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  1. #1
    Steven J Sobol
    Guest
    Well, the unthinkable has happened.

    After nearly four years as a mostly-quite-satisfied Verizon Wireless customer,
    I'm cancelling the service as soon as my contract ends, and porting my number
    to Sprint PCS.

    Background:

    I live in Southern California, in the Mojave Desert. I have had
    continuous dropped-call problems at the intersection of Bear Valley
    Road and Hesperia Road on the Hesperia/Victorville border; ironically,
    the Victor Valley Town Square shopping center is at this intersection,
    and that's where the Verizon Wireless Victorville retail store is.

    I kept reporting the problems for months with no resolution, to find
    out later that the ticket I requested opened was closed with no
    communication. (VZW policy is that tech support is supposed to call
    you back if you open a ticket, and I didn't hear from them for months.
    They apparently ran some tests and didn't find any problems, or at
    least that's what I was told.) I have also had some problems on
    Highway 18 in Apple Valley, near Navajo Road - but I never followed up
    on those problems and they aren't the reason I cancelled. The primary
    reason is the lack of support on the repair issue, and the time it has
    taken to fix - and supposedly the problem has been fixed, but I don't
    know for sure. (And never will, either.)

    I live in Apple Valley, CA, in the northeast corner of town. The
    terrain in my neighborhood is quite hilly, and it's also quite hilly
    in the Marianas, the foothills that sit between southern Apple Valley
    and the San Bernardino Mountains. Providing any kind of radio service
    is tough - I've discussed doing 802.11x wireless Internet service with
    people here recently, and you have to be careful where you put the
    towers (although I am now partnered with a local ISP that IS doing
    wireless). Providing cellular service has to be tricky too, and I'm
    *just* outside Verizon coverage at my house. Sometimes I can get a
    good signal, sometimes not; I often had problems receiving calls on
    VZW, as well as problems with the phone not de-registering from the
    network properly when I turned it off, because it couldn't FIND the
    network (with the result that my callers still had to wait six rings
    to go to voicemail when they should have gone direct to VM). If I forced
    my VZW phone to analog, I *could* make a call without fail, except when
    the analog cells were filled up, which was actually pretty often.

    Now, if I was to estimate about 1,000 people living in the immediate
    area, I think I'd be guessing high. And you can look north from my
    house towards Barstow and see miles of NOTHING except maybe one house
    every half-mile or so. Given that, I can't fault Verizon for not
    improving coverage in the neighborhood around my house, because they'd
    be spending an assload of money on an area where they may only have a
    few customers. I imagine that it's unlikely that they'd recoup their
    expenditures. Yet Sprint PCS, the carrier world-renowned for "only covering
    big cities and the major highways," has coverage here. Good, *solid*
    coverage.

    Having experienced all of this, I have come up with a theory.

    You see, the Victor Valley -- Victorville, Apple Valley, and a group
    of about four or five other towns in the immediate area -- has a
    population of, mmm, probably about a quarter million people. Maybe
    300,000. But we're in the Los Angeles market. Of course, Los Angeles,
    which is 90 miles away (a 1.5-hour to 2-hour drive if traffic is
    light), is the second-largest city in the US, and the metro area has a
    population of several million people. Given this, and given my
    experiences with VZW since moving here, I have come to assume that
    Victorville is the bastard child here.

    I call this the Akron, Ohio syndrome. I have spoken in private email
    with someone else from the Verizon newsgroup to whom I mentioned that
    my VZW service was outstanding when I lived in Cleveland. Well,
    Akron's about 30 miles south of Cleveland and is much smaller.
    Cleveland hovers around #25 in terms of population... I forget where
    Akron ranks, but you're talking about MAYBE a couple hundred thousand
    people compared to 1 .25 to 1.5 million in the Cleveland metro. And
    this person told me they were having significant problems in DOWNTOWN
    Akron, out near the UA campus - not exactly a rural area, and not a
    place where a cell user should have trouble.

    And yet ANOTHER example... My sister-in-law and her husband were
    stationed at Fort Campbell until recently. Now she is back in college,
    but he landed a job at the base, so they still live in the area. Fort
    Campbell literally straddles the KY/TN state line - part of it is in
    Elizabethtown, KY and part is in Clarksville, TN. Apparently VZW
    doesn't work too well out there either. And Clarksville would be
    ANOTHER medium-size town close to a large population center: it's
    20-30 miles from Nashville.

    It's rather disappointing.

    So I activated my second line with Sprint on Friday*, and they sent me
    a cool silver Samsung SPH-A660 (the "VI660" is what Sprint calls it), a tri-
    mode phone, for $30 plus tax, with a two-year contract and a commitment to try
    PCS Vision for free for two months. (The 660 is much like the SCH-A650
    model that Verizon sells, but with some really cool features like
    Voice Digit Dial - which is why I got the phone - and voice menus and
    traditional voice dialing that in most cases DON'T REQUIRE TRAINING
    THE PHONE! Plus, of course, since it's a Sprint phone it supports PCS
    Vision apps written in Java as opposed to Qualcomm's Binary Runtime
    Environment for Wireless [BREW], which Verizon uses. I like that too,
    for reasons that are irrelevant to this post...)

