Powhatan community having trouble with Verizon

By Melissa Correa - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

POWHATAN, VA (WWBT) – People in Powhatan say it's been a problem for more than a month. They try to make a call on their Verizon cell phone but the call is either dropped or it doesn't go through.

They've each got one, but these Powhatan cell phone users can't get a call out.

"You can't even get started in the conversation and it's gone," said James Baldwin.

"And it took four tries for me to even stay on the phone long enough to say 'look I will call you back in about 30 minutes,'" explained Darlene Bowlin.

"It gets frustrating after a while," said Carolyn Baldwin as she tried to find cell service. "And to keep getting the run around about it and not straight answers is really getting frustrating."

Tuesday afternoon we talked with five Verizon Wireless customers. Each of them said they've been loyal customers for at least a decade. They raved about what their service used to be like before problems started more than a month ago. A spokesperson for Verizon said the company is doing transition work on its towers which created the issue.

The Powhatan Sheriff's office is having cell phone problems also. Its issues started in October when deputies couldn't make or receive calls. Sheriff's deputies said they're worried for residents who may not be able to call 911 for help.

"We need it for 911 emergency here. We had a house fire a month ago, the house burnt down right there," explained James Baldwin. "I don't even know if we can get the fire department out here."

Right now sheriff's deputies are communicating through two-way radios and their in-car computers.  But the county says right now the Verizon Wireless cards aren't reliable.

Tuesday afternoon, a spokesperson for Verizon sent NBC12 this statement: "We take all customer issues seriously, and have worked diligently to identify the issue following a recent equipment change. We anticipate the network service experienced by many of our customers prior to the change will be restored within 10 days."

We shared Verizon's statement with the group of Powhatan neighbors who are excited about their service being restored.

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