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Signal Booster discontinued: Why are the salespeople lying about this?

  • 16 February 2021
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I live in a spot that gets poor cell service from all providers, despite being in a good zone according to the coverage map. So when I was looking at signing up for T-Mobile service, I had FIVE separate Experts and sales reps tell me that the Signal Booster - specifically the one that amplifies a cell signal, and NOT the one that hooks up to your Internet service - was available and I could order it from Customer Care and put down a $25 deposit to get one. The story was consistent across the board for this.

When I actually signed up and went to order one, I was then told that the booster was discontinued (two Experts and a tech-support rep), and what I really wanted was a CellSpot (hooks up to Internet router), even after I explained that we were hoping to put the device in our barn, far away from our house where the router is.

When I asked why I was getting conflicting stories on this, nobody wanted to answer the question, not even acknowledge that there was a discrepancy. I also could not get a straight answer on how long the program had been gone - one Expert just said “for a while now”. Interestingly, the T-Mobile website doesn’t seem to say anything about this either - I searched for “Signal Booster Discontinued”, and all the results on the T-Mo site just talk about how to set it up, how to troubleshoot it, how to order one (contact Customer Care), etc., but nothing about it no longer being available. (I found some Reddit threads that casually mentioned it being gone, however.)

This makes me feel like T-Mobile lied to me just to get me to sign up. I don’t like being lied to. In fact, I’m rather upset by that. I could certainly accept that a booster isn’t available - if your sales reps had just been honest about this, it wouldn’t have been a problem. But, unless the training program at T-Mobile is so amazingly lacking that half your sales force and store owners don’t KNOW that this program no longer exists, this was a pure bait-and-switch, and I’m very close to demanding a refund and going back to your competition on the grounds of misrepresentation.

Account for your salespeople. I would like a firm answer on what the real status of the signal booster program is, how long it’s been discontinued if it is, and why your sales force is still telling prospective customers the wrong thing.

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Best answer by HarvanHunter 17 February 2021, 01:18

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Update: Since I saw others saying that T-Mobile doesn’t really monitor this community (maybe sometimes an employee maybe just might respond once in a while), I contacted Customer Care again and specifically complained about this. They assured me that they will address the misinformation to make sure it doesn’t happen to future prospective customers.

I’m not holding my breath, really, but at least I got someone’s attention about it. I’m going to be keeping a close eye on anything else the company does that goes against their promises, though, and I will switch away IMMEDIATELY if I find one.

They throttle 480p video on your unlimited data plan unless you pay $100 more a month for 'HD video playback’

You have to dial and call #263# to disable the Binge-On video throttling 'feature' even if you're paying the extra $100.

They throttle LTE (which is actually just fancy 3G) to <10mbps after you hit 50GB for the rest of the month.

I migrated from Sprint to T-Mobile. I was told the same thing re:booster $25 deposit. This is August 2021, not even one week of service, I'm looking at having to buy a booster they range from &150-$2000. They have a banner now stating the booster program has been discontinued. But, salespeople in the stores are still not aware. They offer a mini tower, but only works on cable/broadband internet service. Rural areas pay the same amount for T-Mobile service, but we get substantially less service. None of the 3 largest cell service providers invest in rural areas. At least provide boosters at no cost, not just mini towers. Disappointed. 

 

You were not lied to.  T-Mobile no longer carries or manufactures signal boosters, but they do still carry and manufacture cell spots.  They are very different products

T-Mobile CellSpots are based on femtocell technology. Whereas cell phone signal boosters are based on a different Bi-Directional Amplifier (BDA) technology, so they work differently. However, all of these are used to improve cellular coverage.

A cell phone signal booster amplifies a cellular signal existing outside, and that amplified signal can then be used by cellular devices indoors, while a femtocell (A T-Mobile Cell Spot) is essentially a cellular base station with a broadband Internet connection that creates a cell signal to cover a small area.  

A T-Mobile Cell spot is to be connected to the Internet. Thereby, they create a voice-over IP (VOIP) signal that can cover a small indoor area. Fem To Cell technology-based T-Mobile Cell-Spot is sometimes offered as a solution for poor signal areas.

Pros.

  • Provides coverage anywhere from a single room up to large buildings.
  • May offer faster connections for data than typical cell signals.
  • Can provide cell signals indoors even if there is no cellular signal available outside.

Cons.

  • Can't pass a connection to a cell tower. If you're for example talking to someone using a cell spot connection inside a building and you step outside, the call will probably drop.
  • Need a high-speed Internet connection.
  • All cellular devices need to be synched or paired before they can be used with a fem-to-cell system.
  • Only cellular devices for your specific carrier will be supported.
  • Some internet bandwidth is used to operate.

Cell Phone Signal Boosters.

Cell phone signal booster systems operate independently of the Internet and consist of 3 components:

  1. Outside (tower) antenna(s) that receives the signal.
  2. Signal amplifier(s) that boost signal strength.
  3. Inside (device) antenna(s) that retransmit the boosted signal inside a building or vehicle.

These boosters are bi-directional, i.e., when the phone or device transmits back to the tower, the process happens in reverse order. Signal boosters are very effective in areas with a weak signal, or in buildings where cellular signals have difficulty penetrating.

Cell Phone Signal Booster Features.

  1. They are a one-time purchase device, and no monthly charges apply.
  2. The connection is maintained by a booster when a cell phone switches from receiving a signal from the cell tower to receiving signal through the signal booster, and vice versa.
  3. A wireless booster generally supports simultaneous connections to multiple cellular devices.
  4. A signal booster amplifies signals for multiple carriers simultaneously and will boost both data and voice signals.
  5. Signal boosters help extend your device's battery charge.
  6. Various vehicle signal boosters are available.
  7. Depending on the system configuration, signal boosters can cover areas from a single room up to large buildings.

It should be noted that signal boosters do not create a cellular signal but use detectable signals available outside.

If your signal is weak outside, you'll need a lot of gain to cover your entire home or office. The gain of your cell phone signal booster kit comes primarily from two components: the amplifier (also called the booster) and the outdoor donor antenna. Most cell boosters are limited to between 64 dB and 72 dB gain by the FCC, however, single-carrier devices can amplify signal by up to 100 dB.

Please check out:  https://www.signalboosters.com/

If you need a signal booster.  But, if you need a cell spot, when you call T-Mobile ask for specialized tech or tech support.

 

 

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