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Cingular roaming nightmare

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Anonymous
April 8, 2004 2:25:58 PM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.cingular (More info?)

I'm in the middle of a Cingular roaming nightmare. If anyone has any
ideas how to prod Cingular out of their complacency, please let me
know.

Background: I was a reasonably happy customer of Cingular for over two
years -- not totally happy, but happy enough to realize that none of
the others were likely to be much better. I'm based in Tallahassee FL
with a National plan. I had traveled to Seattle and Los Angeles quite
a bit. Last August, Cingular gave me a new Nokia 6340i and $30 in
exchange for a 2-year contract -- presumably mostly because they are
moving to GSM and my old phone didn't support it, though surely partly
to get customers under contract before number portability arrived in
Tallahassee.

It's not a big surprise that the 6340i gave me much better service on
the west coast, where it's all GSM. Excellent service in the middle of
the office building where I'm working in LA, where previously I had no
signal at all -- usually a seven-bar signal. Excellent strong signal
everywhere in the area (just north of LAX). Good service in Seattle
when I went there for a weekend in November, in locations where I'd
previously had poor service. So I was a happy camper.

The first inkling of problems came in January, when the 6340i started
shutting itself off spontaneously. That isn't what I'm writing about
here -- I'm pretty sure that's a Nokia problem -- but that's when I
found out that in Cingular, East is East and West is West and never
the twain shall meet. Not only are the tech people in LA unfamiliar
with the 6340i, they don't touch anything TDMA. And they can't even
get into my account to set up a loaner phone. The original companies
-- Bell South Wireless and whatever the west coast part was -- are
merged in name only, not in operations.

But other than the phone problem, I continued to get good service.

So on to my current problem:

On Thursday, March 18, I was in LA, and I suddenly stopped getting
digital service. The phone would occasionally say Cingular Extend, but
could not place calls even when it showed a signal. Despite several
hours on the phone with tech support (most of it on hold playing the
extremely annoying advertising messages over and over and over and
over ad nauseum), this condition continued until I left LA on the
morning of Saturday, March 20 for a week at home. I had reached tier 2
support and had been given a roaming ticket number.

When I changed planes in Memphis, the phone worked fine. The entire
week in Tallahassee, it worked fine. I called tech support -- twice --
to check on the roaming ticket; they said it had been closed but
refused to attempt to locate any information on the action taken.
(Later experience, described below, would show that no effective
action had been taken.)

On Tuesday, March 23, I swapped the phone out (for the second time)
due to the problem of it turning itself off (up to a dozen times a
day). In retrospect, this was a mistake, because it conflated the two
problems. However, the new phone worked fine in Tallahassee. It also
worked fine in Memphis on the evening of Sunday, March 28, when I
again changed planes on my way to LA.

When I reached LA, the problem returned full force. No "Cingular"
signal, only a sometimes "Cingular Extend". I tried in a number of
locations near the airport and at my hotel a couple of miles north --
an area where the GSM signal is so strong you can float in it. I was
actually able to call my voicemail, but could not place ANY other
calls, not even to Cingular customer service. I contacted after hours
support; the level of competence I encountered is indicated by the
rep's suggestion that I walk around to find a better signal -- in an
area where you have to be in a steel and concrete bunker to avoid the
signal.

The next morning I took the phone to a Cingular store across the
street. They got the same results, the only difference being that
Cingular tech support didn't assume they were dolts. After an hour and
a half, they claimed that my phone had not received the proper
downloads -- "over air activation" -- after I swapped it out. They
sent me out to stand under a Cingular tower, claiming that there I'd
be able to receive the downloads, whereas near a Verizon tower I could
not. That evening, another rep on the phone gave me a different
location for the tower, with identical lack of results.

Tuesday morning (March 30) I called again and asked for one rep to
stay on the problem until it was fixed. The rep agreed to be my
contact. She came to the same conclusion, that my phone needed
downloads, and said that yes, getting the downloads outside my home
area was hopeless. I shipped the phone to her office in Ocean Spring
MS, where she checked it out, verified the downloads, and swore that
everything would be fine now. Due to a couple of shipping foul-ups, I
didn't get it back until yesterday, Wednesday, April 7.

