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May 15, 2006

Cingular: The Fewest Dropped Calls*

Filed under: Telephone — Edgar (aka MrConsumer) @ 6:29 am

Cingular Fewest Dropped Calls

Cingular has been widely advertising that it has the “fewest dropped calls.” What is the basis of their claim?

*MOUSE PRINT: The footnote indicates “Dropped calls based on nationwide experience among national carriers.”

Who did the survey/test and what exactly did it find? Cingular is not talking much on the subject and refers inquiries to the research company that did the study, Telephia. Telephia says their results are proprietary and won’t discuss them. See Boston Globe story.

The claim is also contrary to two recent reports on service quality from JD Power and Consumer Reports (subscription required).

Now it is revealed that Telephia sent a letter to the four major carriers at the beginning of May, after Cingular began running their campaign. According to a follow-up Boston Globe story:

Telephia sent a letter this month to officials at all four major wireless companies, saying it didn’t know how Cingular concluded that it drops the fewest calls. The San Francisco research firm also said it couldn’t say whether Cingular’s advertising is fair, legal, or responsible.

”While we can’t evaluate the specific analysis Cingular uses as the basis of its nationwide claim, Telephia can confirm that Cingular does have a statistically significant lower dropped-call rate than the competition across some market/time period groupings,” said Sid Gorham, Telephia’s chief executive, in the letter.

For consumers, we are still left without any substantiation, and with increasing doubt. Hey, Cingular, what is the real story? Can you hear us now?

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49 Comments

  1. Very interesting! It’s always been my belief that Cingular has the MOST dropped calls. I know that everytime I’m on a
    call that lasts 20 minutes or more, it’s dropped at the 20 minute mark. I can only assume that this is intentional on
    Cingular’s part since it’s at the 20 minute mark every time.

    Comment by Chicago — May 15, 2006 @ 10:31 am
  2. I don’t know about dropped calls, but for
    no-small-percentage-of-the-time they don’t
    connect the call in the first place. I can’t
    tell you the number of times that it just
    fails to connect (“Failed – Retry?”), but
    it happens often enough for me to expect
    it now.

    On the otherhand, Sprint would drop calls
    all the time — especially during high-peak
    call times like rush hour or early evening.

    Comment by caltonia — May 15, 2006 @ 12:41 pm
  3. I honestly think dropped calls are a matter of what the coverage map for your cell phone company in your area. I moved to FL about a year ago, having TMobile, and found that the coverage was horrible – I was lucky if the call didn’t drop in under a minute’s time. I then decided to check go to Tmobile’s website and check the coverage map for FL – and it wasn’t too densely networked, as I suspected! The same thing happened when I checked out the coverage maps for Verizon, and Sprint (Nextel). Cingular at least in south FL seems to be reliable and well-networked. So, I rThe So, to its credit, Cingular has been doin OK in this region.l

    Comment by allison donovan — May 17, 2006 @ 2:19 am
  4. I agree with Ms. Donovan. I think it depends on the area you’re in. I think all the cel companies have the same problem. Poor customer service. They lock phones to their network, so you have to purchase a new one to move, they force you to get contracts or pay higher fees and you can call them 5 times in a row and if you speak with 5 different people, you will get five different answers to the same question.

    I have Cingular (At&T) and sometimes I can’t even make a call from my house and sometimes I can.

    Comment by Trina — May 19, 2006 @ 7:48 am
  5. As long as congress stays out of it and does not pass more laws favoring the phone companies at the expense of the consuler, all you jave to do is to change companies until you find the best service in your area at the cheapest price. For me Cingular is fine. For my daughter it is T-mobile.

    Comment by Bob — May 29, 2006 @ 8:52 am
  6. Already, AT&T is increasing my home phone LD cost, that I do not want or ask for and my Cingular (more AT&T) is supposed to be going up due to goverment charges. I got the cell to use for my LD. It drops calls all the time while I walk around in my house and does the same on the road. They seem to not have enough towers or something here. They say there is not the population here but when I see almost everyone I know with a cell and the only game in town is Cingular-How can that not be???? Vonage is not available here or I would use it…. This is a real pain caused by greed of the phone companies and only wanting to serve the huge population areas, not SW Missouri!
    Frustrated Consumer!

    Comment by Nancy Washburn — June 26, 2006 @ 8:38 am
  7. Their claim is a scam. For years and years AT&TW and Cingular have been the lowest rated. Now even after they scored 2 stars by JD Power, they want to claim to have the fewest dropped calls? At least other carriers provide some kind of proof to back up claims, but Cingular doesn’t. And you can’t e-mail them to inquire about it, because Cingular DOES NOT LET NON-CUSTOMERS CONTACT THEM THROUGH E-MAIL! Hopefully soon the major carriers will sue and win against Cingular.

