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Weekly Tips and How-To's: Restoring Service

Fri Oct 31, 2008 - 2:56 PM EDT - By Brian Hart


The other day, my phone inexplicably stopped working. I'm with AT&T, have been with them for years, and I thought my coverage area was pretty darn good. I looked at my phone - full bars. Huh?? Why can't I make a call? I thought it must be a glitch, so I turned my phone off, turned it back on, and expected the problem to be resolved. Nope.

Apparently more extreme measures were required. I took the back off of my phone, removed the battery, waited a minute or so, replaced the battery, and waited for my phone to power up and reset. It all ran smoothly. Finally the phone radio turned on, and full bars! I figured I was in business. I dialed a number - to a land line - and my phone just sat there. The screen indicated that my phone was making a call, but dead silence. Then, the call failed. Grrrr!

I tried a phone call to another mobile number, an AT&T number. Nothing. I tried again to call a mobile number on a different carrier. Zip. Was my phone a lemon? I called my own number - direct to voicemail. As much as I didn't want to, I subjected myself to the maze of menus when I called AT&T on my land line.

After several minutes, I finally got a real, live, flesh-and-blood person on the phone. I explained my problem, shared my frustration, and begged for resolution. They checked for any outages or problems in my area - none. Then they asked me if I did a true power-down. I thought about that. A "true" power-down? Was the other one I did a fake one?

The AT&T representative kindly explained that a true power-down required removing the battery AND the SIM card. Really? That makes a difference? I followed his instructions. I removed the battery. I removed the SIM card. I waited a minute. I put the SIM card back in. I put the battery in, then waited for the phone to power up. Then appeared full bars, just like before. Feeling hopeful (even though nothing LOOKED different), I placed a call. Ring! Problem solved.

Hopefully this real-life experience will help you next time your Treo doesn't work when it should. Do a true power-down by removing the battery and SIM card. It's a good idea to do this on a regular basis anyway - maybe every couple weeks or so. If you do, it just might save you a call to AT&T and time wasted in an automated menu maze.

If you are a developer with some helpful and/or fun software or if you have a tip or how-to that you wish to pass on to the rest of the community, just email me at: [email protected].

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