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  1.    #1  
    I was an ATT TDMA customer. However, I need a world phone and I have been a long time user of Palm devices so I decided on the Treo.

    I wanted Cingular since I heard their TREO's are unlocked. I live in Northern California (Silicon Valley - Bay Area - just north of San Jose and south of San Francisco). I went into the nearby Cingular store front, the reps were very attentive and also knowledgeable. I purchased the Treo and signed up for voice and data service. The device worked well, but at my home I had no signal, in fact the entire block had no signal. I confirmed with neighbors who had tried Cingular before that there is zero coverage on our street - but a few streets away the signal is very strong. When there is a signal the Treo worked well - very intuitive to use and clear sound etc... Anyway, I had to cancel the service since it was not going to work at my house.

    I signed up with ATT and similarly the people at their local store were friendly and knowledgeable. The unit worked at the house and at the office and most everywhere that I need to go in California. Also, I travel a lot internationally - all over Europe and Asia and I know that ATT has very good service arrangement over there (I use them extensively).

    The Treo is easy to use and set up - in no time I had synced up all of my contact info from Outlook (1,000+ names) and I was able to surf the web - it is slow but it works. Also, I was able to access my email via the Treo - again it is not fast but it does work. It would not replace a LapTop, but it is useful.

    Also, although the ATT Treo is definitely locked - ie it only works with ATT - that is ok, since I need to use the same phone number around the world. In other words, using a local SIM card whenever I am in another country is not very useful, since it would be a different number. Although, international roaming is not cheap it is very useful; I need to be reachable at the same number - this has high value for me.

    In summary, I had no choice - ATT provides the best coverage for me. When they eventually merge into Cingular, then maybe the combined company will be even better.
  2. #2  
    I am also on AT&T in the San Francisco Bay Area. Since the proposed merger and the launch of AT&T's "GSM America" campaign, I roam on Cingular automatically anytime that the Cingular signal is stronger than AT&T's. I am surprised that the reverse isn't true and that you didn't pick up AT&T when you were on Cingular. I thought they had instituted open mutual roaming agreements around here.
    Treo 750 and iPhone.
  3. #3  
    I'm confused. Now that Cingular and AT&T have automatic roaming between all GSM networks, wouldn't your Cingular phone roam to AT&T on your home block? Or was your signal just weak enough so that it wouldn't roam over to Cingular?
    I have the revers problem at my house and my wife's work. The AT&T signal is 0to1 bar so it wouldn't always roam over to Cingular, but when it would... BAM strong signal.

    I just swiched from AT&T to Cingular. I've had AT&T TDMA (And AMPS before that) for over 10 years back before it was AT&T (Cellular one.) I loved Cellular one, it's the best damn wireless company that ever existed.
    My list of complaints with AT&T go on, most are customer service related. Technically, the networks is great with the exception that their GSM coverage is spotty.
    The cons to AT&T:
    Coverage is more spotty than Cingular at least in the San Jose, CA area. Cingular has been around longer here.
    AT&T Customer service SUCKS SUCKS SUCKS. Ask the same question to 4 different people and get 4 different answers. The hold times on AT&Ts customer service line are usuall 20 minutes. And I could never complete a call with them in under a full HOUR. In the last 3 months I had to call back 6 different times to straighten out billing problems because every time someone would fix the problem, they'd do so incorrectly and screw it up further.
    I finally gave up when I asked why my $10 month credit was removed from my bill ($5/month for each ulimited PDA data plan) and I was informed that "You should never have gotten that in the first place so we took it away."
    AT&T= Expensive: $50/month for unlimited PDA data plan. $10 for 300 SMS text messaging (although incoming is free.)

    Cingular by way of comparison:
    Becaue of the way I switched, I had to make a few calls to get my numbers ported over to CIngular. Every phone call connected in under 2 min and took less than 10 min to complete becuase they could do it then, did it right, and the people knew what they were doing.
    Cingular's customer service so far is GREAT, I know that it wasn't always and must have really gotten better.
    PDA unlimited data plan: $20, includes 1500SMS mesaages, 300MMS. Incoming SMS however is part of the 1500, not unlimited like AT&T>

    Last but not least:
    AT&Tws: You get a real IP address on GPRS
    Cingular: You get a NAT (Network address translated) IP on GPRS.
    This spell problems for using PPTP VPN (IPSec is ok) and to Yahoo mail, for example, they think every Cingular customer is coming from the same IP and think they're getting SPAMed.

    So, 1 big win for AT&T in the implementation department.

    Bottom line is that both companies so far have doing a great job. AT&T just pissed me of 6 too many times.
  4.    #4  
    I live in Menlo Park. My experience is both Networks (Cingular and ATT) have blank spots in their coverage and they are not in the same locations - therefore it does not seem that the TREO’s I experienced are automatically roaming across both networks.

    By the way, this may be naive, but how can you tell if the TREO is roaming to a different network?

