Former Alltel stores begin switching signs to Verizon

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Evidence of Alltel's existence is disappearing from the Augusta area.

Alltel stores are now bearing the Verizon Wireless logo.

Alltel customers in the rural sections of the Augusta area -- Burke, Edgefield, Barnwell and Bamberg counties -- will be seeing the name Commnet Wireless if its Massachusetts-based parent company, Atlantic Tele-Network, is successful in purchasing the Alltel markets that Verizon could not incorporate.

Verizon Wireless acquired Alltel in January.

As a condition of the merger approval, the FCC told Verizon it had to sell off 105 of the overlapping network areas.

Verizon spokeswoman Caran Smith said two company-owned Alltel stores have been rebranded to Verizon locations: 2903 Washington Road in Augusta and 1690 Knox Ave. in North Augusta.

"A majority of all employees did come over," she said.

Independent Alltel dealers also made the transition to Verizon retailers, she said.

Ms. Smith said the total network integration for Georgia won't be done until 2010, adding that there are still areas in Savannah and southern Georgia remaining.

"The bringing together of two great companies was carefully planned and executed with a goal to provide Augusta's wireless customers with the best that both Alltel and Verizon Wireless offer," said Jeff Mango, the president of the Georgia/Alabama Region for Verizon.

Atlantic Tele-Network made a bid in June to acquire Alltel subscribers in six states, including South Carolina and Georgia.

Those markets and subscribers were kept in a trust until divestiture.

Atlantic Tele-Network is paying $200 million to acquire the 800,000 subscribers and network equipment.

Wesley Brown, the spokesman for the trust, said the deal should close in the fourth quarter of this year.

Atlantic Tele-Network's principal subsidiary is Commnet Wireless, which provides voice and data wireless roaming services for U.S. and international carriers in rural areas.

Reach Tim Rausch at (706) 823-3352 or

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dickworth1 10/10/09 - 06:57 am
Verizon needs to improve

Verizon needs to improve their customer service policies. If you
purchase a new phone and it quits working, Verizon should have loaners until the new phone can be replace. If Verizon is selling
defective phones or phones that have been revamped, they should know that the phones are not working properly and have some in stock to replace them. Some folks use these phones as their primary phone and Alltel took care of their problems without
missing any service. Verizon could esily order their replacement
phone overnight if needed to take care of their customers. This
is not the case in Augusta area. My advice is check out other

Grasshopper 10/10/09 - 07:52 am
Also, If you have an alltel

Also, If you have an alltel phone and switch to a verizon phone you lose your old alltel plan and the verizon rates are much higher. Of course Verizon failed to tell me this until I received my bill. Every month my bill is higher and higher, and every month i have to call and get it straight, PEOPLE DO NOT go to Verizon!!!!!!!!

lawyerdude 10/10/09 - 10:04 am
Grasshopper- I had the same

Grasshopper- I had the same problem. As did three others in my family.

WW1949 10/10/09 - 10:35 am
I switched out three of my

I switched out three of my employees phones and am still on the same Alltel plan. You just may have to ask to stay on the Alltel plan. No problems with customer service with me or with the Verizon Service.

Queenmother1 10/10/09 - 10:46 am
Amen, DWorth. And if you

Amen, DWorth. And if you have an Alltel phone still under warranty, Verizon folks cannot or will not repair it. They will not call another store to see if they have parts, you have to have parts mailed to you and be without a phone until the mail gets it to you. When the cell is your only phone, your're just up a creek with no paddle, because Verizon is no help. God help us if the house catches on fire or someone breaks in.
Requiring a contract is baloney. You are buying a pig in a poke because you never know if there will be a signal where you live or work nor if the equipment is any better than a soup can and a string.

WW1949 10/10/09 - 11:41 am
Queenmother, you have 30 days

Queenmother, you have 30 days to take the phone back if it does not work in your area. All you do is pay for the airtime you used. No questions asked except why did you not like Verizon. Yoc can also go on a month to month basis if you want to. You just cannot get a "free phone" which we all know is not the best. Pay the full price for the phone just like you would have to do with regular home phone service. The contract assures the service provider that the equipment will get paid for by the monthly use. When cell phone service started in this area my first phones were always installed phones and costs $600-$1000.00 dollars. Prices started dropping and free phones with a contract came about to get more people on the service. Also, queenmother , pay the monthly charge for insurance and you can walk out of the store with a new phone for $50.00 deductible of get you a home phone. It is not the service providers responsibility to provide you with a loaner if you break yours ( buy a second and do not activate so you can have a spare).

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