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Verizon

Posted on January 11th, 2011

Dave!And so... to the surprise of nobody possessing an internet connection, Verizon announced that the iPhone will be available on their CDMA network on February 10th at long last.

As I usually do when faced with a difficult decision, I decided to make a PRO vs. CON chart in order to figure out whether switching from AT&T would be a good move for me...

PROS   CONS
Might actually be able to make a phone call that doesn't drop!   Would have to pay out my contract with AT&T plus buy a new iPhone. $$$
I get 3G coverage instead of shitty EDGE in my podunk home town!   3G may be more widespread, but is slower than AT&T's 3G.
Data might actually be usable in my podunk home town!   No coverage outside of the USA for most of the countries I usually travel to.
Possibly don't have to pay for tethering to data I'm already paying for?!   You can't talk and surf at the same time, which is VERY handy.
MIGHT ACTUALLY BE ABLE TO MAKE A FUCKING PHONE CALL THAT DOESN'T DROP... I MEAN, SHIT, IT'S A FUCKING PHONE!   I've had pretty good customer service from AT&T, but had HORRIBLE customer service when I was with Verizon Wireless.

When I first switched from Verizon to AT&T, I was actually very happy. I rarely had dropped calls, and the data service was pretty good over their EDGE network. Then something terrible happened. iPhone became a raging success, and the AT&T network couldn't keep up. The release of the 3G made the problem even worse. By the time I upgraded to the 3GS, things were so bad that I thought my new phone was broken because I kept dropping calls. The 4G came out and I actually got better signal than I ever had (despite "Antennagate")... but AT&T's network was still so shitty that it didn't help.

Because I stil have a year on my AT&T contract and Verizon has shitty coverage outside the USA, I am not ready to switch just yet. And if AT&T wants to keep it that way, here's three steps they could take...

  1. DON'T DROP MY CALLS! I know that AT&T claims that they're spending a bajillion dollars to upgrade their network... but I'm not seeing it. In Chicago and Las Vegas last year, I could barely connect a call, let alone keep it from dropping. This is completely unacceptable. IF YOU CAN'T MAKE PHONE CALLS, THEN IT'S NOT A PHONE!!
  2. EXPAND YOUR DATA CAPACITY! My small town doesn't have 3G with AT&T (but does with Verizon). In all honesty, it's not a big deal... EXCEPT... it's unusable most of the time. A Gowalla check-in that takes 2 seconds most anywhere else can take FIVE MINUTES here in my home town. Using the internet is pretty much impossible under those conditions. Even if you don't give us 3G, can you AT LEAST expand the capacity of our EDGE network so we can use the data we were promised?
  3. STOP SCREWING ME! I already pay for the bandwidth I use every month... don't charge me extra to tether my computer to it! Seriously, $20 a month to access bandwidth I already pay for? What the fuck? Bad enough we had to wait YEARS for this basic feature... now that you finally have it, you're screwing your customers over for the privilege of using it? LAME!

Ultimately, this announcement doesn't affect me all that much. But, if AT&T doesn't DO SOMETHING over the next year in order to improve the shitty state of their network, it could very well be a very big deal in 2012.

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Categories: Apple Stuff 2011Click To It: Permalink  15 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Verizonarchy

Posted on January 21st, 2010

Dave!Who knew I'd be adding one more thing to my Anarchy List after just one day!

Earlier this week, Verizon's internet email server suddenly stopped allowing me to send emails. I called "tech support" and was told my password was probably wrong. I doubted it, since the same password has been stored on my computer and working for the past five years, but I played along. Eventually it started working again, but I surmised it was probably a temporary problem with Verizon's SMTP server rather than anything on my end.

But whatever.

Then this morning, after sending a dozen emails just fine, Verizon stopped accepting my emails once again. First I tried using the "Automated Customer Support Agent" because the thought of calling Verizon Support made me want to slam my head in a door. He's kind of stupid-robot-plastic-looking-creepy... especially when he blinks... but I didn't want to judge "his" intelligence by appearances...

