News 12 at 6 o'clock
Tuesday, July 16, 2019
People in Wagener, Perry, and Salley are fed up with spotty cell service in the area. (Source: WRDW/WAGT)
SALLEY, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) -- Imagine living in an area where you have trouble using your cell phone. That's the nightmare for some folks in Aiken County, specifically Salley, Perry, and Wagener.
According to locals in these areas, spotty cell service has made an impact on 911 calls, local businesses, and just plain old communication.
News 12 learned about this story from a Facebook post from State Representative Bill Taylor. Taylor asked for residents of the three towns to comment with their troubles with Verizon's cell phone service. He said Verizon lost its lease on a few towers in those areas.
According to Verizon, that's not true. They tell News 12 they have not lost any leases on towers in the area, and that they even recently made changes to their service to improve coverage in that area.
But residents like Stacey Wagner and Mike Rushton say their service has not improved. In fact, despite having multiple towers in the area, they believe no service providers use them.
News 12 asked Verizon to confirm this. Due to safety concerns, they are unable to disclose the locations of their cell towers.
Rushton served as a police chief in Perry. He says because the cell signal can be so bad, there's no guarantee that 911 calls will go through.
"We've had instances occur where we don't get a call until an hour later," he said.
Now, he has a towing business and according to him, he's lost thousands of dollars in business over the years because calls don't go through.
"Me being at Salley, if someone tries to call, including the highway patrol and the sheriff's office on our rotations, we just don't get the phone call," he said.
Verizon says they are investigating if they need to make additional adjustments to their coverage in that area and will send network technicians to visit the area to ensure everything is working properly.
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