iPhone 4s unusable in apartment. Microcell useless as well

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Vikinguy, Dec 2, 2011.

  1. Vikinguy macrumors 6502

    Sep 19, 2007
    I started a thread a couple weeks ago about my iPhone being essentially useless as a phone in my apartment. I drop atleast 3/4 of my calls. Called ATT...guy hooked me up with a 100 dollar rebate on the microcell and threw me 100 bucks off my next bill. Dandy

    Get the microcell home...all set up and registered. If anything my issues are worse. If I get up and move around at all I drop the call...seems the connection to the cell is lost...I then look at my phone and it's searching for the normal Att signal...sometimes it goes on for close to a minute. Absurd.

    Yes the microcell is 2 feet from a window and all the lights are solid...no blinking. So I took the phone to apple today to run diagnostics. The genius said the phone was fine other than a few app crashes which aren't even happening. He said he didn't see any dropped calls...lol. I mean...I've dropped atleast 35 calls THIS WEEK in my apartment.

    So..went back to ATT. Dude was like....lets switch out your SIM card. Then the manager came over and said that it sounded like a faulty microcell and if the SIM switch didn't help (it didn't) to bring in the microcell and they'd swap it out.

    So basically....am I screwed? I know good and well the chances that I got a defective microcell are very low. What will ATT do when I return my second one? Is it possible that moving to a 4G phone would be better? Different towers? Maybe I have a 4g tower near me? I mean...I'd hope they'd let me out of my contract if my phone is useless in my home...but I have little faith in big corporations and how they deal with customers.

  2. DroidRules macrumors 65816

    Aug 10, 2010
    I think you should use a cell provider that can give you service at your home. If that's not At&t then maybe you should change providers. Why would you pick at&t if you have no clue about the service they can provide you? Is this your first cell phone? Sounds like an un-educated consumer purchase to me. Good luck.
  3. Givmeabrek macrumors 68040


    Apr 20, 2009
    How is Verizon service in your area? That's what I would look into. :cool:
  4. maladjusted macrumors newbie

    Nov 25, 2007
    without insulting you, i'd suggest that you made the effort -- and then some -- to make the phone and service work. the at&t service obviously doesn't work for you where you need it so you should be able to get out of the contract, but i suppose that's easier said than done. it would be nice if they took back the microcell and reimbursed you for what you've spent trying to make it work, but i doubt that will happen.

    don't know where you are, but in my area at least, at&t sucks and even microcells haven't helped friends of mine with bad service to begin with. i'd suggest verizon as well. you shouldn't have to keep a phone and phone service that do not work for you. tough lesson, but it's not your fault.
  5. Vikinguy thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 19, 2007

    I live in a largish city. There is an ATT store less than a half a mile from my door. ATT service is as good as ATT can be (spotty) where I live but when I go in my parking lot I have 4 bars. The issue is inside my apartment.

    Obviously going with another provider would be great....but not having to pay to get out of the contract is the issue.

    Strangely my iPhone 4 only dropped calls occasionally in my apartment.


    Appreciate the post. Yeah...i feel like I've done enough but I'll try one more microcell.
  6. abijnk macrumors 68040


    Oct 15, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    Highly unlikely. Problems like the OP is describing are usually just the result of living in an apartment. Cell coverage in a building vs out of a building isn't necessarily carrier dependent unless the building you are in has repeaters for a specific service.

    In our apartment AT&T and Verizon both get the same level of service, which is to say very little at all. Go outside the building and everything is hunky-dory.

    Why a microcell wouldn't be able to fix that is beyond my level of knowledge...
  7. lordofthereef macrumors G5


    Nov 29, 2011
    Boston, MA
    If you are having trouble, even with the microcell, I would suspect there is something causing interferance. Let me ask this, were you on ATT before? Were you with a different carrier? I imagine this isn't your first mobile phone. What were your experiences with others?
  8. Stealthipad macrumors 68040


    Apr 30, 2010
    You should have returned your phone within the grace period to avoid having to pay the ETF for leaving now.

