While traveling in Australia, the data roaming plan that I added to my account simply stopped working. This became annoying since there isn't ubiquitous wifi in Australia like in the States, and I really wanted to keep up with things at home (like, my family) while I was out and about. The following is the conversation I had with the representative in trying to get my iPhone to connect to the internet via 3g
Thank you for choosing AT&T International Care a representative will be with you shortly. Please note: Protecting your personal information is one of our highest priorities; hence, you will be required to provide account related information to ensure whom we are working with. Data encryption is also enabled to protect your personal information during this chat session. For more information please go to http://www.wireless.att.com/privacy/ or http://www.att.com/privacy/. Please wait for a site operator to respond. All representatives are currently assisting others. Your estimated wait time is 0 minutes and 1 seconds. Thanks for your patience. You are now chatting with Virginia Embrey. Virginia Embrey: Hello! My name is Virginia Embrey and I am an International Care Representative. I’m reading your inquiry and I will be right with you. Owen Winkler: Ok. Virginia Embrey: I will be happy to assist you and I apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you. Owen Winkler: Ok. What do we need to do? Virginia Embrey: For security purposes, would you provide me with the last four digits of the social security number on the account ? Owen Winkler: ****
Virginia Embrey: Thank you, one moment while I review your account. Virginia Embrey: Does it have 3G on the phone right now? Owen Winkler: It does. Virginia Embrey: Can you access the internet at all? Owen Winkler: If I turn on the Wi-Fi connection and am in range of a wifi netowrk, yes. Owen Winkler: But I cannot access data over 3G. Virginia Embrey: What carrier is listed on the phone? Owen Winkler: "OPTUS"
Virginia Embrey: Can you go to settings, then Carriers
Virginia Embrey: Phone will search for other carriers, let me know what other carriers comes up. Owen Winkler: YES OPTUS, codafone AU, Telstra Mobile, 3TELSTRA, 50516
Owen Winkler: Sorry, "vodafone AU". Typo. Virginia Embrey: That's Okay. Virginia Embrey: Select Telstra
Owen Winkler: Telstra Mobile or 3TELSTRA? Virginia Embrey: Telstra Mobile
Owen Winkler: It gave a brief error "A data connection is not currently allowed". When I tried to refresh the page (in mobile safari), it is not connecting. Owen Winkler: Yes, the iPhone eventually times out, saying that it is not connected to the internet. Virginia Embrey: lets try 3telstra
Owen Winkler: Ok, this will take a moment. Incidentally, I tried many of these before, and they did about the same thing. I do not expect selecting 3TELSTRA to work, but will try now. Owen Winkler: "Your selected cellular network is no longer available. You can choose a different network in Settings."
Owen Winkler: The carrier in the top corner shows "No Service". Virginia Embrey: Before we do anything else, lets reset the network. Virginia Embrey: Select Settings, general, reset, reset network settings. Owen Winkler: Ok, there is an apple with a progress bar. Virginia Embrey: Thank you for the information,
Owen Winkler: It's been sitting there with just the apple on it for a long time now. Should this take very long? Virginia Embrey: Sometimes, lets wait a little while longer. Owen Winkler: This trip is a business trip for me, and with my limited personal time here, I'm troubleshooting this issue, and now nervous about making the other features of my phone (like those that are my primary source of my travel details) non-functional. Please bear in mind that my visiting a service location while abroad and away from my backups at home is really not an option. The apple is still on the screen. Virginia Embrey: This is only resetting the network not the phone. Owen Winkler: Ok. Still nervous. Virginia Embrey: I understand. Owen Winkler: It went off for a moment, then came back on. Not sure that this is useful information, but it has now done that twice. Virginia Embrey: Okay. Virginia Embrey: Is the apple still on the screen? Owen Winkler: Indeed, it is. Owen Winkler: It blinked off and came back with the apple again. Virginia Embrey: I'll be right with you. Virginia Embrey: Thank you for waiting. I'll be with you in just a moment. Virginia Embrey: Do you have the phone plugged into a USB right now? Owen Winkler: No. Virginia