Does Your Cell Phone Work Off The Competions Towers

Discussion in 'General Conversation' started by Crispy Critter, Mar 18, 2006.

  1. Crispy Critter

    Crispy Critter New Member

    Messages:
    431
    State:
    Missouri
    I just switched cell phone companies about a week ago again.In the last 10 years I've tried most of them as I'm always looking for the best deal.I know back in the beginning they didn't share their towers very well but I thought they had that pretty much worked out.The last several phones I've had worked pretty much anywhere with the exception of under big hills.I know sometimes when your on other company towers you experience roaming sometimes but that's expected.
    Last week I switched to Cingular because I liked their plan with rollover min. and the free mobile to mobile etc.I asked when I got it if it worked everywhere and the guy told me yes anywhere there was a tower it worked on all of them.I used it a few days and was pretty happy with the reception around here,it seemed better than what I had.A couple days ago I went to visit my folks about a hundred miles away.The last 30 miles or so I lost signal,nothing,nada.It was like that the rest of the trip there.My old cell phone from another company worked just fine I had it with me and it's still active.My folks live on probably the 6th or 7th highest elevation in the state with a tower not far from them.I still had no signal when I got there.I've never had any phone that wouldn't work there before.I was sure my new phone wasn't programmed right so upon return I took it back in to see if they could fix it.There was a different person in there than who sold me the phone.After explaining the problem I was told OH,it probably wasn't one of our towers.I told them that I was told it would work on any tower and they looked at me in disbelief and said no it only works on our towers otherwise you would be charged roaming.
    I thought it should be my choice if I want to use the phone I'll pay roaming.It kind of puts a new spin on no roaming charges..Duh if it don't work on anything but their towers no wonder there is no roaming charges.
    So obviously one of them don't know what they're talking about or just lied.
    I have 2 weeks I can get out of my contract if I choose with no penalty but I don't know which one is telling the truth.Maybe I have a bum phone and it should be working there or the second person was right and it won't work at all?I'm not unhappy with my plan but i was wondering if I should switch to a better phone.This one seems to be a good phone it has built in camera,mp3,Internet,and all the other bells and whistles.

    Anyone else have similer troubles,or possibly Cingular that could fill me in?I would like to find out more before my time runs out to switch with no costs or penalties.

    Sorry this is so long but I wanted to get in most details. :0a35:
     
  2. FishMan

    FishMan New Member

    Messages:
    2,293
    State:
    Tennessee
    I have cingular and my phone works on all towers, however if you make a high % of your calls on towers other than cingular they have the right to change your contract terms. Thats why they they match your home address with your contract. If your calls are mostly made using cingular towers then they don't charge roming.

    There are many contracts even with the same company. The above explains mine with cingular. I have been using cingular for 6 years or more.

    I may not be good at it but anytime I have check the fine print on other plans I don't find anything priced very different. Most of the time when I check out a plan that is advertised to be cheap I find it cost more than what I have.

    After much study I have found that almost all companies lie to us. It is legal for the police to lie to us and they do, so I don't expect much more from others, It is very sad.

    One other thought. You may be needing a tower that is fighting the big guy, a rare thing, very noble but the small guy will fall.

    Hope you get better service.

    Danny
     

  3. Crispy Critter

    Crispy Critter New Member

    Messages:
    431
    State:
    Missouri
    Yea, I thought they should work on all of them.Most phones do anymore.I wasn't trying to place a call but I was just checking to see if I had service,you know how you do with a new phone.I've always heard pretty good stuff about them.I know other people who have Cingular but I haven't spoke to them since I got mine to ask them any questions.I like the plan I got with them,and I switched my wifes phone to them also since that's who I do most of my talking to and it won't cost anything anytime. I guess I should go back in and try to catch the first guy I spoke with and see again if it's related to the way they set up the phones or possibly see if they have a more powerful phone.It does seem that the phone gets a better signal around here than my others did so it might not be the phone itself.Maybe it's not programmed to roam or something simple they can fix.
     
  4. Cyclops01

    Cyclops01 New Member

    Messages:
    578
    State:
    Eden, NC.
    I think someone needs to come up with a more reasonable service plan and cheaper sat comm phones. Do away with the towers altogether. Give it a couple of years and I think the trend will start swinging that way.
     
  5. duxsrus

    duxsrus New Member

    Messages:
    1,014
    State:
    SW Ohio
    I spent several years in the wireless communications business so I know a little about it. I'll try to put this as simply as I can. To say, just because you see a "cell phone" tower your phone should work off of it is absolutely not true. Now a days many companies do in fact share towers with other competitors because often it's economically cheaper. But that's where the sharing stops. They are "seperate" sites in the fact thet they all have seperate antennas, cables, and shelters containing all of their radios. Different companies operate on different frequencies too. And different "languages" for a simple term, such as CDMA, GSM. iDen. Which is why some phones are single, dual and tri mode. So just because you see a tower, the carrier on that tower might not not even be compatible with your phone itself. Wireless communication has gotten more complex today since the addition of PCS frequencies and now all of the merging taking place. It's made it tougher for the end user. If you feel the salesman hasn't been honest with you or you don't like Cingular's network, in the areas that you travel, can them. Sometimes you might be able to talk a salesman into lending you a "demo" phone before commiting to service with their company, therfore allowing you to try them out. Good luck with this.
     
