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Charlotte Amalie
Tuesday, November 29, 2022
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Cingular Service Is Problematic

Dear Source:
After going back and forth for months now thinking about getting another cell phone and recently taking issue with the deposit refund policies with another cell phone carrier I decided to jump in and try it again. Chatting with other cell phone users and asking all the stupid questions, I thought that I was well prepared to make a move and would try Cingular and their well-advertised "All Over Network." The decision was made easier due to their office's proximity to the Tickles bar.
Nevertheless, I now am a proud owner of a phone that is loaded with features most of which I have no idea how to use. Due to vision problems, I thought purchasing a phone with a voice activated dialing feature work best for me. Have mastered the ability to enter all my names and phone numbers into the contact list, I could now just talk to my phone instead of dialing. Press the button on the side and you hear, "Say a command." Reading the instructions it just says, "say the command followed by the desired name."
Simple enough, "Call Pam, " I would say. The phone responds with "Did you say call Bob?" After several clearly spoken "No" responses, I found myself carrying on a conversation with the phone. Walking around downtown talking to my phone gets all the tourists attention.
Back to the subject. Cingular advertises their "All Over Network" providing better coverage than most. Explaining to the sales representative that living on the north side, I was aware of some limitations, such as signal strength and questioned if the cell would work in my home. The young lady selling me the services explained that Cingular continuously seeks out and corrects these "cellular black holes" and making a connection would be no problem at all. She was right!
So what went wrong? Getting 5 signal bars on my phone and feeling empowered by such a solid network strength I was ready to make a call. Having convinced the phone to call Pam and not Bob I hear, "All circuits are busy." Using the quick redial feature, which is the most often feature that I quickly mastered, I was getting the same recording ninety percent of the time. Discussing this with other friends using the same service cellular now they tell me that this is a constant problem. Maybe all the features like Internet connection, downloads, PTT (push-to-talk, see I read the manual), and of course checking your damn bill has the network flooded leaving no capacity for the very thing I needed. This recorded message is commonly encountered on weekdays and forget about it on weekends. Their "All over Network" does connect you perfectly to their recorded message central.
I wish that they would at least change the recorded message "All circuits are busy" with a joke of the day. At least I would feel that I am getting some value for the money being spent! Cheeky bastards!
Larry Boecker
St. Thomas

Editor's note: We welcome and encourage readers to keep the dialogue going by responding to Source commentary. Letters should be e-mailed with name and place of residence to source@viaccess.net.

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