The Unsinkable brian cork™

Brian Patrick Cork is living the Authentic Life

AT&T and Apple Truth or DARE

January27

I broke this ugly story over Apple and AT&T last year:

exposing the AT&T and Apple DATA leakage scam or, ATT And Apple Battle Over Data Leakage

Life and business are a cautionary tale in terms of what you don’t know is what can kill you.

How many of you on the AT&T network find yourselves holding both an iPhone and the proverbial bag each month with your billing statement data usage fees?

Read on. The first article below discusses data usage and the cost. The author evidently wants to blame Apple and it’s iPhones. He is partially correct, to be fair. If you complain to AT&T they point the finger. Then if you call Apple they point out that the problem is known but Verizon somehow resolved it. Maybe the issue is with CDMA as opposed to GSM devices.

Or, perhaps AT&T simply likes gouging it’s customers relentlessly with excessive data usage fees that expose a critical lack of customer care.

I hope this post helps readers make an informed decision. Read between the lines. Investigate. See the truth. Beware. Don’t tolerate being cheated. Hold everyone accountable as you hold yourself. That’s being responsible.

I dare you.

http://lnkd.in/d73ZZCB : The author and article missed a HUGE opportunity. The real story with all of this is “data leakage”. The problem might be unique to iPhones. Interestingly, Verizon may have fixed the problem that Apple would not, and AT&T does not want to because of the obnoxious fees it generates for the company. You can read more about that here: http://lnkd.in/dWYx6kZ

extiPhone 5s Owners Are the Most Data-Hungry Smartphone Users, Study Says – news.yahoo.com

“It looks like iPhone 5s users are the most data-hungry smartphone owners out there. According to a new study, iPhone 5s users consume more data than those operating on the iPhones biggest competitor– the Galaxy S4– and…”

For perspective, read the related post from my personal blog below from last year:

exposing the AT&T and Apple DATA leakage scam – unsinkablebriancork.com

“or… ATT And Apple Battle Over Data Leakage Brian Patrick Cork heads-up… I was one of those people with a family plan of Apple iPhones on the AT&T network that was getting hammered with the …”

Let’s be part of the Solution.

brian patrick cork

exposing the AT&T and Apple DATA leakage scam

July15

or…

ATT And Apple Battle Over Data Leakage

heads-up…

I was one of those people with a family plan of Apple iPhones on the AT&T network that was getting hammered with the mysterious “DATA leakage” issue.

we were on the 6GB plan but exceeded that by double half way through the month and getting dinged at a $15 per GB clip. I think this has been going on since the introduction of iOS6. AT&T always tries to deny the issue, then blames Apple when pressed. Apple acknowledges the problem and then blithely suggests people switch to Verizon because they also had the issue, but managed to resolve it. Apple just cares about selling iPhones. however, I did speak with a buddy over there and he insists they simply want everyone with an iPhone in their hand to have a great experience. so, why not refer people to Verizon?

here is an article by Steven Rosenbaum, a ontributor on Forbes, that can add some detail and offer solid perspective titled, ATT And Apple Battle Over Data Leakage

“But over the past seven months I’ve found myself inside a massive battle between AT&T and Apple, a battle that insiders tell me isn’t one I’m facing alone.  Apple and AT&T are at war – pointing fingers and placing blame. And customers are footing the bill – absorbing thousands of dollars in ‘leaked’ data charges. It began with the release of iOS 6 on the iPhone 5 in late September of 2012 – and the companies have been at war ever since.”

what is genuinely astonishing about this is the media is not banging the drum and the Federal Trade Commission has not picked-up on any of this yet. the whole scam is clearly roosted within AT&T and their abject desire to rip-off their customers. at least Verizon had the balls and integrity to quietly resolve the problem. and, that effort alone damns AT&T.

in any event, as of today I told AT&T they had to credit back all the penalties (in my case $120) or let me out of my contract(s) so we could jump over to Verizon. they immediately gave me a credit (if you can call spending an hour with some chick in India immediate).

so… call AT&T today at 888-757-6500, and tell them Brian Patrick Cork sent you. do it!

peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

brian patrick cork

Nexus 4, AT&T, and youmail.com

April24

Point of reference: LG Nexus 4, AndroidYoumail, and AT&T, and Google (sort of).

