This will probably only be of any real value if you have an iPhone on the Three Australia network. On Wednesday last week, my iPhone stopped connecting to the internet via 3G. I kept on getting redirected to the mobile broadband signup page. Calling 3 Support, I was told there was a known outage and it was being treated with the utmost urgency. There was no known ETR, but what can youu do?
I patiently waited through several days with only daily calls to three for a status update. Each time I got the same polite script. If you ever wanted to experience politeness-in-a-can, call up 3 with a problem. Friday night I went out for a couple of drinks and met somebody with a working 3 iPhone. That really got up my nose, since I was still off the air. Though I discovered that Facebook still works. Pretty good evidence that this was not a networking issue, like I had been told.
Finally, I found this thread on Whirlpool. I had to sift through a lot of the regular whining, misinformation, and junk, but managed to understand these two basic facts:
- There is a network-related outage that 3 has acknowledged. If this affects you, all you can do is wait.
- Some (not all) iPhone users have had a service removed from their account by mistake. Getting 3 to turn this back on should sort it all out.
So I called support at 2 am (something like 9pm for the callcentre). First agent I spoke to gave me the same nonsense about the network outage. I pushed a little and got nothing, so I escalated to his manager (politely). Instead of a manager, he suggested an “iPhone specialist” (whatever the heck that is). Getting a hold of this guy, I mentioned that I knew people who had account changes made and were able to get back online. He found the missing service on my account, activated it, and I was back online.
Given the hour, I was keen to get some sleep so I didn’t stay to chat with my specialist, but I do have some thoughts on the whole matter:
- The communication regarding this issue, both internally and externally is horrible. The support staff should have known about the two separate issues. I’m sure that it wouldn’t require a specialist to look at a customer account and recognise something was missing.
- 3 has nothing on their website regarding network outages, even for their regular voice network. That’s a lost opportunity to reduce inbound call volumes.
- Are they seriously expecting every iPhone customer to call in, fight with the frontline support staff before getting put through to a specialist, who may or may not be able to help them?
Anyway, if you’re on 3 in Australia and having trouble. Give them a call, talk to a “specialist” and check to make sure everything’s ok with your account. You may still experience network trouble, but it’d be silly if that was what’s keeping you offline.