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Persistent Data Problems Frustrating Straight Talk and Other AT&T MVNO Users

Over the last month I've noticed a big jump in the number of StraightTalk AT&T users reporting data issues in online forums such as XDA-Developers, HowardForums, AndroidCentral and the StraightTalk Forums. The issues include very slow data, browser timeouts, or more commonly, no data at all in spite of being in a strong signal area. Here are a few of the forum threads:

Straight Talk AT&T Data Issues Since August 13th - HowardForums

Straight Talk Data Issues - XDA-Developers

Straight Talk has upped the ante on throttling users! - Howard Forums

Data issue with Straight Talk vs T-Mobile PPD - AndroidCentral

****Very slow Data speeds on Iphone 4***** - Straight Talk Wireless Forums

iPhone 4S Data ploblem. Full bars no internet! - Straight Talk Wireless Forums

While the majority of the trouble reports seem to be from StraightTalk users, H20, Red Pocket and other AT&T MVNO customers also seem to be experiencing the same issues, suggesting that the problem is with AT&T rather than the MVNOs. However AT&T's own prepaid customers don't appear to be effected.

When the no data bug strikes, turning Airplane Mode on and off or taking the phone's battery out for a minute or two usually fixes the issue temporarily.  If that doesn't help, calling your MVNO and having them do a "data reset" seems to provide temporary relief. If you're calling Straight Talk, I recommend using the Miami based "Executive Resolutions" number (305-715-6500) for best results.

Neither AT&T or Straight Talk has officially acknowledged that there is an issue although some Straight Talk customer service representatives have told callers that the issue is caused by AT&T updates of one kind or another.

There are lots of theories as to the cause of the data issues including AT&T DNS server problems or AT&T giving priority to its own users at the expensive of MVNO customers. I suspect that it's a bug somewhere in the network infrastructure that's proving difficult to fix.

If the issue is effecting you the best way to get it fixed is by being vocal. When your data is down call your MVNO, complain about it on social media including mobile user forums, Twitter, your MVNO's Facebook page (click here for a list that includes all the MVNOs Facebook pages) and in comments to sites like this one that are covering the issue.

20 comments:

Comment Page :
  1. Straight Talk facebook page has a ton of complaints about this, but no press release from Straight Talk.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I wouldn't expect a press release but an acknowledgement of the issue on their forum and Facebook page would be nice.

      Delete
  2. HELP? Straight Talk facebook reps keep telling customers that Straight Talk has a phone called the Samsung Showcase that runs on Verizon. But no price and nobody has seen it in any walmart or on there website. Can you get a straight answer from them. Please

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Samsung Showcase is a Galaxy S variant with a 4 inch screen and 5 MP camera. Specs are here.

      Tha Showcase has been rumored to be coming to Straight Talk since at least May. Probably hung up in Verizon's notoriously slow device certification process.

      The fact that Straight Talk reps are still talking about it is a good sign, indicating that it's probably just delayed rather than cancelled.

      Delete
    2. Dear Anonymous
      I'm sure you have found this info by now but invaded you haven't, A Walmart store here in Anna, IL area code 62906 sales the Verizon Samsung Galaxy S for $250.00 right now

      Delete
  3. I like the verizon service I get on my Proclaim but would love to have a better phone.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Not to change the subject guys, but I would like to throw another idea on what might be causing these issues. I am currently with Verizon (Post-Paid) and am using an LG Lucid 4G. I was using the Droid Bionic for about 3 months and loved the phone itself, but had some major data drop issues ALL THE TIME. Verizon sent me out 2 more Bionics the second month and 3 new 4G LTE SIMS with NO luck. When I went to research on Droid Forums online what I found out was that it wasn't only the Droid Bionic having these issues, But numerous Verizon 4G LTE phones. When asked back and forth on what and how can cause all these data issues, No one knew, and Verizon will NOT explain at all. Even when asked directly.
    I have the LG Lucid 4G now, so I will see if this 4G LTE phone will have the same issues to come. My mother-in-law who is with AT&T has also been having some serious data issues with her smartphone as well lately and its getting worse day by day. There has even been a couple of times lately where when even trying to place a call, I am unable to until about the 5th try. Sometimes 2-3 min later. One time I had to power down the phone and back on. Again, this too has been happening with my mother-in-laws AT&T smartphone a couple of times now in the last 3 months. On top of the data drop issues. So far the only solid explanation I have come across so far that could explain these Wireless Communication issues is "Increased Solar Flare" activity we have been having the past 12-14 months. Now I know some of you are going to say "Hog Wash", but again, this is what I have come across from researching all possible explanations. So just thought I would throw that out there. Anyways, I really hope Straight Talk gets this solved, cause I send them alot of business based on their BYOD program. Its the BEST deal out right now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sean, the explanation of "Increased Solar Flares" is very possible. These 'solar flares' may very well impact ALL our lives, in the near future.