  9. lordofthereef macrumors G5


    Nov 29, 2011
    Boston, MA
    Perhaps, but that isn't an option now, so how is making this statement helpful at all?
  10. SR45 macrumors 65832


    Aug 17, 2011

    Its helpful for those that read this post that one should do some real life testing in different area's to see if the phone is for them, and take it back during the 14/30 day period or else suffer for not doing so. The OP was not happy and should have returned it and not sit on his hind end hoping that it would get better or try different extended hardware sold by a carrier.

    That is what I did with the Galaxy S2 when I did not get good coverage in my area. Returned it fast before the return period ended. Common sense. ;)
  11. iLuvMyMacToo macrumors regular

    May 18, 2010
    I was with Vodafone and recently moved into another apt building, I couldn't get a reception inside and had a lot of drop outs when on rare occasion I did managed to get 1 or 2 bars. I changed over to another Provider and all is fine. Now I can make calls inside my home.
  12. Vikinguy thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 19, 2007
    It's gotten progressively worse is the thing. I've had ATT since the iPhone 4 launch.

    I was with Sprint for about ten years but obviously couldn't get an iPhone which i believe to be the best phone. I sold my iPhone 4 to fund my 4S purchase...so taking the phone back within the restocking period wasn't an option.

    It will be interesting to see how ATT handles this if the new microcell doesn't help.
  13. marksman macrumors 603


    Jun 4, 2007
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A334 Safari/7534.48.3)

    Yup. I have changed cell providers numerous times over the years because of poor access at my home. AT&T has the best coverage for me. To me that is the primary consideration. Which service is best depends on location
  14. lordofthereef macrumors G5


    Nov 29, 2011
    Boston, MA
    This leads me to think, even more, that there is something strange going on in/near your apartment which is interfering with the signal. Does any other phone/network cause the same/similar issues at your place?
  15. RedRallyeZ macrumors regular

    Nov 15, 2010
    If you said that the service with your 4 was alright, you could probably find an iPhone 4 owner who wants to upgrade and trade with some cash on their end.

    Definitely a last step solution, but just throwing out everything I can think of. I've got lackluster service in my apartment, but then again I live in a "hole" that no provider gets good reception in. However that bad service has been consistent from my 3gs to my 4 and now my 4s.
  16. sk1wbw Suspended


    May 28, 2011
    Williamsburg, Virginia
    It's AT&T, not the iPhone. I lived in an apartment in Virginia with AT&T and an iphone. Got nothing, no bars, nada, zero, zilch inside. I had to step outside to get a signal.

    Now here in Florida in the house, it was the same way. Switched to another carrier (NOT Verizon) when the new iPhone 4s came out and now I have 4 to 5 bars in the house.

    AT&T signal is great on the main roads or highways but once you get off them, the service sucks.
  17. ardent73 macrumors regular


    Jan 14, 2010

    If it hasn't already been said the microcell should NOT be by a window. That will cause the problem of the microcell signal competing with the real cell towers outside. The microcell is NOT a cell tower signal booster, it is a cell tower signal "by-passer".

    I do agree that the 4S is terrible as a phone; I wish I'd kept my original iPhone and just bought the new iPod Touch for iOS5.

    Good Luck
  18. Vikinguy thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 19, 2007

    My dad's sprint EVO gets pretty decent service. Which is to say he doesn't drop calls in here.


    Hmmm...well i had to put it near the window to get the gps connection going. I'll try moving the new one away from the window.
  19. takeshi74 macrumors 601

    Feb 9, 2011
    Or one carrier just has better coverage within the building for other reasons. OP has indicated that calls on a Sprint device don't seem to get dropped.

    It's certainly possible that the building itself is the major problem as it is in many cases but it doesn't sound like the building prevents coverage from all carriers.

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