AT&T Wants You To Help Them Improve Their Network By Marking The Spot

AT&T (NYSE: T) has launched a new iPhone application that let’s you provide specific feedback about network coverage. Called AT&T Mark the Spot, the application allows you to capture the GPS coordinates when a call fails, there’s no coverage, there’s no data service, or there’s poor voice quality. After your complaint is submitted, AT&T will send you an SMS, acknowledging that the event happened.

Already, the app has received 23 comments. Most give it a lot of stars, but then use the opportunity as a forum to show their disgust. One commenter writes: “It’s sad when customers of such a large company have to do the “dirty work”/field study!” Others hope that AT&T really does take the feedback to heart and improves service, although many are doubtful, asking “Is this just a PR stunt?” Good thing the app is free.

What’s a bit disturbing is that by launching the app, AT&T is admitting that it really has no idea where the networks’ holes are. That sounds incorrect. AT&T should know exactly where calls drop and where there’s no coverage at all. If AT&T doesn’t know, the iPhone app sounds like the modern version of stories I heard about the very early cellular days. Whether it was lore or not, execs told me that employees would conduct drive tests, and whenever a call dropped, they’d throw a bag of flour out the window to mark the spot.