    Comment by Jason — July 29, 2006 @ 6:53 pm
  8. I find Cingular’s claim infuriating. IT’S FALSE ADVERTISING! Why aren’t they being challenged by the Media
    Is there a government agency that oversees this type of claim?
    I consistently experience dropped calls, no connections, fading in and out, and echoing…which in itself
    is very annoying. I have to find areas in my condo where I can receive calls
    and get a clear signal and if anyone is thinking it’s because I am inside, not so. I have
    friends that have Verizon and don’t have the problems I have with Cingular. Even Metro-PCS (which
    may be local to Florida) gets better reception then Cingular.

    Can anyone explain to me how can they get away with this claim ? I am disappointed that none of the other
    cellular companies have challenged their claim.

    Comment by ronni — August 3, 2006 @ 6:58 pm
  9. I have cingular that statement “few drop calls” must mean when you are dailing a number waiting for a ring and look at the phone and it says retry call. How about when I’m at home I can never make a call. Please, I know per day if my call go through I drop at least 20 calls +. Cingular sucks.

    Comment by Yvette — August 4, 2006 @ 2:41 pm
  10. I am an ex-employee of Cingular. I only worked for them for 3 months. One of main reasons I quit was because I could not honestly support Cingular’s services or claims. Cingular’s service went down ALL THE TIME. I’m not talking about a tower here or there, I’m talking about the ENTIRE NETWORK. Having worked previously for both CellularOne and Alltel, I’d never seen anything like this. The day I quit, our phone system was down half the day, then when it came up we were notified that the Cingular Network was down (yet again). I said that does it, and I was outta there! I would never personally have Cingular service.

    Comment by Glen — September 26, 2006 @ 10:02 am
  11. I had tried Cingular last year. It worked great, except for at my house. After going back to the Cingular store several times, trying boosters, and different model phones, their service still did not work at my house.

    Within the advertised 5-day grace period, I had dropped their service, and returned all of the phones for a refund. Refund of the phones worked flawlessly, but refund of the service that I no longer had phones for took 3 months to get totally credited.

    Comment by Mark — September 26, 2006 @ 11:15 am
  12. I had a wonderful experience with Cingular. I live in a small town but work in a nearby city. When I had Verizon, calls I made on my way home dropped multiple times. I switched to Cingular and now never drop a call. [I don’t work for them!] Occasionally, the call faded for a few seconds, but even that was a rare occurence. I guess it depends on where you live and how up-to-date your phone programming is.

    Comment by Vicki — September 26, 2006 @ 12:05 pm
  13. Really Cingular may be right…I have a Cingular Phone for work and a Sprint PCS phone for personal use…I find that My Sprint Phone is crystal clear when I use it, or it drops the call (chish is ok I guess as it happens very infrequently and Sprint will reimburse me for the Drop.

    Cingular on the other hand, doesn’t drop the call, it just sounds like crap.

    I can be talking to a nice young girl and suddenly her voice will sound like an 80 year old smoker. Call wasn’t dropped though! Claim substantiated.

    Cingular is THE suck.

    Comment by DasBaldGuy — September 26, 2006 @ 12:43 pm
  14. Beware of cell phone companies. I cannot help but be reminded of organized crime when dealing with
    any cell phone company. Seriously, i am not exaggerating. Think for a moment about ANY offer of ANY item
    by ANYONE which is framed by: “This product is $200., but you can have it free if you just sign here.”

    No offer with those terms could possibly be honest.

    Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, I realized that
    SOME OF THE COMMENTS HERE ARE PROBABLY MADE BY THE
    CELL PHONE COMPANIES THEMSELVES.

    Glowing comments by anonymous users are probably from Cingular,
    and the comment about the “entire network going down all the time” is almost surely made by a competitor.

    ALL cellphone company people are horribly, horribly amoral.

    Comment by Dan — September 26, 2006 @ 1:48 pm
  15. I have the same problem with Cingular as other people have stated–first, if I can get the call through in the first place, which seems to be random, and then being dropped, sometimes more than once. (I redial and pray.) Worse, the drops seem to be geographically cued. I can point out several locations on Interstate 4 where the calls will be dropped every time.

    I’ve even had calls dropped as I was passing one of their “fewest dropped calls” billboards.

    Oh, the irony.

