When Your Apartment is a Cell Phone Dead Zone

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When Your Apartment is a Cell Phone Dead Zone

Oh My Apartment · Sep 1, 2008

Your new apartment can be perfect: great location, all the space you need and more. But then you go to make a phone call and you discover: no service. Your apartment may be a cell phone dead zone. That situation is bad enough if you also have a landline, but if you rely primarily on your cell phone, no reception can be a major issue.

No service isn’t exactly a reason to break your lease, but living a dead zone can create some problems. There are a few steps you can take to make the situation more tolerable. Katy Toyfa, a Los Angeles resident, is in just that situation: “We’ve tried three different services and who knows how many phones, but it doesn’t seem to make a difference.”

Katy works from home, and has come up with several approaches to make sure she doesn’t miss important phone calls: “…if I’m expecting a call on my cell phone (my office number) I either forward the call to my home phone, sit in the car on the street to take the call, or sit outside on my porch. Otherwise, I either make all calls from my home phone or from my car when I’m out and about driving.”

Forwarding your cell phone to your home phone number is generally your most reliable bet for making sure you don’t miss any calls to your cell phone. A similar option is Grand Central. Grand Central is an online service that assigns you a free number. Rather than handing out either your cell phone number or your home number, you give out your Grand Central number. When someone calls you, Grand Central rings to both your home and cell numbers, upping the odds you’ll get a call when you’re at home.

Beyond the forwarding option, you may have considered a cellular repeater. Cellular, or cell phone, repeaters act as amplifiers for cell phones. Most of the repeaters on the market aren’t exactly a good deal. Most cost at least $100, and every time the technology changes — every few years, lately — the current types of repeaters become obsolete. But in some situations, it can be worth paying for a new cellular repeater.

Beyond these options, the only way to get cell phone service in some places is demolish the building and start from scratch. I doubt your landlord will go for that approach, though.

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