    Nevertheless, I like the TREO. And the service from Cingular and ATTseemed fine. However, it was ATT that provided the best coverage at my house, my office, and the usual locations I frequent.
  5. #5  
    It wasn't until about the end of May when Cingular and AT&T started the "free nationwide roaming." At which time everyone I knew on AT&T started seeing thier phone on "Cingular Wireless" on a regular basis. It worried/confused us all at first because we hadn't heard about the new plan.
    So the way you know if you're roaming is if you see "Cingular Wireless" when you're on AT&T. If you're on Cingular wireless, the phone will say "AT&T wireless" if it's roaming.

    The phone won't roam unless it get -0- singal from it's primary carrier for about 10-15 seconds straight, then it should pick up the alternate carrier. So if you never hit a dead spot, you'll never see it roam.

    When I was on AT&T I spent about 50% of my time roaming on Cingular. Since I've been on Cingular my phone hasn't roamed to AT&T once that I've noticed. But that's probabally just because the places I spent the most times happen to be AT&T dead spots.
  6.    #6  
    Ok, so I did more checking regarding the networks available and it turns out according to my ATT TREO that only the ATT network is available at my house (in Menlo Park), and it works fine. However, I can confirm that in other locations my ATT TREO is able to see and use the Cingular network, but it stays on ATT Network because it is also available. In other parts where ATT’s coverage is not as good it should be able to automatically use Cingular’s network.

    I do not know why the Cingular TREO was not able to use the ATT network at my home. I tried several times to access any network, but it could not see any. In other areas (ie the office, on the road) it worked well. When I asked Cingular about the lack of coverage at my home, they were puzzled and said that I should have coverage. The only thing that the rep could conjecture was that they – Cingular - had some network problem in Northern California that possibly was affecting Menlo Park and it would be a week or so before it was corrected. Not sure this was my issue since the Cingular TREO should have been able to access the ATT network. In any event, Cingular accepted the return and I got full reimbursement for everything.

    I believe Cingluar’s return policy is 15 days and ATT’s is 30 days. Again, my interaction with both ATT and Cingular has been ok. When they merge hopefully the company will improve more. The TREO is great.
  7. #7  
    I called Cingular last night to ask why my phone wouldn't roam to AT&T when it couldn't get a cingular signal. They told me that it should as long as there is it can not reach a Cingular tower. I said it says "No services, SOS only" which indicates it has 0 Cingular signal.
    I got forwarded to Tech support and I had them re-send the activation package after I speculate that my SIM wasn't programmed right. I doubt this will do anything.
    I think Cingular is not allowing us to roam to AT&T when they should be.
    The Tech support person told me to take my phone to the store if I was still having problems and have them help me figure it out.
    I know the store won't be able to do anything, but maybe I can get more scoop from them.
  8.    #8  
    I was in direct contact with the Cingular people in the store in Palo Alto (El Camino Rd) and they had people that seemed fairly knowledgable, but they could not resolve the issue. I did like their professionalism and their responsiveness. But if the phone does not work in my house it is not very useful. Again, they accepted the return without any hassle.

    I continue using the ATT Treo and have not experienced any dead spots - once it did automatically roam over to Cingular's network and then in the same location it switched back to ATT's network. I have not experienced any missed calls or other problems.
  9. #9  
    Quote Originally Posted by taylorh
    The cons to AT&T:
    Coverage is more spotty than Cingular at least in the San Jose, CA area. Cingular has been around longer here.
    AT&T Customer service SUCKS SUCKS SUCKS. Ask the same question to 4 different people and get 4 different answers. The hold times on AT&Ts customer service line are usuall 20 minutes. And I could never complete a call with them in under a full HOUR. In the last 3 months I had to call back 6 different times to straighten out billing problems because every time someone would fix the problem, they'd do so incorrectly and screw it up further.

    Here's the good news, about the cingulArT&T merger:
    -After the layoffs of redundant people (I.E. customer service), the wait time will only be 30 minutes, until several hundred thousand people churn, thus lowereing the hold time to 15 minutes.
    -Now you can ask 2 different people and get 6 different answers.
    -You will only need to call back 4 times to get things fixed and in that time you will be able to get 16 more different answers.
    -We will consider ourselves blessed to only hold 30 minutes after we try to go to one of their stores.
    -We will get to pay the most for our internet and get the slowest data speeds.
    -And...Now that there's fewer companies to compete for your wireless dollar, your bill will increase $15 month.

    This merger is good for America...
  10. #10  
    I did find out from reading other forums that on Cingular you will never roam to AT&T. Cingular overrides the raoming carrier's alpha tags and replaces it with "Cingular Extended". If you ever see "Cingular Extended" the you know you're roaming on another carrier such as AT&T wireless or TMobile.

    Regarding Cingulartreo's post, I fully agree. The ATTws/Cingular merger is not at all good for consumers. At least with Sprint and Verizon out there we do still have alternatives that will force the competition to constantly improve.
    However, in the case with cingular/AT&T, I think this is a good thing. AT&Tws has been going downhill steadily over the last year while Cingular has been improving. I think ATTws is still the best except for prices and customer service.
    Typical wait time to talk to a CSR rep on Cingular: 1-2 min.
    Typical wait time to talk to a CSR rep on ATTws: 15-20
    Typical time to get issue resolved, option added to rate plan, etc, on Cingular 3-5 min.
    Typical time to get anything resolved (even just asking a question) on ATTws, aprox 1 hour.
    These are all based on my repeated experiences.

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