And it still isn't working. Exactly the same symptoms. I'm waiting for
the rep to contact me. I've been without west coast roaming service
for a full three weeks now -- which for me at this time means I've
been without a cell phone for three weeks, since I only have the phone
for travel and am currently traveling to, duh, the west coast.

It appears that Cingular simply has no system for elevating problems
which can't be solved at the regular tech support level. My guess
would be that this is a problem with authorization in the roaming
system.

Non-destructive suggestions welcome. ;-)

Edward Reid
Anonymous
April 8, 2004 9:40:55 PM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.cingular (More info?)

In article <5cbdc996.0404080925.5b5759a@posting.google.com>,
edward@paleo.org (Edward Reid) wrote:

> Non-destructive suggestions welcome. ;-)

Call their HQ and ask for the VP of Marketing. A problem like this
you need to start at the top, not the bottom.
April 8, 2004 9:40:56 PM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.cingular (More info?)

Group: alt.cellular.cingular Date: Thu, Apr 8, 2004, 5:40pm (EST+5)
From: rmarkoff@msn.com (Robert M.)
<<A problem like this you need to start at the top, not the bottom. >>

Which is where you are, you bottomfeeder.
Related resources
Anonymous
April 10, 2004 5:23:53 AM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.cingular (More info?)

It appears that Cingular simply has no system for elevating problems
which can't be solved at the regular tech support level. My guess
would be that this is a problem with authorization in the roaming
system.

Non-destructive suggestions welcome. ;-)

Edward Reid


Wow Ed, That quite an issue. Ok First let talk about the roaming thing.
Cingular, Verizon, AT&T all roam on other carriers networks ( YES the
mighty Verizon, about 40% of the America`s Choice network is not theirs
and they still have the same problem about downloads out of your local
market) to fill in holes in their coverage. Cingular has agreements
with other GSM carriers, mostly AT&T and T-Mobile. As Cingular
completes it build out in certain areas, they drop the roaming
agreement with the other carrier. When you get Cingular extend you are
getting either AT&T or T-mobile. This is most likely what happend in
the area you were in. Yes getting that download is very important. The
best place for you to get it is in Tallahassee FL. Tryin to get it
anywhere eles just will not cut it. Also be sure you are on a National
GAIT plan the gives you access to both networks with no roaming.
Finally, get your etiher the Motorola V400 or the Motorola V600. Either
buy it full cost from Cingular or on ebay if you can. The phone is a
class 4 handset and one of the most powerful cingular carries. You can
then go on a GSM only plan which is cheaper and have a really
dependable phone. IT sounds like you make your living travling and your
phone is your life line. BITE THE BULLET AND YOU WILL BE HAPPY YOU
DID>.


--
Wireless Guy

The Cellphone Guy..
------------------------------------------------------------------------
http://cellphoneforums.netView this thread: http://cellphoneforums.net/t116508.html
Anonymous
April 11, 2004 2:51:27 AM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.cingular (More info?)

What is on your display in LA when you cannot make calls? Does it show
"Cingular Extend" or "Cingular" or a blank display? Does it indicate that
you have good signal on the signal strength bars?

If it shows good signal and is on "Cingular", this means that you are on
Cingular's network and should be working.

If the display is blank, it indicates that you have been refused service on
anybody's network, including Cingular's. My guess is that if this is the
case, Cingular may have a routing problem that rejects your phone from
registering in this market. Tier 2 needs to check to see if GAIT numbers
from your local market (Tallahassee) are being routed properly from the LA
network.

If it shows "Cingular Extend" you are most likely on AT&T's network. They
may have some sort of problem that is preventing calls from setting up
correctly on their network. Cingular customer service needs to get with AT&T
and clear it up if this is the case.

My advice is to escalate this through the management ranks in your local
markets instead of HQ. The local market has more to gain from keeping you
as a satisfied customer. Send your horror story to your local sales person
and see if they can help you get it escalated. And ask for a software
upgrade to see if that clears up your power off problem.

Let us (this NG) know how things turn out.


