TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Today's Cell Phone Companies?

Re: Today's Cell Phone Companies?

Paul Robinson (
Sat, 09 Sep 2006 04:30:35 -0400 wrote:

> Comments on telephone service quality and customer service would be
> appreciated. (I do realize there are regional differences and some
> places may do much better than others.)

I live in Arlington, Virginia, about 4 miles from the Pentagon.
Originally I had one of those plans that had the usual 200 or so
minutes and unlimited night and weekend minutes, this was back about
two weeks before September 11th occurred.

From that point on, I basically could never get a connection during
the "free" periods except maybe 1 in 10 tries. During the part where
I had metered minutes, I was *always* able to get a call to go

I couldn't really tell whether this was the usual and customary
performance due to classic overselling of capacity, or an unusual
condition triggered by overloading, perhaps due to damage to circuits
from the terrorist attack, or because people were using the phones a
lot more than they were before it happened.

Being dissatisfied with that carrier I decided to switch to Sprint.

I have a $39.95 plan that is 200/1800 minutes, the 200 being 7am to
7pm Monday thru Friday, the rest being the rest of the month. Or it
might be 2800 minutes, I don't remember off the top of my head. Well,
technically, if you used up all of the over 1000 minutes then it would
use the 200 minute allotment, but it was always the other way around,
I'd often use up all of the 200 minute allotment and then some, while
still having over 1000 minutes left on the other side.

Hell, if it could simply have absorbed the excess minutes on a 10/1
scale, I'd still never have run an overage.

What I have found is that Sprint's service is okay outdoors, but sucks
when I try to use it indoors. Sometimes if I'm close to a window it
might work, and sometimes it doesn't.

I want to check on the phone used by a neighbor, because theirs not
only works indoors, it even works *in the basement*. I need to find
out what network they're using!

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: Have you seen that television
commercial for Cingular (I think?) where a man is sitting on top of
a file cabinet, scrunched down, right next to a window with a cellular
phone in his outstretched hand? He says, "It used to be this was the
only place in my office where I could use my cell phone; then I
switched to Cingular(?) from Brand X and now I can make calls all over
the place." Whereupon he jumps down from the file cabinet in the
corner by the window, answers an incoming call and walks away. PAT]

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