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BlackBerry Developer: Article

Do Not Buy Your BlackBerry From AT&T

Until they train their store staff with basic competency

I am one of the very first BlackBerry users - I've been one since 1997 when it was first introduced at the annual JavaOne Conference in San Francisco. Since then I went through more BlackBerries probably than even JetBlue founder David Neeleman.

With all the love and around-the-clock use, comes basic maintenance as well, I guess. Recently, the trackball in my Pearl jammed. We called AT&T support, they rushed me a replacement unit, overnight. (After all my monthly BlackBerry charges as a world traveler/CEO run up to $1,500 each and every month.)

So far so good. The packing slip has an order number for the new device they shipped; Your Order#: ORLM-0-15977338.

AT&T's technical support suggested that I should go to an AT&T store to transfer my files from the broken unit to the new one, and set up the new device with my email and account.

I go to the nearest AT&T store, 370 Route 17 North, Container Shopping Center, Paramus, NJ 07652.

A young store employee attempts to help me out - with no luck. He asks for assistance from another store employee, David Torres, Sales Manager, Retail & Business Sales.

David the store employee (who gives me the impression that he has no clue on how to help me out so far) suggests that the trackball of my old BlackBerry is broken therefore he can not transfer my files to the new one AT&T shipped. I tell him, "That's correct, that's why they shipped me a new device, because the trackball is not indeed functioning. However, you can navigate with menu options around and do what needs to get done."

David the store employee argues with me and says it can't be done. I give him a pop quiz and ask him to e-mail me one of the photos saved in the old BlackBerry. He fails the test.

Now I am back at my office. As per the AT&T store employee's request, I must now bring a computer with me back to the store for him to try other options to get me up and running on my new BlackBerry.

I will report back here after my follow up visit to this AT&T store. In the meantime here my advice to all existing and future BlackBerry users: do not buy your BlackBerry from AT&T until they train and give some basic technical competency to their store staff.

PART II
I returned to the store with my office laptop. The same AT&T store employee took about 90 minutes to guide through the installation of BlackBerry software on my laptop, backup and restore the files from my old device to the new one. This process could not be completed. He finally brought a laptop from the back room and finished the installation on his own machine after all. So far I spent a total of four hours, with two trips to the AT&T store.

Here is the bonus for me. The media card I purchased while I was at the store is permanently shuting down and restarting my new BlackBerry in a doo loop.

I can't use my new BlackBerry yet! I must get ready for my third trip back to the same AT&T store...

PART III
A few minutes ago, Jason from AT&T phone support successfully fnished my new device account conversion and installation. Happy days! I am up and running again... By the way, the media card required a quick formating after installation. I will still not change the title of this blog entry, AT&T needs to update and improve their in store technical support procedure book, my experience I went through is not the fault of individual store employees, it is the procedure book they are reading from, IMHO.

-----Original Message-----
From: "Atwell, Jason"

Date: Wed, 18 Jun 2008 10:06:51

Subject: <confirm>test#1

 

Test message from AT&T

Jason Atwell

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AT&T Consumer Data Support

More Stories By Salvatore Genovese

Salvatore Genovese is a Cloud Computing consultant and an i-technology blogger based in Rome, Italy. He occasionally blogs about SOA, start-ups, mergers and acquisitions, open source and bleeding-edge technologies, companies, and personalities. Sal can be reached at hamilton(at)sys-con.com.

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