"Edward Reid" <edward@paleo.org> wrote in message
news:5cbdc996.0404080925.5b5759a@posting.google.com...
> I'm in the middle of a Cingular roaming nightmare. If anyone has any
> ideas how to prod Cingular out of their complacency, please let me
> know.
>
> Background: I was a reasonably happy customer of Cingular for over two
> years -- not totally happy, but happy enough to realize that none of
> the others were likely to be much better. I'm based in Tallahassee FL
> with a National plan. I had traveled to Seattle and Los Angeles quite
> a bit. Last August, Cingular gave me a new Nokia 6340i and $30 in
> exchange for a 2-year contract -- presumably mostly because they are
> moving to GSM and my old phone didn't support it, though surely partly
> to get customers under contract before number portability arrived in
> Tallahassee.
>
> It's not a big surprise that the 6340i gave me much better service on
> the west coast, where it's all GSM. Excellent service in the middle of
> the office building where I'm working in LA, where previously I had no
> signal at all -- usually a seven-bar signal. Excellent strong signal
> everywhere in the area (just north of LAX). Good service in Seattle
> when I went there for a weekend in November, in locations where I'd
> previously had poor service. So I was a happy camper.
>
> The first inkling of problems came in January, when the 6340i started
> shutting itself off spontaneously. That isn't what I'm writing about
> here -- I'm pretty sure that's a Nokia problem -- but that's when I
> found out that in Cingular, East is East and West is West and never
> the twain shall meet. Not only are the tech people in LA unfamiliar
> with the 6340i, they don't touch anything TDMA. And they can't even
> get into my account to set up a loaner phone. The original companies
> -- Bell South Wireless and whatever the west coast part was -- are
> merged in name only, not in operations.
>
> But other than the phone problem, I continued to get good service.
>
> So on to my current problem:
>
> On Thursday, March 18, I was in LA, and I suddenly stopped getting
> digital service. The phone would occasionally say Cingular Extend, but
> could not place calls even when it showed a signal. Despite several
> hours on the phone with tech support (most of it on hold playing the
> extremely annoying advertising messages over and over and over and
> over ad nauseum), this condition continued until I left LA on the
> morning of Saturday, March 20 for a week at home. I had reached tier 2
> support and had been given a roaming ticket number.
>
> When I changed planes in Memphis, the phone worked fine. The entire
> week in Tallahassee, it worked fine. I called tech support -- twice --
> to check on the roaming ticket; they said it had been closed but
> refused to attempt to locate any information on the action taken.
> (Later experience, described below, would show that no effective
> action had been taken.)
>
> On Tuesday, March 23, I swapped the phone out (for the second time)
> due to the problem of it turning itself off (up to a dozen times a
> day). In retrospect, this was a mistake, because it conflated the two
> problems. However, the new phone worked fine in Tallahassee. It also
> worked fine in Memphis on the evening of Sunday, March 28, when I
> again changed planes on my way to LA.
>
> When I reached LA, the problem returned full force. No "Cingular"
> signal, only a sometimes "Cingular Extend". I tried in a number of
> locations near the airport and at my hotel a couple of miles north --
> an area where the GSM signal is so strong you can float in it. I was
> actually able to call my voicemail, but could not place ANY other
> calls, not even to Cingular customer service. I contacted after hours
> support; the level of competence I encountered is indicated by the
> rep's suggestion that I walk around to find a better signal -- in an
> area where you have to be in a steel and concrete bunker to avoid the
> signal.
>
> The next morning I took the phone to a Cingular store across the
> street. They got the same results, the only difference being that
> Cingular tech support didn't assume they were dolts. After an hour and
> a half, they claimed that my phone had not received the proper
> downloads -- "over air activation" -- after I swapped it out. They
> sent me out to stand under a Cingular tower, claiming that there I'd
> be able to receive the downloads, whereas near a Verizon tower I could
> not. That evening, another rep on the phone gave me a different
> location for the tower, with identical lack of results.
>
> Tuesday morning (March 30) I called again and asked for one rep to
> stay on the problem until it was fixed. The rep agreed to be my
> contact. She came to the same conclusion, that my phone needed
> downloads, and said that yes, getting the downloads outside my home
> area was hopeless. I shipped the phone to her office in Ocean Spring
> MS, where she checked it out, verified the downloads, and swore that
> everything would be fine now. Due to a couple of shipping foul-ups, I
> didn't get it back until yesterday, Wednesday, April 7.
>
> And it still isn't working. Exactly the same symptoms. I'm waiting for
> the rep to contact me. I've been without west coast roaming service
> for a full three weeks now -- which for me at this time means I've
> been without a cell phone for three weeks, since I only have the phone
> for travel and am currently traveling to, duh, the west coast.
>
> It appears that Cingular simply has no system for elevating problems
> which can't be solved at the regular tech support level. My guess
> would be that this is a problem with authorization in the roaming
> system.
>
> Non-destructive suggestions welcome. ;-)
>
> Edward Reid
Anonymous
April 13, 2004 2:57:44 AM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.cingular (More info?)

