Malfunctioning cell tower causing man major headaches - KCTV5 News

Malfunctioning cell tower causing man major headaches

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Many people are shutting off their home phones to save money and turning just to their cell phones for communication. One man did exactly that and now regrets it because a cell tower near his home suddenly stopped working and he's been without cell service for nearly a week.

"It affects me getting a job as well as home life. It got to a point…what can I do? I don't know where to turn," Pat Nelson said. "Now I just feel like I'm being run around left and right."

Nelson has been frustrated with his cell service since last Saturday night. Whenever he tries to make a call on his Sprint phone, he gets an automated message telling him to dial customer service to activate his phone.

Nelson now drives to his mother's house to use her land line phone to call Sprint's technical support line to find out what happened.

"He (technical support representative) says, ‘before we do anything let's check the area. I do show a tower in your area that went down at 8 p.m.' which is pretty much when my phone quit," Nelson said.

Since then, he said he's called the phone company every day with no luck.

"So I called back the next day and they said it would be Tuesday and it then it would be Wednesday," Nelson said.

Right now Nelson's out of work and he had sent out resumes with his cell phone number on them – a number that's still not working.

But his biggest concern is that his daughter has a failing kidney and is on medication. He depends on his cell to talk to her and his two grandchildren to make sure she's not having any new health issues.

"The other problem is, I do have a daughter that's on disability. I need to stay in contact with her pretty much on a daily basis and that really bothers me because I have grandkids involved in that," Nelson said.

KCTV5's Sandra Olivas and her photographer spotted a crew working at the cell tower near Nelson's home at East Bannister and James A Reed roads.

The crews said they were there checking the fiber optic cable lines. They said the cable lines seemed OK, but the tower was still having problems with its signal and that another crew would be by to check on the antennas, radios and other electronic components.

Nelson said he wonders how many other customers are being impacted by the tower trouble.

"I said, look you have an entire area out and so many people that do not have landlines anymore. They depend on cells for communication," he said.

KCTV5 contacted Sprint officials who apologized for the inconvenience. They said that, nationwide, they have 36,000 cell sites and they try their best to keep each one running properly. But they said sometimes it takes time to get to the root of a problem. At this point they believe the problem has been partially restored, but they still need their crews to solve the problem 100 percent.

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