Embrey: Can you press the home button and the power button at the same time until the apple symbol comes up. Owen Winkler: Ok. I did that. Virginia Embrey: let me know what happens. Owen Winkler: It's just sitting there with the apple on it. Virginia Embrey: I'm sorry for the delay. I'll be right with you. Owen Winkler: It continues to display only the apple. I should note that it has never taken this long for any kind of reset, although I've never reset my phone in Australia, only in America. Virginia Embrey: Sorry, I'm still here. Virginia Embrey: I agree it normally never takes this long. Virginia Embrey: How many signal bars do you have? Owen Winkler: I see only an apple. There are no signal bars. Virginia Embrey: Do you remember how many you had before? Owen Winkler: It varied, but I had no trouble sending and receiving text messages. Owen Winkler: At this point, I would be pleased if I could restore the prior poor (phone only, no data) performance of the phone, since it was at least useful via wifi and had apps (and my return travel itinerary) available. At this point, I would be pleased if I had no phone service and only wifi capability, really. Owen Winkler: Because the phone is currently non-functional, and I have nearly reached the end of time I have available this evening to troubleshoot this. Virginia Embrey: Since a normal reset does not take this long it leads me to believe that there might be an issue with the device itself. Owen Winkler: Well, until I reset it, everything was working fine except for data. I'm not sure what leads to that conclusion. Virginia Embrey: Because the phone is not resetting it keeps getting stuck at the apple screen. The normal reset should show the apple then turn off and then on again, takes normally about 2-3 minutes tops. Owen Winkler: Well. I'm not sure what I'm expected to say to that. Virginia Embrey: Can you press the home button and the power button at the same time one more time, and make sure you hold the buttons down for at least 10 seconds until the apple symbol comes up. Owen Winkler: I held the buttons for 14 seconds. It toggled back and forth between black and apple screens twice during that time. The apple is currently on-screen. Owen Winkler: Still showing the apple. Owen Winkler: The screen went off again and is now showing the apple again, just like before. Owen Winkler: Calls, apps, wifi, and texts were working fine prior to the reset, and now I have a non-functional phone, literally more than 10000 miles from home. I must say, this wasn't exactly what I was expecting when I started this conversation. I was thinking that it might just be a toggle that wasn't set properly in the change of my plan or something, since data was working properly on Monday. Oh well. Owen Winkler: Heh. Nevermind the photos I've taken which are likely locked inside this thing now. Lovely. Virginia Embrey: If you press only the power button does it go back to the apple screen as well? Owen Winkler: If i hold the power button, nothing happens. The apple stays on-screen. I held it for 20 seconds. Virginia Embrey: Thank you for waiting. I'll be with you in just a moment. Virginia Embrey: I apologize for this inconvenience, but nothing that we did today would've done this to your phone unless there was an issue with the device and not just that you weren't receiving your data. Owen Winkler: I don't believe that. I believe that you told me to do something that may have worked within presence of my primary carrier, but not while on roaming networks. Be that as it may, this has taken entirely too long to do, and has resulted completely unsatisfactorily. But I'm completely at your mercy as to what to do next. Owen Winkler: Is there a chance the phone may boot without the sim card installed? Virginia Embrey: Our departments deal with roaming customers and by resetting the network it does not affect your device in this way if there wasn't a problem with the device to begin with. Virginia Embrey: Do you have the usb cable with you? Owen Winkler: I do. Virginia Embrey: Takin out the sim card will actually do nothing. Owen Winkler: What should I do with the USB cable? Virginia Embrey: Can you attempt to charge the phone and see what it does. Virginia Embrey: With either the uSB or an travel charger. Owen Winkler: Providing power via USB produces no change on the phone. Owen Winkler: This, incidentally, was not the case moments prior to this conversation. Virginia Embrey: I'm sorry for the delay. I'll be right with you. Virginia