Ed, going to AT&T is not really going to solve the problem. They are in
the same boat also. CInguar and AWS(AT&T) are in the process of opening
up more of the local and national network to allow both customer to see
more of each Cell Sites, not just the roaming sites. The Motorola V400
/ V600 are type 4 handsets , while the Nokia 6340I is a type 5. Higher
the type more power it puts out. Since you have a Sim you sould able to
still Use a V400/600 and keep your Nokia as a Back-up. I`m going to
check with some of my back office friends in Cingular Network to see if
there is any issue with that. That way you can test both. Also if you
spend the money on the V400 full price or Since the V600 with bluetooth
coming out in a couple days. You should find a couple of uses on ebay
or on this site williing to sell their loved v400 so they can buy the
V600.


--
Wireless Guy

The Cellphone Guy..
------------------------------------------------------------------------
http://cellphoneforums.netView this thread: http://cellphoneforums.net/t116508.html
Anonymous
April 13, 2004 2:53:38 PM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.cingular (More info?)

>The Motorola V400
>/ V600 are type 4 handsets , while the Nokia 6340I is a type 5. Higher
>the type more power it puts out.

HUH????

By law they are limited to .6 watts in AMPS mode. Practically, they are held
down by the system to much less, usually.

--
John S.
e-mail responses to - john at kiana dot net
Anonymous
April 13, 2004 9:40:24 PM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.cingular (More info?)

John you are right , I really gotta stop posting so late. The lower that
Type Class the more power it puts out. You are correct it is no where
near the full Watt that AMPS puts out, but type 4 handsets are pushed
closer to the max line of allowable output.


--
Wireless Guy

The Cellphone Guy..
------------------------------------------------------------------------
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Anonymous
April 29, 2004 1:28:36 AM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.cingular (More info?)

Edward,

I really think the reason you cant roam an a tdma phone is that threir
are no longer tdma towers there.

Buying a tdma phone on two year deal was a bad deal. you will have to
get a new phone shortly anyway because cingular says its overlay of the
TDMA network will be done in 90 days.

Look at there web page. I was in a cingular store in Alabama, and they
were saying that they were changing this summer ot GSM.

Check where you live about when the switch over will be happen.

Here how to solve the problem in the mean time
1)get a gait phone.

