I want to SCREAM...!

Scream NO MORE My story .. My daughter asked me to get a cell phone with text messaging for me as her 2010 Christmas present. So, after all these many years of just a voice cell phone, I went down to my local AT&T service provider store in Longmont, Co and spent more than an hour with a very nice salesman, asking many questions, checking out several phones and phone options. I decided to upgrade and buying Apple's newest iPhone 4. The salesman strongly suggested I get a clear plastic stick on protective film for both sides. Seemed logical, so along with a few other discounted upgrading plan accessories and the iPhone 4, I purchased the protective film. The salesman carefully installed this protective film on both sides of the phone and also transferred all my contacts over to the new iPhone 4.

Once home, I quickly discovered that on making phone calls, the calls were routinely barely going through, getting dropped or just failing to go through all together. I could just sit there and watch the signal bars go back and forth from no service to 4 bars in a AT&T 5 bar rated service area. After a few days of working and obsessing with this I resolved to return the phone to the AT&T store as dysfunctional and just go back to my old Nokia flip phone.

I happened to talk with a friend before getting to the AT&T store. He suggested that I first go by one of Apple's retail stores in the area to see what they could do. I dropped by the Apple store in Cherry Creek Shopping Center in South Denver Metro area. After a half hour wait (Christmas rush), I got to explain the problem I was having with my new iPhone 4 to a Apple Tech Customer Salesperson. He explained that my home service area was definitely questionable but he would check out the phone. He ran some diagnostics on my phone's SIM card. Finding nothing wrong, said the best he could do was to swap out my iPhone 4 for a brand new iPhone 4. Forgetting that, just days earlier, I had paid for a clear protective film (it's clear, you can't see it once on the phone) on my dysfunctional phone, I said yes to his offer. So.. at no charge and while keeping at least 20 other Christmas shoppers waiting, the rep set me up with a new iPhone 4 and transferred my contacts over to the new phone.

On the way home I realized I had a new iPhone 4 without the clear protective film on it. So I stopped off at the Boulder, CO AT&T store and told the representative there my tale of woe. He proceeded to sell me a package of new clear protective film for $32.50 and his manager put the film on the phone for me.

When I got the phone home, it had the exact same signal problems. I was now resolved to take the iPhone 4 back to the AT&T store and cancel the contract. But.. I had discovered some redeeming qualities on the phone and felt I needed to check out signal boosters on the Internet. During this process, I stumbled across tons of comments from other iPhone 4 users out there with the same issue and they discovered what the problem was, that it was a major design flaw in the iPhone 4 and was easily correctable. It was a design flaw that the whole industry had known about from shortly after the introduction of the iPhone 4 a year ago. Seems that the iPhone's cell antenna is located in 3/4ths of the outer metal frame and the phone's WiFi antenna is located in the other 1/4th of the metal frame. The two different metal frame antennas are separated by a thin 1/16th inch spacer on the lower right and left sides of the phone. If a user picks up the phone to make or receive a call, their hand will inevitably touch both of the antennas at the same time and create a sort of short, causing the number of bars represented on the face of the phone to drop to 0 (no service). Remove your hand from this area and the bars return to full count.

Now the first AT&T salesmen must have know this, the Apple Store rep must have known this and the final AT&T store rep must have also known this. This conspiracy of deception has caused me to loose a lot of time and needlessly swap phones and needlessly pay for second protective film. I am disputing the charge for the second package of protective film and shame on all of them. Someone owes me $32.50 and an apology at the very least.

Related gripe: 3G MicroCell

Jim Turner
InQuest LLC
2051 Big Thompson Ave
Estes Park, CO 80517-2195
If you have a pet peeve and would like to vent it here, just send me an email and maybe I'll post it here.
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