Persistent Phone Problems

My wife has had an ongoing issue with her phone on our Cingular/The New AT&T service. To the best of my knowledge, this problem only affects her line. I am not aware of the same problems on my line. For some reason, calls do not reliably come through to her phone. She will receive reports from friends and family members of attempts to call her but she didn’t answer. Her phone doesn’t show any missed calls. Every now and again, her voice mail indicator will go off and when she checks, the voice mail will be anywhere from four days to two weeks from the past. This happens often enough that it can’t be explained away by being out of a coverage area any longer.

AT&T has been good at working with us on this problem, but for some reason it won’t go away. This problem has plagued her through three phones and at least as many SIM cards.

The problem first showed up in her SonyEricsson z500a. When we switched to Cingular from the "old AT&T Wireless", we got the z500a phones because they were a "buy one, get one free" special. I wanted the Motorola v551 at the time, but my wife said that was out of the question. My phone seemed to work flawlessly, but she was missing calls and not getting voice mails. When we originally started to complain late in 2005 Cingular would tell us that a tower was out in our area and things would get better soon. This continued through 2006. When I had to fly home to Texas for my mom’s final days and funeral, my wife was having phone problems so I had her take her phone to a Cingular store where they gave her a new SIM card. Last year on Black Friday I called to complain again. The moisture indicator on my wife’s phone was red so they said they would replace the phone. The z500a had been declared obsolete by then so she was allowed to upgrade out of cycle. We went to the Cingular store where she picked out the Motorola v365. The problem persisted.

When I finished school in October my wife finally had more time for a social life. I have to admire how much she had to sacrifice with two small children and a husband working on a Bachelor’s degree. Although we did do a few things, often on weekends I would have to work on class so she gave up a lot of activities. Now that she has time for more because she doesn’t have to factor in my time for study, she’s getting (and missing) a lot more phone calls. I called AT&T (the name changed by this point in my narrative) to complain and she was sent yet another SIM card. The problem persisted with the new SIM card, so AT&T sent her a warranty replacement phone.

On Saturday night, we were at a Homebuilder’s study group. My father-in-law began calling us because we were going to drop Joshua off with him and he didn’t know when. Since we were in a group, we didn’t answer our phones right away. He called her, then me. My phone reported a voice mail. Last night (Tuesday) my wife finally got the voice mail that her dad left her on Saturday night. I told her to call AT&T. I’ve been calling all along and I figured (other than being sick of dealing with the issue) maybe she could get different results. They wanted to send her another warranty replacement phone, even though they haven’t even gotten the last one back yet. I can see one phone being bad, I can even see two phones being bad, but unless the entire V365 model line is bad, I don’t see three bad phones being within a reasonable probability. My wife finally talked them into letting her get a comparable phone. Now I’m researching three phones for her. The two Samsung phones AT&T gave her a choice of got abysmal ratings from CNET. She’s looking at the RAZR V3, the Nokia 6555, and the SonyEricsson w580i.

I told her if the problem persists, we’ll just pay the $175 cancellation fee for her line and she can move to T-Mobile. Because I have an unlocked GSM phone now, I’m thinking about staying away from service contracts if I can at all help it from this point. I’m going to have to stay with AT&T until at least January 2008, but I’m not having any problems (that I know of) with the service.




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