Photo by Matt Stensland
Lacey Ely, an employee at the My Wireless Verizon store in Central Park Plaza, displays a cell phone that is ready to dial *228. Ely and other employees at the store were telling customers who were having trouble with their Verizon service Monday to dial the number, which updates the software in the phone.
Steamboat Springs A weekend of dropped cell phone calls, frustration and headaches for some Steamboat Springs Verizon Wireless customers was cured after a quick dose of *228 on Monday, Verizon officials said.
Dialing *228 was the advice from employees at My Wireless, a Verizon-authorized retailer in Central Park Plaza. On Monday, store employees handled calls and in-person visits from numerous people who said their phones were not working.
Bob Kelley, a Denver-based Verizon spokesman, said dialing *228 was probably good advice, and technicians had identified and dealt with the problem that left some without cell service.
"They are aware of the issue," Kelley said.
The Verizon network in Steamboat Springs started experiencing interference Friday, Kelley said. He said it probably was caused by someone's unauthorized use of a repeater or amplifier on Verizon's network. Kelley said such equipment could be used in rural areas to boost signal strength.
Technicians are investigating the source of the interference, which by Monday afternoon was isolated and removed from the network.
Kelley was not sure how many customers had been affected by the network interference.
"It doesn't seem like it was widespread," he said.
Employees at My Wireless said the problem seemed to affect Verizon users at random. It did not matter what type of phone they had or where they lived.
Customers reported that when they tried to make a call, the call would never connect or the call would be dropped as soon as the other person answered. Other reported problems including the delayed delivery of text and voice messages.
Katelyn Stokes, a Steamboat Springs High School graduate who was home from school for winter break, was at My Wireless on Monday looking for a solution. She said her phone died Friday.
"I was so bummed," Stokes said. "I live and die by my phone."