Not one of my finest photos on the left. Just a little something I took a few minutes ago. It’s my cell phone explaining to me there’s no longer cell service where I live! It says “Emergency Service” because that’s now the only call I can make… if there’s even enough signal for that (It’s not the kind of thing you idly check).
OK – that’s an exaggeration. If you stand in just the right spot, a marginal signal is sometimes available. It’s not a total loss, but pretty close.
Look for yourself. With no strength bars showing, the signal indicator now resembles a screw head – as in… well, draw your own conclusion.
This all began Friday afternoon. My phone rang at work. It was Helaine. She was calling the station’s phone and she was using our POTS¹. Usually she calls my cell from her cell.
“No cell service,” she said.
It’s electronic. It’s complex. I understand.
When I got home from work, I had no service. Stef was in the same boat.
Friday turned to Saturday, then Saturday to Sunday. Friends came to play poker and those with phones from AT&T found they had no service either.
Today, on my way to work, I called AT&T. Of course their rep saw no reason for my trouble, though the woman on the phone said she’d check for possible ‘service downgrades.’ There are two scary words for someone with the majority of a two year contract in front of him.
Do they honor payment downgrades?
I e-mailed Robert, the guy who sold me my phone, and who seemed pretty technically proficient. He is now asking for assistance on my behalf.
AT&T is not alone in causing this kind of angst to a good customer. They have totally removed those who know what’s going on from those asking the questions. In essence, they’ve put their thinking staff behind a firewall. That’s what banks and airlines and all sorts of what were once called ‘service businesses,’ now do.
So, I’m waiting. I’m sitting on my hands hoping there’s really no need for my cellphone at home. Unfortunately, it has become my number of choice when people ask how they can reach me.
I’m not sure there’s anything I can do.
¹ – POTS = plain old telephone service.