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Verizon - The Carrier we Love to Hate

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creccaj #1

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Posted Jun 2 '13 @ 5:30 AM

Verizon – The Carrier we Love to Hate

 

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Oh Verizon, how much I love and hate thee.  I was a loyal Verizon customer for 10 years until last month when I decided that it was in my best interest to move to another carrier, AT&T.  Most people don’t understand why I made such a move.  I lost unlimited data, I lost the network and the full 4G LTE in the majority of places that I go daily and I lost not paying for anything while being on my parent’s family share plan.  Most people think that I made a huge mistake and it was the worst decision ever.  Well drama aside, in some respects they are right.  Verizon has an outstanding network.  They have the largest coverage area in the US and that has been a fact now for years.  But what else does Verizon have besides their network?  NOTHING. 

 

Now, most people are going to say “Well a cellphone company is nothing without their network.”  In most respects that is true.  That is why Verizon has the largest amount of subscribers and there is no arguing that they have the largest 4G LTE network (note I didn't say fastest).  But a network is useless without devices.  Without a diversified lineup of devices, the network is considered to be nothing more than cellular waves floating around transmitting data to and fro.

 

The next argument that someone would bring up to me is “Verizon has a lot of phones what the hell are you talking about??”  Again, very true statement.  However, can you name more than 3 phones (excluding iPhones) on their network that will actually sell enough quantities to justify stocking their selves and backrooms with them?  Probably not.    Right now, on Verizon the most popular phones and as a result the best sellers include the Galaxy S4 (duh), Galaxy Note 2 and the Galaxy S3.  This is where the problem lies… Verizon only has one manufacturer that makes flagship top shelve Android devices.  HTC Droid DNA, nope that is already branded as dead.  Motorola Droid Razr/Razr MAXX, nope doesn't have top end specs to be considered a flagship.  LG Lucid 2, you’re joking right? 

 

What I am trying to point out here is that if you are on Verizon and don’t want an iPhone and you want a new top of the line toy, you are stuck with Samsung.  For most people that would be perfectly okay, but for me that was utter bullshit.  We shouldn't be limited to what we can get based on the price that we pay for Verizon on a monthly basis.  So I consider Verizon the Harvey Two Face of the carriers.  Verizon has the good side, with their expansive network and reliable service.  Then there is the bad side, the fact that they almost force you to buy what they want you to buy simply by not offering enough choices to really get what you want. 

 

I can’t count the times that I have seen comments online saying “Well I want to get a One but Verizon isn’t going to get that so I guess I will get a GS4.”  Am I the only one who sees a problem with that??  You are paying probably upwards of $100 a month (guessing at an average here) to have a phone chosen for you?  That is the definition of insanity.  In the end, Verizon just doesn't give a shit about you or your phone.  They want to control everything so that they can ensure that next customer service award and their rankings on cellular networks (oh wait, AT&T beat them in LTE speed… whoops). 

 

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Should you switch from Verizon to another carrier, all depends on your particular set of circumstances.  For myself, living in the tri-state area I had no issues switching over but if you live in an area where service is spotty with Verizon you are probably stuck.  Besides, this isn’t a calling for people to jump ship and run for the hills.  No, that’s not what I want to do here.  What I want to do is simply attempt to open your eyes to the evils that Verizon has locked in their closets that never sees the light of day.  “Oh you want a Galaxy S3, sure let me just lock that bootloader for you.” “Oh, you want an HTC One, sorry here is Viva Movil instead.”  “Oh you’re not using WiFi, here is an ongoing notification to remind you to use WiFi.”  In the end, whenever I hear Verizon speak all I hear is the quote from Goodfellas… “Oh you want something, fuck you, pay me.”

 

To address the rumors that Verizon is going to eventually release a version of the HTC One can be described in this comparison.  Picture yourself at 8 years old on Christmas morning.  You couldn’t sleep all night in anticipation for the next morning where you will wake up to endless joy from a mountain of presents with all the newest toys (the Verizon HTC One).  Morning comes, you run down the stairs to find that mountain of presents and a feeling of euphoria comes over you at the site of this mountain of future joy.  When you finally are given permission to open the presents and see what fun you will have for the year to come you are devastated to realized that all you got was clothes.  You soon realize that the would be toys (HTC One) turns out to be a deformation of the meaning of Christmas and something that you come to immediately hate (Verizon’s HTC One) and your parents (Verizon) for ruining what should have been the perfect morning.  You come to accept what happened and learn to live with the disappointment and even further attempt to justify it but in reality it should have been better. 

