Monday, July 8, 2013

Back to Ohio: Annoyances with Sprint and my Samsung Galaxy S4 Phone

I'm back from my trip, but not back up to blogging strength. That will probably come on Monday night. Sorry. But I need to get down in writing sort of a nasty-gram to both Sprint and Samsung, about my Galaxy S4 4G LTE cell phone.

My trip back to Ohio was primarily to Sunbury, an exurb of Columbus, Ohio. I also made forays into Westerville, and very nearby Columbus, and to my sister's place in rural Delaware County. While some of these places could have been considered "in the boonies" in the early days of mobile phones--maybe even in 2004 when I first got a Sprint phone--they are certainly not now. And yet, with every phone update, and every technological advance, I get horrid service from Sprint out there.

But my experience this time with my new Galaxy S4 was the nadir. At my Mom's house, where I used to lapse to data roaming on say, my Samsung Rant non-smartphone, the S4 gave me a circle with a slash for voice calls, no service whatsoever. I had no 4G--which I don't even get in Las Vegas, so no surprise--and no 3G either. This is right outside Sunbury, a smallish but amply covered by Verizon town. The only way to make or receive a call, or even reliably send a text, was to go outside, and that managed just a microdot of a "bar" for voice calls.

Out at my sister's, an admittedly ruralish area (but very near civilization and still amply covered by Verizon), I had pretty much an identical issue. Onward into Westerville and Columbus, things weren't much better. I could get fairly reliable, but reliably slow 3G service. No 4G. Voice service was passable.

After prior visits to Ohio, I have complained to Sprint about poor service. The only responses I've received have been essentially form letters that didn't address the issue at hand. You'd think that in my one-to-two-times per year visits over almost a decade, there would be some improvement. Particularly since there have been not only technological improvements in that time, but the areas I'm talking about have gotten more populous and less remote. And--surprise, surprise--there is a Sprint store in Sunbury.

Now, onto my Samsung Galaxy S4 problems. 1) The phone gets semi-randomly hot with minor use, but not always. 2) The phone will sometimes register a voicemail, but no missed calls. Or a missed call, but the phone never rang. 3) Most annoyingly, the phone keeps reverting to the default ringer and notification sounds. I've had to reset them at least four times, twice on this visit alone. Turns out, the other phone on our account (that did not go to Ohio on this trip) has the same problem. I'm not happy.

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