Consumer Cellular dropping calls

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
Post Reply
Topic Author
mrc
Posts: 1376
Joined: Sun Jan 10, 2016 6:39 am

Consumer Cellular dropping calls

Post by mrc » Sat Jun 01, 2019 5:56 am

We finally left the dark ages and retired our Consumer Cellular flip phones for a pair of iPhone 8s. We've had a CC plan for ages and there is one spot on my wife's drive home where we loose voice contact for about 30 seconds. The calls never dropped with the flip phones.

Yesterday, DW called me and we couldn't really use the new phones. There were constant drop outs where we couldn't hear each other for several seconds, and the call dropped completely a half dozen times. I am so disappointed that the service is unusable with these phones. I just assumed the new phones would work even better than the old flips.

The coverage map in our area is solid orange, so I'm at a loss for why this is happening. If anyone has any tips or experience with this, especially after a trade up from more primitive phones, I'd love to hear it. As it stand, I'm tempted to add the old phone back onto the plan as a different line so we can still talk—which despite the smart phone extended capabilities does defeat the purpose.
Macs are for those who don’t want to know why their computer works | Linux is for those who do | DOS is for those who want to know why their computer doesn’t work | Windows is for those who don’t

student
Posts: 4137
Joined: Fri Apr 03, 2015 6:58 am

Re: Consumer Cellular dropping calls

Post by student » Sat Jun 01, 2019 6:18 am

First I would determine whether the problem is with one phone or both phones. I would do a test that involves one phone with a landline and then the other phone with a landline to determine whether you have a defective product. (The chance of both being defective is lower.) My friend had a similar issue due to getting a bad phone. Apple exchanged it for my friend.

retire2022
Posts: 951
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2018 6:10 pm
Location: NYC

Re: Consumer Cellular dropping calls

Post by retire2022 » Sat Jun 01, 2019 6:42 am

op try this app to see if there are cell towers where the drop off is, this is based on real users

https://www.opensignal.com/apps

fru-gal
Posts: 1182
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2019 9:48 pm
Location: New England

Re: Consumer Cellular dropping calls

Post by fru-gal » Sat Jun 01, 2019 7:25 am

I think instead of saying Consumer Cellular dropping calls, you should say iPhones Dropping Calls.

I use CC with flip phones and have never had a call drop. I travel fairly widely through two New England states.

criticalmass
Posts: 1315
Joined: Wed Feb 12, 2014 10:58 pm

Re: Consumer Cellular dropping calls

Post by criticalmass » Sat Jun 01, 2019 8:06 am

mrc wrote:
Sat Jun 01, 2019 5:56 am
We finally left the dark ages and retired our Consumer Cellular flip phones for a pair of iPhone 8s. We've had a CC plan for ages and there is one spot on my wife's drive home where we loose voice contact for about 30 seconds. The calls never dropped with the flip phones.

The coverage map in our area is solid orange, so I'm at a loss for why this is happening. If anyone has any tips or experience with this, especially after a trade up from more primitive phones, I'd love to hear it. As it stand, I'm tempted to add the old phone back onto the plan as a different line so we can still talk—which despite the smart phone extended capabilities does defeat the purpose.
Which carrier(s) does this mobile virtual network operator use? Did they provision you on a different carrier than before? Did you try changing the network type on the phone, e.g. changing it to use 2g instead of lte as an experiment?

Spirit Rider
Posts: 11890
Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2007 2:39 pm

Re: Consumer Cellular dropping calls

Post by Spirit Rider » Sat Jun 01, 2019 8:26 am

This may have nothing to do with your carrier.

Cell phones are radios with a modem. Both have significant roles in phone reception. The key to radio reception is antenna performance. Some flip phones had the best radio reception. Many smart phones, not so much.

Apple iPhones have never been known to have the best reception. Then about 18 months ago Apple switched from using Qualcomm modem chipsets to using Intel modem chipsets. This has not been a positive for iPhone reception.

What model iPhone did you get?

