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Thursday, December 12th, 2019 4:26 PM

How do we get ATT to address the chronic network coverage issues in Elgin, Texas

I was at a community meeting in Elgin, Texas a few days ago. We met at a bank within walking distance of an ATT Store, and several of us noted that we did not have good cell coverage. The joke of the meeting was that if you were traveling east on highway 290 from Austin into Elgin that the reception dropped as you drive past the ATT store. The reception gets even worse at my house. At best, we get 1 bar. At worst, we have zero bars. If it were not for wifi calling, I would not be able to receive or make calls / texts. There have been several incidences when the wifi was down, so we have to jump in the vehicles and drive around to try and find a signal. I work from home, so this is especially problematic. It is also problematic during emergencies.


I have called ATT on numerous occasions. Tech support typically tells me that engineers are working on the tower and the issue will be resolved within 24 to 48 hours. I will call back and get the same response. When I started challenging them on that response, I was told that was not a guarantee and then they would guide me through setting changes followed by them tell me to see if that resolved the issue over the next few days. When it would not, I would call back and the cycle would continue. My sense is Tech Support is being evaluated on their case close rate and perhaps length per call, so they are motivated to do something and disengage the call. Each time I call in, I have to provide the same lengthy background. There have also been times that I am put on hold only to be routed to a new Tech Support person, where I have to give the same information. Tech Support has directed to the "loyalty department" who then directed me to the Tech Support department. The experience is very marginalizing and time consuming. It discourages me from seeking Tech Support, because there is no short-term or long-term resolution. My sense is that my call ends up being a hashmark on someone's performance evaluation with no really mechanism for addressing the issue.


I tried calling 611 yesterday, but the call would not go through because I have zero bars. I started trying to call again this morning, but still zero bars. So, I found an ATT Chat. I was told that there is a working tower within a mile of me. I am not sure how close towers are supposed to be to provide good coverage, but I would think a mile would provide great coverage. So, a nearby working tower is difficult to believe when the cell coverage is so spotty in the general area. Perhaps the tower is under capacity for the amount of load? 


Sometimes Tech Support asks if I am near tall buildings. This is rural Texas. Tall buildings do not exist out here; unless you call two stories tall. I have 7 undeveloped acres in back of me, an empty lot to the east, a house and large highway easement to the west. I don't see how there would be any obstruction. I actually get better cell reception at my dad's place which is in a much more remote area of Texas. 


We have two cell phone. They are different versions of iPhones. At ATT Tech Support recommendation, we have changed and reset different settings. What is consistent is that neither get good reception or reception at all when we are at home or in the neighborhood.


I have even considered getting a signal booster, but if there is not signal to boost, then that is a waste of money.


This morning, I found this forum. I welcome any input or guidance around how to elevate this issue with ATT, because calling 611 or using their chat box does not accomplish that. I have even tried having business conversations with staff. If ATT is not interested in expanding their infrastructure or capacity in this area, I respect that. We can shake hands and walk away. My issue is that I am being told that this area does have coverage and there must be something non-ATT related that is wrong. Essentially, I am paying for a service that I can only use when I am not home.

ACE - Sage


117K Messages

4 years ago

I have a very short answer to your very long question. Switch to a different carrier that works from home.   It can take 10 years to add new towers.  And it is also 100% for the customers to select a carrier that works for them, not for the carrier to accommodate its customers (because it likely cannot)


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