U.S. CELLULAR WORKS TO RECONNECT SOUTHERN MISSOURI CUSTOMERS AND PROVIDES CHARGING STATIONS, WIRELESS HOTSPOTS FOR JOPLIN RESIDENTS
CHICAGO (May 26, 2011) – U.S. Cellular (NYSE: USM) has restored service to almost all of its 33,000 customers in Joplin and surrounding areas in southern Missouri who were impacted by Sunday's tornado. Most calls and texts are getting through, however, until the company's Joplin switching center is completely repaired and calls can be routed normally, a small number of customers may still experience intermittent issues with sending and receiving calls and texts and accessing voicemail. The switching center connects all calls to the landlines serving southern Missouri.
Customers had experienced difficulty completing calls and texts after the storm due to extensive damage to the landline infrastructure that connects wireless towers in the area. U.S. Cellular's company-owned store at 1630 S. Rangeline Road in Joplin also was destroyed. No one was injured.
"Our thoughts continue to be with those affected by the tornadoes throughout the Midwest and we recognize how important wireless service is during this time," said Nick Wright, vice president of sales for U.S. Cellular's west region. "Our top priority is making sure all of our customers are reconnected and our engineers have been working day and night to restore coverage. In the meantime, customers can call customer service by dialing *611 from their cell phone or 888-944-9400 from a landline to get the latest information about their service."
Customers in the Joplin area may visit U.S. Cellular agent locations at 101 North Rangeline Road and 323 South Rangeline Road or 3120 South Main Street, for assistance while the company sets up a new retail location. The company also is providing mobile charging vehicles throughout Joplin until 7 p.m. each evening where residents can power up their cell phones and access the Internet. U.S. Cellular customers can swap out their dead cell phone batteries for fresh ones with the carrier's Battery Swap program.
Current mobile charging station locations include:
Missouri Southern State University, 3950 Newman Road
Wal-Mart Supercenter, 2623 W. 7th Street
Sam's Club, 3536 Hammons Boulevard
Smartphone users can download WeatherBug or The Weather Channel applications to get severe weather notifications in their area automatically sent directly to their phones.
About U.S. Cellular
U.S. Cellular rewards its customers with the unmatched benefits of The Belief Project, an array of industry-leading innovations designed to elevate the customer experience. The Belief Project, named Frost & Sullivan's Customer Value Enhancement of the Year, complements the Chicago-based carrier's growing catalog of cutting-edge phones that are all backed by its high-speed nationwide network. U.S. Cellular was recently named a J.D. Power and Associates 2011 Customer Service Champion and was also named one of Forbes Magazine's 2010 "Most Trustworthy Companies."To learn more about U.S. Cellular, visit one of its retail stores or uscellular.com. You can also check out U.S. Cellular on Facebook.
For more information, contact: