Thursday, October 26, 2017

AT&T wireless adventure and T-Mobile conversion

Maybe best to brake this down as a timeline:

Try to upgrade my tablet online since the batter is about shot. AT&T appears to have a 10 inch tablet I can upgrade to for about the cost of upgrading the battery in my old tablet but I can not get the order to go thru. keeps telling me my address fields are not filled in even though they clearly are. Decide to just go into the store.

Confirm on website my local store has the tablet and drive into town to get it only to find they do not have them.

I start thinking the website might just not work with Chrome and try other browsers. I get order to go through with IE.

Get email saying the order is pending but should arrive no later than 9/27

Get another email saying the order is pending but should arrive no later than 9/27. Call in and rep says I will have it before Friday. Told if not then I'm cancelling or sending back if comes after.

Tablet order STILL says should arrive no later than 9/27.
Finally had to call in and cancel order then had to go thru 3 reps to cancel tablet line. They also managed to cancel my main line locking me out of the website as well. Took a couple hours to get that back. After that I looked for another carrier. T-Mobile has a deal for those over 55 that was half what AT&T was (2 unlimited lines for $60 + $10 for each tablet) so I decided to move my phones to T-Mobile after 16 years with Cingular / AT&T.

Got to T-mobile store and got switched over after having to call AT&T and scream at the rep that he was not going to talk me out of switching at this point. Except I had to leave with 2 locked phones because to unlock your phones AT&T requires you to fill out form online and then wait for an email to confirm the request and then wait again for a second email with a link to get the code. Second email said it could take up to 2 business days! Second line still had a couple months on contract. They tell me I can't unlock it till I pay off early termination fees but can't do that till after next statement comes out EVEN IF I CALL IN! I'll need to call back after the 13th. And I couldn't login because their site is keyed to the main phone number which is no longer on the account. So I ended up having to buy a phone for second line to keep it online to a phone. And I worried over just what kind of nightmare final bill would come that would need sorting.

BTW being an Cingular transfer my account ID does not work with the AT&T system. It starts wit a 7 which seems to be invalid. So now my phone number is not on AT&T when I call in I have to keep saying representative till I can talk to a person.

Get email to unlock Note 4 and it works so I have 2 phones again. Decide to put tablet SIM in my old Note 8 till figure out what tablet I want to replace it. It tells me it is locked and under contract so can't be unlocked. Get even more worried about final AT&T bill.

AT&T has major outage so thinking that is why my Note 4's signal is so weak.

My Note 4 (main line) signal has been mostly bad the last week+ at house though my new LG K20 I bought to replace the HTC I can not unlock seems to have plenty of signal. Thinking this is why I can not route its vmail to Google Voice. While I was in town I tried to route vmail to Google Voice one last time but it still says servers not responding. Feeling like AT&T must be messing around so I decided to check out the LG V30 people have been raving about. Could be the Note 4 decided to go bad when I swapped the SIM but seemed less likely at that point.

Tried T-mobile site again and still can not register as prime user on account. Call in and rep says problem is a known site issue since 10/8! Ask about LG V30 price. Higher than I was wanting to pay but they are giving away a tablet with it so I go ahead and order the bundle. Seems I had to electronically sign an agreement for them to ship though which I thought might be a problem with the website being broken. Turned out it was 2 docs. First (tablet) went through fine. Second (phone) got the same error as the website but seems to have gone through OK given I got a conformation email.

Called AT&T and they STILL can not give me a final bill and rep said their was an early termination fee pending on the tablet. He is supposed to have cancelled that after seeing the upgrade did not go through. He also thought an installment on my HTC would be added later. One bright spot he told me the user ID on the account so I could get logged onto the site again and pay off the account. From looking at the bill online this month's bill includes the HTC pay off. I paid it off now to wait a couple business days and try to unlock stuff again.