    Comment by Brook — September 26, 2006 @ 2:44 pm
  16. I had Cingular and switched BECAUSE I had too many dropped calls. They have the fewest dropped calls because they have
    the most dropped customers.
    Less customers = less dropped calls

    Comment by Ryan — September 26, 2006 @ 3:16 pm
  17. Of course Cingular can have the fewest dropped calls. If a provider has the fewest calls that connect in the first place, the likelihood is strong that they would probably have the fewest calls dropped. Alternatively, I doubt very much that Cingular could claim to have the lowest percentage of dropped calls. In my experience, their claim of more bars is also dubious. My Cingular Treo would display five bars almost all of the time, encouraging me to dial away. However, the second i input the number and hit SEND, the number of bars would mysteriously, but very consistently drop to two.

    Comment by chris — September 26, 2006 @ 3:40 pm
  18. Dan, nice broad based comment about all cellphone company people being horribly amoral, my wife works for Sprint. So now should I say something derogatory about your wife? Oh wait, alickbag like yourself who makes broad-ranging accusations probably is unable to attract a mate of the opposite sex.
    Having said that, I agree with others that it depends on what area you live it, but it has been my experience that Cingular/SBC(Southwestern Bell)/AT&T, whatever they want to call themselves is by far the worst about misleading people. I will stop here because of my nefarious association with that horribly amoral person I go to bed with each night.

    Comment by Mark McCullough — September 26, 2006 @ 3:42 pm
  19. Disclosure: my daughter used to work for an AT&T Wireless call center. Cingular is the cellular phone service formerly known as AT&T Wireless. My daughter didn’t particularly like working at the call center.

    Disclosure: I’ve been an AT&T Wireless customer for over a decade in the western United States.

    Over the years, I have found that terrain makes a huge difference. Also, the spacing of towers means that coverage will usually be better in town than in the sticks. However, if you are using your phone in an area with tall buildings or inside a building, you may be more likely to have difficulty placing and maintaining a call in that location.

    Here I’ll note that there is a place along I-70 where I can talk non-stop through a canyon most times on that drive. Since that section tends to have rock slides, it’s important to me to have a carrier than can get a call through there. I’m confident that if I am the next on the scene of a rock slide, my service will likely be able to get a call through to emergency services. I don’t have OnStar, so my cellular phone is the only way I’ll have to call for help if I’m the unfortunate person trapped by tons of mud, rocks, and debris.

    On the other hand, I can be in a little rural town with several bars of service but have huge difficulty getting a call through, and have noticed that the bars of signal drop dramatically when placing a call there. Or it may take several attempts.

    People need to remember that cellular service is based on the same technology as citizen’s band radio and to some extent, walkie-talkies. My FM radio in my house needs an antenna to work, and so does my cellular phone.

    Yes, I’ve experienced dropped calls more than I like, but have to acknowledge that it depends a lot on my location at the time and line-of-sight to a Cingular tower to transmit the signal and the spacing of those towers.

    In our area–like any other place–the demand for service drives whether it makes sense to add towers. Cactus and coyotes don’t talk on the phone nor write checks.

    However, I’ve noticed that a formerly too-remote area (more coyotes per square mile than buildings) has recently sprouted a lot of natural gas drilling derricks–and vastly improved service in a former dead zone. Clearly, the cellular phone companies have found that there is a demand for their service in the oilfields and have placed additional towers in these areas to transmit calls to and from those little antennae in our phones.

    There are areas of our county where the only service with coverage is Verizon. I appreciate that carrier for remembering folks in rural areas who need phone service but can’t the telephone company to provide service that far out. When people move into those areas, the first things they learn about is to get Verizon, a propane tank, and a post office box in town.

    Anecdotally, I’ve heard that the only cellular service that works out on the on Navajo or Pueblo reservations in New Mexico is AllTel.

    So if you are going to use a cellular phone primarily in a particular area, talk to your friends and other people you trust before you commit.

    Comment by Library Lady — September 26, 2006 @ 4:48 pm
  20. I believe their claim. But…

    My mum bought a two-for-one phone deal. When we call each other, the call will take at least twice as long as it should, since we are constantly saying “What?”, “Please repeat that!”, “One more time?”.

    But they don’t drop the call due to poor connection.

    My life now contains a large red *hot button* labelled Cingular.

    Comment by Cingular Fool — September 27, 2006 @ 12:15 am
  21. I had a new one happen yesterday. I called my parents phone #, but when the person answered, they were neither of my parents. He said his name was “Robert”. I looked at my phone to see if I had dialed the correct #, and it said I had. My parents’ names are Ron and Bev. I have not been a satisfied Cingular customer, but then again, I don’t use my cell phone a lot. There have been other problems with Cingular, like the ones listed here, duch as: home connection is poor, dropped calls, etc… I would not recommend their services obviously. When my two-year contract expires (ouch), I will not be I will not be continuing service with Cingular.