 

 

Verizon IS going to tweak the One and make it their own.  Whether it be DROID branded or just tweaked to conform with Verizon’s “enhancements” something will be different and most likely not for the better.  This has happened with every model that has been released on multiple carriers and Verizon is notorious for making the worst changes to their devices, oh wait I’m sorry, their “enhancements.”

 

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Yup... That looks about right if Verizon does in fact come out with their own HTC (DROID) One.

 

The sad truth is we all love Verizon.  We all love their service, their support and most importantly their network.  If you love Android more, then Verizon is not the network of choice.  


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Jerrod #2

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Posted Jun 3 '13 @ 6:53 AM

Hmm.  So you went to AT&T I guess this is LTE right?  If so  can you compare the Verizon LTE and AT&T LTE speeds.  Are they about the same?

 

I live in Center City(Downtown) Philadelphia and we have At&T service running underground in the subway system, in fact some subway stations are named after them... so I am thinking that AT&T might be just as good as Verizon at least in this area.  There is also this news that AT&T won't let the new Google Hangouts video operate on their system though.

 

You have any problems with coverage or signal so far?



creccaj #3

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Posted Jun 3 '13 @ 7:00 AM

Hmm.  So you went to AT&T I guess this is LTE right?  If so  can you compare the Verizon LTE and AT&T LTE speeds.  Are they about the same?

 

I live in Center City(Downtown) Philadelphia and we have At&T service running underground in the subway system, in fact some subway stations are named after them... so I am thinking that AT&T might be just as good as Verizon at least in this area.  There is also this news that AT&T won't let the new Google Hangouts video operate on their system though.

 

You have any problems with coverage or signal so far?

 

I have not had any issues with service on AT&T and you can compare their LTE networks.  AT&T doesn't have the extensive coverage that Verizon does but it is moving closer every week.  

 

As far as the Google Hangouts... that makes sense considering video chats will eat through you data like nothing else.  Don't think AT&T will be on the only carrier doing it, Verizon will soon follow suit.  


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Lee Bo #4

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Posted Jun 3 '13 @ 11:06 AM

In Jan 2014 I will have been with Verizon 11 years, and that same time is my contract renewal.  First, I'm not happy they (VZW) extended contracts to their full 24 months.  I realize it was a business decision, but I have to stay with them another 4 months without paying an ETF.

 

Now, do they have the largest network?  Yes.  Do they have the best coverage area?  Yes, depending where you are.  Do they have the fastest network?  That depends on where in the US you are standing, what day of the week it is, what time of day it is, how many other people around you, temperature of the ground and air, and the relative alignment of the planets.

 

In all seriousness, in the past 10 years, VZW has been a good cellular company.  Yes, I've had issues and problems, and they've done what they could to resolve those issues and problems.  The biggest gripe I have with them right now is I cannot upgrade my line because I'll lose my unlimited data.  Everytime I call them for something they give me the "the shared data plan will really save you money......oh wait, I just looked up your usage.  You're using, on average, 15-20 gigs a month.  What are you doing?"  It's really none of their business what I'm doing, but for those curious, I stream music almost 24/7 because we cannot stream at work and I cannot sit at my desk all day in silence.  Yes, I could bring an external hard drive with music, but I shouldn't have to.  I'm paying for unlimited data with Charter, and should also get unlimited data with the mobile provider I choose to do business with.

 

Now, with all that hot air out of the way, I'm personally looking at moving to Tmobile in Jan 2014.  There are a few reasons for this.  One, $70/line/month for unlimited everything, BEFORE my corporate work discount that applies to EVERY line, not just the primary one.  Second, coverage area where I live is identical to Verizon.  Third, I'll be paying LESS for three data phones with Tmobile per month than I'm paying now for one data line and two flip phones.  And forth, NO CONTRACTS!!!!!!!!!!!

 

But as creccaj has already said, it depends on your specific circumstance.  Will Tmobile work for everyone?  No.  Will they work for me?  It's looking pretty good so far.  And I've been "testing" a GS3 for the past few weeks in Tmob and it's performing beautifully (while the phone is great, I'm testing more the network).

 

It's a shame that VZW (or any other carrier) won't do anything to keep you as a customer, even after 11 years.


