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Thread: Not happy with Verizon

  1. #1
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    Not happy with Verizon

    After giving up on Sprint a couple years ago for poor cell coverage and too high of pricing I switched to Verizon. I was happy with the phone they sold me, and the coverage was much improved. I saw that prices on cell service was dropping and my contract is near its end. So, I start looking at phones, and my aging iPod, and I decide that I'd like to get an iPhone. I see a few offered for sale at a price I'm willing to spend. In continuing my research I go to the Verizon store in town.

    While there I was approached by a sales rep and I made three things clear to him, 1) I believe I am paying too much for my service, 2) I want service on an iPhone, 3) I do not care if I get data service or not. When I told him that I thought $40/month was too much for cell phone service he looked like I just told him the sky was green. He asked for my phone number and verified that I had in fact been paying less than $50/month for service currently and I did not want my service charges to increase only because I got a different phone. He told me that it was impossible to provide service to an iPhone without a data plan, the phones are just not designed to operate that way, and the cheapest plan they had with data service would mean an increase in my service charges.

    I then made a fourth thing clear to him, if you cannot give me what I want I know I can find it with another provider. He merely responded that I was certainly free to seek service elsewhere. This conversation went back and forth for a bit more and deciding that they were not going to offer me a service that I know that they are able to provide I went home.

    I did some searching on the internet and made some phone calls. I discovered that Sprint offers a $40/month plan with unlimited talk and text, and 1GB of data. This sounded like an acceptable plan, at least my service fees would not increase. I found out later that they also offer veteran discounts that can vary from 15% to 25%. I called AT&T and was able to relatively quickly find someone willing to offer a no data plan to an iPhone for $30/month. I was so surprised I had to tell them how much more difficulty their competitors gave me.

    I now have actual data from the Verizon competitors and a known bar for Verizon to clear to keep me as a customer. I go to their website and start a chat session with customer service. I tell them quite plainly that I want my service charges to be in the ballpark of $30/month or I leave. I'm transferred to a different representative and I'm told that they do in fact have a $30/month plan. Surprised at this I ask if the $30 is for the total or just the data. I'm told that the $30 is just for data, there would be an additional $20 for the phone service. I now had three different people from Verizon tell me it was impossible to get service to an iPhone for less than $50/month.

    Now that I've established that Verizon will not offer service for less than what I pay now I go shopping for deals on an iPhone. I end up again on the Verizon site and I get a pop-up that a sales rep wants to talk to me. I give my terms, I get a reply that it was "impossible" for service to be provided to an iPhone without a data plan and the resulting charges. I now KNOW this to be false because AT&T is able to do this, and I tell the rep that. I was then told by a fourth Verizon rep that they would not provide service to an iPhone for less than $50/month.

    I continue searching for iPhones for sale, I know cell phone providers will sell used phones for cheap and I happen to land back on a Verizon page selling phones. What I see now amazes me, there is a "new" plan offered which is $30/month with no data services. Again I see a pop-up for a sales rep and I start a chat session. I voice my displeasure at not being told of this new plan since I doubted this plan just popped into existence in the last two hours. The sales rep tries to cover by saying that this was a pre-paid plan, and unless I specified that I was willing to take on a pre-paid plan that they would not be offered to me. This does not sit well with me because I was told by four different people from Verizon that it was "impossible" to have service on an iPhone without data.

    What angered me more was that after I ended this chat session I recalled that the first person I spoke with, the sales rep at the Verizon store, told me that even with a pre-paid plan that I'd have to pay for data service. Again, either this "new" plan popped into being in the few hours I was looking for plans or I was being lied to by multiple people from my cell phone company.

    When my contract is up in March I will tell Verizon where they can go. I believe I will be much happier with another provider.
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  2. #2
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    If you're looking for just talk/text, and are generally happy with the signal you get on Verizon - have you looked int TracFone or one of its relatives? They have BYOP options, and at least in CDMA mode, mostly use Verizon as the carrier.

    Depending on just how much you talk, the cost per month can be as low as $8 or so.
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  3. #3
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    ^
    Depending on just how much you talk, the cost per month can be as low as $8 or so.
    From where?

    I'm thinking of getting rid of my voice-only Consumer Cellular account because the only reason I want it is for emergencies.
    I'm paying about $15/mo base rate with my senior discount, but if I could shave that down to $8, it might convince me to go that way. I think over the last year my actual phone billing (at 25/min) was less than $3.

    I was toying with the idea of going with a throwaway phone, but even those are for short-term usage like 3 months, so I'd still have recurring costs.

    Terry
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by 230RN View Post
    ^


    From where?

    I'm thinking of getting rid of my voice-only Consumer Cellular account because the only reason I want it is for emergencies.
    I'm paying about $15/mo base rate with my senior discount, but if I could shave that down to $8, it might convince me to go that way. I think over the last year my actual phone billing (at 25/min) was less than $3.

    I was toying with the idea of going with a throwaway phone, but even those are for short-term usage like 3 months, so I'd still have recurring costs.

    Terry
    I'm on a 'pre-paid' plan with T-Mobile with my 19 year old Nokia 5190 and my mobile phone charges last year totaled $51.93. The left over minutes rolled over to this year and it might cost all of $25.00 plus tax to extend for another year.

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  5. #5
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    As evidenced by the replies here there are plenty of options for reducing my phone service charges. What steamed me the most was that these Verizon sales reps, through ignorance or a desire to up-sell, did not tell me up front about a service they offer. If it was just one sales rep then I might not have cared but four different people told me something I knew not to be true.