    Comment by Dennis Wicklund — September 27, 2006 @ 6:02 am
  22. I recently switched from Cingular to Alltel because I thought I was going to kill someone if I heard
    “all circuits busy – please try your call again later.” Customer service had 8 different reasons on
    why it happened (each time I complained about it – usually it was my fault or something beyond their control).
    Every THIRD call of mine didn’t go through, and many incoming calls couldn’t reach me OR leave a voicemail –
    which sucks when you’re job-hunting. Did I mention Cingular has one of thier largest call centers here in
    Johnson City? You’d think I could get service. I despise Cingular now.

    Comment by Johnson City, TN — September 27, 2006 @ 10:02 am
  23. I have had to Cingular service for over two years now and I still get phone calls for people
    named Don and Benita. I don’t know how this happens, but every few weeks someone will call my number
    trying to reach them. I also get my calls dropped ALL THE TIME! I laugh every time I see an ad for
    Cingular’s fewest dropped calls claim. It’s totally bogus.
    What’s worse, is my mom had Cingular service that was grandfathered in from an old AT&T contract. Her
    digital phone suddenly stopped working in certain areas. I spent hours on the phone with customer service
    and none of them could agree on the reason. Finally, after 2 months without service that she was still
    being charged for, she was forced to upgrade to their new GSM service and sign a new 2-year contract.
    Otherwise, she would have had to continue paying for service she didn’t have or pay a cancellation fee
    to get out of the contract!

    Comment by Nicole — September 27, 2006 @ 10:07 am
  24. I have had Cingular for many years. I recently renewed, but asked about coverage n an area I
    was planning to move to. They assured me it would be fine. As one person said, aske
    10 people, get 10 different answers. My contract is up in November, and I will NEVER
    use Cingular again. However, I also believe there is no ethical company left in the US
    and I am constantly reminded of this fact. Sad.

    Comment by cindy holt — September 27, 2006 @ 10:15 am
  25. I had ATT before cingular bought them out and never had dropped calls or
    problems hearing or connecting calls but now (I HAD NO CHOICE BUT TO
    GET CINGULAR) my service has been horrible. My father has to go outside to get
    and make calls since the receiption is so bad and the tower is less than a
    mile away….. Hmmm can someone say “cingular” cell service is sucks.

    I can drive in town and begin calling a number and “call failed to connect”
    message comes up OR the call takes forever to connect.

    My contract is up in April SINCE I had already been in an ATT contract prior to
    the buyout and had NO CHOICE in switching but I assure you I will get service
    from someone else.

    NOT TO MENTION the “text messages” they managed to send for “advertisements” for
    their ringtones, wireless plans etc… WHICH I did not solicit but managed to
    be charged for on my cingular bill (yet another sore spot) which takes at least
    an hour of my busy day to get removed and credits issued AND I MADE IT CLEAR
    when I had the ATT account that I did not want “internet or TEXT MSG” services
    on either of my phones (family talk plan). They even had the nerve to take away
    my after free after 7pm calls THEN bumped me up to 9:00pm…. GO FIGURE!

    AHHH the fine print you don’t see OR they fail to mention……

    Comment by Denise — September 27, 2006 @ 10:21 am
  26. I have both a verizon phone and a cingular phone. My verizon phone
    consistently works much better than my cingular and though I live
    in a large metro area my cingular will not work in my house/neighborhood.
    When I drive into my subdivision it’s like I have crossed into an invisible
    cingular black hole or something. When I called cingular customer service
    all they would tell me is their system shows coverage in that area. Verizon
    works perfectly though.

    Not only do I have problems with Cingular dropping calls and failing to
    connect and above mentioned problem BUT what aggravates me the most
    is when I try to call someone else on my own family plan I get the message
    the cingular number you are trying to reach has been disconnected. It will
    do this repeatedly sometimes before finally connecting through. It will
    also do as Dennis mentions, even with the correct number on the
    display it will somehow dial a different number. When my contract with
    cingular is up, I plan to move all of our phone lines over to Verizon.

    Comment by Aggravated in Indianapolis — September 27, 2006 @ 10:52 am
  27. Please note that coverage maps show areas where roaming partners are present, and that you have to have a compatible phone. Using a 900/1900mhz handset will not work with Cingular in most places, but may work with some roaming partners. Cingular is also moving to the 850mhz (closing 1900) in a lot of markets (which Cingular GSM handsets support) due to better building penetration and signal strength over distances.

