I have opined about cell phone companies and the service I received in the past. It is hard not to.
After my experiences with Robbers and Hell, Telus and Virgin (I know, I am slacking and have not come up with any pet name for the last two), I decided to try one of the underdogs, Freedom Mobile.
The service is bad
Sometimes it is good, but it is very dependent on your location.
Driving around in BC from POCO to Vancouver there are a lot of places that have blazing LTE speed. Sometimes it is only 4G or even 3G but still I can connect.
The problems start at home. In spite of being in the orange section on the Freedom Mobile coverage map, I experience many states of connectivity all while sitting still with my phone, sitting untouched, on the table beside me.
One minute LTE.
Then next Roaming or 4G or 3G.
Then the inexplicable Home AND Away.
And my favourite, EMERGENCY CALLS ONLY.
I have not moved. The phone has not moved and the house is more or less stationary. Ok, it is really stationary.
They were wrong
“Is this a problem Dave”?
I suppose not really if you don’t mind putting on shoes and a coat, walking down the road and across the street and standing in the field to check voicemail and return calls. It was chilly talking to loved ones back home over the holiday season.
I used to be miffed at the $40 or $50 dollars a month it to cost to have a hard wired phone in one room of my house but the damned phone rang every time. There was no call display. You picked up the phone and dealt with the consequences. But you could call out and most of the time someone would answer.
In the early days there were no cordless phones and if you had to poop while on the phone, you needed a really long cord. But, you rarely heard “Please leave a message…”, or “Your call can not be completed”.
In these days of instant communication (unless you are with Freedom Mobile), you expect something positive and quick.
I contacted Freedom and mentioned that I live in a dead zone (as far as their cell service is concerned) and that cell providers in the states sometimes offered the loan of a cell booster so their customers could actually make and receive calls in their own home. Kinda handy if you are looking for work or in case of emergency.
Their response, when it finally came was “No, we don’t do that”. “Buy your own”. I checked on the cost of a cell booster and the price made Robbers and Hell look attractive. Since Freedom’s service is so spotty, you’d think they would be able to get a bulk discount on cell boosters.
The focus of this post is actually the speed of communication with Freedom.
You can respond to them on Messenger and feel less than satisfied very quickly. For example, they finally sent me a message on Messenger, days after I sent an inquiry through their website.
They magnanimously offer phone unlocking for free (ever since it became a legal requirement) but it did not work. The instructions on their website were to phone #06# and you would receive a code to unlock your phone or maybe instructions or something. I tried it many times and it said communication problems or invalid code. Par for the course with Freedom so I looked at their other method. Get a code from the battery in the phone.
I Googled a YouTube video on how to open the Samsung S7. 12 minutes long. Apply heat (what could go wrong?) with a hot plate (are you kidding?) or hair dryer and pry the glass case off without breaking it. Remove forty twelve screws and some plastic bits and read the required number.
Being the intelligent lad I am, I looked on the original Samsung box the phone came in and the number was on the label.
In spite of the number being labeled as the correct number, when Freedom finally answered my query days later, they said that they did not have the number for the brand new phone they sold me in their database.
Did they sell me some black market unregistered knock-off phone?
They said they passed my complaint on to their Back End. I can expect to hear from them in 10 days.
To be continued…but don’t hold your breath.