Thursday, July 19, 2007


Cell phones: our link to the world. We need them, not only to communicate day-to-day calls with friends and relatives, but for business (such that retirees have). We rely on them to keep us in touch. Donna's failed the other day, for no apparent reason. Shortly after arriving in La Pine, she got a low battery beep. No problem, we put it on the 120v charger, and in a few hours, it was recharged. Hmmm, 2 hours later, it's beeping again (and she wasn't making any calls).

OK, we think, battery problem. We took the phone back to Costco, and they redirected us to a Verizon store. At Verizon, they told us that if we hadn't done a *228 lately (to update the the phone with the local towers, that the battery would drain while searching for towers. OK, so we hit *228, and went home to recharge. The beeping a few hours later told us this wasn't the solution. Back to the Verizon store: this time, upon re-examination, the battery was "puffy"; probably was overcharged on a car $40 later, we left with a new battery. After charging it, you guessed it - it went dead in a matter of hours. Back to the Verizon store the next day; this time they thought it was the phone, and gave us this great deal ($50 for a warranty replacement). Recharged the new battery, again went dead.

Now Donna is not taking this well - her communication device hasn't worked in 4 days. She placed a call (on my phone) to the Verizon store and spoke to a supervisor. Turns out Verizon had a small problem - there is a new tower in La Pine that hasn't been activated yet. Depending upon the phone, certain Verizon phones in the area were tuning in to this tower and were having problems. They had a rash of calls about batteries going dead. She asked that we recharge it one more time, keeping it off in La Pine, then turning it on in Bend. If we could make calls and not have the battery go dead while in Bend, then that would validate the cell tower theory.

So we spent some time up in Bend, made some calls, and the phone stayed charged. Mystery solved, and Verizon credited our account for the $50. We needed a new battery anyway, so we were only out the $40. Since my phone is newer than Donna's, it did not exhibit this problem.

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