    Also note that some handsets are worse than others – my Motorola devices were horrible for “call failed” errors, while my HTC, RIM, and S/E devices have no problems.

    Customers were not forced to switch to Cingular from AWS unless it was in an area that Cingular was required to divest. Reps are paid when people switch, so you *may* have gotten a less-than-scrupulous rep. (Several of my friends are still on AWS.)

    I am not a Cingular employee. I am not an employee of any carrier; I just like to keep up with readily available information. (Its all there if you’re willing to read it)

    Comment by Bob — September 27, 2006 @ 12:19 pm
  28. Bob, it is very difficult to believe you are not a Cingular employee, with your use of acronyms that most of us are unfamiliar with. How many people know what band their cell provider functions on, let alone know what badn they are supposedly changing to? If customers were not forced or misled into signing a new contract with Cingular because of the AT&T merger, why are they being sued in a class action lawsuit? The courts have already determined there is enough merit to proceed. Of course you probably don’t have an answer to that since you don’t work for Cingular…..right.

    Comment by Mark McCullough — September 27, 2006 @ 4:27 pm
  29. I had AT&T Wireless and was forced into Cingular, like many of you. AT&T sucked in ALL aspects (service, quality, DROPPED CALLS, etc), and it’s very safe to say Cingular carries those same attributes. Insult to injury was Cingular CHARGES FOR BOTH INCOMING AND OUTGOING TEXT MESSAGES, something they failed to mention when they automatically switched over. When queried after receiving the first “new” bill, Cingular’s response was “we’re not AT&T. We don’t do it that way. Nice. BTW – I have a Verizon Wireless phone as well. FAR superior in service AND performance, by a LONG shot! I’m counting the days when I can tell Cingular to jam their “least amount of dropped called” WAY up there!

    Comment by George Jetson — September 27, 2006 @ 8:34 pm
  30. If Cingular really has the fewest dropped calls, it’s most likely because they have the fewest calls in the first place.

    Comment by JackD313 — September 29, 2006 @ 10:11 am
  31. Hi all… First, I switched from cingular to sprint in July. Finally I know that when a call is cutting out, it’s most likely not my phone. Just one of the 85 people in my phone book that have cingular. I’ve been curious about the claim cingular has been making for a while. Good to see someone has exposed it.

    Second, Mark McCullogh, your response was so helpful… Your statement of, “Bob, it is very difficult to believe you are not a Cingular employee, with your use of acronyms that most of us are unfamiliar with” makes me laugh. Here are a few acronyms for you. WTF? DOA, MIA, CGI, NASA, STMP, DRT, CDMA, DTMF, GSM, G3. Oh, I’m not a paramedic, a veteran, a web designer, an astonaut, or an IT Pro. But it’s nice not to be ignorant of the world surrounding you. No, I don’t work for a wireless company, but I know what frequencies my phone operates on… That’s on the box your phone came in. Maybe wireless isn’t for you.

    Third, Bob, Thanks for the heads up.

    Comment by Nick — October 1, 2006 @ 4:27 pm
  32. I always thought that was a deceitful advertisement, I’ve never had a dropped call from Cingularand only a few with T-Mobile, but Cingular has a lot more static & cuts in & out all the time. They say more bars to which seems to mean when you’re at the lower bars your call won’t be dropped but in return there’s horrible reception.

    Comment by Jason — October 3, 2006 @ 8:25 am
  33. I had AT&T Wireless for over several years and when Cingular took over I had fewer dropped call. NOW since I have read all of these comments about Cingular, I’m a little worried about switching to a new 2 yr svc contract and get a new phone….
    They recently sent me a letter stating that I have to purchase a new phone due to the fact that I have the old analog phone and have to upgrade. I’d rather pay the x-tra $4.99 per month until I figure out what new company I what to switch too.
    Know matter what phone company we consumers pick they are going to screw you any way you look at it
    GOOD LUCK TO ALL ON FINDING THE PERFECT ONE FOR YOU!!!!!

    Comment by Ernest — October 18, 2006 @ 2:55 pm
  34. Can relate to Mark about phone not working at my home, even when we have a tower less than a quarter mile away. When we questioned Cingular reps about it, we were told that the paperwork specifically states that you may not be able to get reception inside a building, no matter where you are. Makes me wonder how the people going strictly to wireless phones are doing it…do they go outside all the time to talk? What is the point of having the phone if you can’t use it in a building as well as outdoors?

    As far as the claim of the ‘fewest dropped calls’ all that says to us is that ‘We all suck, but our service sucks the least’. Not a glowing recommendation as far as we are concerned.