I’m trying something a bit different and unusual for myself, today.

…actually I do unusual things almost daily. however, in this case I am absolutely focused on a vital mission. perhaps the unusual part is the effort means helping Android, kind of.

did you even know there is an “Android” website that is separate from Google?

in any event, as most of you know I am an tried-and-true Apple evangelist, but also diligent about keeping an open-mind and heart around technology. this includes mobile devices, and technology in general.

google nexus 4my current efforts entail the setting aside of my trusted and always reliable iPhone 5.8 and making a go of the Nexus 4.

of course, I was amongst the first to try the Nexus One. It was interesting, but too much work to maintain my standards around efficiency.

Since then I’ve experimented with several other Android device’s to include the Samsung Note and recently the Samsung Galaxy S4. The GS4 just pissed me off because it remains complicated. email is a chore for Gods’ sake. I’ve seen Android phones get better and more powerful over the years, as Google and phone manufacturers pack devices with more and more features.

because Google lets device makers customize Android to suit their needs, Samsung, LG, and others have been adding their own distinguishing features. however, there comes a time when less is more. I’m convinced we’ve reached that time. so, the differentiator comes down to utilization, functionality, simplicity, and possibly elegance.

as much as Apple can be criticized for exerting control over what goes on its iPhones, it wins on simplicity. there are no competing agendas — just Apple’s.

however, I maintained my commitment to being open-minded and got my hands on the Nexus 4. I love it. as least as much as any reasonable human bean can genuinely love a soulless piece of equipment. but, this mobile device is inspired. while this blog post is not meant to be a review – that is forthcoming – the stage was set for my on-going investigation around utilization that has generated adventures, if not hijinks. the Android operating system the Nexus 4 runs is excellent. in recent years the Google-made system has become a healthy competitor to Apple’s iOS system for iPhones.

and, that’s the source and thusly, the standard set-forth of the problem. most Android devices are over-packed with bags of tricks. phones, in general, have become way too complicated for many people to use. in some cases it’s because these custom features work only some of the time. in other cases, you’re confronted with too many ways to do similar things. or, quality control is not a priority, and they don’t play nice with the outside at all.

all of this brings me to my point.

Apple innovated visual voicemail. other companies perfected it. but, Apple remains the standard for simplicity and elegance. however, I wanted a bit more customization, so I researched and went with youmail. it was easy to set-up on an iPhone. I don’t know about phones in general, but, the hearty list of manufacturers (i.e. Apple, Samsung), Operating System (iOS and Android), and service provider (AT&T, Sprint, etc) are comprehensive. in any event, it just works great and I have been content with all of it for roughly four years now.

however, after firing-up my Nexus 4 on AT&T (that was simple and accomplished at the local AT&T Store), I downloaded the youmail App from Google’s ever-more-robust Play Store and tried to set that up. typically this means accessing the phone interface, entering a simple code, *004*3478966996#, and you are good to go. voice messages are routed from AT&T (in my case) to youmail. it has some cool custom features that serve well both personally and professionally that include emails sent to me that allow me to listen to my voice messages in almost any manner that I see fit.

however, all of this failed me with the Nexus 4 in-hand. After repeated attempts I was left with a discouraging error code that haplessly read, “call forwarding connection problem or invalid MMI code”.

believe it or not there is almost nothing about this dilemma recorded by Nexus 4 or youmail users once “googled”, “binged”, or “yahood”. so, I accessed the youmail trouble forum. but, still found nothing. I was, however, encouraged to upgrade my service to a more premium plan. I was skeptical about that, and began to match it with some growing frustration. I initiated a trouble-ticket and “Irish”, a youmail customer service engineer began a ponderous and pointless exchange with me that included instructing AT&T to manually change some settings under call forwarding. NOTE: as it turns out “Irish” can be found on several forums dismissing issues relative to youmail complaints. so, my contact with AT&T and my experiential journey involved two ominous terms – “conditional” and “unconditional” call forwarding. evidently, carrier voice mail is forwarded to youmail through the “conditional” protocol. so, while working with no less than three AT&T customer service representative, and also four technical support people, that was ultimately escalated to a tier-two representative (whom was ironically the least helpful and knowledgable, for that matter), it became clear that no one knew how to solve the problem.

