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Old 06-27-2019, 12:52 PM   #44
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Post Cell Phone Service On & Around the Lake

Please let me apologize in advance for a somewhat lengthy post but if this issue is of concern to you the details might be useful:

Background: Over this last year I have experienced a marked decline in the signal strength and cell coverage in/around the New Hampshire lake region. Lots of dropped calls and problems getting and sending text messages, especially when sending something with a photo attached at locations we never had problems with in the past.

Verizon wireless (our cell carrier) doesn’t make it easy to contact them about cell service issues. In frustration I reached out to the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission with my issues. While the PUC got back to me right away, they let me know that they don’t have regulatory oversight authority over wireless carriers. They did forward my complaint to Verizon Wireless.

Much to my surprise a couple of days later I got a call from the Verizon corporate level office down in Maryland that deals with complaints. He informed me Verizon was beginning an extensive “technical” investigation of the issues. I received a couple of calls from technicians doing research and looking at call strength, dropped call problems, etc. To their credit in about a week I received a call back from the corporate representative outlining that they had verified that there was a transmitter down issue in our local area, particularly around the Weirs Beach area. He indicated that their technical review confirmed what I had reported, last summer I was consistently getting three, four and sometimes five bars at our camp location on Bear Island. Now we struggle to get two bars. He would not pin down the tower location but we have line of sight to Weirs Beach so I strongly suspect that is where at least one issue is centered.

The bad news was that there was no timetable set for resolving this issue impacting us in the lake region. The representative did say that if there were multiple trouble calls from subscribers within an area (he said usually 5 or so was enough) that the trouble tickets would be bundled into a much higher priority status for more immediate attention. Basically, he said to get friends and neighbors in my area to complain. Thus my post on this forum.

The take away is that while state Public Utilities Boards don’t regulate wireless carriers it is obvious to me that they scare the carriers more than we might imagine. If you have wireless carrier issues the most direct and but not necessarily simple approach is to call Customer Support (for Verizon Wireless it is 800.922.0204 and select “Technical Support”) to file a service complaint.

Don’t expect to get a direct answer. Be warned it is not easy to navigate their phone tree and once to get to technical support you will have to answer a lot of questions about locations and the specific issues. From what I am learning, the impact of a relatively small number of complaints coming subscribers from an area is enough to get attention.

In the lakes region, the PUC complaint route is via an online complaint form at , but be aware that they will let know that they can’t help, but will forward your complaint to the wireless carrier. If my experience is any indication, you will get a call from a corporate level representative for follow up. I subsequently got several follow up calls from technicians as well as text updates on my trouble ticket.

My advice is to be very specific about issues you are experiencing and press hard for them to address those issues. You are paying a lot of money for cell service and companies like Verizon Wireless are pretty tone deaf to routine complaints but when confronted with any government regulatory scrutiny or volumes of complaints they become much more “customer friendly”.

I hope this helps if you are experiencing a cell service problem around the Lakes Region.
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