    We are still looking to find a reliable wireless service provider. For what we pay each month……we should be getting better than Cingular provides. Come May, when our contract is up, hope we find a provider that has their act together and will give us the service for which we pay.

    Comment by Sara — October 22, 2006 @ 12:40 am
  35. Nick, why do you have to be so sarcastic??? I personally do not know what type
    frequency my phone operates on. Also, I seldom read the manual for items I
    purchase, much less the box that it come in.

    All I really wanted to write is that all of my friends and family who are
    currently with Cingular are getting ready to change to another carrier due
    to the recent number of dropped calls and calls that don’t even go through in
    the first place due to “congestion” or the fact that the the call says that
    it is connected but I cannot hear the person I am calling.

    Bob and Nick, if you do in fact work for Cingular…please pass this information
    along.

    Comment by Jane — October 22, 2006 @ 11:21 pm
  36. I was a very happy Verizon customer, as are nearly all Verizon customers, but the company I work for moved onto Cingular so I was forced to swap my service. Now I literally lose a call at least one in five calls. I use my phone predominantly for work and it is emabrassing to lose a call when talking with customers. I also have to call multiple times to get through sometimes which is extremely annoying. Every time I see that smug ad proclaiming the fewest dropped calls I yell out “BS!”. Can you hear me now?

    Comment by Simon — October 25, 2006 @ 10:53 pm
  37. Well you got to be kidding me if someone actually thinks Cingular has a great service even a decent service. There plans suck, there coverage sucks, and they tell people A whole bunch of lies.
    I have Cingular,
    and still have Cingular and the pain i’m going to through with these people is imaginable. The service sucks,
    I have the worst services compared to my friend’s carriers (t-mobile, verizoin, SPrintNextel). call there
    customer service 5 times and see what the all tell you. Each one of them would tell you something different, and
    each one of them would offer you a great plan once you tell them that your transferring your number
    to different carrier. I personally can’t stand Cingular and can’t wait for my contract to be over; wait
    I’m not going to wait for my contract to be over. I’ll be more than happy to pay them 160 for Termination
    just as long as the give me my number and leave me along with all that “BS!” Talking about the have the
    nations fewest drop calls, and rasing the bar, and rollover minutes. “WHAT?” Rollover Minutes. MAN YOU GOT
    TO HAVE THESE PEOPLE TO TALK ABOUT THEM. Please just sue them and make em’ pay for every bill that
    I had to pay more than 200 dollars. Which is like every Bill. AnD yeah if your wondering, “NO” I don’t
    WORK FOR CINGULAR, or any of these other carriers. I just happen to be doing a compare and contrast paper about cell phone
    carriers and I happen to stubble on these comments. THANKS GUYS

    Comment by Abdul — October 26, 2006 @ 5:06 pm
  38. OK. The truth of the matter from someone who deals with all the cell companies all day 6 days a week. I do the repair work for the MANUFACTURERES of the cell phones NOT THE CARRIERS. I hope you guys are ready for simple truth in K.I.S.S. format. K.I.S.S. stands for Keep It Simple Stupid, Every phone from every carrier uses radio signals, which needs an originating point and ending point, an antenna to an antenna. The distance between these two points will directly effect your reception. Also, the number of users on a cell tower will also affect service as this increases the number of RADIO SIGNALS.

    Comment by Bob — November 11, 2006 @ 11:46 pm
  39. Come on Bob, the people here are spot on. As an engineer who worked for one of the major cell phone manufacturers and performed testing on numerous carriers (TMobile, Cingular, Alltel, Verizon, ATT, Sprint, Nextel)handsets, and infrastucture, the sentiment echoed here is correct. Yes, there were some areas that Cingular coverage was fine, but to claim the fewest dropped calls is just misleading advertising. I used a Cingular phone for about a year in the course of business, and I would routinely drop calls, be unable to connect, and have poor connections. This was in a major metropolitan area, and within shouting distance of the tower.

    Also, how would anyone at Cingular know how many dropped calls the other carriers had? This type information was difficult for me to obtain, and we were providing their handsets. I have a simple request, show me the data and then I will believe the claims.

    Bottom line, Cingulars claim is just that, and unless some data is shown to substantiate it, its false advertising.

    BTW, our testing showed that Verizon had the best overall nationwide coverage, and even this was dependant on the phone that was used in each unique market. With the big 2, Nokia and Motorola phones consistently the best performers.

    Comment by Jerry — November 16, 2006 @ 12:42 pm
  40. I wouldn’t trust JD Powers & Associates, and Consumer Reports. I have purchased several things that JD Powers and Consumer Reports said were great and they were crap. The reports are most likely bias.

