Those of you who follow my posts know that I complain about AT&T at least a few times a week. I finally called them up today to have a chat about the deteriorating service in San Francisco, threatening to terminate my account, and was informed by the retention department that a tower a 4th and Howard stopped working some time ago. This may be one of the main reasons I'm getting such terrible service because it's the closest tower to me; however, it does not explain failed calls in other parts of the Bay Area. The retention specialist told me that two new towers would be going in at 5th and Shipley on July 31st. She then credited my account $30 for my troubles. If I turn off 3G on the iPhone, I can often make calls without getting the dreaded "Call Failed" screen. Since the Blackberry Bold on AT&T doesn't have a feature disable 3G, I'm out of luck unless I de-brand the device, which seems a bit risky.
If AT&T service is still bad after the new towers go up on July 31st, I'm switching my Blackberry plan over to Verizon[^1] (I'll probably get the Blackberry Tour, since works overseas with its support for CDMA/EV–DO, 850/900/1800/1900 MHz GSM/GPRS/EDGE and 2100 MHz UMTS/HSPA). It will be worth the $175 termination fee to have a phone that can do things like making and sustaining calls without failing. The iPhone will stay on an AT&T plan, but I won't be using it for voice anymore.
**UPDATE, August 3, 2009**: I switched my Blackberry over to Verizon and am loving the call quality and ability to make a phone call. My iPhone is still on AT&T. The new towers are supposed to be up less than a block from me. I am getting 3 bars on 3G instead of 1 bar, but I've already dropped one call this morning. I'll write another update after more testing.
**UPDATE, August 3, 2009**: I am actually fluctuating between 1 bar and 3 bars, even when the phone is stationary. Whatever.
[^1]: When I used to be on Verizon, I would drop about one call every month. On AT&T, I'm dropping a few calls a *day*, and if something happens like WWDC or a typical day's rush hour, it can be difficult to even connect on a single call. Many friends on AT&T have reported similar statistics.