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I had this problem, and ended up having to do a Master Reset. If possible, back up any data on the phone prior to doing this because you will lose all contacts, etc.
You can perform the master reset by removing and and the Sim Card then re-installing the battery. Open up the slider and hold the S and L keys on the QWERTY keyboard. While holding these keys, turn the phone on. Continue to hold the S & L keys until you receive an 'error missing sim card' screen. (It still took a while to progress beyond the AT&T screen...don't give up...it gets through it eventually.) After you get the missing sim card error message, turn the phone off, remove the battery, re-insert the sim card, re-install the battery, and then turn the phone on normally.
It will now behave like a brand new phone, without any of the data saved.
From the way it sounds, mine started doing this yesterday. Everytime i turn on the phone, theres just a backlight and nothing else. well the only way i noticed to get it to work, atleast until i can get a new phone is, to leave it slid up because it wont do anything if its closed or slid sideways. And while it slid up, I either have to call it from my home phone or recieve a text message. I'm not sure why but that made the screen come on so I could atleast check everything. It doesnt always work but it does most of the time. I hope this helps. Just play with and figure out what it takes to get your screen on. I'm not sure how to permanently fix it though.
the issue may not be your phone or the battery. It may be the charger. My friend and i both have a pantech duo. She was always having problems with her battery, draining just after two hours. The funny thing was that whenever she used my charger, the battery kept charge. I tried my phone out on her charge, and found that it didn't keep the charge either. So we went to the store and found that it wasn't the phone, it was the charger.
Often the charger can mess up the phone. Order a new charger, and that should be the solution to your phone.
i have had this problem previously. sometimes it would work if i sent a message to myself. other times, i would have to just wait a few minutes, and then try again. also, i have made a call, and only then would my messages be sent. personally, i think this phone is horrible.
The only way I have solved my problem was to get att to replace it. Fortunately, it has been working ever since. And att customer service was excellent, I got my replacement phone in less than 12 hours after i called.