CA - Cell phone users unhappy with the sounds of silence : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread


Thousands of people who use AT&T cell phones experienced disrupted service Tuesday as the result of apparent equipment troubles.

Gregory Anderson, a Santa Barbara cab driver who uses an AT&T phone to receive service calls from seven local hotels, said he lost business Tuesday because of the outage.

"When I called the company they told me the transformers were out for 10 hours," said Anderson. "I wondered why I wasn't getting calls."

Beth Swanson, owner of TechWest Public Relations in Santa Barbara also experienced cell phone trouble all day long, and what a terrible day for that.

Swanson had just issued press releases to the national media to launch a client -- and her cell phone number was listed as the contact number.

"So many of us rely on cell phones today, it was like instant panic," said Swanson, whose phone service was restored by day's end. "If this were to happen in Kansas, it probably wouldn't be that big a deal, but here in California it really is."

Ken Berry, a salesman at AT&T Wireless Services in Santa Barbara, said the company was aware of the problem and was assuring customers that it would be fixed. Many customers were calling to report that incoming calls were going directly into voice mail, before they could be answered.

"We don't have any technical information in our store, but we are aware of the problem," Berry said. "We've been told there is a problem with the switches, and that the phones have been up and down all day."

AT&T's media representatives could not be reached for comment.

-- Doris (, April 19, 2001

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