Chip

Edward Reid wrote:
> I'm in the middle of a Cingular roaming nightmare. If anyone has any
> ideas how to prod Cingular out of their complacency, please let me
> know.
>
> Background: I was a reasonably happy customer of Cingular for over two
> years -- not totally happy, but happy enough to realize that none of
> the others were likely to be much better. I'm based in Tallahassee FL
> with a National plan. I had traveled to Seattle and Los Angeles quite
> a bit. Last August, Cingular gave me a new Nokia 6340i and $30 in
> exchange for a 2-year contract -- presumably mostly because they are
> moving to GSM and my old phone didn't support it, though surely partly
> to get customers under contract before number portability arrived in
> Tallahassee.
>
> It's not a big surprise that the 6340i gave me much better service on
> the west coast, where it's all GSM. Excellent service in the middle of
> the office building where I'm working in LA, where previously I had no
> signal at all -- usually a seven-bar signal. Excellent strong signal
> everywhere in the area (just north of LAX). Good service in Seattle
> when I went there for a weekend in November, in locations where I'd
> previously had poor service. So I was a happy camper.
>
> The first inkling of problems came in January, when the 6340i started
> shutting itself off spontaneously. That isn't what I'm writing about
> here -- I'm pretty sure that's a Nokia problem -- but that's when I
> found out that in Cingular, East is East and West is West and never
> the twain shall meet. Not only are the tech people in LA unfamiliar
> with the 6340i, they don't touch anything TDMA. And they can't even
> get into my account to set up a loaner phone. The original companies
> -- Bell South Wireless and whatever the west coast part was -- are
> merged in name only, not in operations.
>
> But other than the phone problem, I continued to get good service.
>
> So on to my current problem:
>
> On Thursday, March 18, I was in LA, and I suddenly stopped getting
> digital service. The phone would occasionally say Cingular Extend, but
> could not place calls even when it showed a signal. Despite several
> hours on the phone with tech support (most of it on hold playing the
> extremely annoying advertising messages over and over and over and
> over ad nauseum), this condition continued until I left LA on the
> morning of Saturday, March 20 for a week at home. I had reached tier 2
> support and had been given a roaming ticket number.
>
> When I changed planes in Memphis, the phone worked fine. The entire
> week in Tallahassee, it worked fine. I called tech support -- twice --
> to check on the roaming ticket; they said it had been closed but
> refused to attempt to locate any information on the action taken.
> (Later experience, described below, would show that no effective
> action had been taken.)
>
> On Tuesday, March 23, I swapped the phone out (for the second time)
> due to the problem of it turning itself off (up to a dozen times a
> day). In retrospect, this was a mistake, because it conflated the two
> problems. However, the new phone worked fine in Tallahassee. It also
> worked fine in Memphis on the evening of Sunday, March 28, when I
> again changed planes on my way to LA.
>
> When I reached LA, the problem returned full force. No "Cingular"
> signal, only a sometimes "Cingular Extend". I tried in a number of
> locations near the airport and at my hotel a couple of miles north --
> an area where the GSM signal is so strong you can float in it. I was
> actually able to call my voicemail, but could not place ANY other
> calls, not even to Cingular customer service. I contacted after hours
> support; the level of competence I encountered is indicated by the
> rep's suggestion that I walk around to find a better signal -- in an
> area where you have to be in a steel and concrete bunker to avoid the
> signal.
>
> The next morning I took the phone to a Cingular store across the
> street. They got the same results, the only difference being that
> Cingular tech support didn't assume they were dolts. After an hour and
> a half, they claimed that my phone had not received the proper
> downloads -- "over air activation" -- after I swapped it out. They
> sent me out to stand under a Cingular tower, claiming that there I'd
> be able to receive the downloads, whereas near a Verizon tower I could
> not. That evening, another rep on the phone gave me a different
> location for the tower, with identical lack of results.
>
> Tuesday morning (March 30) I called again and asked for one rep to
> stay on the problem until it was fixed. The rep agreed to be my
> contact. She came to the same conclusion, that my phone needed
> downloads, and said that yes, getting the downloads outside my home
> area was hopeless. I shipped the phone to her office in Ocean Spring
> MS, where she checked it out, verified the downloads, and swore that
> everything would be fine now. Due to a couple of shipping foul-ups, I
> didn't get it back until yesterday, Wednesday, April 7.
>
> And it still isn't working. Exactly the same symptoms. I'm waiting for
> the rep to contact me. I've been without west coast roaming service
> for a full three weeks now -- which for me at this time means I've
> been without a cell phone for three weeks, since I only have the phone
> for travel and am currently traveling to, duh, the west coast.
>
> It appears that Cingular simply has no system for elevating problems
> which can't be solved at the regular tech support level. My guess
> would be that this is a problem with authorization in the roaming
> system.
>
> Non-destructive suggestions welcome. ;-)
>
> Edward Reid
April 30, 2004 1:44:28 AM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.cingular (More info?)

RE/
>It appears that Cingular simply has no system for elevating problems
>which can't be solved at the regular tech support level. My guess
>would be that this is a problem with authorization in the roaming
>system.
>
>Non-destructive suggestions welcome. ;-)

I got, at least, a response form NexTel some years ago when their messaging was
out to lunch. What I did was send a FedEx Overnight Letter to one of the VPs.
--
PeteCresswell
!