How's Your Cellular Coverage Around Town?

Do you experience "dead zones"? What can be done?

I don't know about you, but for me, cellular phone coverage inside my own home, or on my block, or anywhere on Dempster Street between the lakefront and Waukegan Road is spotty at best.

I'm a Verizon Wireless customer, and I've spoken with the friendly customer service folks multiple times about these issues. They've suggested everything from:

1) Reprogramming my phone so it grabs the closest cellular tower to

2) Calling customer service immediately after a dropped call to

3) Dialing #-#-# immediately after a dropped call (the idea being, if Verizon receives enough #-#-# messages within a particular area, they'll open a service ticket and assign someone to check out the problem).

Today, I broke down and purchased a personal "cell tower" for my living room (actually, it's called a "network extender") to boost my mobile phone's performance. I'm counting on the device to eliminate the need to say, "I'm sorry, can I call you back from a land line? My mobile phone doesn't work inside the house."

The most troubling aspect of the whole thing is shelling out hundreds of dollars to Verizon for a device that'll (supposedly) do what I'm already (over-)paying for every month.

Yes, I live in an old house with brick and century-old plaster walls and no, I'm not alone in my frustration with spotty cellular coverage. Still, I feel like I "sold out" today: I purchased and set up this network extender rather than fighting Verizon for better coverage. I know I should have held my ground, insisting on better coverage or else switching providers. However, I just wasn't up for the battle.

What's your take on this?

Richard Schulte December 09, 2011 at 02:51 PM
My land line still works great-never have that sort of problem. Problem solved.
Jim Osburn December 09, 2011 at 08:39 PM
I used to have that problem at the dialysis center on Central with Sprint, changed to ATT and amazing things happened--got good coverage and received a donated kidney so no more dialysis! Sometimes change is good.
annie December 10, 2011 at 12:45 AM
Its never happened to me with Verizon, but I bet depends on where the closest cell tower is to you. I live near Ev/Skokie border, so there is probably good coverage up here with Old Orchard being so close. You might want to take a look as to when your verizon contract ends and move on to another carrier. Also, talk to your neighbors and see which carrier they use. Best bet - talk to a teenager, they know "everything" about cell phones!
Leslie December 12, 2011 at 05:54 PM
I have US Celluar no problems here, cant say I've ever had a dropped call and I've been a loyal customer for many many years.


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