Radios arent communitcating at range

I have two Cobra 30 mile range radios, and they can communicate with each other at short range, but once the other one gets near a mile, maybe less, they start to get fuzzy. Then you cant hear each other, they are supposed to be 30 miles range, I know when you are in the city or forest its not 30 miles, but it should at least be farther than that. BUT, today i was talking with someone who also had a 30 miles range radio, and he was at least 10 miles away. What can be wrong? They are set to 'hi" too. These things were 60 bucks too! So what it looks like, is that they can communicate with other radios, but not each other.

There are a number of factors that determine range, and your mileage may very depending on your specific situation and location. For instance, if the individual you were talking with was at a much higher elevation in an area with limited interference, you could probably get ten miles or more. If you are trying to talk in the middle of a downtown area with tall buildings and a lot of steel and concrete, you are doing great if you can get a quarter mile.

There are numerous threads in the forums that address your question directly. Rather than repost it all again, check out this article:
30 Miles? The Truth About Range

Also, listen to The Two Way Radio Show TWRS-05 - Radios in Range as we get into an in-depth discussion about some of the factors that affect the range of FRS and GMRS radios and offer some tips and tricks to maximize it.