BECKLEY, WV (WVNS)–T-Mobile offers “minimal” service in Beckley, southern West Virginia’s largest town, according to T-Mobile tech support workers.
As a result, T-Mobile customers have reported spotty cell coverage, dropped calls, delayed texts, and undelivered cell calls.
Jamie Smith, co-owner of Kid in the Background production company in Beckley, reported he had been a satisfied Sprint customer for 16 years when T-Mobile completed a merger with Sprint.
T-Mobile’s promotional materials say the company has a goal of investing $40 billion into its network and providing 5G speeds of up to eight times faster than LTE.
West Virginia customers who switched to T-Mobile were promised a 5G network, but Smith said he began to experience problems with his cell service around January 2022.
“Calls would just drop, out of nowhere,” said Smith. “Or you couldn’t even get the call to go out.”
“People would tell me, ‘Hey, I’ve called you five times today, and it never went through,’ and I didn’t have a history of it,” he added. “Trying to access emails, trying to watch a youtube video, basically, anything in Beckley, WV, not happening.”
Other T-Mobile customers reported they’ve had the same problems. In some cases, local store workers directed them to change SIM cards or to switch settings on their cell phones, but they reported none of the suggestions solved the problem.
T-Mobile corporate officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Monday, August 29, 2022. 59News called T-Mobile customer care and spoke with tech workers, who reported the Beckley area has “minimal” reception from cellular towers. Some streets have no service, two tech workers reported.
Smith said tech workers also told him there was no cell coverage in the Beckley area.
He later switched to AT&T and said T-Mobile customer care refunded his past two monthly payments.
“Business situations change, I’m an entrepreneur myself, these things happen,” Smith said on Monday, August 29, 2022. “But I think you should alert your customers of what’s about to happen.
“You should have everything in place you can, before you make this change, and none of that was done, so we were pretty salty.”
West Virginia Public Service Commission officials said Monday, August 29, 2022, that the PSC does not regulate cellular services in the state. State lawmakers legislate the PSC’s regulatory powers. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulates cellular providers.