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Could this finally put an end to the dead zones which still plague our cell mobile phone reception?

In a tremendous moral victory for the consumer late last week Orange UK subscriber Tom Prescott successfully sued his network over a lack of signal. Prescott had asked Orange to cancel his 18 month contract after discovering he had no reception at either his Richmond home or place of work. He has received £500 and had the contract annulled.

"As soon as I realized I could not get a signal, I tried to cancel my contract," he explained. "However, it has taken me three months in court to get it canceled. I felt bullied by the company, and dealing with Orange was awful. I hope people who have the same problem now realize they can do something about it."

Prescott had sensibly argued he should have a reasonable expectation of service both at home and in the office upon signing the contract. Orange countered it wasn't its responsibility, but the courts thought differently. In fact Orange even maintained after the ruling that "Continuous network coverage cannot be guaranteed and network coverage can be affected by factors outside of our control." Legally however this no longer stands up.

The knock on effect could be hugely beneficial too as networks need to find ways of boosting their signal and 3G in particularly is notoriously bad at passing through wood, bricks, trees and mortar. The answer could be femtocells - tiny mobile phone cells which can be fitted into a base station (such as a DSL/cable router) and connect to a service provider's network via broadband.

The problem here is rarely do owners have the same carrier and broadband providers, let alone all members of the household using the same service so an open approach would need to be used which could lead to horribly convoluted negotiations. On top of this femtocells are still too expensive to be incorporated into everyday routers.

Whatever the answer however one thing is now delightfully clear: with the law now on the side of the consumer regarding cell phone reception, the carriers need to clean up their act... and fast.


I recently heard a commercial on Sirius Satellite Radio advertising OnStar's antennas which can enhance your cell phone coverage. Here is OnStar's "Hands Free Calling How-To's" video. I also became curious to know what happens if you are in an accident or have an emergency within a cell phone dead zone and you cannot get a cellular signal. Maybe someone reading this can answer that question?

I also looked into the pricing which I found on their OnStar's web site and was not impressed with their direct pricing. However, there was another option to link the package to your Verizon Wireless account and purchase minutes here but don't know the numbers. I do know their are benefits of having antenna boosters installed on the vehicle which is what Wilson Electronics provides without any service fees or purchase of premium minutes.
OnStar Hands Free
Minutes Price
100 $ 39.99
300 $ 114.99
500 $ 174.99
1,000 $ 299.99


View more presentations from Wilson Electronics. (tags: phone cell)
Wilson Electronics, the world leader in cellular improvement products for mobile and in-building applications. Wilson’s cellular boosters overcome the problem of dropped calls, limited range and reduced data rates for cell phones and data cards by amplifying weak cellular signals.

Our powerful bidirectional cellular amplifiers provide the highest receiver sensitivity in the industry and protect cell sites by preventing oscillation and overload. Our efficient cellular antennas are available in a wide range of designs (omni, Yagi, panel) for interior and exterior mounting in buildings, cars, trucks, RVs and boats. Wilson cellular improvement products are available as plug-and-play kits, or you can custom configure your own cellular repeater for your unique application.

The number of consumers who read blogs at least once a month has grown tremendously in the past few years, and what they read strongly influences their purchase decisions. Despite overwhelming agreement on the importance of customer experience, senior marketing managers admit their wireless carriers are failing to take decisive, company-wide action to integrate their customer voice and experience into key business and marketing processes. Most carriers today do not compensate any employees, managers or executives based on customer loyalty, satisfaction improvements or analytics. While, few companies rate highly in their ability handle and resolve customer problems or complaints.

Here are some pain points that underscores critical deficiencies in the way carriers measure, optimize and leverage customer experience to drive loyalty, improve brand value and increase business performance and growth:

* Too few management compensation programs tied to customer experience, loyalty and satisfaction gains
* Insufficient availability and aggregation of real-time customer experience data across email, phone and web that should be shared across the organization.
* Poor use of customer interactions to collect insights and intelligence or maximize up-sell and advocacy opportunities (ie. femtocells or repeaters).
* Lack of Internet processes and systems to track online word of mouth and drive customer advocacy.
* Slow processes for monitoring of wireless coverage experience that fails to provide true and timely insights into problems and opportunities.

Customer experience is one of the most critical determinants of wireless brand strength. Yet, most carriers and senior marketers suffer from lind spots and gaps in the way they interact, handle and respond to customer issues or problems. Marketing and network operations divisions must assume ownership for the customer experience and establish enterprise-wide measures and disciplines to ensure continuous improvement. Each carrier is missing is a major opportunity to turn customer pain into competitive gain at every touch point through better use of web survey and contact center technologies and processes. Customer listening, learning and leveling are critical qualities that need to be part of an institutionalized in the telecommunications corporate culture. Yet, survey data demonstrates that most carriers are not taking advantage of these opportunities to drive company-wide performance improvement and business growth. Instead, most carriers treat customer interactions around call center service situations and incidents only as a problem that needs quick resolution.

Very few companies today have embraced intelligent Internet analytics while capturing real-time information at the "point of pain". No carriers I know have deployed real-time systems to collect, analyze and distribute customer feedback. This might change if a company like Comcast enters the mobile space with a femtocell technology and their customer service expertise. Carriers must become more sophisticated and committed to both leveraging customer experience as a key business metric and instituting company-wide processes that drive improvement. Companies need to commit themselves to understanding the key determinants of their service and continuously strive to improve their customer experience competitiveness. While the majority of carriers receive customer feedback via email very few track and measure the nature and volume of these messages.

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