Topic Author
mrc
Posts: 1376
Joined: Sun Jan 10, 2016 6:39 am

Re: Consumer Cellular dropping calls

Post by mrc » Sat Jun 01, 2019 8:39 am

iPhone 8 64GB
Macs are for those who don’t want to know why their computer works | Linux is for those who do | DOS is for those who want to know why their computer doesn’t work | Windows is for those who don’t

curmudgeon
Posts: 1896
Joined: Thu Jun 20, 2013 11:00 pm

Re: Consumer Cellular dropping calls

Post by curmudgeon » Sat Jun 01, 2019 2:26 pm

Consumer Cellular uses both AT&T and T-mobile for providers, and the specific SIM you have will be for one or the other. We had issues with poor CC service in our neighborhood which got better when we switched out the T-mobile SIMs for AT&T ones (had to contact customer service for that).

Topic Author
mrc
Posts: 1376
Joined: Sun Jan 10, 2016 6:39 am

Re: Consumer Cellular dropping calls

Post by mrc » Sun Jun 02, 2019 5:29 am

Thanks for the suggestions. I didn't know where to start, and now I have a plan.
Macs are for those who don’t want to know why their computer works | Linux is for those who do | DOS is for those who want to know why their computer doesn’t work | Windows is for those who don’t

User avatar
oldcomputerguy
Moderator
Posts: 6374
Joined: Sun Nov 22, 2015 6:50 am
Location: In the middle of five acres of woods in East Tennessee

Re: Consumer Cellular dropping calls

Post by oldcomputerguy » Sun Jun 02, 2019 6:45 am

DW and I are CC customers, and occasionally travel internationally. When CC began offering international roaming, I contacted them to get that set up on my iPhone and found that we'd have to switch it from the AT&T backbone to the T-Mobile backbone to enable that. After the change, I noticed that domestic coverage got significantly worse, sometimes I would lose signal for miles-long stretches. If you don't plan to take your phones outside the U.S., I'd go along with curmudgeon's advice, try switching to the AT&T backbone and see if your situation improves.
"I’ve come around to this: If you’re dumb, surround yourself with smart people; and if you’re smart, surround yourself with smart people who disagree with you." (Aaron Sorkin)

fru-gal
Posts: 1182
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2019 9:48 pm
Location: New England

Re: Consumer Cellular dropping calls

Post by fru-gal » Sun Jun 02, 2019 7:52 am

The two CC flip phones I have that work well use CC's AT&T, not their Tmobile.

curmudgeon
Posts: 1896
Joined: Thu Jun 20, 2013 11:00 pm

Re: Consumer Cellular dropping calls

Post by curmudgeon » Sun Jun 02, 2019 11:39 am

oldcomputerguy wrote:
Sun Jun 02, 2019 6:45 am
DW and I are CC customers, and occasionally travel internationally. When CC began offering international roaming, I contacted them to get that set up on my iPhone and found that we'd have to switch it from the AT&T backbone to the T-Mobile backbone to enable that. After the change, I noticed that domestic coverage got significantly worse, sometimes I would lose signal for miles-long stretches. If you don't plan to take your phones outside the U.S., I'd go along with curmudgeon's advice, try switching to the AT&T backbone and see if your situation improves.
We eventually switched from CC to Xfinity (porting the numbers out of CC was a royal pain, though). It ends up cheaper for us, with good domestic coverage (Verizon) and decent international roaming.

Topic Author
mrc
Posts: 1376
Joined: Sun Jan 10, 2016 6:39 am

Re: Consumer Cellular dropping calls

Post by mrc » Mon Jun 03, 2019 9:34 am

UPDATE: Sure enough, the phones were shipped (in error according to CC chat rep) with T-Mobile SIM cards. CC is sending us AT&T SIM cards which should improve reception greatly.

Thanks again for the tips here, I always like calling customer service with a solution already in my mind.
Macs are for those who don’t want to know why their computer works | Linux is for those who do | DOS is for those who want to know why their computer doesn’t work | Windows is for those who don’t

Post Reply