If you’re a tourist along the Oregon Coast, especially in the Tillamook Bay area, especially between Easter and Labor Day, especially if it coincides with a coveted fishing / hunting season, and despite having trusted Verizon as your cell provider, the following keeps happening every day until 8pm:

  • Verizon service keeps telling you that you can’t make a phone call
  • Someone emails you to tell you they left you a voicemail and you didn’t get it, and the only reason you getting the email now is because you’re on wi-fi
  • Loading a website on the mobile browser is a bit a hair-pulling-out experience
  • You can’t do a Pokémon GO Level 5 raid at the Morning Star gym at the Tillamook Creamery because the game won’t load – or any other mobile app that requires a data connection

You’re not alone. Verizon issues happens to us residents as well.

During the day, when tourists are heavy there, then you might as well try a tin can & string to text folks instead of using your Verizon phone.

It sucks because my household loves Verizon.

We’re still on Verizon. I was only ever on AT&T back home for as long as I was because my buddy owned the local AT&T franchise & grandfathered my 10% off deal from my last employer. When we moved to Bay Area, Katie & I switched to Verizon when we finally had enough pennies left over at the end of another expensive month.

Verizon has incredible service in its ~81%-ish LTE coverage area. We appeared to find part of that remaining ~19% last year when we moved to the Oregon Coast’s Tillamook Bay area.

The biggest coverage outages happen around the Tillamook Creamery.

The Verizon Tower above the Tillamook Creamery is one of the primary towers in the Tillamook Bay area. Its coverage to the south extends to about to US 101 and Hoquarten Slough (between 1st St. and Rosenberg’s). To the north, it will cover all the way to Barview Jetty.

What about the Bay City tower?

It’s a good question. Last summer we didn’t detect it with our Signal Coverage apps till the day after Labor Day. That was the day we got the text from Verizon staying they’ve repaired the network issues.

Repaired the day after the busy season ends. I love magic.

Right now we’re getting intermittent detections of the Bay City, but we still can’t get reception on any weekend or during most of the days – till 8pm or so.

We talked to Verizon repeatedly last year.

verizon wireless impact ticket

We jumped through their 40-minute hoops every time we called till they gave us a Level 2 tech line and those techs acknowledged something was shitty. They included us on their SMS updates for the “repairs.” Those resulted in the communicated repairs that coincidentally were completed the day after the busy season.

I mean, we tell them the times of days and days of the week when the issues are the worse, and they’ll send a tech out on the off-peak issue times. It was inane. The Level 2 techs were nice and helpful, though.

And now in the 2019 tourist season, the issues are back in full force.

With so many cell provider alternatives, none of our friends want to go back through the rigors with Verizon. Even one of our Pokémon GO friends who used to be a CSR for Verizon and still loves them.

Apparently, the Verizon issues well pre-date us.

Friends we talk to claim it’s a perennial event.

We’re guessing Verizon’s holding out for hopes of getting 5G established, but who the Hell really wants to wait that long?

At this point it feels like we’re donating to Verizon in the summer moreso than paying for a service.

Most every other service seems to be working okay out here.

At least AT&T & T-Mobile, and the lower-cost, band-limited aggregates that use them. Sprint seems to be a little bit sloppier out here. All still perform better in the Tillamook County tourist season than Verizon.

We’re testing Google Fi.

I have an old iPhone 5S that we set up with Google Fi. We’ve been having fellow Pokémon GO players in the area test it out. The Don has been using it. Despite iPhone 5S only having access to a limited number of Google FI’s features, The Don’s been able to successfully hotspot 3-4 other devices while other Verizon users see only the spinning wheels of death.

Tests are still ungoing.

We still spend time in Portland, where Verizon reigns.

We’ve got another player, “Poof,” who’s been testing Google Fi. She, like Katie & I, love her Verizon. Her and Katie still spend a fair amount of time during the week in Portland, where Verizon reigns.

We’re thinking of making the switch to Google Fi, either with or without a scaled-down Verizon plan.

Why Google Fi? That’s for a different post, but here are some highlights:

  1. No contracts
  2. Pay down to the 0.1 GB – monthly
  3. $20 USD first user, $15 per additional user – monthly
  4. 6 GB first user, 10 GB, etc. They don’t charge after it, but they’ll throttle. But, out here, it’s about the same speed.
  5. Our Gen 1 Google Pixels are compatible to basic network.

In a couple weeks, Katie starts a new job.

We’re waiting to see how they treat the phone policy. There’s a chance she’s getting a company phone. If that’s the case, the solution starts to take care of itself and we’ll go solely with Google Fi. Waiting & seeing.

If you’ve had Verizon issues, we’d love to hear about them.

If you decide to use Google Fi in some capacity, and sign up with this link, I get $20 in Google Fi credit to, essentially, pay for The Don to hotspot accounts for our Pokémon GO raids during the summer 😛

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