Cell phone notifications and calls not being received

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  #1  
Old 10-08-18, 12:45 AM
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Cell phone notifications and calls not being received

I've had this problem for several months now and am not sure how to proceed trouble shooting without spending a lot of money. I have an Asus Zenphone purchased new early last year. At first, there were no problems but most of this calendar year now I've been noticing I'm not getting calls and texts in a timely fashion.

As an example, my phone dinged twice tonight about twenty after eight and there were two texts when I looked. I ended up calling each of those people and I asked when they had sent the messages and both were sent more than 40 minutes prior. This is common - the other day I got more beeps than I could count and then was shown a group chat where the other two had completely finished the conversation before I received a notification of anything.

It can be phone calls as well, varying between people saying they tried calling me and it went straight to voicemail without ringing for them or me. Additionally, I will get a voicemail notification and find there are several, with only the last one actually getting me notified - one time there was actually 12 messages by the time I got my first notification.

My first thought was crappy wi-fi but since the phone service I have doesn't support calls over wi-fi, I figure it either must be the phone or the network. The phone seemed to work fine for most of the first year I had it, so something would have to have changed with it for that to be the case. I do reboot it a couple times a week.

As to service, I have Walmart Family Mobile which used the T Mobile network when I first signed up but has changed network providers, I believe, in the last year or two. Typically, I will get the same behavior whether I'm at home on wi-fi or out of the house just on the cellular network. Additionally, I normally show at least three or all four bars for service so I don't think it's at least totally being in a dead spot.

Based on all of this, I'm thinking the network may be inferior but does anyone here know anything about the network they're using and whether it's any good or any other things I could try to isolate variables and narrow down the list of culprits?

Sorry, this got longer than I like my posts to be....
 
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  #2  
Old 10-08-18, 12:48 AM
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Looks like the network is still T Mobile but T Mobile used to own the service and has since sold it to TracFone.
 
  #3  
Old 10-08-18, 05:07 AM
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I'll offer the obvious thing to try. Remove battery. Then re-insert. See if that helps.
 
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Old 10-08-18, 12:45 PM
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TracFone is what's called a "mobile virtual network operator." An MVNO doesn't own the hardware it's using, it leases excess capacity from one of the big carriers, then re-sells that under its own brand name. Each MVNO basically is "piggy-backing" off the towers and whatnot of a big carrier.

TracFone not only is its own brand of MVNO, it also is the parent company for a bunch of MVNOs, including Walmart family phones (and Net10, Straight Talk, and several others).

Not all TracFone-owned MVNOs piggy-back off T-Mobile. I'm on Page Plus Cellular, which is owned by TracFone but it "piggy-backs" off the Verizon network. I pay PPC for service but my phone says it has a cellular data connection to "Verizon Wireless," and under mobile network settings and "Access Point Names," it says "StraightTalk Verizon."

So moving your account from Walmart to TracFone probably was just an administrative change.


I used to be on T-Mobile proper but their coverage here was teh crap. There was no service if you were even slightly off the beaten path so I decided I had to switch. Verizon is the coverage king where I live so I switched to PPC and there was a spectacular improvement in coverage.

But T-Mobile is a GSM nework and Verizon is CDMA which in simplest terms means their phones are technologically incompatible with each other's networks, so moving to PPC meant I was going to need a new phone. So I replaced the high-quality Siemens dumb phone I used on T-Mobile with a cheap Android (Net10-branded) phone from Wally World.

And calls started frequently going straight to voicemail. And sometimes text messages and notifications of waiting voicemails took hours to be delivered. Sometimes I would get an alert that there was voicemail waiting but when I called to check the message I learned the call had come in only seconds before ...but the phone never rang.

Then I bought another slightly more upscale Android phone but all the problems continued.**

I asked a some of my friends who were on Verizon proper and none of them had seen anything like what was happening to me. So I started wondering if it was the location of my house or maybe all the radio frequency interference in and around my home office. Except I still had all those same problems even when I wasn't at home, so it didn't appear to be location-dependent.

That phone, my second Android phone, started having problems so I replaced it with a high-end Android phone. And just that quickly, all those problems vanished. No more missed calls and texts are delivered virtually instantly.

Based on the similarities of our problems, I'm going to speculate that something in your ASUS phone has deteriorated in the past year such that now you're experiencing a phone-related problem similar to what I was having.

So you might do a factory reset on your phone. If it's something that was software-related, that might fix it. But you'll want to back up contacts, email, messages and all other personal information first. And be prepard to reinstall all the apps after the reset.

But if it's a hardware problem, the factory reset probably won't cure the problem.


**One thing I discovered that might be a useful diagnostic to you. Rebooting the phone seemed to bring in any text message that might have been "stuck" and awaiting delivery. So if I was expecting a text that was overdue, I'd reboot the phone and more times than not, I'd get the expected message immediately after the reboot. You can't go through life rebooting your phone every three minutes to check messages but I think it is a useful diagnostic check.

You can test by sending an email to your SMS number. If it doesn't arrive in five minutes, reboot the phone. You can send an email to be delivered to a T-Mobile phone as a text message by addressing to [insert 10-digit number]@tmomail.net. tmomail.net is the address of T-Mobile's "SMS gateway," so they receive emails sent there and route them to the phone with the appropriate number.

Each text message contains administrative information called an "envelope," which serves the same function as the "header" on an email. Envelope information includes the time it was sent but not all text messaging apps can display envelope information. So if you happen to be using a messaging app with this capability, you could use it to confirm how long it's taking your text messages to be delivered. And your old messages are maintained independent of the messaging app so if the current app doesn't display envelope information, you can install an different app that does and it will show the envelope information from the messages that were received before you installed it.
 
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Old 10-08-18, 02:30 PM
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Thanks, Fred - sounds like you had and fixed the same problem.

First test text message via email delivered in about 20 seconds. Yep, sometimes it works....
 
  #6  
Old 10-09-18, 09:51 AM
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I think regardless of what you're troubleshooting, intermittent problems are the worst.

Good luck, and may The Force be with you.
 
  #7  
Old 10-09-18, 10:14 AM
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Just before 10 am today the phone beeps four times to let me know there are three text messages and a voicemail, one of the texts indicating I had missed a second phone call. One of the phone calls and texts was from 40 minutes prior again. That particular person is married to someone with the same phone but on a different network and he says she has been having similar behavior in the last month.

Really starting to look like the phone....
 
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Old 10-09-18, 02:53 PM
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I think you and Fred are on them right track. Just bought a new car with the Ford Sync 3. My phone was able to load up Google maps to the car navigation without problems. But the wifes phone just did not have the *all's to do it. So we got her a new phone and it does everything she wants. And she's getting her messages sooner.
 
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