Updated by Lee Bo, Jun 3 '13 @ 11:07 AM.

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Cory Streater #5

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Posted Jun 4 '13 @ 7:55 AM

In 2009 I switched from Sprint to Verizon for one reason: SMS

As I mentioned in another post, Sprint’s SMS platform was and continues to be sketchy as hell. Those intended to be on the receiving end of my messages either wouldn't get them, receive them out of order, or receive multi-part messages hours apart. In fact, I could have hand carved my messages in stone, and hand delivered them more reliably than Sprint could.

If it weren't for that one issue, I would never have switched. I always felt that the Verizon marketing machine brainwashed consumers into thinking their network is way more fabulous than it is. If you were a Sprint customer, your phone would roam over to Verizon for free. I RARELY had this happen, and when it did, the Verizon signal wasn't much better. In fact, one could argue Verizon was worse inside of buildings because of its lower frequency level.

Back then, I was all about Windows Mobile. Verizon would either not carry the cool HTC smartphones or they would gimp them to the point of absurdity. For years, they refused to enable satellite based GPS, so customers could install and use apps like TomTom or Telenav (life before Google Maps). They wanted to force you to use their subscription based service using assisted GPS on their towers. No other carrier did this, and it outraged customers. They would also butcher the hardware to death. If the rest of the world was getting 1GB of RAM (a lot back then), Verizon would give you 512MB. Not only that, they would release the phone 6 months after everyone else had it, and often after 6-10 rumored release dates.

Their excuse? They "thoroughly tested" each and every device for use on their network, and made sure it satisfied their rigorous standards of quality. They further explained that devices would often be rejected back to the manufacture for improvements. It was a load of nonsense. If a phone sucked on Sprints network, it equally sucked on Verizon's. In fact, my last two HTC WinMo phones had an issue where they would get stuck in 1x mode, and wouldn't snap out of it. This was a common complaint on a phone that their engineers had supposedly done rigorous testing on.

There have been some improvements since then. They dropped their GPS practices, but they have continued to be the last to market in releasing new devices. They still tweak the shit out of things, and they always do so in a way that's irritating to end users.

I live in the Pacific Northwest. If you were to believe Verizon's coverage map, you would most certainly think they have the best network of all carriers. Yet, if I veer 5 miles away from any major highway, their signal vanishes.

Back to my original reason for switching: their SMS is rock solid. Everything else about Verizon sucks.

That's been my experience. YMMV.
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Jerrod #6

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Posted Jun 4 '13 @ 12:53 PM

This is a hard topic and choice for me.  Once upon a time Verizon was named Bell of Pennsylvania, and their headquarters was located 19 streets west of where I live. So everyone in my city  including me had Bell of PA for local phone service.  Then came cell phones. So I got a cell phone on Bell of PA.  Then one day Bell changed their name to Verizon....something about having greater reach in the future. Eventually the headquarters moved somewhere else.

 

Today.  I have Verizon for my home phone and cell  service, AND DSL.  I have Direct TV for cable though.  My company employer offers a discount with Verizon, so I have unlimited data with a company discount, so I doubt I am paying what some might pay for the same service.

 

4G Signal strength is great as long as I am not in my house.  I actually think this is a problem with the house because some contractors have been here and also complained about having to go outside to make a phone call.  I also see some of my neighbors standing outside making phone calls although initially I thought they were just outside cheating on their husbands ,wives, girlfriends and boyfriends....  OK that's my mind.

Sometimes I start off with 4G and end up 3G.    Sometimes 4G on the upper floors, go to the first floor and nothing. Maybe it's my imagination but Verizons 3G seems worst than At&T 3G.  Beyond the house things are great.

 

I work from phone so most of the time I am using Wifi which by the way is coming via Verizon DSL - so just can't get escape.

 

So to upgrade a phone I guess I will lose unlimited, but it still might be cost effective to stick with them because I am getting a corporate discount.

On the other hand If I don't like their phones then what.  If I want to get a phone from the G Play store and it is not on Verizon then what?  Should I have to be trapped?

 

The other thing that comes to mind since I have a family member who is on At&T(which I don't PAY for directly)  is to just join that as a family plan and get to use both.  That sounds a little selfish but I will still be stuck with my GNEX or pay full price for the next phone if I want unlimited -  right?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



zero neck #7

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Posted Jun 4 '13 @ 6:12 PM

I'll never use an upgrade while i remain a verizon customer.