  6. FishMan

    FishMan New Member

    Messages:
    2,293
    State:
    Tennessee
    This is yet another reason I love the BOC. There is enough of us that when one of has a problem or is just wondering about something we normaly have someone with knowledge of the subject. Many places this could happen but it just doesn't. There is something about the people of the BOC that makes this forum work like others don't. The caring of the members is above, way above the norm.

    Never before Have I included anything like the BOC into my daily life. I'm not sure how to say it but I believe most members understand what I speak of.

    When things happens in my life I feel as if I am not done dealing with it until I have bounced it off the BOC members. I also feel like my day is not done until I check in on the forum to see whats going on with the members.

    Maybe some of you think I must be hurting for a life but I bet there are many members who know just what I feel.

    At this time it is Dave who is giving his knowledge but you can find many on the BOC who are willing to help others and I continue to be impressed.

    Thanks to all the BOC, every day.
     
  7. GaryF

    GaryF New Member

    Messages:
    3,649
    State:
    O.P., KS
    I just switched from Cingular, partly because of that problem. I ended up in several situations where I had plenty of signal, but no service. The phone would say "Emergency Calls Only" when I try to dial. What finally pushed me to change is that I went from weak signal to strong signal but no service at my work location. One day I had 1 bar that worked, the next day it was 5 bars, but they were not from Cingular and I couldn't send or receive calls. Work is 75% of the reason I have the cell, so I had to switch.

    I'm not sure if Cingular is any worse than the others, but I never experienced the problem with my prior carrier, Sprint. I signed up with T-mobile this time, because they have an antenna on the property where I work. I get great signal there, now, but I haven't had the phone long enough to see how it works out and about. I've got a road trip today, down through Joplin, Springfield, and back up through Warsaw to KC. We will see how it does.
     
  8. cook

    cook New Member

    Messages:
    1,494
    State:
    Plattsburg,Mo.(near K.C.)
    I hate cingular now,most people including us,in our small town,recieved letters that our contracts are all cancelled on April 7.

    Some issue about the towers.

    They were gracious enough to waive the early termianation clause.

    Didn't SWbell just buy them back?
     
  9. Mutt

    Mutt Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    18,456
    State:
    Ca
    Name:
    Mutt
    i have had cell service for many years starting with celluar1 i had verzizon for a long time no issues till i moved to where i am at now and they wanted 250 bucks to change my phone number to a local one here so since my contract was up in 2 months i left them. went to cingular i almost sued them 2 weeks after i went to them i could be standing in my yard have a full signal and it would drop have this phone is not authorized blah blah blah. the idiots that sold me the service said i must of dropped my phone thats why it was doing thant yea right. well so i went to att had great service with them till about 15 months ago after cingular bought them out the att service went down so bad i couldnt use my phone half the time here in my local area. so since cingular then sent us a letter stating that we need to move over to them we went on ahead and did it got a much better plan and we have the free user to user bit roll over etc we been on the cingular service for the past 15 months and as much as i hate to say it have not had 1 minutes issues. dont ask me why but for us its been good. i do have a few spots the service does get a bit flakey like any other service. so for now ill stay with cingular.
     
  10. Crispy Critter

    Crispy Critter New Member

    Messages:
    431
    State:
    Missouri
    Yes, this is definatly the best place going to get info on most any subject.Thanks for all the input everyone.So far this one area out by my folks has been the only place I've had trouble with them.The tower out there has worked on every other phone I've used the last 10 or 12 years.I've been through quite a few companies and many types of phones and they all worked there except this one.It isn't the first time I was lied to by a salesman(if that's what happened)Their job is to sell a product and some of them do it any way they can.
    I guess I need to get out here and make a road trip and just try it out in different areas before my trial period is up.I guess if it's limited to just that one area of no service I can make do.I have a couple of those prepaid types of phones around here from when the kids were home.I guess I could buy a card and carry one for emergencies they seem to work everywhere,but they're just too expensive to talk on everyday.It would seem a shame to have to carry two phones around though.Maybe it would make me look important?LOL!!!
    Again thanks for all the input.Maybe I should start a cell phone review in my Radio Section so everyone could compare service and serve as a guide for people thinking of getting a new phone.LOL!!! It was just a thought.
     
  11. Larry

    Larry New Member

    Messages:
    707
    State:
    Minnesota
    Good thread.
    a couple of mentions.
    First was your phone set to roam when you made a trip to your parents.
    usually you can pick up at least analoge roam.
    Second. Sprint is terrible in rual areas I do not recommend them in Rual MN or WI.
     