Embrey: I'll be right with you. Virginia Embrey: Give me a moment, I'm contacting another dept for other options. Virginia Embrey: I have not heard from you for a few moments. Are you still with me? Owen Winkler: I don't have a thing that periodically sends canned responses when I'm doing other things, so you'll just have to take for granted that I'll tell you when I've left. Virginia Embrey: I'll be right with you. Virginia Embrey: Thank you for waiting. I'll be with you in just a moment. Owen Winkler: This apple is very stylish. Not as functional as most apps, but I might be able to get used to having just a photo of this logo as my only functionality. Virginia Embrey: I'm sorry for the delay. I'll be right with you. Owen Winkler: Earlier today I was eating fish and chips on a beach, looking out over the Southern Ocean. If I took a boat in the direction I was looking, the first landmass I would have encountered would be Antarctica. Owen Winkler: I tried to send a photo of that to my kids, alas... Owen Winkler: Don't mind me, I'm just waiting. Virginia Embrey: Thank you for holding, unfortunately I do not have any other troubleshooting steps to do. Owen Winkler: Ok. What do I do next? Owen Winkler: Assume the phone is damaged. I don't believe it is, but assuming that's the case, what do I do now? Virginia Embrey: The last step is to set your phone to DFU Mode
Owen Winkler: What can I do from DFU mode? Virginia Embrey: DFU Mode resets your phone to Factory settings. Owen Winkler: Interesting logic here: If I reset my phone to factory settings and it works, then the phone wasn't actually broken at all, and resetting it was a fool's errand. Virginia Embrey: We did not reset the phone, we reset the network
Owen Winkler: No, I'm just saying... If I do reset it now, and after I reset it the phone works properly... Nevermind. How do I factory reset from DFU mode? Virginia Embrey: You will need to contact our technical support department or Apple Care for Assistance for more details
Owen Winkler: Ok, so basically the verdict is no cell phone for the next week in Australia? Owen Winkler: Wait. I'm not already talking to technical support? Virginia Embrey: No, This is International Tech Support, You would need to Speak to Domestic Device Technical Support. Owen Winkler: I'm not entirely sure how to respond to that. Virginia Embrey: I apologize for this inconvenience, was there any thing else that I may assist you with today? Owen Winkler: Ok. This has been an experience. I'm sure that people say this all the time, but after being basically stranded in a foreign country by your company, I'm pretty sure I'm going to switch to Verizon when I return to the States. And although I doubt this matters much to AT&T in the overall scheme of things, I just wanted you to be sure to pass that on to whoever might want to hear it, because I'm surly posting this whole conversation to everyone I know. Owen Winkler: So yes, that's the last thing you can help me with. Pass on this log to your supervisor, and I can go watch TV on my last free day here instead of going out to see a band because you took so long between responses. Virginia Embrey: I'm sorry I wasn't able to resolve your issue. Owen Winkler: I'm sorry you actually made it *worse*. Virginia Embrey: I'm sorry for the delay. I'll be right with you. Owen Winkler: Lovely. Ok. Have a fantastic day! Owen Winkler: I'm leaving now, in case the automated system wanted to know. Virginia Embrey: You do the same. Virginia Embrey: Thank you for choosing AT&T. Have a wonderful day. Virginia Embrey: if you need to speak to an International Care Representative you can always chat with us again. You can also send us an email by logging onto your online account at att.com/mywireless >contact us. Or you can reach us by dialing +1-916-843-4685 while you are outside of the country. Virginia Embrey: Thank you for chatting with us. We value your feedback. Please click the CLOSE button at top right to answer a few questions about your experience with us today. Thank you for choosing AT&T.
Anyway, if anyone at home is reading this, yes, my phone is completely dead. I have a couple of things left to try that are smarter than the average user, but if I wasn't me, but just a regular traveler no friends at my destination, I'd be pretty royally screwed right now. But no worries. Everything's fine. I hope to have this resolved by tomorrow, and am going to relax and remember the day's otherwise fantastic events (as described in the above to poor Ginny).