Friday, July 01, 2005

All MY Circuits are fried

My cell phone plan is from a company endorsed by Catherine Zeta Jones (and more recently the choice of LG) and I have had this plan for just over a year now (currently out of contract). For quite sometime now, my friends have told me that a lot of times when they try to reach me, they get a a message that starts with "All circuits are busy........" or something to that effect.

But now that my cell phone is more or less my primary phone (the landline at work not withstanding) and now that my contract is out, I have finally become proactive about this problem. So much that, since the 22nd of June (my current billing cycle began on the 19th), I have spent a total of 140 minutes of talk time (toll free) talking to my provider about this. In comparison, I have used 131 regular daytime minutes and a total of 367 night and weekend minutes since then.

I know the first question that you would probably ask is, why am I still sticking to the provider. First thing is, they have an awesome deal thats very easy on my pocket and I am still going to be in the "need more minutes, but will pay less" mode for atleast a few more months. Second thing, I know a number of people in Delaware who have the same service provider and apart from the two of us who have the same 740 area code (which originates in Athens, Ohio), no one else seems to face this problem with receiving calls. So I am pushing this case strongly for the past week to get them to resolve it. At least I was hoping to.

I spent one hour yesterday searching for "all circuits are busy" on Google. I was surprised to find that this problem is common to almost every other one as well. So, I have lost hope that this issue will be resolved any time now. A chat with G, someone who's techie enough to explain in detail to me how cell phones work, reaffirms this conclusion. He advises me that the best solution would be to change numbers, while my other friends advise me to change providers. But should I really change providers, when mine has topped the JD Power quality survey last year in 4 categories, including the Overall Satisfaction Among Wireless Telephone Users"?

Actually the bigger issue is my number which might have to be changed, unless this issue is resolved. I might have to change my number since the next best provider (going by rep) does not seem to have the "number porting" facility in Delaware. Ughhhhhhhh!

22 comments:

capriciously_me said...

anti, i am not sure abt the funda behind changing numbers...it mite help but i am positive that ur service provider is one of the worst in the country...they have the worst coverage in the nation (this news is from rf ppl working in the field) which is precisely y they give such gud deals (more minutes for less!!).

anantha said...

Hmmm.. i hear that too, but how do they finish first overall in terms of overall customer satisfaction... And btw, how does the lack of coverage compare with no roaming charges? I mean, with my limited knowledge, I assume that roaming occurs when u dont have coverage right? And I have never had any coverage problems anywhere. Open space na, I have four bars all the time! Again my question is, is this "lack of coverage" offset by the "no roaming charges" or are they two different unrelated concepts?

Rajesh J Advani said...

Your provider (YP) has a pretty good reputation in a number of places (except where I live - limited signal strength around here), but I've faced quite a problem calling people who have your provider's competition's (PC) plan (assuming we're talking about GSM here). I call, I hear a ring, but the phone doesn't actually ring at the other end.

Also, I'm not too happy with their ( PC's) customer service. Not to mention their quite high rates. I'm stuck with them because I need the mobile-to-mobile minutes as a majority of my talk-time is spent calling people who have the same provider. I don't want to change my number, and I'm on a prepaid plan. And they don't port numbers if you've got a prepaid plan. They may have the largest GSM network in the US, but I think they suck big time.

And they said the US was all about customer-service. *sigh*

Would like to know the details of why your problem is not going to be fixed without a change in number, though.

anantha said...

RJA: I think it will be fixed by a number change, but I am wondering if I shld take that risk, since the "lack of coverage" (as opposed to the "IN" competitor, which u subscribe to, i think) issue haunts me ! I am gonna be in consulting in a couple of months so i gotta move every few months or so!
But you know what, my provider tells me that my area has limited or screwed up coverage, but i don't see anything less than 4 bars in my phone (even at home), except when i am inside my office where the ph rings, but can't talk without disturbance...

Rajesh J Advani said...

aNTi: Then why don't you talk to your employer, and ask them if they have a tie-up with any of the two. If they do, then chances are they'll have better coverage in the areas you need to go. Or ask your employer if they have a fixed set of cities where employees tend to go, and try to find out from people (rather than the provider) what the coverage is like in those spots.

Me said...

ennaku service providers pathi lam onnum theriyadhu and service award etc pathi lam kandukaradhu kadayadhu......vangarathuku minndai ella friendsayum oru survey eduthu joined a service provider.....works out good....till now did not face any problems.....anyways i waste lot of minutes....

dev2r said...

My plan from Sp**** is going to expire this September, and I'm shopping for good deals too. For a company based in KS, they sure provide sh***y service in the state. I'll probably switch to your provider or the one that rhymes with 'horizon'. I'm guessing anything would be a step up from Sp****.

p.s: Why the heck are we talking in code?

capriciously_me said...

am not sure abt the roaming charge funda...but anti, finally the performance/choice of ur provider depends on where u are...ur provider is supposed to be ok in the big cities & some parts of northeast...if u come over to the center & west, real bad coverage..so, if we talk of national coverage they are not gud...but u can hold on to this till u get settled & change a couple of months later u kno...my roomie cud never talk from inside the house...she had to walk out for every call...it was a small place but even then thats total crazy!

dumbs said...

anti ur provider is good in big cities only. i have the same service. while driving to Vegas I wouldn't get the signal during most of the time. Whenever I was nearing a city I would get the signal. I did not have any prob in Vegas, Antlanta or Chicago. May be they are having a temporary prob or something.

Sriram said...

May I come inside please? The "wanna continue reading" part of blogger is seriously annoying. please consider removing.

Lazy Geek said...

ennappa tension pannreenga ;-) Capricious seems to be cool about cellular suggestions. i think she has a valid point worth considering.

i still have 15 days to make up my mind !!

Nilu said...

can you hear me now?

Surya said...

I got the same reply whenever i tried to contact a cousin of mine in DC, who had a Tmobile then, which was 2-3 yrs back.
Looks like the issue never resolved. Try Cingular,Razr's r free these days, i own one and i give a high rating to it exept for the choice of vanilla ringtones...

anantha said...

Surya: ya, i guess it cant be really resolved unless they go in for a huge infrastructure investment or whatever.. so i am twiddling my thumbs...

Nilu: i hear you :)

LG: its not a problem faced by a lot of ppl boss, so as long as u dont see it in the next fifteen days it should be fine. and more over if u are gonna be in the same area, ur experience wont change from what it is in teh first 15 days.

Sriram: I know what you mean. i am looking to see if i can do something else. Other alternative is a java script that will put only my post titles up...

Dumbs: i am not sure if its a temporary problem...

CM: thanx for all the tips.. u in the industry too? i mean.. ur internship...

Chakra Sampath said...

Oh no.. T-Mobile sucks big time in UK.. angayumaa..

Harish said...

TMo has swiss cheese coverage!! Next only to Nextel.

As for roaming - national plans from VZW, Cingular - none of them charge you for roaming. (With VZW defn of roaming is slightly weird!)

JD Power - thats a joke!! TMO goes with it every year coz every time a customer calls up and asks a stupid qn - TMO CSRs have the liberty to give them a bucket of free minutes!! No other service provider does that!

Cingular has 30 days trial. Try your luck with it as someone suggested.
I personally has a distaste for Qualcomm-Verizon-CDMA gang!

Harish said...

Also TMO might be sold soon (possibly to Vodafone - which owns part of Verizon) !

Harish said...

SMS aavathu anuppa mudiyum-la? :D

anantha said...

Curses: SMS nu word padichona i could figure out which Harish this was...lol :) Only after that I saw the pic on the right!

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