Pay as you go legacy - why is reception deteriorating in my neighborhood?

evap

    I've had the legacy plan since 2006 using my Samsung SGH-X495 flip phone. The service was working generally well indoors with about 2 bars strength until this past year or so where it went to about 1 bar and then no bars most of the time. I used to be able to go outside in front of the house to get a 2-3 bar signal, but the situation has been getting progressively worse. Now I can't even get a signal out in front of my house. This is a terribly dangerous situation for me if I need to call for help in an emergency which is why i bought this plan. I don't use this phone to socialize, just to have it as needed to meet up with people or call for help. When i go elsewhere the reception is excellent-I get 5 bars along I5 and other major cities and even 4 bars in small towns in Oregon such as Jacksonville where my mom lives. I live right by Berkeley in Kensington (zip 94708) which is a major metropolitan area (San Francisco Bay Area) so this is simply unacceptable to me. I'd like some answers as to what is going on here.

     

    Thanks.

      All replies

      • atexit8

        I am on the other coast in NJ.

        I also have a legacy pay-as-you-go plan just like you except for even longer.

        I have been at my current home 6 years.

         

        Originally my phone was a Nokia "cake" phone.

        I started having issues with being able to place calls.

        The phone showed no bars for minutes at a time.

        T-mobile support told me to go to a T-mobile corporate store and get a new SIM.

        I did that.

        No improvement.

        So I spent my own money and bought a new LG flip phone.

        No improvement.

        I called T-mobile support again and they did something.

        No improvement.

        Now, when I call the other person can't hear me.

        I can still receive texts.

        When someone calls me they can me.

         

        But I want to be able to make calls and have the other person can hear me.

         

        If this is how T-mobile service gets worse instead of better, like you, I will be switching to a different carrier after my $42 is used.

         

        Simply ridiculous!

        • tmo_amanda

          Hey there, evap and welcome to our T-Mobile Support Community!

           

          Wow! Since 2006? Thank you so much for sticking by our side. I know you need your coverage to remain reliable and I believe I know exactly what's going on -- the towers in the area are no longer fully compatible with your device. To get signal at your house, you'll need a device that's compatible with band 4.

           

           

          atexit8, it sounds like you may be in the same situation but I'd like to take a closer look at this. Can you provide me with your zip code and model of LG phone please?

          2 of 2 people found this helpful
          • tmo_marissa

            Hey there, atexit8. Just wanted to drop in here and see if you had a chance to let us know your ZIP! Thank you.

            • atexit8

              If I am understanding this correctly, the LG450 which I purchased in the summer of 2016 because I was having occasional no service with my old Nokia "cake" phone is also now obsolete.

               

              And if I want to remain a T-mobile prepaid aka pay-as-you-go customer I have to buy yet another flip phone.

               

              And pray tell which flip phone would actually work????

               

              Frankly if I am going to have to buy another phone, I might was well switch over to another carrier, because T-mobile has given me no incentive to stay.

              It seems T-mobile does not give 2 cents about legacy customers!

                • tmo_marissa

                  I'm sorry for the frustration this has caused, atexit8. If you are looking for a flip phone that supports the current LTE bands we operate; this would be your best bet: Alcatel GO FLIP. That said, I totally get that buying a phone when you just purchased one last year isn't super fun.

                  As our network evolves, sometimes older technologies are left behind -- which does render some equipment obsolete. It honestly seems like in this situation, you need to either have equipment that will receive service, or service that works with your equipment, and I don't blame you one bit for determining which one is the most cost effective and going that route. We'd be sad to see you go, but you have to do what's best for you. I do hope that in the end it works out to be staying!

                   

                  - Marissa

                • atexit8

                  I am at a loss to understand why if I all do is make and receive calls and at most receive a text or two that I would need to buy a flip phone that is LTE-compatible!

                    • tmo_marissa

                      Totally reasonable question, atexit8. At this point, the direction that the network is going will be to further advance LTE coverage, since most equipment requires this kind of signal to function to its fullest potential. I know that's not something that we're used to thinking of when it comes to "flip phones", "cake phones", or what we used to call "phone first" devices, but as the network evolves, changing the compatibility of these phones is also ideal, since there are definitely folks who'd still like to use them!

                       

                      - Marissa

                        • atexit8

                          You haven't really answered my question.

                           

                          But I am guessing what you really mean is that since most people care about LTE, you are essentially eliminating service on the bands that my flip phone works on. Kiss off flip phone users. We don't want you.

                            • tmo_marissa

                              Ouch. You're totally entitled to your interpretation, but that's definitely not the attitude I mean to convey at all.


                              Over the course of time, technology changes. As it does, sometimes older tech makes way for the expansion of newer technology. What I meant to convey in my previous reply was that it's a *good thing* that there are flip phones that are being manufactured that are LTE compatible, since there are customers who like them and we would love for them to stick around! Hopefully more flip phones that are LTE compatible will be available as these changes continue.

                                • atexit8

                                  I have a Verizon flip phone that is 20 years old.

                                  It still works!

                                  Verizon certainly has 4G LTE.

                                   

                                  So, I still have not been given a good reason why my T-mobile flip phone no longer works.

                                  And it is obviously because T-mobile has done away with "something" so that my 1-year old LG flip phone no longer works.

                                  And T-mobile would do away with something because it chooses to chase after newer customers and don't care about its oldest customers.

                                  There is no other interpretation given my experience with Verizon.

                                    • tmo_marissa

                                      I'm sorry, atexit8. I wasn't intending to be vague by simply linking to the Network upgrades from U1900 to LTE document. You're right that the network in this area has changed, and the LG450 no longer works as well because the part of the network (U1900) it was connecting to has been upgraded to LTE. These changes will be advantageous for the majority of our existing customers, who rely on LTE for voice and data connectivity. Although we're always happy to welcome new customers to the fold, that is not to say that we no longer want customers who use flip phones in general, or that new customers are more important -- that's not the case.

                                       

                                      It sounds like your experience using an older device on a competitor's network has been wholly different -- I'm glad to hear that, but bummed that we couldn't follow suit for you. You'd previously asked if there were any flip phones that would be compatible with the network upgrades, and that was the reason I'd linked to the Alcatel device and expressed my hope that more manufacturers will follow suit. I get that saying that the situation is inconvenient for customers whose equipment is out-moded because of these changes is an understatement.

                                       

                                      Thanks for taking the time to let us know the impression that these changes have made on you. While I wish it were different, it's valuable feedback, and I appreciate your candor.

                                      • tidbits

                                        atexit8 wrote:

                                         

                                        I have a Verizon flip phone that is 20 years old.

                                        It still works!

                                        Verizon certainly has 4G LTE.

                                         

                                        So, I still have not been given a good reason why my T-mobile flip phone no longer works.

                                        And it is obviously because T-mobile has done away with "something" so that my 1-year old LG flip phone no longer works.

                                        And T-mobile would do away with something because it chooses to chase after newer customers and don't care about its oldest customers.

                                        There is no other interpretation given my experience with Verizon.

                                        All carriers are going LTE for the future and dropping their lower networks. All have already started in certain markets and all hope to completely be LTE by 2019/2020.