GPS Problems Persist on AT&T Version of Samsung Galaxy Note 3, Customers Cite 'Criminal Negligence'

( [email protected] ) Mar 25, 2014 01:33 PM EDT
Samsung Note 3
(Photo : Mashable)

Last week, we reported that the Samsung Galaxy Note 3's GPS problems are still plaguing the AT&T version of the popular device, preventing it from upgrading to the latest version of the Android 4.4 OS, better known as Kitkat.

While the lack of support and answers from AT&T is frustrating customers who are locked into a contract with the service provider, the larger issue here is the fact that AT&T is still selling the Galaxy Note 3 to unsuspecting customers without warning them of the GPS issue.

Several threads on AT&T's community forum show that customers have been trying to find a solution to this problem since November of last year, and over four months later, still no official fix has been implemented. A particularly large 23-page thread shows that even today, customers are fed up with the lack of answers and denial of responsibility from the carrier.

And while there's no official fix in sight, one customer took to the forums to post his own solution. The post details the exact problem and fix that requires rooting of your phone and replacing six GPS files from AT&T's ROM to the international version of those files found on other phones. This is certainly not a solution for everyone, but is there.

Interestingly enough, this isn't the first time Samsung has had issues with AT&T and GPS. Back in 2010, the Captivate (AT&T's version of the Galaxy S) was plagued with a lagging GPS at launch, but a fix was implemented by Samsung three months later. AT&T customers are not so lucky this time and Samsung has yet to officially address the issue, although they do acknoledge that this GPS issue is exclusive to the AT&T carrier.

As you can imagine, customers are calling for action from AT&T, including a petition to restore the default 4.3 Samsung OS until a fix is found. Still others have stated that they are filing a formal complaint with the FTC due to what is seen as criminal negligence on the part of AT&T.

One frustrated customer wrote in to us to give us a first-hand account of a conversation he had with AT&T's customer service. The representative stated that they weren't aware of the GPS issue, which, as our tipster points out, makes it seem to the misinformed that this problem is somehow the customer's fault. An excerpt of the transcript is copied below:

Juanika: Welcome to AT&T online Sales support. How may I assist you with placing your order today?

Tommy: I wanted to purchase the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, but I've been reading about GPS issues with the phone. Do you know if there is a problem with the phone's GPS?

Juanika: Thanks! I have not personally heard of an issues myself, but we do offer a 14 day trial with the phone. If at anytime during those 14 days you notice an issue, you can exchange the phone.

Tommy: Actually, I'd like to know if it is a problem or if it has been fixed. Could you please check on that for me? This is a big purchase and I would rather not rely on a 14 day trial period. I may not see the problem within that time frame. Could you check on that for me? It would make me feel better about the purchase.

Juanika: I would be happy to check my resources for you Tommy. Please bear with me.

Juanika: Thanks for your patience. I did check for you and was unable to find any details on this issue.

Juanika: Would you like to try this phone out during our 14 day trial? I would be happy to guide you on that.

Tommy: Wow. That's odd. Not to be rude, but could you keep looking around or talk to your manager? I really don't want to buy a defective phone.

Juanika: I actually did speak with a Supervisor is regards to this issue and was advise that she has not heard of any issue with the GPS with this phone.

The transcript goes on to show that "Tommy" provides the above-mentioned forum links to the service rep to better inform her of the issue, but the rep only offers a 14-day trial, insurance coverage, and states, "We do not sell phones if there is a known mechanical error or defect."