Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

I'm trying to order a Treo 600 for my next trip to the US. There is a problem processing my web order. I get an email that has a phone number in the US and says, "PLEASE DO NOT RESPOND TO THIS EMAIL AS IT WAS AUTO-GENERATED". I'm still on hold and have been on hold for about over an hour. Soon my phone bill will be more than the cost of the phone.

What's going on when ATT has 1 hr phone queues and doesn't take support question via email. Blah. I'm going to have to get ready to go to a meeting and will lose my place in line.

"Your call IS important to us. We value your business and appreciate your patience."

Well, if you value my business, get more support staff and let me reply to your email! Ugh.

I don't have time for this. I'm hanging up. Bye bye ATT Wireless.


I thought you used Vonage ; )

I knew someone was going to say that. I didn't go home last night. Stayed in a hotel. Was too late to catch the train home.

only an hour - that's not too bad...i think i did two the other afternoon...

AT&T customer service isn't journey - it's a destination!

Calling to "ATT Wireless" using a wired phone. Maybe it's that. That said, support by email usually isn't much better, making you wait days for a reply. The only advantage is you can do something else while waiting...

They have their hands full.

why at&t wireless?

you can get a CDMA model from sprint pretty quickly. does a good job of getting it out to you super-quick.

if you want a GSM version, you can do cingular or, soon, t-mobile.

oh.. and i love my treo 600. i think you'll like it too.

Good fortune. Since it was a toll free number, I couldn't call direct from my room for some reason so I had the operator dial. It didn't end up on my bill. ;-)

I need GSM so I can roam in Europe. For some reason the T-Mobile that I have for my sidekick doesn't roam in Europe. Does Cingular roam in Europe properly with gprs? In particular in Helsinki, Linz, Vienna?

isn't it hella expensive to roam internationally with cingular or t-mobile?

wouldn't it be easier to buy an unlocked treo (does such a thing exist?) and then buy a pre-paid sim when travelling.

I once called sprint customer service on my cell phone, was put on hold for about fifteen minutes. While I was waiting, I called them on the land line, got right in to a customer service rep. Told her that I was still on hold on my cell. She couldn't explain it. I figured it is a way for them to make more money off my cell phone.


das --

"never attribute to malice what could easily be stupidity."

it's hard to believe that sprint would have a policy of screwing over their customers. especially when customer service calls tend to be free.

An unlocked Treo and prepaid SIMs might indeed be an option, but you'd first have to ascertain whether such a prepaid card also includes access to the GPRS service.

Some *prepaid* SIMs only allow voice and SMS traffic, even on the issuing operator's own network. Many network allow GPRS roaming only to *subscriber* accounts, not to prepaid ones.

Telecom Finland (Sonera) claims that they've got a GPRS roaming agreement with J-Phone -- aka Vodafone Japan.
Methinks Joi should take a Vodafone Japan 3G *subscription* and buy an unlocked Treo, to see if GPRS roaming works in the European countries he visits, and tell us about his experience ;-)

A Google search for "unlocked Treo 600" yielded this URL:

No idea whether that shop is legitimate or trustworthy, however.

Oops, one more caveat. There's no guarantee that Vodafone Japan's 3G USIM (Universal SIM) card will work in an unlcoked Treo.
The 3G USIM cards are supposed to be compatible with fairly recent implementations of the GSM SIM card architecture, but that compatiblity with various GSM handsets might well be a hit-and-miss affair.
Attempting GPRS roaming with an Asian 3G USIM card stuck in a US-bought Treo logged on an European GSM network would be truly bleeding-edge stuff ;-)

Always sucks when the opportunity costs outweigh cost of goods. That would have been a very expensive Treo indeed.

and in a true example of media transference, I read about Joi's blog in Seth Godin's article in Fast Company Nov03, cruised to the blog via my OWN Treo600, and am now replying via same Treo600. Some kind of serendipity, I guess. One way or the other, do get the 600 - you'll love it!!

I'm lusting for a Treo600, but I have this feeling they will be available for $100 by this time next year... It looks sweet though.

Oh, and my point was my buddy waited on hold with AT&T customer service for about 1.5 hours.. And never got his issue resolved. Finally we just walked into an AT&T store and waited about 20 mins. Either way it seems like you have to suffer.

The best option (and I know this from personal experience): Always roam outside your country with a Finnish SIM chip. Both Radiolinja and Sonera will issue SIM chips to non-residents and bill you at your home country. No need for pre-paid or its restrictions, and you get the lowest rates and most favorable conditions in the world.

Jim, that's a good point - at least for a Finn like myself ;) But I decided to dig into the costs of calls a little more in my weblog.

In short, both operators (Sonera and Radiolinja) have GPRS working in Finland and Austria and the services aren't that pricy.

I don't know of the costs other operators are charging at the moment, but maybe people could comment on this?

I use my unlocked treo 600 with a sim card from tim (italy) with GPRS that roams nearly everywhere,,4,00.html.

This wait time seems as though it is the norm.
Like everyone else, no resolution to my problem. Three calls later. No wait time less than 30 minutes!!
My next step is to just go into the store and wait 20 minutes or so.....
Then try another carrier...any thoughts?
Too bad,
What a disappointment!!

Does the U.S. bought Treo 600 work in Japan? If so does it matter if it's a CDMA or GSM versions?

Been on hold with ATT for 49:42 minutes this is the fifth or sixth call in three weeks. Called earlier and was told that they could not assist me - would have to transfer me. Transferred me to same number and have been on hold ever since.

2 TrackBacks

Listed below are links to blogs that reference this entry: Holding for ATT Wireless.

TrackBack URL for this entry:

A comment made by Jim Griffin on Joi's website made me do a little study into the Finnish mobile market. Have a look for yourself on the findings. Read More

A comment made by Jim Griffin in Joi's weblog made me do a little study into the Finnish mo... Read More