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iPhone showing dots instead of service 'bars' Can't call out or receive calls

lewbar

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Hi...my wife and I have the iPhone 12 pro and our service is through Spectrum, which uses Verizon lines (we've been told that by both Verizon and Spectrum). Anyway, phones are on wi-fi calling but at times we get 4 dots instead of any 'reception/service' indicator bars at the top right of the screen...next to the wi-fi indicator. When that happens, we cannot send or receive texts or phone calls. Now we thought it was a Spectrum issue and have gone round and round with them and them doing all sorts of 'procedures' on the phones (and having to put stuff back into it each time) and it still happens. So obviously, they have no clue. BUT...our daughter and son-in-law just recently purchased iPhone 12 Max phones through VERIZON and they have the same issue. So it's not just Spectrum Mobile and it's not just Verizon ( they have gone over the same problem with Verizon tech people and still have the problem) so it has to be a problem with the iPhone 12 itself.
We've (both Verizon and Spectrum) been told to put it on airplane mode for a few moments and then switch it back so it can reconnect with the network and also told to pull out the sim car for a couple minutes and put it back in so it can reconnect...and it does work for a short time, but again, nothing works to alleviate this issue.
Does anyone else have this same issue? Can anyone provide any help or solution? It's an awful lot of money to pay for a phone when it so frequently does not work. Basically, HELP.
Thanks for listening.
 
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lewbar

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I have the 12 Pro Max with Verizon. No issue like that. Did you contact Apple Support?
Yes, through this, or another forum, someone from Apple contacted me. The problem is sporadic and hasn't done it again that we have seen...as we don't stare at it all day. We only notice it when we go to use it. We are trying to narrow it down but getting nowhere with that. Since it's two sets of phones at two different houses, to me, it would have to be the phone but I can't see what else it could be but we're having to check routers and modems and stuff first. Thanks for the reply...
 

Ledsteplin

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Yes, through this, or another forum, someone from Apple contacted me. The problem is sporadic and hasn't done it again that we have seen...as we don't stare at it all day. We only notice it when we go to use it. We are trying to narrow it down but getting nowhere with that. Since it's two sets of phones at two different houses, to me, it would have to be the phone but I can't see what else it could be but we're having to check routers and modems and stuff first. Thanks for the reply...

If more than one device is doing this, I would think it's not the devices. Has to be something else. I know several iPhone 12 users with Verizon, but none have this issue. Hope you find the culprit. Maybe a tower issue in your area, or something.
 
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lewbar

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If more than one device is doing this, I would think it's not the devices. Has to be something else. I know several iPhone 12 users with Verizon, but none have this issue. Hope you find the culprit. Maybe a tower issue in your area, or something.
I would 'somewhat' agree but 2 phone are in one county in Michigan, two are in another. One using Spectrum Mobile and one using Verizon. All 4 of us previously had iPhones (we had x and other two were 8) and none of them ever did this. And even though it shows we are on wi-fi...the phones don't work because besides the excellent wi-fi signal, it still shows 4 dots "at times". And yes, phones are all set for wi-fi calling. Since old phones never did this, I don't see how it can be the connection in the house(s). Also, granddaughter spent a week here (iPhone 11 something) and her phone never did it, but both of ours did. Thoughts??
 

Ledsteplin

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I would 'somewhat' agree but 2 phone are in one county in Michigan, two are in another. One using Spectrum Mobile and one using Verizon. All 4 of us previously had iPhones (we had x and other two were 8) and none of them ever did this. And even though it shows we are on wi-fi...the phones don't work because besides the excellent wi-fi signal, it still shows 4 dots "at times". And yes, phones are all set for wi-fi calling. Since old phones never did this, I don't see how it can be the connection in the house(s). Also, granddaughter spent a week here (iPhone 11 something) and her phone never did it, but both of ours did. Thoughts??

Were all these iPhones set up as new, or from back ups? Sometimes back ups can be corrupted. Also, did you try Reset Network Settings? It just seems odd only yours and family members iPhones are doing this. Makes me think it's not the phones, but something else. Something you all have in common.
 
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lewbar

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Were all these iPhones set up as new, or from back ups? Sometimes back ups can be corrupted. Also, did you try Reset Network Settings? It just seems odd only yours and family members iPhones are doing this. Makes me think it's not the phones, but something else. Something you all have in common.
I don't know what you mean by 'back ups? They were brand new shipped from either Spectrum or Verizon. Individually the phones were put next to the phone they were replacing and 'copied' over to the new phone. Prior phones (as stated before) didn't have this issue so I can''t see that process creating this problem. My phone in particular, I've spent numerous times on the phone with SPectrum tech support doing everything from airplane mode, remove and replace the sim card, upload the phone to the cloud because they were resetting this or that (including the network settings) and it's a pain in the *ss to play that game, so my phone is the only one we've done it with and it has made no change. Our respective areas we live in have horrible service which is why we use wi-fi...but regardless of whatever this issue is, if the phones are on 'wi-fi calling' I don't see how having these dots show up with no service bars and we can't use the phones even though there is a strong wi-fi signal showing. I had always been told that having wi-fi calling on, that the phone would use the best signal (LTE, or whatever, or wi-fi...whichever will give you the best connection. But if wi-fi is showing...and the wi-fi is not an issue with anything else then I have no idea.
 

