Verizon customers say company removed tower causing ‘dead spot’ in Collier County, what’s next?

Reporter: Rachel Cox-Rosen Writer: Jack Lowenstein
Published: Updated:
A temporary Verizon Wireless cell tower near Collier County Boulevard and Immokalee Road in Collier County. (Credit: WINK News.)

Verizon Wireless say it’s offering a solution for customers living in northern Collier County, where there have been complaints of dropped calls, delayed service and simply a dead spot for thousands of cell phone users.

People blame the poor service they have experienced on a lack of a permanent Verizon cell tower at the intersection of Collier Boulevard and Immokalee Road.

“It just becomes just a nightmare because you can’t rely on it at all,” Roy Fisher said.

“It’s just gotten to the point that people are absolutely outraged,” Catherine Arrigoni said.

Deidre McClain is a realtor who relies on her devices and does a lot of business from her car, but that’s been impossible for months, she says.

“If it’s a year, heck after 25 years, I’m going to AT&T,” McClain said. “I’m sorry, but this is ridiculous.”

Savannah Wieczorek agrees. She worries for her daughters’ safety.

“If my kids were to get in an accident or if an emergency were to occur, they can’t even use their phone,” Wieczorek said.

There have been no answers from Verizon after many such as Marylyn Tymon have tried to call the company.

“After my third one-hour call, I literally hung up on the man, and I’m not usually that angry,” Tymon said.

But Verizon says it put up a new, taller temporary cell tower a few days ago in response to concerns of network degradation. The service provider expects that to help.

Customers like Arrigoni still wait.

“I just want my phone to work,” Arrigoni said. “I think that’s all anybody wants.”

Verizon says the work to remove the original cell tower at the site started in 2019, and it has had a temporary cell tower on wheels since then. Verizon expects a permanent tower to be completed within a year.

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