    I have had Cingular (soon to be the “New AT&T Wireless”) since it was Pacific Bell PCS, and have never had a problem. I have had phones provided by work (Verizon, T-Mobile and Nextel). For the most part it depends on where you are for reception. I have always found that my personal phone (Cingular) doesn’t have any many problems as the other service providers. I have lived all over California, and Cingular has been the best provider for me. I also like the idea that Cingualr is GSM like most of the rest of the world. Let’s not forget that CDMA technology is from WWII. We might create the latests, greatest, coolest technology in the world, but we are the last to sell it and buy it. At least Cingular (and T-Mobile, they just are too small) use and sell technology the rest of the world uses.

    I believe most people don’t like AT&T/Cingular because they have an image of the old AT&T. Let’s not forget that Verizon is the old GTE, which was by far the worst landline provider. They changed their name and claimed they were a “new” company and now people love them.

    Comment by John Smith — January 13, 2007 @ 1:46 pm
  41. T-MOBILE IS #1. CINGULAR sucks! How can you say you have the fewest dropped calls with no major company name to back it up the claim? The reason is because their leading independent research company is cingular…lol. What a crock! If you have to choose a carrier it has to be T-Mobile. They are #1 in Customer Service by J.D. POWERS for the wireless industry 5x in a row now. No other carrier has ever won it twice but they have done it 5x. That is HUGE!!! Check the J.D. Powers website http://www.jdpower.com and see how many awards T-Mobile gets from them every year. Call quality wise, T-Mobile is either #1 or tied for #1 in ALL 6 REGIONS of the US that the wireless industry has broken it down into. PLUS YOU HAVE THE MOST WHENEVER MINUTES. I just looked these up today, 2/13/07 >>> T-Mobile $59.99 you get 1500 min, with unlimited nights & weekends & you can get MOBMOB for $6.99/mo (if desired). Verizon – $59.99 you only get 900 min with unlimited nights, weekends & MOBMOB. Cingular – $59.99 you get 900 min with unlmited nights, weekends & MOBMOB. Sprint $59.99 you get 900 min with unlmited nights, weekends & MOBMOB. Nextel you get 900 min with unlmited nights, weekends & Unlimited Walkie-Talkie. AFTER LOOKING THESE UP TODAY I GOT TO SAY I HAVE NO PROBLEM PAYING T-MOBILE $6.99/MO EXTRA TO HAVE 600 MORE WHENEVER MINUTES TO USE OVER THE OTHER CARRIERS. F.Y.I. > 600 MINUTES OF OVERAGE AT $0.40/MIN = $240 IN OVERAGE CHARGES. GET T-MOBILE!!!

    Comment by Tom — February 14, 2007 @ 12:43 am
  42. I also had AT&T before it was taken over by Cingular. My AT&T service was fine but as soon as Cingular took over it was awful. My daughter and I both had phones but could not call each other(in the same city). Cingular said they had a tower down and they new about the problem. THREE weeks later I still couldn’t call my daughter. When service finally returned I might get through every 5 or six calls the rest would start ringing and disconnect or never connect at all. I am now with Alltel and have no problems. I am also paying less for 3 phones than for 2 with Cingular and have more minutes.

    Comment by Lisa — February 17, 2007 @ 12:33 pm
  43. I recently switched from Verizon to Cingular (my boyfriend and I live on opposite coasts and a family plan was necessary so we could actually talk to each other beside at 12am for me). Every time I see the advertisement of the least dropped called I laugh and say they definitely didn’t survey anyone in Northeast Ohio. At least one call is dropped per day, usually 3-4. I also get that call failure thing all the time. There is really no where in my house that I can use my cell phone (and I don’t live in the boonies or anything). Calls are also dropped in major cities and in areas where I have full bars. Verizon wasn’t any better. I have come to the conclusion that when you choose to buy a cell phone you are essentially choosing which company you will allow to rip you off. I was also given a broken phone when I started Cingular (the problem has since been fixed). I am also still paying for my Verizon account because of their ridiculous family plan policy (I can’t take my phone off until all of the phones are up even though mine is past contract).

    Comment by Bre — February 17, 2007 @ 1:13 pm
  44. Im glad im not the only one who is mad about Cingular wireless! I switched from Sprint a year and a half ago and it’s been hell for me from the most DROPPED CALLS to unexplained high bills. So if you are thinking of switching make the right choice and go to SPRINT.

    Comment by John — February 21, 2007 @ 9:50 am
  45. A call has to first connect, before it can be dropped.