    I did customer service before and it was my job to know what services were offered and at what price. I was trained on how to find the services and pricing quickly and if I did not then I could lose my job. Apparently Verizon does not take their customer service seriously, or they'd rather lose certain customers than keep them.

    I'm done with cell phone contracts. I'll just buy a phone so that I can have the freedom to change providers as I choose.

    I had a limited minute plan with Sprint and I will do enough calling and texts that it'd be cheaper for me to get an unlimited plan, especially now that I've found some in the $30/month range. I just didn't see the point in buying a data plan since I had no need for such. Certainly it would be helpful once in a great while but that's not worth even $10/month to me.

    I'll look at this some more in the coming weeks, I'm just basically waiting for my current contract to run out. In that time I'll look at my options some more. Mostly I just wanted to vent my frustrations and make it known publicly the runaround I got from Verizon.

    After I cool off some I may decide to keep Verizon since their cell coverage has served me well, compared to Sprint anyway. Shopping for cell phone service should not be this difficult.
    You can have free speech or you can have income taxes but you cannot have both.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by ConstitutionCowboy View Post
    I'm on a 'pre-paid' plan with T-Mobile with my 19 year old Nokia 5190 and my mobile phone charges last year totaled $51.93. The left over minutes rolled over to this year and it might cost all of $25.00 plus tax to extend for another year.

    Woody
    Huh. I've got an ancient Nokia with no bells or whistles or a camera or USB port or nuthin' but a mike, speaker, keypad. I retired it when I went to Consumer Cellular and they had a deal on an Emerson with bells I never rang or whistles I ever blew. Only picture on it was of me sittin' on the crapper and tinkering/fooling/playing with it.

    Bzzup. Oh, crap. Not suitable for FBing or anything else.

    Might look into T-Mobile. Yessir, I just might.

    Terry, "World-Class Gold-Medal winning Cheapskate," 230RN

    (There is no professional standing in being a Cheapskate.)
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  7. #7
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    If you're looking for just talk/text, and are generally happy with the signal you get on Verizon - have you looked int TracFone or one of its relatives?
    I'm also a long time TracFone customer, and have recently helped three or four folks dump their monthly plans and switch to TracFone.

    Just spitballing here - hope some of this info will help you.
    1. For years (and it's still active) I used a Motorola W395g TracFone.
    2. I recently got my first smartphone - started cheap ($9.95 refurbished LG Optimus Fuel (avoid these - I think they have model specific problems).
    3. After a steep learning curve, I ordered an LG Ultimate 2, then moved up to an LG Power (the one I'd recommend if you really want to be cheap with a decent smartphone?). I paid $69 for an LG Power TracFone - was cheaper to buy on Amazon than from TracFone.
    4. Broke down and bought an LG G4 Verizon TracFone (new, unlocked, never activated) off eBay for about half what Verizon charges for the phone. I had to pay $9.99 for TracFone to send me a SIM card, but once inserted, minutes bought, and activated, it's been humming along smoothly.

    If you're like me and run out of time before you do minutes, after your initial setup, you can get by for just under $5 / month!

    We go online and buy the 30 minute airtime card (gives you 90 minutes, 90gb data, 90 texts, 30 days service) for $9.99.
    Toss it in your cart and head to the checkout - when you do so, they'll try to bait you by offering you a 1-yr. card for $49.99 (no minutes, etc - just time) for $49.99, which is half the normal price.

    Toss it in your cart also, and there you have 13 months service for $60, which comes out to less than $5 / month.

    If you run short of minutes, you can always buy more airtime.
    You can also buy data only cards.
    If you have a family, you might rather get on a family plan.

    I have only myself and my daughter - I'm using the method above to keep costs low, but I may get on the family plan later (I have been on it in the past).

    TracFone is great if everything works - you can do everything online and never have to talk to anyone, but if you hit a glitch, CS can be frustrating (although it seems to be getting better).

    Got any questions feel free to ask - HTH!
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  8. #8
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    I wouldn't discount data, at least not if you have a half decent cell company. Unfortunately most US companies aren't.

    For example in Korea for $57 a month you can get 10 GB a month of 4G. Once you use that up you get 2 GB a day of 4G. Once you use that up you still get unlimited 3G. You can also tether your phone to your laptop if you so desire.

    This means that for $57 a month you've got a phone with unlimited data and Internet access for your computer. I ran speedtest.net on the 4G and I was getting 16 - 19 Mbps. This rivals basic broadband that'll run you $40 - 50 a month from the cable company stateside, and is plenty for streaming HD Netflix (and US cable companies like to cap your data at 250 - 300 GB a month).

    Data also means that with the right apps you've got unlimited international calls and text for either very cheap or free.

    Summary: I've been here a week and already seen that what I read on Google is true. American cell phone & broadband Internet companies suck and are expensive.*

    *They also seem to make most of their money off people who aren't good at math and just have to have the newest, shiniest phone. For example, you can get a Samsung S4 online for $200 or less. That's a very functional smart phone with a nice screen, decent camera, and more computing power than the desktop computer I used as a senior in highschool. If you own the phone you're not roped into a 2 year contract either and can jump from Straight Talk to the next cheap month to month plan at will.

    Verizon makes money hand over fist when it comes to people like my ex wife. She put a brand new iPhone on a payment plan with them for $870. It seems other people do stuff like this constantly judging by who I talked to as I was paying $20 for a Korean SIM for the Samsung S5 that I own free & clear. Apparently LOTS of people finance their smart phones, so the phone isn't unlocked and they can't simply swap the SIM.

    http://www.thesimpledollar.com/iphone-financing/
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    Last edited by happygeek; January 15th, 2016 at 03:14 AM.
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