Category Archives: Technology

iPhone 5 Upgrade – AT&T Customer Service (Part 1 of 2)

iPhone 5 pre-orders set a sales record last week, selling out in less than one hour following the smartphone’s September 12, 2012 debut. I ordered mine from AT&T. This two-part post will cover 1) my AT&T customer service experience and 2) why I upgraded to the iPhone 5.

Lily Tomlin SNL Ernestine the Telephone OperatorAT&T iPhone Orders

How do I change my shipping address from my billing address? Many AT&T customers have been searching for answers about why you can’t ship your or iPhone 5 order wherever you want. These sites offer free shipping to your account billing address only. This is supposedly to prevent fraud. (Oh how easily I could have committed fraud on my eventual call center order.) Online, the only way to request a shipping address different from your billing address is to actually change the billing address on your AT&T account. Not ideal. And if you can trick the system that easily, not sure how they are preventing fraud. Your other option (what I did) is to order by phone from AT&T. Shipping then goes up to $9.95.

Calling AT&T

Ambience: The call center on-hold song is a muzak version of “Fidelity” by Regina Spektor. The lyrics could be interpreted as reflecting on not taking risks in new relationships for fear of getting hurt, then wondering what could have been. This amused me; start playing the song as you read on so you can join me on the call.

Senseless upgrade fee: AT&T’s reasoning for a $36 upgrade fee on my contract eligible upgrade from iPhone4 to iPhone5 (while maintaining my same unlimited data plan) is that “they have to charge a fee in order to provide the phone discount.” Please. At least give me an excuse such as, “it covers the cost of internal processing for updating your line’s new capabilities such as 4G.”iPhone 5

Customer recognition and retention: The least the call center agent could do was to greet me with, “Hello Ms. Binder, thank you for being an AT&T customer since 2005, we appreciate your business” like my credit card company does. But the seven years of our relationship was unrecognized. Successful customer rewards clubs and frequent traveler programs and any company trying to engender loyalty through suggested exclusivity or recognition recognizes length of patronage as a basic given. (The best custsvc companies have a purple goldfish.) The loyalty years thank you is one sentence an agent can read from a prompt that can change the entire tone of the conversation for the better. Especially as a wireless provider, you better be thanking a customer who’s stuck with you for seven years, especially considering that you’re the main print yellow pages robber barons company.

This is why I keep one foot on the ground in our contracted affair; I hear Verizon’s voice in my head, I hear Sprint’s music serenading me, but still, AT&T, I pay you an extra $45.95 so you can “prevent fraud” and ship the phone to my office…

I never loved nobody fully
Always one foot on the ground
And by protecting my heart truly
I got lost in the sounds
I hear in my mind
All these voices
I hear in my mind all these words
I hear in my mind all this music

And it breaks my heart…

Fidelity – Regina Spektor (AT&T’s call center hold music)

Check back for Part 2 of this post on Thursday 9/20/12.

Facestagram (Facebook + Instagram) – The Digital Dive Podcast Episode 2

In Episode 2 of The Digital Dive Podcast my co-host Melanie Touchstone of (@MisssMelt) and I discuss the 8/16/12 Instagram update, pros and cons of Instagram Photo Maps, Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram, and Facebook’s iOS app update. Listen for the frightening third Tip on Tap at the end. Facebook and Instagram …. become Facestagram?

Listen or subscribe in iTunes

We promise this will be the last episode for a long time in which we focus on Instagram. We do know about other topics. Thanks for listening. Episode 3 will be posted between Monday 9/10/12 – Tuesday 9/11/12.

You can download or stream The Digital Dive at or search for us in the iTunes Podcast Directory–> If you like the show, please subscribe and leave us a review!

The Digital Dive Podcast is on Stitcher, the best free podcast streaming smartphone app. If you’re a new subscriber, please sign up with our link below.
Hear us on Stitcher Smart Radio

Follow us on Twitter @thedigitaldive_  and Like us on Facebook

The Digital Dive PodcastTM: Get the most out of technology… without ever fully giving in


Sense of Entitlement- The Digital Dive Podcast Episode 1

The long awaited first episode of The Digital Dive Podcast: My co-host Melanie Touchstone of (@MisssMelt) and I discuss a smattering of digital topics from social marketing to search, Facebook, Pinterest, Google, and Instagram, to user psychology and more (in less than 23 minutes!)

