The Other Big Weekend News

So Verizon made the iPhone official today. I can’t wait. I don’t plan to upgrade from my first generation Droid since I’m perfectly happy with my phone. However, Sebastian will likely make the switch as soon as possible. He purposefully did not get the iPhone 4 so he wouldn’t be trapped in a 2-year contract with AT&T. Instead, he got an iPad. Now he can upgrade and have a carrier who can, you know, actually handle phone calls.

I’ve been a Verizon customer since my early days of college. I avoid the stores at all costs, but their phone customer service has been nothing but wonderful. They don’t make doing business with them a pain in the butt, and I’m a fan of such simplicity. More importantly, I can make phone calls.* :)

I will concede that the Charlotte Convention Center had almost zero coverage for any carrier than AT&T. I had a little service on the convention floor, sometimes had a bar standing by the windows of the media room, and otherwise had zero signal until about 30 feet before the front doors of the center. Sebastian had full signal pretty much anywhere in the center. It was annoying when I could not gloat.

12 thoughts on “The Other Big Weekend News”

  1. Will never ever ever do anything with Verizon again. They screwed us over majorly. :(

  2. Verizon tried/did screw over a lot of Alltel customers when they bought out Alltel. Alltel often had plans like “$50 a month – $10 credit = $40.” They’d do all these monthly credit things built-into the plans, sort of like a store always having a sale sign on something. Months into the merger, Verizon, and I will quote a Verizon customer service person I talked to, “To be honest with you, Verizon basically canceled all those ‘credits’ and waited to see who complained.” My bill went up 25% a month, and Verizon claimed it wasn’t a change of contract so I couldn’t cancel.

    They originally started giving me my monthly “credit” back, because that was the (Alltel) contract I had signed in the first place, but then, months later, they pulled the same crap again, and multiple CS people told me to take a hike. I didn’t want to do business with a bunch of weasels like this, so I called to cancel, got sent to retentions, and that final CS guy I talked to understood, said what had been going on is a good way to piss off customers, and credited me enough to finish out my contract like should have originally happened in the first place.

    I have since looked at many of the prepaid deals, and it used to be prepaid meant your credit was bad, now prepaid is often a better deal than the regular plans unless you use a lot of data, unless you want the cost of your new phone subsidized, etc. Page Plus uses the Verizon network and is 5 cents a minute, $35 for 1200 minutes, (tax included), or I think currently $45 a month unlimited, T-mobile has pretty good rates, (you can bring your own smart phones to those two, too.), PlatinumTel is dirt-cheap but the coverage is iffy, Virgin Mobile has unlimited data and 300 minutes for $25. Tracfone has better coverage than Verizon. Then there’s StraightTalk and whatever else. Etc.

    I’m still trying to figure out how increasing my bill 25% a month is not considered a change of contract. Oh well, that’s Verizon for you.

  3. Pitching other plans here won’t convince me to switch. First of all, I have a smartphone, so I use data. Secondly, I’m currently on a family plan with my mother and grandmother.

    Verizon’s phone customer service has always been painless for me. Now their in-store service is another story. But, I found the way around that (if I needed something from the stores) was to call the service line first, work out what I wanted/needed with them, and then have them put instructions to the store staff in a notes field of my account. That way, I could go in and have them pull up my account to avoid the nonsense. Of course, some store staff have gotten angry about the idea that someone else did their job, but then again, that’s a sign they wouldn’t have been very easy to work with in the first place.

    I know that every company has good and bad service, so I don’t discount anyone who says they had a bad time with them. And getting your accounts eaten up by another company is another headache entirely – certainly not one limited to Verizon. My experience has just been great (as long as it was on the phone, mind you).

  4. Oh, they’re great while you’re using them. Just never try to leave. ;)

  5. I upgrade to an iPhone 4 last year because my iPhone 3G was starting to die, so unfortunately I’m trapped into a 2-year service plan. Can’t wait to switch to Verizon, though; AT&T can go to hell.

  6. If Sebastian wants to make the switch, I’d suggest getting on the waiting list for new iPhones. The iPhone 4 will be rolled out to existing Verizon customers on Feb. 3rd and new customers on Feb. 10th.

    I had been thinking of switching to Verizon and this cemented my decision. I called the sales rep I had been dealing with and he put me on his reserved phone list. I think if Sebastian waits until Feb. 10th,he’ll have to wait a while for the new phone.

  7. All carriers suck.

    (I dumped Verizon years ago when they refused to offer a phone without crippled bluetooth support.)

    I’ve never had a problem with making calls from AT+T, but that completely depends on where you live.

    I don’t particularly like AT+T but I don’t recall liking Verizon all that much, either.

  8. If I didn’t have about a 50/50 ratio when dealing with VZ cs, I’d probably have a more favorable opinion — on their customer service, not necessarily their prices or how they like to cripple phones.

    But the way they tried to screw me over on my contract and then only the final retentions guy made it right ticked me off enough and made me wary enough that I was going to eat the ETF fee just to get away from them. Every time I opened my bill after that, I expected to see some bs new charge that they would then say “is not considered a change of contract”.

    A lot of people don’t realize how good prepaid plans are nowadays, so I figured I’d mention it. But, yeah, large data use is the big difference in favor of postpaid. I use my smartphone on prepaid, but mainly only with wi-fi.

  9. The real problem with AT&T is that they steadfastly refuse to expand network capacity to meet customer demand. Steve Jobs probably goes to bed at night cursing himself for ever getting into business with these assclowns.

  10. That’s not out of the question, BC. I noticed in the WSJ live blog of the announcement, they picked up on a tone from Apple that Verizon was much better to work with in this whole process.

  11. Regarding crippling of phone features, that was a long time ago and policies change. I have always considered verizon wireless service as “you party for what you get but you get what yoi pay for” as far as service both customer and radio.

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