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WEA / Emergency Alerts for Wrong Region


Ever since making the switch to TMO a month ago, I get emergency alerts for Arizona even though I live in San Francisco. I also don't seem to get any emergency alerts or amber alerts for SF. I haven't even traveled to AZ ever so I don't know why this is happening. I've verified that my billing, primary service address, and 911 address are all correct (my home address in SF). I called in and talked to "Advanced Tech Support" twice about this and both times they claimed they were "fixing the service address" which should solve the problem, but days later I'm still getting emergency alerts for AZ. Yes, I did power cycle my phone several times... Does anyone at T-mobile know how I can get the correct emergency alerts? I never had this problem on verizon and am frustrated that my safety is at risk by using T-mo if I miss some important alert.

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Best answer by tmo_marissa 12 September 2017, 17:10

Hey folks! Just wanted to check in here with an update. Many thanks to anyone who has reached out to our internal teams to report this -- we do now have this listed as an emerging issue. Forgive the technical jargon, but here's what's happening:

WEA/ CMAS Emergency Alert System

Customers may experience issues with receiving Wireless Emergency Alerts, (Weather, Flooding, AMBER alerts etc.) that may not pertain to their geographical area due to a provisioning mismatch. Engineering has identified this issue and is currently been directed to Provisioning Team to update the cell provisioning in CMAS database.

Our action steps at this point are to have our Care/Tech/T-Force team open a Trouble Ticket as described here: Service Category – Messaging – Text, Service complaint – Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA/ CMAS). Tickets can then be assigned to our Engineering Customer Support team so that we can provide examples/resolve the issue.

TL:DR, thank you for calling in or reaching out on Twitter or FB if you have already done so! If not, we're still collecting details and would definitely appreciate your time in getting a ticket filed. 😊 Thanks!

- Marissa

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25 replies

Unless you have a number from there? your billing, mailing, e911 address and on your profile were never there to begin with.... is your phone a refurbished device? Or did you take over the account?

My number is from michigan. Good idea though. Billing, mailing, and e911 were never in AZ and the phone was new but I brought it over from verizon. Still, it was in SF on verizon, not az.

Userlevel 6
Badge +13

None of the timezones or location settings within the phone changed did they?  If you brought it from VZW are the APN settings correct for T mobile?

Nope the locations settings are still US and Pacific Time. Also there are no APN settings that are user editable/viewable since it's an iPhone 😕

Userlevel 6
Badge +14

Wow, this is super odd @jake1136 but I'm sure this can be fixed. Are you still getting the wrong alerts? If so, can you use the two web links on our Wireless Emergency Alerts page or contact your local public safety agency to see if you can report this to them? Please reply back and keep us posted. Thanks!

Userlevel 6

Hey there, @jake1136​! I know these alerts don't come in every day (thank goodness), but we wanted to reach out and see if you'd gained any ground here. How are things going?

- Marissa

Nope 😕 I haven't received an alert in a while but the last one was from AZ/Southern CA. As I mentioned, other friends of mine in the same city don't have this problem so reporting it to a local agency is irrelevant. It's not a problem for all San Francisco residents.

Userlevel 6

That's super strange. I read over everything you've checked so far and it's all the logical stuff I can think of! I'm assuming you brought your Michigan number over, right? No judgement if you're living in SF and just selected a Michigan number -- maybe you're a big Wolverine fan? 😉
How long has it been since you got an alert or since any of your local friends have received one that you didn't get? This might sound silly, but what about the age old "turn it off and back on again"? In this case, I mean the alerts, not your iPhone. Can you try these steps:

  1. Tap Settings.
  2. Tap Notification Center.
  3. Tap Government Alerts Section.
  4. Turn on/off alerts.

The bummer of this is that we still have to wait for you to either get an incorrect alert or miss a correct alert to even know what's going on. I hate thinking that you brought your beloved phone and your hometown number over from VZ and this is how we're rewarding you!

- Marissa

Userlevel 5

Hey, @jake1136!

I know that at this point we're waiting for you to receive another notification to know if the incorrect alerts are still happening. However, have you had a chance to read over Marissa's latest reply? We really want to get this squared away for you.

Just got an emergency alert for Santa Clara county even though I'm in San Francisco county deep in the city nowhere near santa Clara. My friend with me at the time on ATT didn't receive this alert. See attached screenshot.

I guess I should move back to Verizon so I'm not the only one in the city missing critical safety alerts and getting annoying ones from wrong counties.

Extra same problem. I see exactly what's shown in the photo that includes English, Spanish, and ??? (Thai? Vietnamese?). Super irritating. I'm in CA, getting alerts for AZ. What the heck? Support has no clue what to do.

Userlevel 6

Yikes, @jake1136​ and @kengetz​. I am at a total loss as to how your CA located devices are getting alerts for AZ. The alerts should be reliant upon the tower your device is connecting to; so for example, if you've recently been in X County you might still get messages sent to subscribers in that area; but unless you're on the border getting an AZ alert while located in CA is not expected, and I share your confusion 100%.

