Horrible Ting service during hurricane Irma

We recently switched to Ting from AT&T and are happy about the huge difference in price. However, cell service including voice, text and data during hurricane Irma and several days after the storm was anything from horrible to non-existent when we needed it the most. Other carriers ( especially AT&T) had good coverage throughout the storm. Also, several weeks before the storm we took a trip from South Florida to Kissimmee and had multiple areas where we had no voice, text or data service along the FL turnpike.

Having the nice price is great but if the reliability isn't there when you need it the most, what good is a cell phone? We really wanted to like Ting because of the price but are now considering switching back to AT&T.

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4 comments
  • Hey Darryl, 

    In a devastating storm like Irma, infrastructure is the first thing to suffer and the hardest to rebuild. Because we rely on our network partners for coverage, when their towers are out of commission, we can't provide service. 

    A common response is to allow roaming, which we absolutely do on Ting. The limitation for roaming is network-related. That is, you can't currently roam on an available CDMA roaming partner with a GSM phone, and vice-versa. 

    Roaming works differently, too. If you're on CDMA, you can roam anywhere a roaming partner has coverage, regardless of home CDMA coverage. On GSM, you can only roam on roaming partner networks in specific areas deemed not covered by the home GSM provider. This could also explain your lack of signal while the home GSM provider's network was partially taken out by the storm.

    We're working with customers on a case-by-case basis for assistance in the aftermath of Irma and Harvey, and I strongly suggest you email us at help@ting.com, as the community forms aren't the best place for us to help you with account-sensitive information. I don't see a help request opened from you on anything related to your coverage during Irma, so the sooner you can start that ball rolling, the faster we can help you out. 

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  • Thanks Mitch for your reply but the fact remains that an AT&T and Verizon customer was standing right beside me during the storm and both had perfect coverage while I had no service whatsoever. This was repeated several days after the storm also. The storm in our area was only a Cat 1 storm at worst with possibly some Cat 2 gusts. If your equipment can't withstand these small storms and is unable to recover from an outage within a day or two from a weak storm, trusting you to provide such a vital service such as cell phone service will be impossible during a real storm. Also you gave no explanation for the lapse of coverage on our trip to Kissimmee on the FL turnpike weeks before the storm.

    I really don't see what good an e-mail to you will do because there's no way sending you an e-mail can possibly undo not having cell phone service during and after the storm but I will take your advice and send one anyway.   

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  • Darryl, 

    As it turns out, just because one carrier's towers aren't completely down doesn't mean that a tower made of the same material a few blocks away couldn't be destroyed by extreme weather. Cat 1 or Cat 5, a hurricane is a hurricane.

    I wanted you to send an email because your coverage issues on your route to Kissimmee couldn't have been related to the storm, and there are troubleshooting steps we can take on our side to determine if it's something we can fix.

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  • Ting is an MVNO. You might want to research it and learn a little more on how they work.

    Your Ting phone uses either T-mobile or Sprint.. Not both, only one..

    If the weather takes out a tower then there will be no service in that area.. Pretty simple.. Not all towers provide service to all networks..

    ATT phone, ATT tower wiped out.. = No ATT service..

    Could be other issues.. Like you have an unlocked ATT phone using a T-mobile SIM card and that phone does not support all frequencies on T-mobile.. It would leave you with spotty coverage..

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