The Digital Dive Podcast – Episode 1 from Digital Dive on Vimeo

This twenty minute bi-weekly podcast quickly hashes out and ties together what’s happening in digital that matters: social media, marketing, emerging technology, and guilty tech/app/ego pleasures.
Subscribe in iTunes
In this episode we discuss:

  • Instagram
  • Sense of entitlement and privacy demands
  • Facebook
  • Like button / +1 button
  • Google. Social search.
  • Pinterest
  • Social bookmarking. Twitter – favorite tweets.
  • Tips on Tap – 3 Things to Know This Week

Bear with us as we get this thing rolling. Questions or comments? Write below or tweet us @thedigitaldive_

You can download or stream The Digital Dive at or search for us in the iTunes Podcast Directory–> If you like the show, please subscribe and leave us a review!

The Digital Dive Podcast is on Stitcher, the best free podcast streaming smartphone app. If you’re a new subscriber, please sign up with our link below.
Hear us on Stitcher Smart Radio

You can download or stream The Digital Dive Podcast at or search for us in the iTunes Podcast Directory. Stream The Digital Dive Podcast on Vimeo.

Frictionless Sharing on Facebook: TMI

Frictionless sharing

causes Facebook friend fatigue. We all know that everything we consume is not worth sharing. Facebook introduced frictionless sharing in fall 2011 with several Open Graph apps that automatically share what you’re reading (e.g., Washington Post, the first on the scene, Digg Social Reader, Huffington Post), watching (Netflix), or listening to (Spotify, Soundcloud, etc.). paper coffee filtersWith social reader apps, content you may merely sample or dislike is broadcast to your friends. Friction can be good. It occurs between thought and action. Friction is a filter.

Many users don’t realize they’ve opted in. Considering the original content publishers’ goal of getting added exposure and user data, the apps are well-designed, opt-in gating content. Otherwise, the user has to search for the article their friend auto-shared the old fashioned way. That is just a lot more work, and we’re all so very busy, so users acquiesce and opt-in to seamlessly get to the story about Snooki’s baby weight. Frictionless sharing apps, like Facebook itself, spread because if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.

Social Reader Apps

Washington Post Social Reader Facebook App

After opting in, you’re giving unpaid endorsements to news sources, and in exchange (a pretty one-sided exchange), they get your information: Continue reading Frictionless Sharing on Facebook: TMI

Facebook Camera App and Instagram

You can’t be everything to everyone.

“After the release of Facebook Camera, I’m even more convinced that Instagram could be Facebook’s YouTube — in other words, an acquisition that becomes monumentally important to its future, and helps it solve a problem it couldn’t solve on its own (like Google Video before Google bought YouTube.) Facebook Camera isn’t a bad application — it just isn’t good enough to compete with Instagram…”  -Mashable, Facebook Camera App: This Is Why Instagram Was Worth $1 Billion

Taxi Photo by chrisozer - Instagram
taxi photo by chrisozer - Instagram

People like Instagram because it is pure and focused. It is about communicating through visuals, shared interests, and seeing life through others’ eyes, especially strangers’ eyes. IG founded on photography of everyday objects with less focus on people. Facebook photos tend toward social life, usually posted with at least a subconscious intent of seeking attention or sharing one’s life: events, friends, parties, family, etc. Instagram allows anyone to make art out of food and buildings and flowers and hubcaps. No one wants to see that content clogging up their depressing Facebook stalking feed or wasting woo girl space (and there’s nothing wrong with that).Woo Girls Facebook photo

Instead of releasing Facebook Camera for iOS, Facebook should have already been working on fixing their horrible mobile experience (which they plan to post-IPO). Focusing on photos is practically a non-sequitur considering their fundamental mobile shortcomings.

Facebook should not try and own the iPhoneography culture that IG launched. Multi-photo uploads are nice but they should add this functionality to the gimcrack Facebook app instead of launching a separate photo app. This is cart before the horse. While Facebook Camera is useful for browsing friends’ photos, Instagram it is not.

Note: I have no problem with people not being artistic or pretentious on Instagram. But there’s a reason there are no #FBers, MeetUp groups, and Instawalks for Facebook.

P.S. A note about the power of words: Huffington Post published Facebook Camera: Company Launches iPhone Camera App on 5/24/12. They initially omitted a critical word, “acquistion,” from this sentence: “Facebook has said it expects the Instagram acquisition to close sometime this year.” Truth: Facebook has not announced that it will close Instagram. (Though I do see Facebook killing IG.) Thanks to Chad Thiele for posting about an issue much larger than my righteous indignation about photo sharing apps: carelessness in reporting that leads to misinterpretation of the truth.