All had been going well with the Atrix 4G and the laptop dock accessory in the first few days, and I had absolutely no regrets in making the purchase or adding tethering to my wireless plan. However, I did run into my first problem with the laptop dock: while inside Panera Bread and not connected to any WiFi networks, I docked the Atrix and was shocked to have no data connection to use Webtop apps. Each time I clicked on the Facebook webtop app or the Firefox browser icon, error messages would appear on windows suggesting that I sign up for an appropriate data plan or find WiFi. But I had already added the data+tethering feature not too long ago onto my own account, so that should not have been an issue. Not knowing what to make of the situation, I shut the laptop dock and disconnected my Atrix to check the hotspot feature. To my surprise, an error message appeared basically stating I was not approved for its usage. Upon seeing once again the suggestion to call 611 directly to AT&T customer service, I had resigned myself to doing just that.
After a couple minutes of being on hold, a rep finally connected with me and did the usual identification clearance. As I expected, a few minutes into the call revealed she didn't know much about the laptop dock at all when I explained my situation. She actually thought it was a separate computer, but I only figured it was due to the Atrix and the dock being so new to the network. She then mentioned that she would have to connect me to a next-level suppport rep and then asked to put me on hold. While I was tempted to hang up and drive myself to the nearest AT&T store, I stayed on the line and maintained patience. That was a mistake.
After going through another ID validation and explaining my situation for the second time, the next-level rep verified that I did have the appropriate data+tethering plan on my account. Once I stated that I was in an area with a strong AT&T signal, that was when I heard the one question that smashed all hope for a solution: "Does your computer have built-in wireless?" I had already explained to her that the laptop dock was an accessory dependent on the phone and not a separate computer!! When I had reminded her of this, she apologized and stated the device was so new to AT&T. At that moment, I got straight to the point and said I preferred to drive to a local AT&T corporate store and speak to someone in person.
Once the phone interaction was brought to a close, I resorted to turning the Atrix off and back on again. As luck would have it, EVERYTHING worked properly with the hotspot feature as well as the Webtop apps and Firefox browser! That was when I could have kicked myself if I had the chance! One of the first rules of troubleshooting that I had followed many times in the past with other phones was the standard power off/on, and I didn't follow it with the Atrix! Honestly, the amount of time wasted with AT&T customer service could then be considered a well-deserved punishment for my transgression.
After accepting this, I simply continued with my day at Panera Bread doing what I do best: indulging in mobile technology. By the way, this entire blogpost was written on Docs-To-Go via the laptop doc in fullscreen Mobile View and then copied/pasted into the Gmail on the same. I LOVE THIS ATRIX!!!
Trent Smith, blogger
Sent from my Motorola Atrix