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Verizon customers complain their SLC neighborhood is a ‘giant dead spot’

(KUTV) In October, a group of about a dozen men and women met in the driveway of a Sugarhouse home. They were strangers who all had one thing in common: their Verizon cell phones rarely work well, or at all.

The strangers all live within about one mile of each other, and within walking distance of several Verizon stores.

They came together after Tom Ryan made a post on an online message board. He just wanted to complain. In doing so, he posed a question: "Are others having coverage issues with Verizon?"

Within 24 hours, the post had 128 replies.

Gina Kiechle is frustrated.

“Everyone I talk to, every other word is, ‘I can't hear you. We have a terrible connection,’" she told Get Gephardt.

Barbara Schovaers said she regularly will have to attempt to call somebody multiple times before the call will even connect.

"You call someone four, five times before you get through for 30 seconds," she said.

Marni Chandler works from home in the healthcare industry which makes dropping calls particularly problematic, she says.

"I have to get in my car and drive like two miles out and pull over if I really have to take a call that can't get dropped," she said.

And Ryan, who started the post, says it’s a safety issue.

“I mean, our phones are our link to life nowadays," he said.

Verizon didn't want to talk to Get Gephardt on camera, but in an email, a spokesperson blames the cell phone industry’s success.

"More people are using more wireless devices to do more things in more places than ever before,” Verizon wrote.

But after years of aggressive campaigning about reliability, Get Gephardt told Verizon about the group in Salt Lake that disagrees.

Verizon stated they take the complaints seriously writing, "Our goal is to work on network enhancements over the next year."

Chandler says that in the weeks since the October interview, she was contacted by Verizon and told service was being expanded. For now, however, she says dropped calls remain a frustrating problem.

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