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Even Sheriffs Have Cell Coverage Problems Yet AT&T Mines Twitter for Unknown

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by hearit

hearit's picture
In The News

It ain't just regular AT&T Wireless customers experiencing cell phone coverage or customer service problems with the mobile provider: it seems not even sheriffs or law enforcement can get trouble-free calls--just ask Jackson, Wyoming Sheriffs in Teton County.

If you're needing law enforcement, the Teton County Sheriffs Office in Jackson, Wyoming, dispatch may be having a problem with that call. The Teton Sheriffs' Update for Dispatch says: "We are experiencing quality(static)issues with AT&T cell & long distance calls. Contact made with Qwest & AT&T in attempt to remedy."

Apparently those attempts to remedy AT&T cellular problems haven't proved so fruitful for the Teton County law enforcement: the Jackson-area Sheriffs' Office web site still maintains the AT&T coverage for the cell phone calls on its site's home page. The problems seem to have begun in late October but AT&T problems don't seem to be fixed.

Ironically, and following the Teton County update about AT&T cell issues, AT&T Wireless has been simultaneously taking to Twitter--as the wireless provider "mines" the site for supposedly unknown customer service problems that require awareness. The Twitter route, by the cellular provider, began after Comcast's use of the Twitter site--when Comcast began attempts to publicly address customer service problems months ago.

AT&T doesn't seem to be receiving the same increase in public relations that Comcast attained: the AT&T cell provider is still considered as pretty much "bottom of the barrel" by many mobile phone customers.

AT&T is now using the Twitter service to track physical location of dropped call issues--the cell provider claiming that AT&T now has specially-crafted "tools", to specifically help the wireless company target cellular network quality issues. November 2010, AT&T Wireless claims use of two levels of filters by the provider, the company claiming it's finding related "tweets" by its frustrated cell customers.

AT&T says it's tapping into the programming interface tools which Twitter makes freely available--then using a general set of queries to pull in every "tweet" related to AT&T's mobile service. A second, more rigorous set of rules--developed by the cell provider's algorithm--then further filters to find "tweets" relating to AT&T Wireless customer service quality, like tweeted messages containing words or phrases such as "call dropped" or "3G."

The cellular provider claims that this new automated Twitter method has been around 90 percent accurate at identifying genuine complaints, according to company research--that Twitter involvement is helping the mobile provider identify cell problem areas which it says are (supposedly) never reported to customer service. The cell provider additionally lays claim to the idea that its Twitter involvement is supposedly beating "traditional" problem complaint avenues the company uses. AT&T Wireless claims that its Twitter involvement beats phone calls to AT&T Wireless or other contact methods, by an average of 20 minutes.

Interestingly, AT&T's fancy new Twitter algorithms and internal company research don't quite seem to be matching up what the rest of the world--or AT&T Wireless customers--may be experiencing as reality: there doesn't seem to be any significant jump or increase, shown in studies, that there's a boost in cellular call quality or company customer satisfaction.

In other words, AT&T customers don't really seem to be any happier than before the Twitter "tools" the company is claiming have been so vital.

AT&T Wireless' newfound "love" for the Twitter site, and supposed customer "outreach" by the cell provider, follows the "hate campaign" for the cell company that hit last year--ironically, on Twitter. The Twitter web site was set ablaze in mid-2009, with anti-AT&T complaints, comments and banter sent via tweets. AT&T cell phone customers were complaining in droves--posting tweets by the thousands, about the facts that AT&T was offering no iPhone 3G S subsidy for its then-current iPhone customers, no support for important new features like MMS and tethering, and a lack of customer service which was accompanying the new iPhone launch at mid-year.

AT&T Wireless' new filters and use of Twitter--to "source out" or find frustrated cell customers doesn't seem the necessity that AT&T's making it out to be: the cell company only needs to peek around any corner, to find irate customers.

Perhaps the wireless provider should also consider the fact that it doesn't need to tap into resources for "unknown" problems when so many are well-known by the company--just ask the Teton County Sheriffs in Jackson.


Teton County Sheriff's Office - Jackson, Wyoming
180 South King Street PO Box 1885
Jackson, WY 83001
United States
Phone: (307) 733-4052
Fax: (307) 732-7131
43° 28' 39.54" N, 110° 45' 38.2464" W
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