There are some angry ATT customers out there, and rightfully so.
Over the past few weeks, there have been mounting complaints and reports against the carrier about capping upload speeds on its 4G devices, specifically the HTC Inspire 4G and the Motorola Atrix 4G. ATT remained mum on the subject until late last week when a customer filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau.
ATT is focused on delivering a wide choice of solutions and the best possible smartphone experience to our customers. Be assured that ATT has not “capped” the upload speeds on the Atrix 4G. The Atrix 4G is an HSUPA-capable device, and we currently are performing the testing and preparations necessary to ensure that, when we turn this feature on, you will continue to have a world class experience. Please keep in mind, software is only one of many factors that can affect speeds experienced. Factors such as location, time of day, network capacity and facilities, can have an impact as well.
So according to the statement, the carrier isn’t putting a cap on data (we beg to differ), rather it hasn’t yet enabled the HSUPA radio inside the smartphone. HSUPA, which stands for High-Speed Uplink Packet Access, is the protocol that allows for faster upload speeds (up to 5.76Mbps) on your mobile phone.
However, the problem isn’t just that these devices aren’t living up to their 4G potential; they’re actually delivering speeds slower than some of the carrier’s 3G smartphones, which we’ve experienced firsthand. In our tests, the Inspire 4G averaged upload speeds of 150kbps and the Atrix 4G averaged 180kbps in the Manhattan area, while the 3G-enabled
iPhone 4 averaged 850kbps.
The issue has prompted multiple forum threads, calls to the ATT president’s office, and one ATT customer, Zack Nebbaki, has even started an online petition against the carrier for capping its upload speeds.
“The main reason I bought it [the Motorola Atrix 4G] was because it was advertised as being the most powerful smartphone in the market, and I was also getting tired of my iPhone 4. It also advertised 4G connectivity as soon as ATT’s backhaul was in place, and promised the fastest data connectivity on a phone on their network. This latter part has proven to be incorrect,” Nebbaki told CNET in an e-mail.
Nebbaki said after buying the Atrix and getting dismal upload speeds in multiple locations, he called ATT to make sure there wasn’t an outage in his area. There wasn’t, but ATT offered no clear explanation or resolution, so after doing some research on the Internet and seeing that others were having the same issues, he decided to start the petition, which had 870 signatures as of press time.
“There is so much misinformation being touted by ATT that they need to make a public official statement–preferably a promise of support with a date on which to expect it–and hopefully this petition will help them see that they need to speed this along a little bit,” said Nebbaki.
He added that the carrier’s response wasn’t enough. “In my opinion, ATT’s reaction is what you can call ‘PR lingo,'” said Nebbaki. “How can they say that they are not capping upload speeds but they will turn on HSUPA later on. This answer does not make sense to me because doesn’t turning off HSUPA mean that the upload speeds are crippled?”
CNET asked ATT when it would enable HSUPA and why the issue wasn’t made clear to customers from the beginning, but an ATT representative said it wasn’t commenting on the situation beyond what was stated above.
Earlier today, PC Mag posted a story saying that ATT is shamelessly lying about 4G, and they’re right. Though the devices are technically 4G capable, the fact is that they’re not capable right now and the carrier’s advertising fails to mention this minor detail.
With heavy competition among the carriers, the definition of 4G has been muddied, but at least, with T-Mobile and Sprint, we’re actually seeing faster data speeds on their 4G devices.
It would have been one thing if ATT was forthright from the get-go. I’m guessing customers would have been a little more understanding had ATT said that the feature would be enabled in the future because the Motorola Atrix 4G and HTC Inspire 4G are great devices even without 4G, but now they just look shady.
For Nebbaki’s part, he says he hopes that ATT will provide a reason for its actions and make a public commitment to turning on HSUPA on its 4G devices in a reasonable time frame. We’re hoping for the same.
This is a guest post by Shaun. If you want to guest post on this blog, check out the guidelines here.
When it comes to building a successful mailing list, there are a few standard things everyone knows you should do: Give out a free incentive, have your opt in box in a highly visible position, and don’t annoy your subscribers.
Today however, we’re going to look at a couple of the lesser known things you can do to strengthen your list. So read on, and feel free to add any additional tips in the comments.
1. Giving The Reader Something More To Do
If you send relevant emails to your subscribers, you should hopefully peak their interest and get them excited about what you’re talking about. If you do this successfully but then don’t give your subscriber anything more to do once they finish your email, you are effectively losing out on a big opportunity. This person has just been warmed up and is ready to go, so not giving them anything more to read or interact with is a big waste.
One thing I like to do is link to a relevant blog post at the end of each of my emails. Let’s say for example I’m giving a tips on how to increase your subscriber rates in one of my emails. At the end I’d then add a link to my post with further information on this topic, and entice the reader to read on.
There are three main benefits to doing this:
- Building a stronger relationship with your subscribers. You can offer a lot of value using this method without sending overwhelmingly long emails. You’re basically introducing people to a subject in your email, and giving them all the details in your relevant blog post. Giving this much value will mean people learn to trust your emails, and stay responsive to them for a long time to come.
- You get more visitors back to your site. This will increase your site’s page views and get people finding content they otherwise wouldn’t have known about. This can build life long fans, and mean your older blog posts still get regular views.
- You will make more money. If these blog posts you lead them back to have affiliate offers or your own products for sale, you will get a percentage of people buying them if it is a topic they are interested in.
I like to include this strategy in my autoresponder series, as it means people will always have new things on my site to look at. When people first visit your blog and subscribe, most of the time they don’t go through your archives or look at any posts past the first two pages. This strategy will allow people to see your older and lesser known posts that are still as helpful as ever.
It also allows you to set out a clear path, and gets people to view your content in a order it’ll benefit them the most.
2. Delete Non Responsive Subscribers
This may sound like a weird thing to do, but at times it can be beneficial to delete some of your subscribers. I know this goes against what many bloggers recommend, but there is a reason behind this logic. Many bloggers feel that the bigger your list is, the more successful you are. This however couldn’t be further from the truth, as having a list of thousands isn’t worth anything if they don’t interact with your emails. Not only will they not benefit your business in any way, they will actually hinder your business and lose you money.
Think about it, if you’re using a email marketing service such as Aweber, having more people then necessary on your list is costing you money. As most of you know, the more people on your list, the higher your monthly Aweber fee is. Similarly, the less subscribers you have, the less you’ll pay to keep their service going every month.
So let’s say for example you have 3,000 people on your list. You will be paying $49 a month to keep your mailing list up and running, according to Aweber’s current price plan. But imagine 1,000 of your subscribers never open your emails and never contribute to your business in anyway, this will be 1,000 subscribers you could easily delete from your list without it having any negative implications on your business. It will have positive implications however, as deleting these 1,000 subscribers will bring you down to a lower price band. So instead of paying $49 a month, you’ll pay $29 a month and have better list statistics (A higher open rate, more link clicks etc).
So how would you know which subscribers to delete? Well luckily, most email marketing services keep these sort of stats for you. You should easily be able to see who never opens any of your emails, and doesn’t click any of your links. These stats are usually rounded up to give a general rating for each person on your mailing list, and anyone with the lowest rating should be deleted.
Got More Tips?
Both of these methods can help you streamline your email marketing campaign, savings you money and building a stronger relationship with your subscribers. As I’m sure you know though, there are a whole heap of other things you can do to get more subscribers and keep them interactive. So, what email marketing techniques do you use to strengthen your list building efforts? Let us know in the comments below.
About the Author: Shaun is the author of Ultimate Mailing List, a site dedicated to help improve your email marketing campaigns.
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