Repeater Redux


So it’s been a month or so since installing the repeater and the initial glow has worn off.  I pretty much cannot get a Verizon signal through it – but it makes my brother-in-law’s T-Mobile phone rock solid – he never has less than two bars whereas I keep rooting for my phone to get one bar (or switch to the strong roaming signal.)  There are seriously times when I will wait for the little triangle to show up before I hit “Talk” since there is less risk of the call being dropped.

I logged a trouble ticket with Verizon who has confirmed what I already know – the coverage at my location does indeed blow.  The good news is that I might be able to get out of my contract early (w/o a termination fee); the bad news is I’d be leaving Verizon’s customer service which truly has been stellar.  I can hear the protests out there – I have heard quite a few stories of folks having billing issues with Verizon and not having the best of experience in trying to resolve those issues (much less get them resolved permanently, meaning the same billing error appears the next month requiring another call).  Having spent a significant portion of my former life with my hands deep in the guts of a wireless billing system while writing interfaces, I know how much billing systems can leave to be desired especially when trying to integrate them with other systems. But, after being with Sprint PCS so long it is really weird to call customer service and talk to a CSR that is actually empowered to do something for their customers.  Verizon admits this is an issue with my particular area and tells me they are working on it.  They also admit that due to all the legal red tape they need to go through with the FCC, they really have no idea on when they are going to get more coverage.

As I mentioned, T-Mobile is definitely a viable option at this point, but I’ve yet to hear one good thing about their customer service.  My brother-in-law has had less than nice words to describe them (thankfully not spoken in front of my two year old son).  I co-worker of mine who recently moved to the area had a similar experience, except his former neighbor while living in the Seattle area was a VP of something or another at T-Mobile who he’d call if he was getting nowhere via normal channels.  US Cellular is an option, too, but their equipment leaves a lot to be desired.  Sprint PCS was originally ruled out before Verizon for signal issues.  Which leaves ATT/Cingular – of which I have no idea what their signal is like – much less what their customer service is like.  Time to start asking around.


Comments (3)

  1. I would seriously recommend *against* At&t. I have them, and while the service tends to be great – the customer service is abysmal. Every time I modify my plan, I have to call at least twice (sometimes more) in order to get everything working right. Also, check this out: http://money.cnn.com/2004/08/19/technology/personaltech/cell_quality/

  2. Jeff Parker says:

    Well, we have multiple people here with multiple phone plans. Here is what I have come to find out. T-Mobile has the coolest toys, but less coverage. Verision has the most coverage with the least cool toys. Verison yeah the billing people suck, they just can not get that area together. But as far as customer service goes they aall seem to be about the same. Never heard anything truly awsome about sprint or AT&T. I live withing a few miles of an interstate so I got plenty of coverage. But it all comes down to persons personal usage. I am never far from a full fledged PC so really do not have the need for the T-mobile tools so Verison does me fine, Wierd though the coverage in your area sucks they are usually well known for their coverage.

  3. DDysart says:

    It is weird. I think it is purely topographical where US Cellular and T-Mobile’s towers are placed well, Verizon’s is not. The tech said they are in the process of trying to fill in that hole, but due to the FCC crap they have to go through, it’s anyone’s guess as to when that will be. Could be a month, could be a year.

    I just want to switch and get it over with.