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The 2014 Farmers Almanac
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Cell Phone Disaster

Cell Phone Disaster

This is a personal vendetta I have on cell phone coverage. I live in Maine and we have lots of trees and a few mountains, but I’m always amazed at how pitiful cell phone coverage is in this state.

Personal disclosure forces me to admit that I use Verizon. Generally speaking, they get a good rating in consumer reports, but whether it’s Verizon, AT&T or any other carrier, it is the dark ages of cell phone coverage, at least in a sparsely populated state like Maine.

A couple of years ago, I was doing a radio call-in show from my home to Montreal (I wasn’t moving around), and four times the call was dropped. Think about it. You are doing a call-in show and you get dropped four times. When I went to Verizon, the response was “It happens.” More recently, I get cut off at least six times a day, and I live in the second largest city in the state. So, whether conversations are broken or I get dropped, cell phone service isn’t what it is touted to be.

So, here’s the question. Where do you live, and what type of cell phone coverage do you get? I expect if it’s a large city, that coverage is good. But, am I the only person that has to suffer while still paying full rate for partial service? I’d love to hear your experience good, bad or ugly.

14 comments

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2 Kurt { 11.27.13 at 4:49 pm }

I live in midcoast Maine,I also have verizon and my service isn’t to bad.

3 Denise { 11.10.13 at 2:20 pm }

I live in Lynchburg, Virginia. I used to be with verizon and I was getting 4G. Verizon does have the best cell phone coverage but I was paying a lot more money than I should have been. So I switched to sprint and now we have unlimited data but the cell phone service isnt as good. Its not terrible but its not great. I pick up 3G and only have 2 bars at my house. My phone also keeps roaming and drops calls occasionally. However, 4G is coming here at the end of this year so the problems im having with my phone dropping calls and losing signal shouldn’t last much longer. I admit, Verizon does have the best service but it is also expensive and they were charging me for overage fees when we haven’t been going over on our data! It didn’t make any sense at all

4 Jjleepp { 11.10.13 at 6:59 am }

I live 20 mi South of Atlanta – coverage is strong new tower 5years ago – the old phone lost coverage after 1 yr and 6 months every 2 yrs-so I got new phones -said the old phones needed better software to keep up with new cell tower – but my daughter didn’t have problems- hmmmm???
But then again all have some problem with the cell phone companies

5 Marie { 11.09.13 at 11:24 pm }

I also live in Maine, in the twin cities. I go through Sprint, but my reception is poor at best, unfortunately. I could be on the phone with someone in Florida and we have to call each other back 3 or 4 times it seems, just because the calls drop out. And that’s with a call no more than 18 minutes! Ridiculous… Yet, I went to Montreal, Canada a little while back and my reception was the strongest I had EVER seen it! Maine has to get some signal towers like they have!

6 Isabella B { 11.08.13 at 11:49 pm }

I live in central NJ and my verizon coverage is great, but pricey. However, my brother who lives the pocono mountains in PA noticed I was receiving calls while visiting his house once and he was really surprised. Needless to say he cancelled his service with Cingular and signed up with Verizon and has had perfect service. I’m. Hoping someday you too, will gave that where you live. Good luck

7 Steph { 11.08.13 at 8:17 pm }

I live in the mountainous boondocks of upstate NY (About 22 driving miles from Danbury, CT). I had to switch to Verizon cell service when Sprint phased out the Nextel towers. Apparently the Nextel towers were the only Sprint owned towers in my area and when the land line went out I had no phone service at all. I had land phone service (Verizon) until it got to the point I got credits for not having service 6 months out of the year. Verizon wireless service still seems to be better than Nextel/Sprint was. Even though I get dropped calls with Verizon, I am still able to make a call right away and never had to use the neighbor’s phone in an emergency like I did with Sprint. Oh, and when I had Sprint/Nextel I had no service at all when I drove up I-65 through Alabama. I haven’t done cross country driving with Verizon yet.

8 Angela { 11.08.13 at 7:10 pm }

I live in the Rocky Mountains, on the Western Slope of Colorado. We are rural and not close to any large city. I use AT&T but many here use Verizon. At my house I have 1 bar of service, if I walk 3 houses down in either direction from my house the service becomes 3 bars. There are many spots that no coverage at all happens. It is frustrating to pay so much for service we don’t get. We have to use our own wifi to get most text messages through. Where I work 35 miles away we get 3 bars of service. However being in the mountains and rural they are not willing to install the infrastructure required to give us anything more than 3-4g coverage even though we are close to a major interstate. I will take rural living over city living so we just pay the outrageous $140 a month bill.

9 Beverly Jeans { 11.08.13 at 6:38 pm }

I live in Germantown, Maryland and personally have Verizon cell and home wireless and internet coverage and most of the time I only get 0 to 1 bars in my own living room!! My kids have T-Mobile and get coverage everywhere we go,

10 Rachul { 11.08.13 at 6:36 pm }

Have you looked into Republic Wireless? I switched to it 6 months ago. Usea your own wi-fi as a carrier. $25/mo. No contract. You do have to but the phone. They are getting the new motoral phone out at the end of the month. I love it. If you decide to switch, use me in the referral!

11 autumnsea { 11.08.13 at 6:22 pm }

If your cell reception is so bad, I don’t understand why you don’t have a copper-based landline.

12 Jennifer { 11.08.13 at 5:45 pm }

I live in the Pineywoods of East Texas. I am 30 miles from the “semi big” city and 100 miles from the metro area of Dallas. We get good reception on our cellular service now, but that has only been true for about 5 years. I assume someone put up a tower out here in the woods and all the cellular companies use it. We have AT&T, Straight Talk (trac phone) Verizon and Alltel on different items and all have about the same signal. We do have one phone that drops calls, but I think it’s the phone not the service.

13 Dianne { 11.08.13 at 5:30 pm }

I live in a small community on the East Coast of Vancouver Island. So lots of trees and mountains. I use Virgin cell service. For the most part it’s very reliable. Any time I’ve had to call customer service they have been great. There are one or two areas in this town that you get only one bar but that is for any of the Cell providers.

14 PurpleLogic { 11.08.13 at 5:26 pm }

I live in South Florida and LOVE my cell phone carrier.I pay $40.00 flat rate per month and no limits on text or calls. When I upgrade to a smartphone my service will jump to $60.00 month to cover data and taxes included. The only drawback is that it does not include International calling. Other than that it is the best thing going MetroPCS!!!

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