Best Mobile Phone Carrier?

cvillenewser asks: “What’s the best cell phone carrier for the Central
Virginia/Charlottesville area in terms of reception and value (minutes/cost)? I’m currently with Nextel, and while I haven’t had any problems, I’m wondering if I’m missing out on a better deal out there.”

By my math, there’s no beating Ntelos, which has the bonus of being local, but I’m sure others will weigh in.

8 thoughts on “Best Mobile Phone Carrier?”

  1. Where we live (west of the city), it’s Alltel by a mile. Cingular, Ntelos, Nextel, etc don’t seem to have a very clear signal out here – especially if you have one of those newfangled phones that has a camera, an MP3 player, color graphics, and really cool styling- but not very good reception.

    On the flip side, Alltel’s local customer service really leaves a lot to be desired. More than several times I’ve had to call their national CS # to get any assistance with billing issues, and anytime you walk into their office on Rio Road there are only a couple of employees there and an abundance of customers.

    Our contract runs out in February, so I’m interested in hearing what others have to say about their cell phone service.

  2. My husband and I currently have nTelos and were considering switching when our contract expires in January. We thought we were paying too much for both our phones. I put DH in charge of the research and comparing apples to apples as best we could, nTelos came out as the best value.

    We live in Waynesboro and work in Cville. There are 2 spots on my drive that I lose service for a brief amount of time. One is around the Ivy exit, and I’m told that is because I’m switching towers there, the second is if I take exit 99 to go home and then I’m in a valley – a dead man’s land I’m sure.

    I’ve had phone issues in the past, but no reception problems with nTelos. Well, nothing that I can really blame them for. When I lived in a basement apartment on the back side of a hill, outside gave me the best reception. It worked in the apartment but if I was sitting at my computer, which was in a room almost completely underground, if I moved my head in a weird position I lost service.

  3. Alltel has worked fine for me in the city and immediate surroundings, and the 29 N corridor (Hollymead, Camelot, etc.)

    Other than that, it’s a wasteland. The Southern half of the county, West, East, the Earlysville area… nothing.

    And for the record, Alltel seems to be the ONLY service that works in Covington!

  4. dkachur Says:
    And for the record, Alltel seems to be the ONLY service that works in Covington!

    That is the other thing to keep in mind. Where are the typical places you use your phone? Your phone should work there. I’m sure you already knew that… I had a friend of mine get phones for he and his wife – don’t remember who the carrier is, but then they bought a townhouse and the phones only work in one corner of the house.

  5. I’ve never lost service–I have Alltel–but then again i hardly ever venture far from around Grounds, up 29 to Lowe’s, and over to Stony Point Road.

    A resounding “I AGREE” to the earlier point about Alltel’s local customer service. The office on Rio is miserably understaffed.

  6. When I terminated Alltel’s 2 year, multi-phone contract this year, well after the 2 years, they have tried to bill me over $200 for invented reasons. When I talked to their national CS rep about it, he put me on hold for 10 minutes and then hung up. Needless to say, I recommend against Alltel to everyone.

    I’ve been with T-Mobile since summer and they are much more customer service oriented.

  7. For another set of information you may want to check out the site

    Click on the Cell Phone Coverage tab and put in a zip code.

    There is a Comments section which details user experiences. An interesting trend, Alltell coverage seems dependant on phone model, with the Nokia’s getting better indoor coverage than the Motorola’s for some reason. That matches my experience comparing with other folks at work – they get calls on the Nokias they have in places where I never get a call, but walk out and see a missed call or voice mail message that came in during the meeting.

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