When the girls and I arrived at the cabin last week, I told Tori I would call to let her know that we made it down OK. Last year during the build I had 2 bars on my cell at the cabin site, 3 bars if I plugged in the auxiliary antennae and climbed on top of the picnic table. So I was surprised to see no bars at all. We thought a quick drive into Tres Piedras would help, as the signal has been stronger there…we ended up driving all the way into Taos to find a pay phone. The 60 mile round trip was not expected, nor enjoyed, last year in Taos I had 4 to 5 bars. I thought my phone had DIED.
At the end of December last year I switched to the Go-Phone plan from my carrier AT&T. I had been on a contract plan for years and had been paying about $50 a month for about 500 minutes. I’m not a big cell phone user so each months use ranged between 20 to 100 minutes or so. I had accumulated over 4500 minutes in roll-over and was losing 450 each month as these have a 1 year lifespan.
The driver for switching to the Go-phone plan was purely economic. In the three months on the Go plan I had spent less than $30…or about $10 a month, saving $120 in the first quarter of the year. Seemed like a no brainer …. Unless you want to try to use the phone here in the Wild Wild West.
I assumed that my coverage would be unchanged, It has worked at the ranch for the last year and a half we have been down there, plus it worked for 80% of the route to and from the ranch. When I set the deal up with the gal at AT&T in December she failed to mention that their Go-phone plan is TOTALLY LAME and I would lose 80 to 90% of my coverage.
Here is a pic of the coverage area under the Contract Plan.
And the same area under the Go-Phone plan.
The stick pin in the pic is our cabin location, our normal travel route is pretty much straight north from there. With the cabin just under 300 miles form home, the first cell signal I got on the return home was at Copper Mountain, 4 1/2 hours and 225 miles later.
For people who travel only on the interstates the Go-phone may work for them. But we do not fall in that category. It just seems to make no sense to me why AT&T would have a double Standard for reception. I stopped at the AT&T store in Boulder to try to get this figured / sorted out. They did not want to help me directly, but instead let me use their land line to call customer service…Sorry guys….after 5 years of paying about $600 a year my new phone has a big V on it and is served by Verizon.
The main reason to have a Cell phone is for contact in somewhat remote areas…nearly all of the “west” is this way. Tori and I will be traveling into the 4 corners area in a couple weeks for her 50 Tour. We will test the service on the new Verizon phone, If it is as expected, I’ll switch over my number and say good bye to AT&T for good. FYI…neither phone works at my house, and never has…so the land line is still our primary venue here.