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Group trying to find answers to lack of cellphone service

By Brad Johnson, Reporter, bradj@kmiz.com
Published On: Dec 24 2013 03:29:54 AM CST
Updated On: Aug 27 2013 07:32:10 PM CDT
Group works to fix lack of signal problem
OTTERVILLE, Mo. -

Many people in Otterville are facing a life or death situation because they can't get any signal to make a call on their cellphones.

Everyone having the problems in the Cooper County town are Sprint customers. They tell ABC 17 News the problem started in June and it's causing nightmares.

They said they're forced to find other ways to get help because their phones don't have any signal. According to residents, they have to travel five or six miles away just to get service. If there's an emergency, that takes too much time and somebody might die.

Brian Aggeler says not having any service nearly ended his life. Recently, he started having chest pains early one morning. He thought he was having a heart attack and told his wife he needed help.

“She said 'Well, let me call 911, we'll get an ambulance.' I said, 'Fine.' The phones had no service,” Aggeler said.

Fortunately, Aggeler was able to make it to Sedalia before being transported by ambulance to Columbia. The group says until June, service was fine, but that has since changed.

Margaret Walje says she can't financially afford to get out of her contract. She's spent days trying to get the problem solved with the company, but to no avail.

Walje said it keeps her up at night because she has an elderly mother that relies on her.

“If she has a stroke or whatever, I hope and pray at this time that the neighbors can hear her or she's able to get outside her door and holler for help because she cannot reach us,” Walje said.

People are now turning to the Attorney General's Office for help. They said its the last effort they can do and hope that it works because there's a town that could be affected.

“We have firemen, we have first responders in this town that rely on cellphones,” Aggeler said.

The Attorney General's Office said it is going to contact Sprint and attempt to mediate the situation.

If you've experienced the same problems, click here to file a complaint with the Attorney General's Office.

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