In one of life's supreme ironies, AT&T today posted an iPhone app that allows you to report substandard service. That's right folks. Got a dropped call? No reception? AT&T Marks the Spot [iTunes link] is designed to get that info to your favorite cell company so they can act on it.
Let's see... I don't have any reception, so I pull out my new AT&T app to notify them of the problem. Doh! No reception to do that. And the app even nicely brings up a GPS map showing where I am. The GPS signal is much more reliable of course.
Look, I know AT&T means well, but the app is a tacit admission that all is not well on the AT&T network. I know you could travel to someplace with good reception, and send the data to them, but I think this app will rub salt in an already sensitive wound. [As readers point out, the app is designed to queue up the error reports and send them later when coverage is available. -Ed.]
This reminds me of when I worked at a PBS station many years ago in Ohio. We had pretty weak reception, and the Station Manager decided to do an hour long program to tell people how to adjust their antennas if they couldn't receive us. I tried, and failed, to convince him that the very people we were trying to reach couldn't see the program. My pleas fell on deaf ears, so we did the program and great hilarity ensued as the local press chewed us up for our stupidity.
AT&T says they will acknowledge the report with an SMS (
and I assume not charge for it the SMS messages are listed as free) and I truly hope that they use the information they get to improve the network, because if it is just a PR stunt it is likely to backfire. There are already reports of people sending reports and not getting any acknowledgment. Oh well.