have you ever had the feeling you were the first and only person to have a technical issue when you sought help from customer and/ or technical support?

for the record, I also called LG’s customer service. they manufacture the Nexus 4. a decidedly desultory fellow with a Mexican accent (that was a first for me) came on the line and fumbled around a bit (he could not understand ME). he tried to ask a few questions but lost interest (I kept hearing, “we don’t need no stinking customer services for you, here” in my head) and ended the call with LG taking the position of, “does not support third-party Apps”.

in our socially networked world, should not everyone actually try to work with third-party apps and operating systems? I am now going to try and pull together some engineers that can create a ubiquitous platform. just watch me.

so… at the moment I don’t know if youmail is a problem specifically for or related to Android devices, LG devices, AT&T as a carrier, or just the Nexus 4. I don’t know if the Nexus 4 being unlocked, unbranded, and unsubsidized by a carrier are issues, either. but, all of that might be relevant.

however, I now have the work-around answer for the Nexus 4, AT&T and youmail. I came across an exchange between yet another foreign dude (his avatar picture made him appear like a technical rep with ear phones, and all), that I decided was some foreign exchange student and “Irish”. he had apparently upgraded from an 8gb Nexus 4 to an 16 gb Nexus 4 and youmail was giving him fits (I’m going to speculate, here, that some software changes between the LG manufactured models were the most likely culprit). now… for me that just clouds the issue. however, the not-so-easy solution was evidently to simply access the Nexus 4 settings interface and update call forwarding manually with part of the aforementioned code. how Irish managed to be forgetful of all this during our own exchanges just blows me away. but, the simple fact that even AT&T reps don’t have access to historical and relevant trouble-shotting history, also astounds me. all they will say is, “the Nexus 4 is not supported by AT&T”.

in this case, we have an example of how Chuck Carey’s Collaborate would be VERY useful.

so, I suspect that answers the subsidization issue question.

as I finally wrap all of this up, I sent “Irish” an email attached to my growing trouble ticket with its ever-more cold solution and response trail with the following information:

“You might want to update your forums and FAQs.

I called AT&T again and had them manually update my call forwarding, “busy”, “uninsured”, and “unavailable” with the +13478966996 number.

youmail now appears to work. at least for the moment.

The mystery remains why this is not accomplished by the usual and simpler method of entering *004*3478966996# into your phone and simply hitting “call”. in any event, is this related to Android, LG, and/ or unlocked phones? are you even going to respond to me? or, do I need to upgrade to a premium service just to confirm what I did on my own?

I can’t believe youmail was unable to address all of this with more adeptness unless you are trying to push people to upgrade to the more expensive service. I’ll relate all of this on my blog today for the sake of posterity.”

now you all know what I know (not real… I am way ahead, and with a comfortable margin. but, at least I’m willing to share – and, possibly give you, collectively, a benefit of a doubt).

I do however, suspect that the elusive and shadowily pipe-smoking dog that probably leads the shadowy organization ultimately known as “they” are likely involved.

peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

brian patrick cork

 

lets keep rolling

January7

I get great questions from my reader.

Sometimes I come up with a few of my own.

Why don’t cell carriers provide rollover megabytes?

We pay for data, but don’t always use it each month.

Think in terms of the way AT&T offers “rollover minutes.” So… Why not data, as well? If it’s a good idea for minutes, why not for data?

Maybe the answer includes the fact that AT&T does not offer unlimited data plans – like Sprint. Another reason why I switched. But, behavior like this, on the part of AT&T is driven, in part, by their current relationship with Apple.

This questions exposes yet another nonsensical greed tactic by the, or a, cellular service provider companies.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

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What’s All This About?

"What am I looking at?", you might wonder.

Lots of stuff.

Meanwhile, here, I discuss events, people and things in our world - and, my (hardly simplistic, albeit inarticulate) views around them.

You'll also learn things about, well, things, like people you need to know about, and information about companies you can't find anywhere else.

So, while I harangue the public in my not so gentle way, you will discover that I am fascinated by all things arcane, curious about those whom appear religious, love music, dabble in politics, loathe the media, value education, still think I am an athlete, and might offer a recipe.

All the while, striving mightily, and daily, to remain a prudent and optimistic gentleman - and, authentic.

brian cork by John Campbell





photos by John Campbell

 

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