    Comment by Brad — March 6, 2007 @ 4:24 pm
  46. Thanks to all for making comments. It does help to read others frustrations, who are having
    the same issues. I have had my phone for about 4 years now. I have no contract with at&t/
    Cingular right now. I have been thinking of picking up a new contract just to have a new
    phone. I was hoping that at&t would offer a special contract for us who have no contract to
    keep us interested in their service. Sort of meet us halfway. It is hard to give up 1150 min
    and service after 7pm free for 59.99. Somehow getting only 700 min, paying 16.99 more a month
    for service after 7 pm for a family plan, and another 10 dollars a month for service plus
    activation fees just doesn’t make that new phone worth it. I have had no problems with
    service until just the last 2 weeks. Have full charged battery and all of a sudden my call
    drops and a red stop sign with no service comes up. I have noticed that my anntena has for
    some reason dropped down to two bars. I have been on calls in this same area 3 times a day
    at the same time of day for 4 yrs now with no dropped service or any reception problems until
    the last 2 weeks. I then started looking on the internet, since I have heard a lot of talk
    about people saying they will not pick up the new at&t/Cingular service when their contract
    is up, wondering what problems people are having. I logged into my account to talk with a
    service tech about my problem and found it was a lot harder to do since I last asked a
    question in this way. I finally got to where I needed to be, only to find out it was after
    hrs. I then saw my bill that is coming in the mail with an extra 49.95 charge on it. I
    contacted at&t/Cingular the next day to find out what that was for. They had no idea and
    took the charge off. Very good coustomer service I felt. I was a little bit nervous since
    I had many problems when I first took my contract out while it was under just AT&T. Had to
    call every month waiting for 20 min to 45 min even an hr one time to speak with someone to
    have my phone bill straightened out. I was always satisfied and had no problems getting my
    account changed to the correct amount, but I had to put the time into it to get it done.
    When Cingular took over never had an overage on my bill that I had to call about until this
    last bill. Now I am wondering should I swtich carriers or stay!!!! Thanks to all for reading
    my drawn out paragraph.

    Comment by Stacy — March 6, 2007 @ 7:49 pm
  47. Just some common sense observations: Carriers, regardless of whom, want to keep you on the line as long as possible, unless your plan is unlimited minutes. I have used sprint, cingular, verizon, and t-mobile…they are all about the same. I noticed “dead” spots in various areas in all of them. They all have dropped calls on me regardless of time and where I am at. But right now im sticking with cingular/at&t as they have the largest network in the US, maybe the world? and they are the only ones that will be selling the Apple Computer iPhone…mmm iPhone. lol. As for fewer dropped calls from any of them, honestly, that has not been my reason for switching. In the end it is always customer service. Cingular seems (so far) to have the most professional CS people I have dealt with.

    Comment by Navotny — May 5, 2007 @ 11:58 am
  48. We had AT&T & signed up for Free Phones each year for 2 years. Within 5-9 months (or LESS) they changed to Cingular..We went to new phones (GSM),,,We hoped that we would be able to call each other…(husband a truck driver)….*places that before,we could not talk.opened up.. But our phone could not get calls at our house..After the WIND STORM,(07), 1,000s 0f towers went down. We had coverage improve, when they fixed them..then worsened after another storm…

    We had hoped to be able to get ahold of kids at home, to save on minutes…getting boys a phone. The only time we can get boys on phone, is if they are in town with us, & it SAVES TIME FINDING THEM IN THE STORES…What a waste in using $10.00 monthly, + taxes..X2=$20.00+ taxes…We keep hoping things improve…& phones get better coverage…But, we are dissapointed…

    ALSO upset on the TEXT message doubling cost, plus costing to send and receive.when they switched to Cingular..Plus loosing the FREE hOLIDAY CALLS…

    Calls are dropped when we look a different direction, or look down.(while on the phone.)..Blue tooth items come in handy, when in those spots.. But the coverage AREA needs to be UPDATED..Or they could offer calls to be FORWARD FOR FREE to hard to get calling areas..

    It seems like my HUSBANDS CALLS TO ME

    Comment by Betty Spradlin — May 31, 2007 @ 7:52 am
  49. I have had Cingular/AT&T for three years and have been relatively pleased with their service. The sound quality isn’t as good as I’d like, but my coverage is pretty good and I like the roll-over minutes. My main complaint: I use my AT&T phone for business and I often participate in conference calls that usually last about an hour. It seems that inveriably, my call gets dropped after 45 minutes. It’s not a signal strength problem – I can immediately call back in. So I think AT&T is intentionally dropping my calls after 45 minutes. I read the post about drops after 20 minutes. Is anyone else having this kind of problem?

    Comment by James — August 12, 2008 @ 4:13 pm

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