T-Mobile… Get More Minutes and a Sub-Standard Signal

Once upon a time, in a world where one could endure without cell phones and other modern devices, I was free from phone calls once I left the house. Then, as time went by, I found that the added security in having a cell phone handy when an emergency cropped up would be worth the annoyances that would follow. Fast forward to December 2006…

After a few years of using T-Mobile as my cell phone carrier service, I started to notice that I had a difficult time finding a signal when I needed one most. My hour-and-a-half-ish commute takes me across the state through some picturesque farmland, and I would occasionally think of something I’d forgotten had to be done or some funny story I couldn’t wait to share. I’d reach for the cell on the seat next to me and dial home ( I did not need to take my eyes off the road as I used the pre-set numbers and have the driving kit with the hands-free connection. I’d hear a beep-beep-beep and look down to see “No system coverage.” This wouldn’t have been an issue except that a half-hour later I would have a single bar appear and disappear like a phantom. Then the bar would leave for another half-hour.

I suppose that the thing that bothers me the most is the sales pitch touting the thousands of “Anytime” minutes. If only they were “Anywhere” minutes, or even “Many Places” minutes I’d be fine, but this is not the case. Every conversation is like a cliff hanger in a sped up movie… I quickly try to get my message out and my point across before losing my connection. Often the dropped signal is preceded by “I can’t believe I forgot to tell you…(click….click…click… BEEP-BEEP-BEEP).” I can use my T-Mobile connection on about 15% of my commute and in a few remote areas in the corporate complex where I work.

I feel like I was given a car with great mileage and lots of free gas, but am not aloud to drive it on 7/10 of the roads. If I stay in one location where I have three bars, I could talk to my heart’s content, but that means standing down by one of the loading docks in the cold. Once this term of service is up, I may invest in two nice soup cans and lots of string instead.

The next time you win the lottery, ask for your money in Mauritanian ouguiya and then try to spend it in Wyoming or North Dakota, then you’ll know how it feels to be a T-Mobile customer in Central New Jersey.