Saturday, December 12, 2009

Verizon, You've Got Some 'Splainin' To Do!

In the 2-plus weeks since I bought my Droid, I've had a few...glitches. I've been learning to use the thing and learning how to touch the screen just right so that I'm not just mashing everything at once, but the little bastard has been uncooperative in some other ways.

First, I had a recurring problem in that anyone I called heard an awful echo on the line. I never heard it on my end, so it took a while to figure out what was going on. Once I understood what was happening, I called Verizon.

Verizon Tech Guy: Good Morning. My name is ________ and I'll be your Tech Support Dude this morning. How can I help you?

Me: Everyone I call complains of a terrible echo on the line.

Verizon Tech Guy: I'm sorry. I can't understand you. There's a terrible echo on the line. Is there another phone you can call from?

Me: D'oh!

Eventually, after a series of "soft" resets and some other stuff, they asked me to go into a Verizon Store to get a "hard" reset. That took an hour and a half and seems to have gotten rid of the echo.

Then there's my email problem. Sometimes I don't get any emails. I've deleted and reentered the account about ten times. I've changed the port settings as directed by the Verizon DSL guy*. Sometimes, when resetting the email, the whole thing just gets stuck in an infinite loop, trying to confirm the settings. Since my email is on a web server (also Verizon), it stays on the server until eventually I get it on my computer (on Entourage) and it gets deleted from the server. I want it to stay on the server until I have the option of saving it to my hard drive. But the problem there is that the phone "sniffs" for email as often as I tell it to (every 15 minutes), and it seems to decide that some emails are so important, I should see them over and over and over again. (I was informed of a Macy's sale 7 times yesterday).

The guy from Motorola said I should take the phone into Verizon and trade it in for a new instrument. That was the only thing he could think of at this point. I'll be doing that later today.

But the coolest thing is that my first bill since buying the thing showed up this morning. When I switched to Verizon to get this phone, Verizon became the exclusive agent for all of Nathan's communications options. I have Verizon for my landline. I have Verizon for my DSL. I have a wireless card so I can get online with my laptop anywhere. And I got the cell phone with unlimited everything because in 2-plus weeks of having it, I've used 1272 minutes, 390 text messages, and 208357.88 kb of ... something. I'm on the thing a lot when I'm in the middle of a job.

But the thing is, they explained how they'd be able to bundle my services and give me some steep discounts. After the bundling, I should be paying slightly under $200/mo for everything. (And I'm supposed to be able to downgrade my calling plan between jobs when my usage isn't so high.) They explained that my first bill would be a little higher because of some one-time activation fees (which should have amounted to about $35.00). So, you can imagine my reaction when I saw the first bill this morning...for $386.00.

Verizon! You've got some 'splainin' to do!
* One of the major frustrations in all of this is the number of companies you have to deal with to make one little phone work. Motorola makes the phone. (They're the only ones to acknowledge that their piece of the pie...the instrument itself...might be the problem.) Verizon Wireless which provides the phone service insists that my email problem originates with Verizon DSL, which is an entirely different company! Verizon DSL, of course, points their finger in the other direction.


Anne C. said...

So sorry things are not working well with the Droid. I do appreciate your reporting the issues though. I've been thinking about getting one and am gathering intel.

(Also, by following the links back, I found that Carol Elaine has a myTouch, which is another option... hmmm...)

Nathan said...

The email seems to be working now, since I traded it in for a new device (it took nearly two hours, though).

I'm still working on the plan pricing, but the first bill has part of a pro-rated month in addition to having some one-time charges. It's not going to be the deal the idiot promised, but it should be closer.

We'll see.

Otherwise, I really like the thing. Some very cool things on it.

Ilya said...

Yep, Verizon - and many others - do that all the time. Your service starts, say, on December 1st. Your billing cycle somehow gets set to end on the 14th of each month. (these are random examples, not actual dates) You pay your bill in advance for the following month. So, your first bill has a month and a half of charges, plus all of those activation fees and crap.

Way to welcome a new customer!

Jim Wright said...

OK, I'm very very familiar with this problem and as you know I am a technical expert in technology. Your problem? It's Verizon.

You're welcome

WendyB_09 said...

Um...check the serial number...

if the one for your Droid starts with R2D2 or C3PO I'm afraid you're doomed.

Carol Elaine said...

Wendy. are you saying these are not the Droids Nathan is looking for?

Anne, I love the myTouch for the most part, but I'm realizing that a physical QWERTY keyboard works best for me. I love TMobile, though.

WendyB_09 said...

CE, I'm sayin' with their attitudes and uncanny ability to get into trouble, those two are the equivalent of Lucy and Ethel in the droid universe...
they'd have some 'splaining to do...