Artificial Intelligence... or Artificial Stupidity?
  

Obviously getting nowhere, I called up "tech support." I wish I would have recorded the conversation. Not just because it was incredibly stupid... but because I'm screaming like a two-year-old at the end. A much abbreviated approximation of the call went something like this...

I see that you called two days ago...
   
Yes.
   
You reset your password?
   
Yes. I had to because your SMTP server stopped accepting my emails. They said I probably has a bad password even though it is saved on my computer and has worked for the past five years.
   
If we have confirmed that the password is working, then it is a Mac problem.
   
I sincerely doubt that, but hey... whatever. What do you want me to do?
   
I'm trying to tell you that it is a Mac problem.
   
Okay.
   
If you can login to Verizon, then it is not a Verizon problem.
   
Then you are obviously insane. All logging on to the Verizon website does is verify that my password is working. It does nothing to verify that your SMTP server is working properly.
   
They are the same server.
   
A web server doesn't run SMTP services. They are two different things.
   
I'm telling you they are the same server.
   
You're telling me that a web service sending HTML pages is the exact same thing as an SMTP service relaying emails? Even though they use different protocols over different ports?
   
That is what I am telling you.
   
Then you obviously don't know what you are talking about. Can I speak to somebody that does?
   
They will have the same information I am giving you.
   
You are driving me crazy here. My account has worked fine for FIVE YEARS. I entered a new password and things worked again for a day and a half. Now you're telling me this is MY problem? Well I guess I have to cancel ANOTHER Verizon account. Thanks for nothing.

As you can see, I got better support from the "Automated Virtual Assistant."

Verizon "tech support" is apparently staffed with people who have no initiative to look past the script on their screen or investigate anything that has to do with THEM having the problem.

And here's the deal... twenty minutes later, AFTER CHANGING NOTHING, my emails were being mysteriously accepted again. So yes, this is MY fault. It is a MACINTOSH problem. It was my MACINTOSH that suddenly decided to fake an SMTP error from Verizon out of the blue. No way that Verizon's flakey SMTP server could be having problems... BECAUSE THE WEB SERVER IS WORKING. And, as you know, THE WEB SERVER AND THE SMTP SERVER ARE THE EXACT SAME THING. Which is surprising, because EVERY COMPUTER I'VE EVER SEEN has them as two separate services. Unless you consider webmail, but even then the email is undoubtedly passed off to another service to actually be sent. Yes, it is possible to run both servers on the same computer, BUT THEY ARE TWO DIFFERENT THINGS!!

It's like saying your busted-ass toaster isn't broken because your microwave is working and they're both in the same kitchen.

Maybe I should send Verizon "tech support" a link to WikiAnswers. Or maybe EVERYBODY ELSE IS WRONG TOO! Maybe Verizon has some super-service that serves web, email, and video porn from the same app! ZOMG! THEY'RE JUST THAT SMERT!! That way when ONE fails, EVERYTHING FAILS! Genius!

Now, I realize the general population is stupid and you have to assume that they've fucked up somewhere because 99% of the time it's probably true. Or they're running Windows. But give me a break. I'm not some random idiot who doesn't know how to turn on a computer, so treating my like I'm the moron who doesn't know the difference between a website and email is only going to piss me off.

I hate Verizon. I hate them with the burning passion of a thousand suns. Nothing is ever their problem. EVER. It's always YOUR fault or your MAC'S fault. YOU'VE changed something. YOU'VE done something wrong. Which is why it's no wonder I finally cancelled Verizon DSL at home. Hey, my cable internet may slow to a craw for a few minutes at random intervals, but at least I am not having to deal with Verizon "tech support" any more.

Oh well.

In other news, I am totally hiring that "Verizon Automated Virtual Assistant" to write for my blog. That guy is GENIUS!

   

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