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Buffalo Droid Users Deal with Cell Phone Confusion

6:55 PM, Aug 25, 2011   |    comments
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LALUENGA, SPAIN - Actually, we're in Buffalo, New York. It's just that some of our cell phones don't think so.

During the last week, tons of Western New Yorkers noticed their Verizon Droid phones were behaving as though they were in a tiny town called Laluenga, Spain. According to 100 or so local residents posting messages on our Facebook page, the glitch was affecting the weather report and GPS function on their phones.

"And I picked it up and it said it was 99 (degrees) and sunny. And I said, 'it cannot be 99 degrees outside in Buffalo,'" said Channel 2 Producer Heather Dubose, who lives in North Buffalo. "And I looked a little closer and I saw I was in a place called Laluenga, Spain."

Not all the customers were told they were in Spain. Some phones acted as though they were in France or China.

So how, exactly, did a phone in Buffalo suddenly think it was all the way over in in sunny Laluenga, Spain? Which is only about, oh, 4,000 miles away?

The two cities seem to have similar latitudes, anyway.

According to Verizon, the company was doing some cell phone site maintenance over the weekend, and it somehow temporarily flummoxed the GPS systems for some phones in Rochester and Syracuse. They hadn't even heard about the Buffalo problems.

The good news is that, for many of the customers, the problem seems to have fixed itself.

"I'm kind of sad, because I was enjoying being in Laluenga, Spain," Dubose joked. "People would text me and say, 'How was the weather in Spain today?' I could always say, 'It's 99 degrees and sunny. I'm very glad that I moved.' Apparently, I'm back in Buffalo now. It's kind of a downer."

Of course, come winter, they'll always have Laluenga.

By the way, there were no roaming charges. It only affected the weather update and GPS.

While Verizon is still looking into what happened locally, one of our Facebook friends has suggestion on how to fix the phone, if you're still having issues.

Gary says: "Go into your settings/applications/manage applications. Find Google maps and clear the cache and data. That should fix it."

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