LG tablet arrived but no phone. Checked the web site and says "Estimated to ship 10/20/2017 - 10/23/2017"

Getting ready to call T-Mobile to ask when phone will ship and see phone order is canceled.
Rep tells me:
They have the wrong 4 of my social on file
My card was declined on the phone order and that is why it was cancelled.
It sounds like they tried to charge $800 one time charge for phone but also that $0 was due at ship but he can't tell me which it was.
Can see from Quicken $42.40 was charged to the card on 10/23
Guy keeps saying to call my bank when I ask how to get them to ship the phone. Finally just ask for his manager.
Went though the whole mess again with the manager. Manager could not seem to figure out what happened and passed up to next level.
While waiting on hold for the next level the manager calls me on cell lines to tell me we got disconnected. I tell her I'm still on hold.
Next level says:
The $42.40 is for the tablet.
The phone charge should have be about $80.
Oddly she says my email is right email but at yahoo. No idea how that happened.
If we reorder the phone the "get the tablet free" promotion should still work. But now seems to involve getting a text with a code that has to be entered in a web page.
The phone should be coming now within 2 business days (assuming they have any in stock which there seemed to be a bit of uncertainty about).
I'm now on my account as the prime person but with the wrong SSN. Seems the sales guy put it in wrong. (Or if got messed by one of the many reps.) Unclear if that is why the website was not working but rep on 10/20 call said support ticket was filed for that form not working back on 10/8.
All total about 90 minutes on the call.

I thought I'd try unlocking my Note 8 one last time before setting up my new LG tablet but of course it STILL says it is under contract and can not be unlocked.
Just for the hell of it I submitted one for the HTC which looks like it might go through. BTW I found this info on how to unlock various AT&T phones many even without a sim installed. HTC however requires a sim from another network to unlock it. Fortunately I have the sim the gave me for the Note 8 I can stick in there if the email with the code comes.

Got the HTC unlocked finally. Only took 19 days. OK maybe if I'd worked on it every day I could have got it done quicker but still this is crazy. V30 shipped late on 10/27. Looks like it will be delivered Monday (10/30).

Saw had voice mail on Note 4. Called and had to setup voice mail. Weird call on many levels. Not showing in logs, came in at 11:40 PM and almost a minute of silence. Guessing some sort of automated thing. Tried forwarding vmail to Google Voice again but still getting no response from server error. Will try again after switched to V30.

Got the V30 setup. Just moved the SIM over from the Note 4 and told Google to do its thing then just had to login the apps I needed today. Guess what, the voice mail forwards just fine when the SIM is in the V30. And the V30 shows 4 bars off the amp while the Note 4 is only showing up to 2 on the amp. 1 to 0 off. Speedtest shows about 16 down and 2 up. OK not great but I was getting 10 down and 3 up with the Note 4 on AT&T's network when the Note 4 was getting 2 to 3 bars. On my WiFi of course I'm getting around 75 down and 20 up so that is still the way to go.

Since it was errand day I drove into the T-Mobile store to show them my Social Security card per their request on the 10/26 call. Got to the store and they had no idea how to do this so they called in. Rep then told them I needed a utility bill with my address on it on top of my Social Security card AND driver's license. At which point I basically told them they were insane. I've opened $35K lines of credit with less! As far as anyone can tell me the ONLY reason I'd need the right SSN on my account (just the last 4 actually) is to get me setup as the primary user on the account which I already managed to do by screaming at reps for an hour the other day on the phone. At this point I'm just going to let is slide. If they shutdown my phones I'll just move over to another carrier again. Or just decide I don't need a cell phone.

Got an email from Google Voice that my LG K20 number needed verification to keep it as my voice mail for that phone. Should be simple but it seems the Name ID app that comes on the phone was blocking the call it makes to your phone to verify it is yours. I tried to turn off the filtering but is said I did not have permission because of the whole primary use mess I thought I had sorted. Finally had to kill the app to get around it. Doubly odd when the Name ID app is supposed to be a $4/month add on service which I do not have according to my online account info. BTW I logged into my T-Mobile account just fine and can find no place to sort the permission issue.