Ledsteplin

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I don't know what you mean by 'back ups? They were brand new shipped from either Spectrum or Verizon. Individually the phones were put next to the phone they were replacing and 'copied' over to the new phone. Prior phones (as stated before) didn't have this issue so I can''t see that process creating this problem. My phone in particular, I've spent numerous times on the phone with SPectrum tech support doing everything from airplane mode, remove and replace the sim card, upload the phone to the cloud because they were resetting this or that (including the network settings) and it's a pain in the *ss to play that game, so my phone is the only one we've done it with and it has made no change. Our respective areas we live in have horrible service which is why we use wi-fi...but regardless of whatever this issue is, if the phones are on 'wi-fi calling' I don't see how having these dots show up with no service bars and we can't use the phones even though there is a strong wi-fi signal showing. I had always been told that having wi-fi calling on, that the phone would use the best signal (LTE, or whatever, or wi-fi...whichever will give you the best connection. But if wi-fi is showing...and the wi-fi is not an issue with anything else then I have no idea.

A back up is when you back your phone up to iCloud or to iTunes. Then you can set up a new iPhone with iCloud, and get all your stuff back on your iPhone. Setting up as new is starting from scratch.
 
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lewbar

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A back up is when you back your phone up to iCloud or to iTunes. Then you can set up a new iPhone with iCloud, and get all your stuff back on your iPhone. Setting up as new is starting from scratch.

Then yes, that was done during many of the processes with Spectrum Tech support. I wasn't sure how you were saying to 'back it up'.
 

Ledsteplin

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Then yes, that was done during many of the processes with Spectrum Tech support. I wasn't sure how you were saying to 'back it up'.

The best thing you can do is wipe your iPhone (Erase All Content and Settings), then set it up as new (not from a back up), then ask your carrier to Reset Network Settings. When they do it, it does more than when you do it in Settings. If your cellular signal is low in your area, then that may be the reason. No clue.
 
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lewbar

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Thank you for all the info, but I (and wife and daughter and hubby) have never had phone issues like this. We've all had Apple phones for years and this just seems to be an issue with the 12 pro & pro max. Apple and others from this and other forums have talked about a lot of things to do but to have to do this much fiddling around with a phone that should work (when other Apple phones have) is really not worth it. There have been a lot of good suggestions and most all of it has been done but given all the problems that are not caused by outside sources (signal, router etc.), it has to be the phone. Even then, no one has been able to answer why, when there is a great wi-fi signal that it doesn't working because 4 dots are showing up rather than signal strength bars.
Again I do thank you for all your input...
 

daveo228i

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My 2 cents. When I got my first iPhone, SE and I selected T-Mobile. The phone could not make contact, so I called Consumer Cellular, they sent me an AT&T sim. I’ve since used it in my 6s Plus and now with my I12. I get 3 out of 4 bars showing.
 

MaryBethRaven

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Hi,
I just bought an iphone 12 yesterday and I am having a similar problem ( I am in a low signal area in New Hampshire - I usually had 1 bar on my former apple iphone).

Was the issue ever resolved? what did you do? I have tried all the tricks you mention - airplane mode, reset network settings turn on/turn off etc.
 
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lewbar

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Hi,
I just bought an iphone 12 yesterday and I am having a similar problem ( I am in a low signal area in New Hampshire - I usually had 1 bar on my former apple iphone).

Was the issue ever resolved? what did you do? I have tried all the tricks you mention - airplane mode, reset network settings turn on/turn off etc.
MaryBethRaven, No, the issue has not been resolved and doubt it ever will. Our issue happen not only when we have good signal strenght in many places but the bad part, it happens too frequently when we are on WiFi, which makes no sense. Once our contract is up on this phone (we lease through Spectrum, our daughter and hubby do the same through Verizon), we will all go to something other than Apple. We've had Apple phones forever and can't get any help from Apple and tried everything people have suggested to no avail. It's just ridiculous when you never know if your phone is working or not and when you look at it and find you've missed very important phone calls from 7 hours ago...can't continue like this.
Sorry I couldn't help you more or give you good news but the iPhone 12 Pro and Max are garbage.
 

Ledsteplin

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MaryBethRaven, No, the issue has not been resolved and doubt it ever will. Our issue happen not only when we have good signal strenght in many places but the bad part, it happens too frequently when we are on WiFi, which makes no sense. Once our contract is up on this phone (we lease through Spectrum, our daughter and hubby do the same through Verizon), we will all go to something other than Apple. We've had Apple phones forever and can't get any help from Apple and tried everything people have suggested to no avail. It's just ridiculous when you never know if your phone is working or not and when you look at it and find you've missed very important phone calls from 7 hours ago...can't continue like this.
Sorry I couldn't help you more or give you good news but the iPhone 12 Pro and Max are garbage.

I tend to think it's a Spectrum issue. You say the phones are Spectrum through other carrier services, like Verizon. No one else I know is having issues like that with their iPhones. The fact it's more than one iPhone, leads me to believe it's NOT an iPhone issue. It's something else. Maybe switch to a better carrier system.
 

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