      For anyone interested in understanding what they are, see this article: http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2012/mar/08/solar-storms-continuing-to-hit-earth

      Waving from the Jersey Shore

      Delete
  5. Yea, my service goes out completely a few times a week. I thought it was because my phone was jailbroken. It was jailbroken specifically and only to switch to Straight Talk. Kind of disappointed over here...I would have simply stayed with AT&T for $95/mo with reliable service versus $48/mo with half the reliability. I guess you get what you pay for....should have known SOMETHING was up if straight talk uses AT&T's towers...they're not gonna roll over that easy - I'm sure this migration of AT&T iPhone users was WELL anticipated. We'll see...

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  6. Here's another thread covering the issue: http://www.straighttalkwirelessforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=6803&t=65351

    Thanks for keeping an eye on this!
    -MG

    ReplyDelete
  7. ST service is terrible. I have encountered dropped calls, missed calls (even when others are receiving their calls), text that I have sent arriving to the recipient days later or not at all, etc. Get a real service - PagePlus. I am porting my second line from Straightalk line over to PP. I have been using PP for 7 months now, the service and coverage is great and the price is fantastic - $29.95.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Page Plus has good support and pricing and uses the Verizon network which is the best network in many places.

      You problems with Straight Talk were network issues with the particular network (Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon or AT&T) your Straight Talk phone was using. A Straight Talk Verizon based phone would have provided the same level of service you are getting with Page Plus

      Delete
    2. I wish I would have knew that before I purchased that crappy Straighttalk/ Sprint phone. I moved on, but if anything goes wrong with my Pageplus accounts, I will consider Straightalk. Thank you for the information.

      Delete
  8. Is this AT&T data issue still going on (November 25)?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't think it's completely fixed but I've been seeing far fewer reports of issues lately.

      Delete
  9. I put my iPhone 3GS on Straight Talk and have had the same problem twice. First time I just switched to a Straight Talk branded phone and asked them to send me a new sim. Everything worked fine for 4 days now it has dropped again and Straight Talk tells me I have to jailbreak in order for this to work. I know this is not true cause it worked to begin with.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's not necessary to jailbreak to get data working on an iPhone. They setting up the data APN again:

      1. Connect to WiFi and go to http://unlockit.co.nz/ with Safari on the iPhone.
      2. On the Unlockit site, tap "Create APN".
      3. Choose County: United States, Carrier: Straight Talk and tap the "Create APN" button.
      4. Tap "Install".
      5. Turn the phone off and on and test that the web works.

      If that doesn't get data working, it's a Straight Talk network issue, either submit a support ticket on Straight Talk's Facebook page or contact Straight Talk's "Executive Resolutions Dept." number at 1-305-715-6500, Monday – Friday from 8:00 AM to 7:00 PM

      Delete
  10. Well this problem still exists for Net10 users such as myself who is holding on to the bare-minimum Sprint account which I have had for 18 years. Sprint's network was the BEST in San Francisco for many years and now it is just a mess everywhere because of the Network Vision upgrade. Bottom line is that they lied to their customers about the cause and refused to credit people like they used to (Finally got ome credits because I know what to say). Anyway, anyone who signs a contract is DUMB, DUMB, DUMB. Why? because if you read any cell phone contract it basically states that they do NOT guarantee your service or your phone. When you have gone through 5 defective Samsung Galaxy Epic 4G's like I did, they then tell you to call Samsung- which is a joke because they will not admit to the fact that Samsung is notorious for crappy radios.

    I am sticking with my $350.00 unlocked Galaxy S 2 which gives me the freedom to switch to other MVNO's (even those from Europe) and at least not have to get a new phone. If it breaks I just take it to one of the many independent shops that really know what is wrong with a phone and or network.

    What do I loose by being on prepay? Well the ability to walk into a store, talk to a technician- most of whom are not trained properly and tell you "I can't help you." So even though I have to call Net10 almost every day about my ongoing issues it still beats being under a BS contract.

    Also to everyone out there-> Take the contract you had when you originally signed up for service and get a copy of the contract you are under now.If you have "legitimate"issue with ATT, T-Mob, Sprint or Verizon and are under contract and have tried unsuccessfully to resolve the issue-> NEVER, EVER pay an ETF. When a collection agency calls you and bug you after you drop them, explain to the person calling you from a collection agency "why" you dropped them and ask that they write down what you say to them. Then have them read it back to you. (yes, seriously) Next, tell them that you will NOT pay an ETF for poor service and or equipment and to NOT call this number again. If they call again simply file a FCC complaint and the calls will stop. Next, get yourself a GSM Android (or jailbroken GSM iPhone) and simply use the PrePay carrier that works best for you.

    ReplyDelete
  11. IM USING MY SPRINT SAMSUNG GALAXY NOTE 2 ON VERIZON PREPAID $50 UNLIMITED EVERYTHING AND 3G DATA ( NO CAP ) WORKS GREAT THEY ARE EVEN DOING HOT SPOTS ON VERIZON NETWORK $100 UNLMITED DATA FOR A YEAR OR $10 DOLLARS A MONTH

    ReplyDelete
  12. I'm assuming this issue was never resolved. I thought it was my phone, but every so often my data goes off. It usually happens when I am on Wifi, then leave the hotspot. It happens maybe once every 2-3 weeks. What I do is just turn the phone off and then back on and its solved. I wonder what the issue is???

    ReplyDelete
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