Question

WIFI Calling Preferences Being Forced to Cellular Preferred

  • 10 October 2020
  • 62 replies
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62 replies

IT looks like this has been fixed.  The latest update for My S21 leaves WiFi preferred, locked in. 

Thanks for the update emergency dentist

I continue to have the “Wi F calling preferences updated to optimize network experience” message appear on my Galaxy S9 constantly. It is changed from Wi-Fi to cellular, even though I have only one bar on cellular service and am 5 feet away from my ASUS RT-AC86U router. It seems like I miss calls when it is reset to cellular preferred.

I have many issues with this unwanted “service”. If I set a preference, it is what I want and I expect my preference to be honored. Is this reset only on my phone, or is it also recognized by T-Mobile so if I get a call T-Mobile will only use cellular and not work if I don’t have sufficient coverage?

T-Mobile has replaced my SIM card, but that didn;t help. There was a suggestion to clear the cache partition and reset network connection. I have done this repeatedly and it doesn’t work.

It looks like I have three solutions: Take my Galaxy S9 to AT&T, stay with T-Mobile and replace my Samsung with a different manufacturer’s cell phone, or go to Spectrum/Verizon and get a new phone.

Note to T-Mobile: If you are monitoring this issue, please respond.

I have the same issue as reported by many other users: on Samsung A32 5G (SM-A326U) the WiFi calling preference is constantly being reset from WiFi-preferred to cellular preferred.

T-MOBILE needs to work with Samsung to address the issue!

It is disturbing that nothing is being done to remedy this problem….and that T-Mobile will not even acknowledge it. There is an obvious issue here that needs immediate resolution. Perhaps public awareness is low because it mainly affects folks who don’t have the best cellular connection and even then, most folks would likely be unaware of why the were missing texts and calls. It really does seem to be from our phones spontaneously switching to “Cellular Preferred”. Wait, whose preference is that? Mine?….or the phone’s? Can’t I lock in MY preferences? What’s that setting for? Who’s it for? If it’s on “Cellular Preferred” and there is poor cellular service at that location (although there may be good wifi) you will miss calls and texts. Such has been my situation for the last 6 months or so. 

As much as I’ve loved T-Mobile for the last 8 years, they seem to have gone downhill. This is truly unacceptable and I am ready to change carriers. If I see no real changes, or at least an explanation and attempt to fix this, I will make it my mission to make this issue, and their lack of response, as public as possible and get the word out nationwide…..there’s a big problem and T-Mobile refuses to not only fix it, but to even acknowledge it!

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It seems to me that many are having this identical problem… those of us who depend on wi-fi connectivity because we live in a hi-rise building or in an area with poor cell coverage. These wi-fi connectivity issues began with a system update in mid-2020. If you select “wi-fi preferred” within a short period of time your phone will revert to “cellular preferred”. T-mobile has given me different phones and the same thing happens on all of them.  Worse yet, I have had multiple instances of an incoming call -- when on a wi-fi system -- going directly to voice mail and my cell phone never rings. I have observed this issue myself by calling my cell phone from a landline phone. I have tried temporarily deleting various apps from my phone -- but the same issue persists. This is not, I think, from my phone, my apps, or the wi-fi network I am on. It seems to be a software issue. Complaints are coming from Android and Apple users which are similar. Should not T-Mobile get this technically resolved? And would it not be honest to send out a blanket announcement to T-Mobile customers that “wi-fi is not working properly and we are working on it” or something like that? It seems to me that it is not fair or honest to advertise a service which is not properly working. Or openly solicit any problems we are having with T-Mobile wi-fi connectivity. I really love T-Mobile availability most places in the world -- buy the wi-fi connectivity is a big issue for me.

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The issue appears to be: how can you advertise a feature that clearly does not work? The old “truth in advertising” problem. I think that correcting this issue should be a technical priority for T-Mobile.

