Wireless Carriers Starting To Reveal Dead Spots

from the took-'em-long-enough dept

For years, consumer groups (and some politicians) have been pushing wireless carriers in the US to open up their coverage maps. The carriers all know where their dead spots are, but on their websites, they show maps that simply suggest there's full coverage in whatever area they have towers. The carriers have resisted saying where the dead spots are, for fear of turning away customers and because they say that they're constantly improving, so those maps go out of date very quickly. Of course, the fear over scaring off customers is silly -- because a customer who buys a new phone (with a locked in contract) and then finds out his home is in a dead spot isn't going to be the best advertising for the carrier. In fact, they're going to be some of the worst negative advertising around. While some "mobile phone customer bill of rights" laws have been forcing carriers to either show maps or give people the right to cancel a plan if there's no coverage, it looks like some of the carriers are starting to open up and provide the maps themselves. T-Mobile and Cingular are apparently the first, but if the others see that the two companies don't whither up and die, they are likely to follow. It certainly took them long enough to be honest with their customers.

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  • icon
    Chet Kuhn (profile), 12 Oct 2004 @ 9:10am

    No links?

    Your article has no links to this mysterious coverage map. The article you link to has no link to this mysterious coverage map. T-mobile's and Cingular's sites have no link to this mysterious coverage map (that I can find.) I hereby call shenanigans until I see this mysterious coverage map.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Permanent4, 12 Oct 2004 @ 11:37am

    Drawing dead

    I just moved into a house that happens to be smack dab in the middle of the only Verizon dead spot in Durham, NC. The problem, though, is that it's a dead spot for EVERYBODY. My friends and neighbors using Cingular, AT&T and Sprint have just as much trouble holding calls on their phone as I do within this neighborhood. (I haven't tried Alltel and Nextel yet. T-Mobile, for whatever reason, does not operate in North Carolina.)

    Of course, I didn't plan on getting a wireline when I moved in, because I always just used my cell phone to make calls. Now, thanks to the mortgage, I don't have enough wiggle room in my budget to add a basic wireline. There are ways around this dilemma, I know, but it's really a pain in the arse...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Jim, 14 Oct 2004 @ 11:20am

    no micromaps at Cingular or T-mobile yet

    Could not find any new "micromaps" providing street level detail of coverage. Only old maps showing broad coverage areas (definitely not street level, more like state level)!
    I agree, either shenanigans or BS!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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