Thursday, January 17, 2008

Been in the Dead Zone?

There aren't many things more maddening than a cell phone dead zone. Especially when it happens in the middle of the largest city in the Carolinas.

You know the drill – you’re driving along talking (in hands-free mode, of course) and realize you’ve been giving vital information to dead air for the last few minutes.

Or, in my case, I was recently banging on the door at a friend’s house, certain she was home but couldn’t hear me, and I flipped open my phone to call her. No service.

I have a major wireless carrier – one that has, in fact, bragged about the extensiveness of its coverage areas.

And I haven’t exactly been in the hinterlands when these cut-offs have happened. My friend is in Plaza-Midwood. I’ve dropped people while talking on Independence Boulevard and on Sharon Road, major urban thoroughfares.

In a metro area of 2 million people, is it too much to ask that our cell phone service eliminate its dead zones at least inside the city limits?

I’m curious to know how many others out there have similar complaints. Where are the dead zones you’ve encountered? Perhaps I can help pass the patterns along to the companies and see if something can be done.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I live in Marvin, NC and I have terrible reception in my house. I am 5 mins from the Mecklenburg border - it isn't like I am in the middle of nowhere. So much for Verizon - Can you hear me now?????

4:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is a major dead zone on Independence, roughly between Briar Creek and 277.

Strangely, my husband and I both have the same carrier but my phone holds a signal better then his in some iffy zones.

4:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I bet I know the carrier you have b/c we must have the same! I have been dropped uptown and I live in Plaza Midwood and also have terrible service. Funny enough, I was just in Italy and had the best service ever with my phone!

5:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cingular/ATT is one carrier with a dead zone along Independence. Cingular also sucks in Dilworth and has gotten worse. People know I'm calling from home when I drop their calls. There are a few websites where you can report dead zones: and

6:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The dead zone on Sharon Road gets me every time! It's a small spot (between Park Road and the Harris Y), but it will kill any call.

Also, there's a spot on Arrowood between Nations Ford and South Blvd. that drops pretty consistently.

10:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's also a dead zone zone on Mallard Creek Church Road.

Phones do make a bit of a difference. With my old phone I could only call from my inside my house if I was pressed up against certain windows & didn't move at all (or if I went outside & sat on the steps outside the back door - not fun if the weather's not nice)

With my new phone, I can call in the house and it only cuts out if I move around, but at least I only have to sit near a window and can move if I have to without the call dropping completely - usually.

I live in Dilworth, so in theory, should have a signal.

1:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I live in South Charlotte off of Archdale (between South Blvd and Park Rd).

This is a major dead zone. I can only talk on my phone outside of my house, and only get one bar.

Anyone who comes over we ask if they have recpetion to see who's service is best.

None work well. This is a major dead zone.

1:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

NC 84 in Weddington, just off of Providence Road is something that we all call "the hole", because that's where all calls end up.

I've asked Verizon about it and they told me it's because they haven't been given permission to put up a tower in Weddington.

3:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I live in Mint Hill ... was PROMISED a new tower would improve reception. NOT. I can not seriously use my cell phone from home. That promise was almost THREE years ago. And ... a MAJOR company!
Doc B

6:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I moved here from Cleveland, OH and my Sprint service is terrible compared to when I was in Cleveland. I don't get a signal at home and I live off Park Road near Dilworth area. There are many dead zones throughout the area, sadly I've gotten used to it

7:23 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

5:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For more helpful information on the Charlotte area, go to

5:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Be glad the providers haven't bought off your neighbors to put in 100-foot towers all over the place. People here need to stay off the phone in their cars anyway so they can stop damn near killing other drivers gabbing about BS and not being alert like they're supposed to.

12:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I heard there is a NEWCOMER reporter starting up after LIEGH leaves to EDITORSHIP. WEll this is where I get off the train People good luck Y'All I m in ALABAMA after this tell ARTIE POPE and John Bruce and all the rest of the KKK I said good luck

7:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a couple of deadzone spots to mention. They are both when the road dips a little. One is on Sardis between 51 and Sardis Rd North going towards Sardis Rd North. The other is on Runnymede nearing the intersection at Barclay Downs coming from Selwyn, around the new assisted living facility across from the high school. Then there’s always Belk’s basement at Southpark but that’s a concrete issue.

11:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We are thinking of working on a piece for the paper about this issue. I would love to hear from people with their concerns, complaint and other info on cell phone dead zones. If interested, please email me at

Clay Barbour
Growth Reporter

1:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So ready for the contract to be up with AT&T! NO BARS in more places should be their ad. I was told a tower would be up and take care of the problem but so far no tower. (I was told this in early 2007) Had no problem with Suncom who use the same technology,but AT&T will not allow Roming onto their system so now I have so many dead zones. I heard Tmobile bought Suncom so I will be changing in March when the contract is up. BYE BYE ATT

1:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another point to consider is who has the most towers? I stop and ask the sales people that question when at the mall. It should be a bragging point if your cable company has the most towers in the Charlotte area as that means better signal. But from the comments I've read, the companies are not putting up any towers where people go.

2:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I get no reception in my office building on Church St. uptown. I swear it's because I'm a Cingular/AT&T customer. Verizon is my company's official provider, so I'm convinced Verizon has some magical way of blocking the reception for AT&T phones. Maddening.

4:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have recently visited two sites where my verizon cell phone continually searches for a tower and goes dead from the futile search-they are Lugoff, S.C. and Matthews, VA. - I want to change phones if this isn't corrected- how do I address these issues?

10:11 AM  
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1:49 AM  

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