I am experiencing my WIFI Calling Preferences always being forced to “cellular preferred”, as are others.   I live in an area with poor T-mobile mobile data signal and this recent behavior makes my phone unable to make and receive calls and text messages.   I believe the problem only started happening after the next to last T-Mobile software update.  Everything was fine for my first 5 months of ownership.  A Google search shows posts of other users experiencing the same issue, but no options other than a tedious workaround of manually switching the phone to Airplane mode and changing the WIFI calling preferences back to “WIFI preferred”.  I have to do this kind of process each time I enter and leave my home, and sometimes have to reboot my phone as well.   The times I’ve forgotten, I’ve missed package deliveries and went to a doctor appointment when the doctor had left a message that he was out sick.  This appears to be a carrier specific issue as far as I can see.   I even tried replacing my rock solid Netgear R6400 router with an ASUS AX3000 router with no resulting changes.   I’m in a small apartment only 10 feet from the router, with a very strong WIFI signal.  I have two Samsung Galaxy S20 phones (March 2020) which both exhibit the exact same behavior.   I spoke with T-Mobile Tech support which appeared to be clueless about this issue other than to send me two new S20 phones under warranty to my T-Mobile store.   I do not have high confidence in this approach but will try the new phones and report back. 

Does anyone know anything more?   I am not aware of T-Mobile publicly acknowledging this issue.

AGREED!!! Not Tmobiles business weather we have that setting on or off. Why have the setting if we can't use it. Might as well be grayed out in the menu.

I have Note 10, Note 10+ and Note 20 Ultra5G. They all have this issue. I updated the phones and did factory reset also but I still have this issue.

I rely on Wifi calling at home and with this feature gone the phones are useless.

When will this be resolved or else it might be time to such back to iOS.

I am working with T-Mobile corporate to try to resolve/mitigate my issues. Like most here, I have the Wi-Fi optimization issue, switching from Wi-Fi to cellular, even though I am just feet away from a very good ASUS router. My cellular signal strength varies from 2-3 in the best location to 1 or none in other areas. I want to be able to take my phone anywhere in my house and not lose a call. This originally worked great with Ethernet connected CellSpot routers, but died after a software update. Many updates later and still doesn’t work reliably. I since upgraded to ASUS RT-AC86U routers, hoping to have better connectivity and reducing the impact of leaving T-Mobile. Didn’t help my Wi-Fi optimization problem, but my kids notice the faster speed when they visit.

Call support was no help. Every suggestion failed.

I have an additional issue that I haven’t seen explicitly addressed. I frequently have incoming calls routed directly to voicemail after what seems to be a futile attempt by the T-Mobile network to locate my phone. It takes about 30 seconds for this to happen. The voicemail notification may be quick, or it may take a while to appear. This can happen when in cellular or Wi-Fi mode. It might be after a phone directed optimization takes place, but no way to know for certain.

Being old, I don’t game or watch videos (other than news or weather), so my phone is primarily for communication. Since it often fails to communicate, I consider it defective and subject to replacement under my T-Mobile warranty. The problem is getting a replacement phone that doesn’t have the problem.

To be certain to remedy this issue on T-Mobile, that means an iPhone.

Since this problem seems to be exclusive to T-Mobile, it is actually cheaper for me to switch to Spectrum Mobile using the $14 per Gig plan. 

If T-Mobile doesn’t have a solution soon, I may have to switch.  

I set my Galaxy S9 to airplane mode, then turned on Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi calling last night. It should never switch to cellular and always be active on the internet. This afternoon, I called my cell from my home phone and got the message ‘This phone is not accepting calls, try again later’. Five minutes later I tried again and my phone rang almost immediately. Five minutes later I tried again and after about 30 seconds I was sent to my voicemail. This has to be a phone and T-Mobile Wi-Fi calling network issue.

There is no workaround for this problem, and T-Mobile and Samsung seem unable to fix it. If you need to use Wi-Fi calling when you have poor cellular service, expect to miss a lot of calls.

The only fix on T-Mobile is to switch from a Samsung phone to another cellular phone company product. This probably means a phone upgrade at regular price to fix a problem caused by T-Mobile and Samsung. 

