Tuesday, 24 January 2012

"Emergency Calls Only"

Why is it, when you're out and about and waiting for an important call... you never have a signal on your mobile!!!

One of the biggest problems with living in such a rural area, is that you quickly find yourself without a signal on your mobile phone, often when you need it the most!!!

I remember last year we'd been out for the day and on our way home the car broke down. Not a problem I thought, I have breakdown cover... but it was.

Almost midnight on a cool summers night, with 4 sleeping children in the back of the car, it decided to overheat. Spotting a pub just outside a large town I pulled over and stopped and not wanting to risk carrying on with a car that kept overheating and wanting water I decided to call the national breakdown company I had cover with. 

Unfortunately, this turned out to be a BIG problem and it seemed like everything was against me making my call! My phone didn't have a signal and neither did DH's or my parents who were following behind us. We are are all on the same network and we all had a message saying "Emergency Calls Only" which means that another provider does have a signal but you can't use it except in an emergency. The pub was closed and even after knocking on the door no one came. I walked a short way on the road and was thrilled to see a phone box... only it didn't work and there was no dial tone! 

By now I was ready to burst into tears when my dad said he would drive me back up the hill to see if I could pick up a signal and to my delight we did and finally, an hour after we stopped a breakdown truck arrived.

Poor DD1 (6) was heartbroken when we transferred them to the breakdown truck for the journey home. 
"But I don't want to leave our car behind!" she cried "When will we get it back!" 
So I took her to show her the car being put on the back of the truck. Then to make matters worse, there was only enough room for 5 in the back of the truck and we are a family of 6 but thankfully my parents had waited with us for the breakdown truck and I drove their car with my mum and the baby and my dad went in the truck with DH and the older 3 and finally at 3am we arrived home.

Now, as we are all on the same network the fact that our phones showed "Emergency Calls Only" means a different network provider might have given us a signal earlier and that is what I find annoying. Why can't they all SHARE their coverage and give us more choice of providers, rather than having to choose the one that covers our area! And it would be wonderful if they could get rid of mobile blackspots.

For the past few days I have been trying to get in touch with DD2's speech therapist about her operation next week, yet whenever she seems to call me back my mobile doesn't have a signal and as soon as it picks it up again I get a beep telling me I have a voice mail. The worst place is at my parent's house as there is no signal there at all, although occasionally you might pick one up when you're wondering around the garden. 

With all the money these phone providers earn, it's just a shame they don't increase their coverage or at least agree to share!!!

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