Other Rants and Raves

2002 - CellularOne and Voicemail

Some of you know that my phone is busy a lot.  Some know that I have my house phone always forwarded to my cell phone, and I pay for voicemail on the cell phone.  The whole idea was to let friends deal with only one phone number and allow me to travel anywhere. I thought you would never get a busy signal because voicemail was always there to back up a busy cell phone or cell network.  Ah hah, I find out this is simply not true.  A very helpful, and nice, customer service rep at CellularOne gave me the crucial data. When a call gets placed to a cell phone, the CellularOne network must contact the last cell site you were registered in (that is, your phone was last turned on in) before it can discover that the phone is unavailable and push the call back to the CellularOne voicemail system.   If the cell site is too busy a caller will get a busy signal, a "phone is not working" or some other crap.  What does this all mean? It means that CellularOne voicemail is a terrible service.  For me, I try to make calls, and get "system busy" so I turn off my cell phone and drive home. I leave the phone off. My phone is now registered in that very busy cell site and your ability to leave me voicemail depends on that site being able to answer the internal CellularOne network. Improving the situation requires CellularOne to upgrade every busy cell site that I might drive through. This costs them a lot of money and takes a lot of time. Bottom line?  I'll be back on GTEMobilnet (where my friends do not experience this kind of problem) within a month. I recommend that you switch too. (but not too many of you, I don't want the problem to follow me!)


Jim Schrempp is a sometimes freelance writer (only Vanity Press will publish his work) living in Saratoga, California. His writings have appeared on numerous pages on his own web site. The opinions expressed in this piece are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent those of anyone else (although Jim wishes more people shared his opinions)