If you like Samsung phones, like I do, the solution is to switch to another cellular provider. I have Spectrum Mobile in my area and their price for a senior citizen not using much high speed data is much cheaper than my T-Mobile plan. The problem is it uses the Verizon network and my S9 is not supported. I will have to get a new phone, but even then if I use less than 1 Gig per month the Spectrum plan cost will still be less than my current T-Mobile plan, even paying for a new phone.

The secondary issue I have is with customer support. My problem was forwarded to Technical Support and I was told to expect a callback. A week later, after no callback, I called in again and eventually was connected to Technical Support. They had me try a few things, but nothing corrected the problem.

I am in contact (I thought) with corporate customer support, but after first contact they seem to be ignoring me as well.

I get the feeling they want customers with problems they can’t fix to go away.

They will soon get their wish.

This will be my last post on the Wi-Fi preferences changed issue. Once I switch carriers, I will have no reason to say anything else.

I have three issues

  1. My Calling preference for Wi-Fi calling being changed to Cellular against my wishes. No, my preference didn't change, it was changed without my permission.
  2. While using Wi-Fi calling, some incoming calls are missed. This has no relation to #1, since it happens when I am in Airplane mode with Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi calling turned on. My preference for Wi-Fi calling isn't changed.
  3. T-Mobile customer support does not have the practices and procedures to support their customers with this issue. T-Mobile and Samsung seem to not have the competence or desire to fix this issue.

I switched to T-Mobile specifically to get Wi-Fi calling. We traveled to Sedona on vacation and stayed in a resort in the Oak Creek Canyon wilderness area. The resort offered Wi-Fi, but there is no cellular service in this area. To use my cell phone, I would need Wi-Fi calling. My T-Mobile phone worked without problems on this trip. In future trips we have stayed in remote accommodations not offing cellular service but with Wi-Fi. My Wi-Fi calling has worked flawlessly.

But with what I have heard called as the Pie update, Wi-Fi calling has been an issue. For a couple of years T-Mobile customers needing Wi-Fi calling due to no or inconsistent cellular service, Wi-Fi calling has been unreliable. No suggested settings, no workarounds, no updates fix or mitigate the problem.

More disappointing is the incompetence I have seen in customer support. T-Mobile practices and procedures, as well as the technology used to support contacting the customer have exacerbated the issue. Customer support does not get back to the customer when a response is promised. Customer support seems to not understand the serious of the issue to the customer.

I have used and worked in IBM customer support. Their system is oriented in getting solutions and keeping the customer informed of the progress of the solution. The support system keeps a knowledge base of known problems and solutions, and reminds customer support when a response is due to the customer. The T-Mobile system seems to offer none of these important features.

I was employed at IBM when Lou Gertsner was hired to do its turn-around. He told us anyone dealing directly with a customer was in sales. I was skeptical, but came to understand what he was saying. It is especially true today when most of our interaction with companies is through the internet. Unless we visit a T-Mobile store, our dealings are with customer support. They don't sell us things, but they can definitely make us ex-customers. Poor customer support and inability to fix or understand the customer's problem makes the customer to look for solutions elsewhere.

I was at such frustration with phone customer support I wrote a letter to corporate customer support and heard back from a corporate rep. I was in negotiations for a solution when the rep seems to have disappeared. No rep, no solution. Only silence.

Although my cellular service is still weak, and very weak or nonexistent in parts of my house, I have turned off Wi-Fi calling for now. I spend most of my time at home in my man cave, and the T-Mobile signal is strongest (usually 1-2 bars) in this room. I leave Wi-Fi on for other functions to work in weak signal areas. This works at home, but I will need reliable Wi-Fi calling on vacations, so I need to find a cellular service that supports reliable Wi-Fi calling.

I don't use 5G now, and probably won't need it for a while. I don't game or stream. But since it is available, I will get a 5G capable phone when I switch. What makes this decision sad is T-Mobile is poised to offer the best 5G C-Band service, as Sprint owned a good number of the C-Band frequencies.

I am looking at 3 Verizon network options

  • CREDO - good but not lowest price for my usage, but among the best customer support. Online only.
  • Spectrum Mobile - best pricing, but very new at the customer support business for cellular service. Does have a local office.
  • Verizon - Owns and controls the network. Not best pricing. As a previous customer, the support was good.

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