Monthly Archives: February 2013

Not a technology expert, not an idiot either

As an author of many a Twitter rant about AT&T, I want a pile a little bit more onto the rant heap, however this time it’s not directed squarely at AT&T.

Today was bill paying day. Having received notice that my data usage was at 65% of the monthly limit I decided to check the usage before paying the bill. A quick scan revealed that there was large chunks of data usage occurring at times when I was sleep.  Of course I called ready to issue the standard cuss out.  I got a young lady on the phone from technical support who starts asking.  me do you sign out and kill tasks when you’re done. I told her truthfully sometimes yes, sometimes no which is as it has always been. To see this jump based on typical usage was suspect.  Without swearing for once I made it clear that every time I call the suggestion is that there something I’m doing or not doing that is the cause.  Then we checked a few settings which were five as is, and had a conversation.

She shared that her first bill after getting a smartphone was a whopper because of use of the data network and the unreliability of Wi-Fi in different locations.  She along stated that she uses a task killer App and a data usage App to avoid overage problems. I took down the info, thanked her from the recommendations and ended the call on a pleasant note. Sure AT&T is involved as my service provider by my ream rant is against all the service providers, manufacturers and advertising agencies that have sold us the foolishness that is the smartphone.

When I think of a smartphone or a smart anything my belief is that this smart thing is an expert at what it does. In the case of the smartphone, my expectation is that it makes expert calls, texts and data. What I’ve found, even with my previous iPhone is that they all do plenty of stuff. Some tasks are completely expertly, some average and some poorly. Sure I can talk and text at the same time but every day a call drops. I can look things up on the internet bit sometimes its painfully slow.  Texts don’t always come through and sometimes the phone shuts off without it being touched.  Sure their are many factors that contribute to performance like the speed of or traffic on the network, concurrent processes running on the phone, the operating system and so on. The point is the phone is only as smart as the environment it operates in whether its the knowledge level of the user or all the outside factors delineated above.  As a consumer I look at commercials and hear folks talk about all of the magic that is a smartphone and I want to experience it. These phones aren’t magic.

Providers, manufacturers and advertisers how about getting together and crafting sine disclaimer language? Something to the effect of “this phone is magic, but only inthese situations.” Doing so would temper expectations,  ease nerves, and prevent folks from getting cussed out.

This post was written on a phone with a Wi-Fi connection and mobile data turned off.


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