Unwired and wound up: Verizon customers in Novato without cell service for 10+ days

NOVATO, Calif. (KGO) -- In historic Novato, Verizon customers say it feels as if they've returned to the stone age, also known as the 1990's.

"No service," said Brian Clark, holding up his phone.

"Either you make the call or they drop when you do," Kate Ibarra complained.

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"It's not the end of the world but it feels like it," philosophized Amie Ghirardo, who has plenty in common with her neighbors if they use Verizon Wireless. They say that for at least the last 10 days, using a mobile device has felt like a game of Russian Roulette with the notorious spinning circle of death. "You pick up the phone and there is nobody there. Or you pick up the phone and the call drops!"

But, only in Novato.

When Brian Clark goes to work every day in Petaluma, he crosses back into the new millennium, and service returns. However, "It's a little disappointing when you pay more than $300 a month for four phones you cannot use unless you're on wi-fi," he said.

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Novato residents say their Verizon service has been unpredictable for more than a week. So what do you do if you don't have service?

On Tuesday, a Verizon spokesman said nothing about making good for lost service, but acknowledged problems with a local transmission site. "We are working to resolve the issue as quickly as possible. Some customers may continue to experience intermittent issues over the next two weeks. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused." That, as Brian went to the Verizon store three times last Sunday, seeking a fix.

"When I first got there they said reset your phone, that was the problem. Got home. No service. Second trip? Need a SIM card. Still no service."

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"If there is an emergency, that's a problem," said Amie. It's one of those stories we could never have imagined a few years ago when we lived in a hardwired world. Now, when we go from five bars, to three, to one, to none, those empty telephone booths look oh so tempting. "It would be easier to drop a quarter than to deal with than I'm dealing with now," said Brian. The things we took for granted before we cut the cords.

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