Using Your Cell Phone Along the Chumash Highway
It seems another controversial decision from cell phone service provider AT&T may be affecting our friends in the valley and even here on the coast. Got this from a reader -- anybody experience these issues with their service?
Here's the short story as I understand it from AT&T Mobility (formerly Cingular) tech support last night (10/2). Until yesterday AT&T phones worked on a combination of AT&T and other provider cell towers. Without any notice to the customer, AT&T switched to their own cell towers only yesterday (10/2). Their "network engineers" have studied the area and believe this is acceptable. The switch means decreased coverage. For me, living in Santa Ynez, this means the closest tower is 8 miles away and everyone in the Valley is sharing it. Data messages (text, Blackberry, voice-mail notifications, etc.) seem to work fine. However outgoing voice calls fail about 90% of the time with a "Network Busy" error message, and most incoming calls go to voice-mail.
AT&T said if enough people complain they'll consider reconnecting with those outside provider towers, but it may take up to two weeks. Two weeks!!! My wife and I only have cell phones, my wife works from home 75% of the time and uses her cell phone regularly, and she is 5 months pregnant. We can't wait two weeks for service. If it is not back by tomorrow morning (10/4) we'll have to switch to another provider. AT&T also told me they would waive the cancellation fees on my two-year contract because they are basically forcing us out.
If you have had bad AT&T Mobility (formerly Cingular) service in the last few days please call their tech support at (888) 892-9760. If enough people complain maybe they'll fix the service before we have to start switching providers.
Labels: cellular service