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Recently Degraded Service in St. Pete, FL

Discussion in 'Sprint Forum' started by shyde, Jan 7, 2006.

  1. shyde

    shyde New Member

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    I am a long time (6 year) Sprint customer in the St. Petersburg, FL area and I've been reasonably happy with my service up until about 4 months ago. About 4 months ago I started not being able to obtain a good signal in and around my house. I've also noticed some other areas around town have become spotty.

    I frequently drop calls, roam in supposedly good coverage areas, get no service, have incoming calls going straight to voicemail (my phone doesn't ring), etc.

    I went into the Sprint store and their bright idea was to turn off digital roaming to keep me from roaming in Sprint coverage areas. Well, all that did was increase the frequency of my "no service" issue, so I decided to turn digital roaming back on. To be honeest, I hope for a roaming signal in my house because it works much better than the Sprint signals I get. Unfortunately, the phones are programmed to take an extremely poor Sprint signal before it will take a great signal from another provider.

    They also updated my PRL. I'm currently running PRL 10029, which is only one version back. What drives me nuts is if I go into the Sprint store they're going to try to say "Oh, you don't have the latest software. Let's update it". That's they're way of pushing you out the door quickly without any real solutions.

    When the last PRL update didn't do the trick, I opened a trouble ticket through Sprint customer service. They called me back and unfortunately their call went to voicemail (surprise, surprise). They said everything on the network tested fine.

    I am at my wits end with this problem and I'm about to change carriers over it. No one will admit that anything has changed with respect to the towers or service in my area, but something must have changed. I've been happy for 5 1/2 years and unhappy for less than 6 months. I've lived in the same house the whole time and used to have great coverage.

    Now, I guess it could be my phone, but I am reluctant to believe that. I have a Treo 650 and my wife has a Sanyo 4900. We both have problems, but the Sanyo has inherently better signal strength than the Treo so her problems are not quite as bad as mine.

    Any suggestions? Is there any way to actually get someone at Sprint to take an interest in resolving this? Someone mentioned in another thread that their service degraded right around the Sprint/Nextel merger. My recollection indicates the same conincidence although Larry says the merger didn't change anything... I don't know, but I'm about to leave Sprint and I hate to have to do that. Help!
     
  2. guy2

    guy2 Senior Member
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    I would try another phone and see if that works.You can also get one where you can force roam(roaming only) i think most of the new phones have this.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  3. larry

    larry Sprint loyalist and former mod
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    The PRL version you have will not matter. You're right that's what they use to get you out the door or off the phone quicker. But you have to understand that they really can't do anything else for you. Customer service and the people at the store have no ties to the RF (radio frequency) and network operations dept. who keeps the network up. They can't magically adjust a tower or add a new one. Sprint has not developed a system to tie this together and so there's really not much they can do except file a trouble ticket. Trouble tickets can eventually get to the right dept. but they have to be escalated at least 3 times before that happens. I'm not saying it's impossible but I just don't think it's going to solve your problem. Sprint RF engineers are very reluctant to make any changes unless dozens of people complain about the same thing. Even then it takes some red tape to get through.

    Like someone else mentioned the one thing you could do is try a different phone.
     
  4. Andy

    Andy Diamond Senior Member
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    If you have two different phones and both of them have, for the last six months, been less than stellar, I doubt a different phone would help/change that. It would be a coincidence for both phones to go bad at the same time.
     
  5. shyde

    shyde New Member

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    Thanks for the responses. I think I'm going to try to get someone from network ops to call me. Wish me luck.

    If I take the phone into the store and ask them to run a diagnostic on it, what exactly do they do? I'd like to find out if there's a problem with my phone, but I wonder if the diagnostic is just another smoke and mirrors act to make you think they're helping when in fact they're not doing anything valuable (kind of like PRL updates).

    I understand the reasoning behind the suggestions that I try a different phone, but there is no other phone in the Sprint lineup that does what I need. I have the Treo 650 because I need that Palm Pilot functionality. The Treo is the perfect phone for me! Maybe the Treo 700 would suffice once Sprint decides to offer it, but I actually prefer my 650 over the 700 as I like Palm better than Windows CE.

    My last resort option is to see if I can move my 650 to another CDMA provider such as Verizon. I don't know if Verizon is still cooperating with people using "hacked" Sprint phones, but they used to. Even if they will put my phone on their network, Verizon will cost me another $50-$75/mo at the minute plan level I need. I go through a minimum of 2000 minutes a month and sometimes more. Those plans are expensive with Verizon. I guess Verizon thinks they have better towers (maybe they do).

    I don't know if anyone will answer this one, but what about hacking the PRL in my phone. Is it possible? There's a great Verizon tower near my house (which is why I may end up switching). If I could put that tower at the top of the list, I'd be in great shape. Yes, I know I wouldn't be able to get data, but as of right now I can't hardly make a call, so a clear voice signal with no data would make me happy as a clam.
     
  6. shyde

    shyde New Member

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    One more thought... Is there any kind of "booster" I can buy? I've heard that the Sprint Stores have some sort of device in the back room for testing phones and it acts as a signal booster.

    What about some sort of antenna I can stick on the outside of my house?
     
  7. larry

    larry Sprint loyalist and former mod
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    There are repeaters you can buy but I heard that they really dont work too well.
     
  8. djjim

    djjim Senior Member
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    If it comes to that, try Alltel. I hear their network around Tampa rocks. They are much cheaper than Verizon too.

    MY PLAN--------> Two lines, 1000 nationwide minutes, unlimited n&w starting at 7, unlimited m2m, change my rate plan anytime without contract extension....75 bucks
     
  9. Andy

    Andy Diamond Senior Member
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    I agree with djj, if Verizon seems to expensive for you, then give ALLTEL a try. Their pricing is quite affordable and their coverage is rock solid in the area from what I've heard.
     

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