/L the app in the first place, then if they will remember to use the app to report problems.
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Vipermad

Dec 7, 2009, 1:36 PM
And, as importantly, will the data be used!?!?!?!


Doubling an ETF....that demands lubrication! No good for the end-users could possibly ever come from this stunt.....whereas

Making a tool available to the users so they can report dropped calls and the like (saves me from having to call 611) needs no lube! At least this has potential to be a good thing. Smile
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Drew6335

Dec 7, 2009, 3:15 PM
I think everyone should note the word "ASKS" not "TELL"
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Azeron

Dec 7, 2009, 5:20 PM
I am certainly not an AT&T apologist. In fact, I would have an iphone if I did not have to go to AT&T to get one. However, this is a great move by AT&T! It's proactive and a nice PT move as well.
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Rich Brome

Dec 8, 2009, 11:56 AM
Other networks have real-life network test people who are paid to drive around mapping dead spots. Hey, I think they even have a TV ad about that. Wink

No seriously, I'm sure AT&T has paid network testers, too. I'm also not going to get into which network is actually better. That's not the point.

The point - if you ask me - is the expectations that each company is setting.

One company's messages is "we have an army of engineers constantly testing our network so you can simply rely on it when you need it." The expectation is that the network should "just work"; it's the company's job make sure of that.

Compare that with AT&T's message here, which seems to be something less. It's like they're trying to lower consumer exp...
(continues)
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bluecoyote

Dec 8, 2009, 1:31 PM
This app gives AT&T the ability to measure if its own network metrics line up to that of their customers. AT&T isn't even the first network to do this- Sprint used to ask you to call in to confirm a dropped call.
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Rich Brome

Dec 8, 2009, 1:43 PM
I don't understand the need for that. Shouldn't an engineer driving around with a trunk full of test phones provide better and more consistent data?

If there is a need for data from actual end-user phones, it could and should still be automatic. They could bake it into the firmware of all feature phones, at least.

By making it optional and manual, they're only gathering data from a subset of users - the ones who get satisfaction from providing negative feedback - and it seems to me the real point is just to satisfy (shut up) those users.
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bluecoyote

Dec 8, 2009, 2:12 PM
AT&T already does have people who test/evaluate their network who are paid.

AT&T already knows automatically if a phone call is dropped.

All providers do. But it's only two metrics- AT&T is essentially crowd sourcing- so they have an entirely different sample to compare data too. In many cases it will likely be redundant, but in every instance where it's not the case it allows AT&T to focus more attention in an area that's generating a high number of complaints that might've ranked lower for improvements.

It also allows for things such as data failure/issues, which are not always so clear cut.

So they've now created an easy way for people to send in network feedback compared to their competition (which involves dialing 611 and...
(continues)
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insider.

Dec 8, 2009, 2:49 PM
....but YOU don't know what AT&T is doing with the data?...so you ASSUME that if gives users a "false security" and a way for AT&T to "shut up its users".

What if they are using it to move those areas most reported to the TOP of the list for network enhancements and or/repairs?

Wouldn't that be useful?

Or maybe we should assume it does nothing like Phonescoop obviously does ?
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Rich Brome

Dec 8, 2009, 2:53 PM
I didn't say that. I don't assume that at all.

In fact, I do assume that AT&T is collecting and looking at the data.

I just suspect that was not their only motivation for creating and promoting this tool to the public. (They could have just released it to employees, for example.)
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Disrespect

Dec 8, 2009, 1:33 PM
Thanks for the better explanation of what I was trying to say, especially the part about the elevator... Wink

False hope, which is low but I say nevertheless its brilliant. Because all of this stuff is mind control. Its consumer confidence which plays a huge role and customers and potential customers, ask Sprint.
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AshDizzle

Dec 8, 2009, 1:36 PM
Something I think people have been overlooking about this app is something that AT&T's network team can't test: people's perception of the network. Drive tests and other independent network tests conducted for AT&T show dropped call rates and other network failures continue to fall, yet on forums and blogs people continue to bash the network.

With this application, AT&T can compare people's perceptions of what is happening with what their real reports are giving them.
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Disrespect

Dec 9, 2009, 9:24 AM
and let me guess who would you believe, the paid tech's reports or some pampered customers report that are probably biased just to get even better coverage even though there nothing may be wrong?

yeah thats a no brainer. Customers tend to lie, we know that by working in customer care.
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flagrantmisuse

Dec 9, 2009, 10:41 AM
agreed. customer's do lie. which even i as an att employee are sceptical of this feature. i dont understand why it's not being released to all smartphone users. for those with data plans, their arpu is the same if not higher than those with iphones due to the enterprise bundles. i just see a huge hole in their logic for releasing this app.
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