Joe Ganley
Writing code since 1979
I have been a professional software engineer for over 10 years. I have written many kinds of software, but my particular strengths are interactive graphics applications, compilers and interpreters, and algorithms.

I also enjoy writing, woodworking, and home improvement. Also this.

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Thursday, September 09, 2004

Can you hear me now? Good.

We got new cellphone service with AT&T Wireless last December. The service was terrible: No coverage in many places (including at home), constantly dropped calls, digital garble half the time when we were connected. Eventually, after trying many adjustments to the phone, they suggested we buy a new, multiband phone (GSM and TDMA; our old one was GSM only). Against out better judgement, we did ($100). It arrived unconfigured for TDMA. After spending a total of about 5 hours on the phone with AT&T in three or four separate calls, with them unable to configure the phone for TDMA, their advice was to go to where we were in an AT&T TDMA network and call them from a landline. We were incredulous: You want us to drive around until we're in the right network and then, what, wait on hold for 30 minutes from a payphone? Cathy escalated until she got some upper-level manager (in itself not an easy task), and had a screaming match with him for a while. Eventually, he said, in a huff, "Do you want me to terminate your service right now?" Cathy's answer: "YES!" Clearly not what he was expecting: "Um... oh. (More huffy:) Your cellphone will go dead in 10 minutes." Cathy: "OK." AT&T: "You'll lose your phone number." Cathy: "I don't care." So, they disconnected us and waived the contract termination fee. The next day I returned the AT&T phone for a full refund and went to the Verizon Wireless store and got service and a new phone there. It works perfectly, even at home, and in three weeks it has only dropped one call and there have only been two or three occasions of a few minutes each where we haven't had service. If you live in the mid-Atlantic, don't bother with AT&T (nor Sprint, our prior provider); just go straight to Verizon. Actually, my mother has been pretty happy with Nextel as well, but I'm just delighted with VZ.

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Copyright (c) 1988-2004 by Joseph L. Ganley. All rights reserved except where otherwise noted.