My AT&T Galaxy S2 Saga Continues

Samsung Galaxy S2 with cordBack on March 7th I wrote about my Samsung Galaxy S2 and its ‘sleeping’ problem which began when AT&T pushed a firmware upgrade late last year.

Frustrating? Yes. Maddening too!

The phone shuts down intermittently for no reason and with no warning. When it’s revived the battery’s been heavily depleted.

It shut down again this afternoon. Can you see the smoke coming out of my ears?

I sent an email to the big guy, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson (full text at the end of this entry). I didn’t expect Randy would get involved, but I knew someone would.

It wasn’t an hour before I got a call from AT&T’s John Flynn. Judging by area code, Seattle based John Flynn.

He seemed nice, concerned and totally uninformed about this Samsung problem. There are dozens of phone models on the AT&T network. His lack of knowledge is defensible. After a few minutes I asked him to do a little research and get back to me.

This is not a small problem. The Galaxy S2 is a very popular phone. I am not alone in suffering.

Because many of the afflicted probably think the problem is something they caused, it’s probably underreported to AT&T.

If everything was working correctly my likely path forward would be the newly announced Galaxy S4 from AT&T sometime this summer. Not now. I’ve got a bad taste from this affair. Right now AT&T owes me for my loyalty.

I’m a good customer, wronged. They’re expected to right it.

I’ll let you know what I hear.

My email follows–

Dear Mr. Stephenson,

My name is Geoff Fox. I am a long time loyal AT&T wireless customer (203-xxx-xxxx) with three phones currently on my plan. My own personal phone is a Samsung Galaxy S2.

Late last year AT&T rolled out an over-the-air update for the Galaxy S2 which broke my phone. The ailment has been dubbed the “Sleep of Death” since the phones lock-up while sleeping. Once the problem is discovered and the phone is rebooted the battery has been severely drained.

Of course there’s no way to know the problem’s there until you go to use the phone. Anyone who calls me while my phone is ‘sleeping’ gets no answer. And, depending how long it takes to discover the battery might be fully drained! It happened today and my battery went from over 60% charge to 23%–not enough to finish out the day.

AT&T acknowledges the problem. AT&T’s JamieH wrote on the online customer forum:

Hey guys…
Great news

We worked with Samsung to research this issue and a fix will be available in the coming weeks. I don’t have any specific dates just yet but as soon as I do, I’ll post them here.

I want to note that this is a direct result of you discussing this issue in the forums and telling us what you are seeing. Great job.

That was in January. It is now March.
Recently an AT&T response on Twitter said:
@attcustomercare: @geofffox Waiting for Samsung to release update for us to release to our cust. No exact ETA. Check link periodically:
This is unacceptable. I have handicapped, elderly parents who depend on me to be available for them. This is a 24/7 world. This is no longer a 24/7 phone.

I need AT&T to step up to the plate and solve this problem for me now. This problem was caused by your faulty update. It is ludicrous to think AT&T doesn’t have enough pull with Samsung to get this months long problem fixed immediately. In any event, AT&T should provide me with a comparable working phone until you find a solution.


Geoff Fox

13 thoughts on “My AT&T Galaxy S2 Saga Continues”

  1. Sometimes you need to go to the top to get things done. I’ve done it before with some success. Hope it works for you too.

  2. I have the same problem with my phone. It’s a Galaxy S from T Mobile. I’m running into a lot of trouble with them, too. They keep telling me something different every time I go in to complain. Hope Samsung figures out what tge heck is wrong!!!

  3. My wife and I both have the Samsung Galaxy S3 from VERIZON. It is awesome. No problems whatsoever! In the past if I have ever had a problem with a Verizon phone they took care of it immediately.

  4. Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water…..this is an AT&T issue not samsung. I have had the S3 for nearly a year with no issues. 2 sons have S2 and S2 skyrocket both get regular updates and are trouble free. My advice, keep on (AT&T) them and ask for some kind of refund, they are very willing to make it right, they seem to be veruy much into keepoing customers happy. If the S4 is anythuing close to the S3, you will love it !

  5. Geoff,
    I had the same problem with my samsung captivate from at&t which is a galaxy s phone. Someone developed an app called “captivate keep alive” which kept the phone from sleeping at the cost of battery life. It worked but was still frustrating. I upgraded to the galaxy s3 when it came out last year and it is like night and day. Keep the faith brother. I think at&t’s support priority is their most recent phones forcing their customers to upgrade.

  6. when I got my latest phone from the Verizon store in Guilford, they kindly encouraged me to not get this phone for this exact reason, so there apparently is some awareness out there of a general problem

    apparently not heavily reported though (who in the media still reports anything useful after all)

  7. I have had this issue too and it is indeed maddening! I have close family members going through serious illness and my phone just dropping out when I get a text or phone call (“going to sleep” as it were) is frustrating and scary. I have to either take out the battery or restart.

    You put it best – this is no longer a 24/7 phone! Whata pain in the ass. Anyway, the reason for my post is that this morning I got an update pushed from AT&T. I was hoping to learn what it was. I hope it fixed the phone! I really want an S4 but this ordeal has *almost* made me go back to apple.

  8. Geoff, Great article – spot on! Have been suffering with this and often been at wit’s end. The update appeared on my phone very early this morning west coast time (disappointed it was only another 4.0.4). Installed it, no glitches. Absolutely keeping my fingers crossed this puts to death the “sleep of death”!!

  9. It’s been about 10 days since the update and so far so good! At this rate it’ll be much easier to wait for the S4 and see how it performs (and find out what else is on the horizon) before being forced to upgrade.

  10. I feel for all of you. I have been an AT&T customer since it was cingular. How many remember that. I had 3 Motorola Atrix HD phones. They were pretty good phones for a while. The biggest complaint we had was a very short battery life. When my daughters phone developed lines and the store told her they were dead pixels and not repairable. They wanted us to buy her out of her contract and buy a new phone. The phone was 2 days out of its contract. I wrote to Mr. Ducharme, VP and General Manager of AT&T who had John Fylnn call me the very next day. AT&T was going to replace my daughters smart phone with a flip phone. John sent her a smart phone. Since then my Atrix HD has developed lines. I can only see about a third of my phone. I have called John numerous times over the last 2 weeks and the 2 times he called me back I was at work and not able to answer the phone. When he took care of my daughters phone he told me to call him the first of the year and he would help me out. I wish he would call me back and live up to his word. I am so discouraged. Don’t ever get a Motorola Atrix HD Just a warning.

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