I looked internally and it does seem that we have steps to file a ticket and then escalate the matter to an internal team if you've opted out of WEA Alerts but they're still incoming. I believe we could use the same category set to file a ticket for the situation you're both in -- it might sound silly because these aren't actually SMS, but we'd need to select the category for Messaging and then the sub-category for WEA. Once the ticket was filed we could escalate it internally. If you're active on social media, I'd recommend reaching out to our T-Force teams through Twitter or Facebook. We can securely verify your account information in those forums and get these tickets filed and forwarded. That way our engineering teams can get eyes on the details and figure out where the (invisible) wires are crossed here.

- Marissa

*edited to clarify I'm including the ticket categories here because if you do opt to contact T-Force, you can link them to this post and when they take a look at this reply they'll know what I mean. 😊

I'm not with T-Mobile anymore unfortunately but a friend of mine who just

moved to SF and has T-Mobile was just complaining to me about the same

thing. It's scary to think this could be impacting all of the T-Mo

customers in this (major) city and the company doesn't even realize it.

WOW! Maybe you all are growing a bit too fast.

Back to VZW for me...

Userlevel 6

Well, bummer city! 😥 We are very sorry to see you go, but thank you for coming back to update us. I agree -- if this is a trending concern for SF residents, then we definitely need tickets filed to get to the root of the problem! This is the type of issue that requires sensitive data (details like phone numbers, etc) for traces, so reports filed with internal teams who have account access will give our engineers the information they need to get to the bottom of it. Ten points to your house if you can casually convince your pal to report the problem! 😉

Seriously, I am truly sorry that this issue cost us your business. I hope that we can get it under wraps for your friend's sake, and anyone else's.

- Marissa

Hi. We're in the Sacramento region (actually, between Sac and Reno) and continue to get nearly daily alerts for Arizona's dust storms. Very weird. It's not like it's killing us, but the daily disruption is just tiresome. And it seems that T-Mobile should be able to better distribute the WEA alerts. -- Ken

Userlevel 6

Hey folks! Just wanted to check in here with an update. Many thanks to anyone who has reached out to our internal teams to report this -- we do now have this listed as an emerging issue. Forgive the technical jargon, but here's what's happening:

WEA/ CMAS Emergency Alert System

Customers may experience issues with receiving Wireless Emergency Alerts, (Weather, Flooding, AMBER alerts etc.) that may not pertain to their geographical area due to a provisioning mismatch. Engineering has identified this issue and is currently been directed to Provisioning Team to update the cell provisioning in CMAS database.

Our action steps at this point are to have our Care/Tech/T-Force team open a Trouble Ticket as described here: Service Category – Messaging – Text, Service complaint – Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA/ CMAS). Tickets can then be assigned to our Engineering Customer Support team so that we can provide examples/resolve the issue.

TL:DR, thank you for calling in or reaching out on Twitter or FB if you have already done so! If not, we're still collecting details and would definitely appreciate your time in getting a ticket filed. 😊 Thanks!

- Marissa

No idea how to submit a trouble ticket. Can you point us in the right direction? Thanks!

Userlevel 6

Absolutely! You can have a ticket filed by reaching out to our Care or Tech teams over the phone, or contacting T-Force through Facebook Message or DMing @tmobilehelp on Twitter. In those channels we have secure methods to verify your account information privately and safely, and can file a ticket for you using our internal systems. That way our engineering folks have all the details they need to determine where the provisioning error is taking place and get a fix going!

- Marissa

Had a chat after your previous message with a T-Mobile tech on Facebook. He said "I have the answer!" And then went away for a few minutes. Came back, and told me to just turn off WEA! Not an answer, as far as I'm concerned. I asked him to escalate it. Do I need to go through all that again?

Userlevel 6

Ouch. That's definitely not the way we want to handle this -- I'm sorry that happened!
We don't have the ability to file these through a public forum, but I think maybe it would be helpful if you could link the representative to this thread, or copy and paste the specific section of my last reply that lists the category set for the trouble ticket that we need! When you requested escalation, did we provide you with a ticket number?

- Marissa

Userlevel 6

Hey folks! Just wanted to check back in here -- this issue on our side is marked as resolved, and I wanted to check in with you all! How is everything going?

- Marissa

I’m having a similar issue.   Just moved my phone from AT&T to T-TMobile, and I am not getting WEA alerts when everyone around me is.  I have an iPhone, and the setting is turned on.

I moved from WA to TX. Everything was fine there and here. I got alerts only for area I presented radius of 10-20 miles (it is critical here with tornado and hail). Then I had a trip to from Dallas to Austin. In Austin I was getting Austin amber alerts. But when we returned we started to get Austin and local alerts. Then we had a trip to Colorado Bend State Park. So, now I receive Austin, San Antonio, and sometime Houston (was there for a day) alerts. For family living in Dallas area it is wrong. It is not phone, sim, number problem. Problem is within service provider, that performs broadcast to all numbers registered on base stations in an area. But it seems my number was never removed from cache of those stations in the places we visited.

Userlevel 6

Hey, @magenta4398120​! Sorry for the delayed reply here! If you're still receiving alerts for areas far outside of your Dallas home, then we would definitely like to have a ticket filed with one of our internal teams to report the issue. I've listed the steps in the reply marked Correct on this thread; so if you have a moment and reaching out online works best for you, you can contact our T-Force team via Twitter or Facebook and link that response so that our internal teams have the right steps to follow for filing and routing the ticket! 😊

I am having the same problem. What should I do to get it fixed?

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