So…the iPhone and AT&T. Match made in .. who knows..
Back in 2007 I bought an iPhone 2G (a 4GB). I was on T-Mobile at the time, in PDX. I unlocked it and ran on T-Mobile for a while worked fine, moved to Madison, WI where T-Mob is non existent, so I switched to AT&T, at the same time I got an iPhone 3G. When the 3GS came out, I upgraded to that. Emily got the 2G phone when I got the 3G, and she used that until it died (wouldn’t charge anymore), and once I had the 3GS, she got the 3G.
Along comes MMS.. only works on 3G and higher.
Now, me on my 3GS, it worked right away, no issues. Emily on the 3G though? No dice. Wouldn’t work at all, so what did I do?
1) Made sure the phone had the carrier update – yes
2) Made sure MMS was turned on? – yes
3) Reloaded software, and restored from backup – yes
4) Reloaded software – fresh start – yes
5) Emily went to AT&T to check, they said she was on wrong data plan, changed her, MMS still not working
6) I went to AT&T and told them it has to be something with that specific # on my family plan account, they said no, its the phone or software, I said “bull$h!t” and left.
7) Put my own SIM card in the 3G phone. MMS worked! Awesome. This rules out the phone hardware and software – so the CSR from step #6 was completely wrong.
8) Called AT&T, told them the last 7 steps, but told them I think it is something to do with the phone #/account being on a 2G phone and not upgrading properly to a 3G in their system. She didn’t believe me and said it was the SIM card.. like #6 I called BS but went along with their advice, they sent me a free SIM card replacement.
9) Waited 3 days for SIM, put in phone. Need to activate – called AT&T again, took CSR 30 minutes to activate. She didn’t believe me when I told her she would need the SIM card info to activate it – doh.
10) Told CSR from step #9 the history of step 1-8 and she insisted it wasn’t the account. She had me test steps, etc, etc, etc for about an hour before basically giving up. I kept telling her “It isn’t the phone. It isn’t the software. It isn’t the SIM. It isn’t the network. It IS SOMETHING ON THE ACCOUNT!!!!.
11) CSR from Step 10 wouldn’t believe but before giving up sent me to tech support. Tech support dude FINALLY was like .. yeah, I see it here, that 3G phone is registered in one of our messaging systems as a iPhone 2G, restricting it from sending MMS.. should be able to fix.. he tried, but said sometimes it takes up to 5 days to go through, so now I wait until next week..
Really AT&T? The two CSR’s at the stores (different stores, etc) and then 2 on the phone, and no one would believe the actual problem. I needed to get on the phone with a FizzBuzz CSR (a CSR who you say the code word FizzBuzz to and they automatically know what you are talking about and won’t waste your time telling you to reboot and try settings you already tried about 100 times)
Figured I would blog this as searching Google (which I did about 20 times) on this issue didn’t warrant anything. Hopefully some pour soul that is encountering the same MMS issue on a iPhone that was upgraded through the different versions will stumble on this. One thing that blew my mind was that the AT&T Tech Support guy was like “this is the 4th one like this today I have had to fix” – which to me says “why don’t the first level CSR reps have this info somewhere they can find when troubleshooting MMS issues”..
In any event, we will see come next Wednesday if it works. I told the Tech Support dude to make notes in my account because no way in hell am I waiting and going through over an hour of troubleshooting to get this to work again. I told the CSR from step 10 that I would just cancel the number and add a brand new one to fix it since they couldn’t – and I bet a dollar that it would have worked.
People say “I can’t wait for AT&T to be on Verizon”, but I don’t think it would be much better. The huge multinational or crazy big corporations just can’t deal with customer service issues in a good way, I think they are just *way* to big.