I've had a flash evo shift 4g for about a year now, and my reception's always been spotty... a lot of times especially at my house which is out in the boondocks, I get no reception at all... but in the last few months, it's totally gone to hell. I will have 4 or 5 bars of reception, but can't make or receive calls/texts and can't connect to mobile network for 3g data.

Once every few days, I'll get a bunch of text messages at once from the last few days, and I'll maybe be able to send and receive texts and calls for a short time, then it stops working again.

This doesn't seem to be related to location, I can be in the heart of the city where I constantly have full bars and I can't seem to connect to the network.

How would I even begin to diagnose this? I'm about to just got to Cricket and buy a crappy phone so I can actually get some service for my monthly payments, right now evo is a paperweight with games. My fear is that maybe Cricket's service is really just this bad, since I've never had good reception even before this problem of almost never being able to connect.

If you can help me find ways to diagnose this, it would be greatly appreciated. Lots of "well maybe try this" suggestions often get nowhere without knowing what the real problem is, and I've already tried a lot of things (gone through multiple PRLs, reset and reflashed phone, etc...)