  12. teaysvalleyguy

    teaysvalleyguy New Member

    Messages:
    9,751
    State:
    GC, OHIO
    Dave great info there brother, thanks for sharing your knowledge with us.
     
  13. aaronm283

    aaronm283 New Member

    Messages:
    137
    State:
    missouri
    mine always works well exsept when i really need it the most.
     
  14. Crispy Critter

    Crispy Critter New Member

    Messages:
    431
    State:
    Missouri
    Well mine is Cingular,but yea it's set for roam on their preferred systems I suppose I think my plan has nationwide roaming included at no extra charge(even has international roaming I sometimes travel to Canada and Mexico) but it doesn't work on any analog it's all either digital or the next step up which is GSM digital which is enhanced giving me multi media capability(internet,yahoo IM,and a bunch of other stuff I will never use).I pulled up a coverage map tonight and sure enough out by my folks I found a small no coverage area even though it's a digital area,so that is just my luck.Oh well it seems to show coverage in most of the country with the exception of the western desert and my folks house LOL!!!
     
  15. Catcaller

    Catcaller New Member

    Messages:
    1,511
    State:
    SoutheastKansas
    I recently switched to Cingular from US Cellular because they charge roaming fees. My plan claims no roaming/long distance charges nation wide. I have paid 3 bills so far...and so far their claims have been true. I also like the rollover and mobile to mobile feature at no extra charge. I purchased the unlimited text and unlimited nites and weekends as well. my coverage is so far excellent in this area. There is only a couple short stretches of road where I don't pick up well....and this is due to the distance between towers in those locales that are out in the boonies. My old plan with US Cellular had the very same dead spots. Thus far...I have zero complaints with Cingular.
     
  16. safetybass

    safetybass New Member

    Messages:
    299
    State:
    Missouri
    Crispy -

    I have T-Mobile, and have been very pleased with my ability to use other's towers and systems. Florida, Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, California. I've been in all these states in the last 5 years with my phone and never had a problem. Of course three miles north of my house there's this low spot in the highway, and well . . . . . . . A new tower last year fixed that too.

    I have a good friend who went three rounds with Cingular over the same issue you have. He actually got it straightened out eventually. A competitor's tower wasn't recognizing him like it was supposed to. Cingular had to get the issue resolved in accordance with their agreement with the other company. Instead of talking to the sales people, get ahold of your customer service people. Telephone # should be on the bill. If there truly is a hole in their coverage in the location by your parents, they will either resolve the issue or tell you they can't close that hole.
     
  17. Crispy Critter

    Crispy Critter New Member

    Messages:
    431
    State:
    Missouri
    Thanks Larry,I'll give that a try.It couldn't hurt to ask.I bought my phone through Wally-world at their desk in the back and I realize their primary job is just to sell the phones and the plan,then they're pretty much done with you it seems like.
     
  18. olefin

    olefin New Member

    Messages:
    3,908
    State:
    Texas
    We switched from Cingular to Sprint several years back. Big reason, so we can talk for free, since all others in our family use Sprint. So far it has worked almost everywhere we travel... even in Hawaii. Have noticed some places where we had no service that there were cell towers but they were not Sprint. In those areas could have switched to analog but it would be a added fee.

    Also have OnStar in our Avalanche, noticed that it works in the back woods where Cingular and Sprint doesn't. In fact we haven't been where there was no service.
     
  19. TDawgNOk

    TDawgNOk Gathering Monitor (Instigator)

    Messages:
    3,365
    State:
    Tulsa, Oklahoma
    I had Cingular in Tulsa for 2 years. As my wife put it, I was in the cellular dog house until our contract was up. Our problem with Cingular was that where we drove daily between Tulsa and Owasso, we had a 2 mi stretch that we didn't have any service at all. Now, I know that there are several reasons that this could be, but, I took the phones in and spoke to several different people about it. After getting 15 different answer, with the final one being that Oh, I had to pay $285 per phone, plus signing a new contract with them for 2 years, I decided that I would not use Cingular.
     
  20. Crispy Critter

    Crispy Critter New Member

    Messages:
    431
    State:
    Missouri
    Yea,my Explorer has Onestar in the windshield but it isn't blocking my view.:rolleyes:

    No,Onstar can be very handy if you need it.It has it's good points and bad I guess.There are alot of lawsuits against it right now. I hear where they have contacted the police against the owners wishes in cases where the owner was involved in minor infractions and it tracked them and gave out their locations without permission.There's alot of privacy concerns with it I guess,it can be your friend or it can be Big Brother watching all your moves.Starting in 2007 all GM vehicles will have it standard.I traded off my new Chevy and went back to Ford for those reasons.Not that I have anything to hide but if I want to go to the countryside to get away I don't want someone tracking me.My phone has the GPS chip but I can leave it home if I like.