    It was $45.50 out the door because they charge tax on the retail price
    of the phone (in this case, $199). I didn't have to pay for next-day
    shipping, though.

    My VZW contract ends on August 17th, and I've been issued enough
    customer-satisfaction credits by Verizon that I probably won't owe
    them any money, since I dropped my plan to the $15/25 minute emergency
    plan a couple weeks ago. That's one thing that has been cool recently:
    Verizon has been acknowledging my problems and offering service
    credits. I even got a month free a couple months ago. Quite frankly,
    however, I'd rather have the service work all the time than have to
    call in and whine about problems. Not that I mind free wireless
    service, but it's useless if the calls don't go through.

    Another issue is that I did switch down to the $15/month/25-minute
    emergency plan for $15 from my $59.95 America's Choice 800 plan, but then
    I was told I'd still owe the AC balance for the current month
    and had to wait 30 days for the new rate to kick in. Keep in mind that
    at this point, I'd be paying $59.95, not $15, for 25 minutes/month and
    no nights/weekends or in-network calling. (I could have gotten the
    emergency plan with 200 N/W minutes but it would have required a
    contract extension.) What complete *crap.* On the hook for $60 for a
    $15 plan. Bite me, VZW. I'd been relatively patient until I heard
    this, but hearing it *really* pissed me off. I generally have no issues
    with most of their policies, but that one has TURN THE CUSTOMER UPSIDE
    DOWN AND SHAKE HIM UNTIL HIS MONEY FALLS OUT OF HIS POCKET written all
    over it. Apparently, the "screw-the-customer" attitude exists somewhere
    relatively high-up within VZW, wherever policies like this are cooked up...

    What I'm getting with Sprint PCS that I wasn't getting with Verizon:

    1. Wireless service that actually works when and where I need it to work.

    2. Wireless service that actually works when and where I need it to work.

    3. Wireless service that actually works when and where I need it to work.

    4. Wireless service that actually works when and where I need it to work.

    5. Wireless service that actually works when and where I need it to work.

    6. Unlimited PCS to PCS calling, which because I have lots of family and
    friends on Sprint, will save me much more than the $5/month I'm paying for it.

    7. Flat-rate unlimited web browsing and download time through PCS
    Vision for $15 per month (ringtones and screensavers and apps are
    charged individually if purchased from Sprint, but the downloads don't
    cost extra if I go to a free site and send content to my phone).
    Includes a monthly download credit for content I buy from Sprint, or I
    can pay $10 if I don't want the download credit.

    8. Flat-rate unlimited text messaging - something I really, really
    wanted to have when I used text messaging on my Verizon phones. This
    will finally make it practical to receive network outage notices,
    notices about my servers going down, etc., to my cell phone as I will
    not have to worry about counting messages. With Vision, 100 text
    messages/month are free or unlimited would be $5/month. ($5 and $10
    without Vision.)

    9. A Samsung 660, although okay, I'll concede that I could have gotten
    almost the same phone from Verizon.

    10. Slightly lower monthly access fees on PCS Free and Clear than on
    Verizon's equivalent plan (America's Choice). Plus, they're running a
    promotion, an Area Wide plan that covers CA and NV (just like VZW's
    local plans), 1000 minutes for $45, and since I am not planning on
    travelling for a while i might sign up for it and switch back to F&C
    later.

    11. Wireless service that actually works when and where I need it to work.

    12. Wireless service that actually works when and where I need it to work.

    13. Wireless service that actually works when and where I need it to work.

    14. Wireless service that actually works when and where I need it to work.

    15. Wireless service that actually works when and where I need it to work.

    I'll still hang out in alt.cellular.verizon, but no longer as a
    customer...

    OBTW, General Lee in the Verizon newsgroup suggested cancelling right
    away and disputing the $175 ETF on the basis that "we paid what we
    would have owed and you suffered no losses." I think it could work,
    but Sarah and I decided to take the safe route and just stick it out
    for another five weeks or so. My Verizon number goes to voice mail
    right now, as does my toll-free number which forwards to my cell
    phone. I check VM several times a day and will port my VZW number to
    Sprint at end-of-contract. Not the most convenient option, but
    definitely the safest.

    *sigh* VZW... what happened to the wonderful relationship we had? You seem
    to have dropped the ball. The service was great when I lived in Ohio...

    --SJS

    *I've been an SPCS customer since the end of '01. My wife's phone is, and
    always has been a Sprint phone.

    --
    JustThe.net Internet & New Media Services, http://JustThe.net/
    Steven J. Sobol, Geek In Charge / 888.480.4NET (4638) / [email protected]
    PGP Key available from your friendly local key server (0xE3AE35ED)
    Apple Valley, California Nothing scares me anymore. I have three kids.



    See More: Goodbye, Verizon...




  2. #2
    Steven J Sobol
    Guest

    Re: Goodbye, Verizon...

    In alt.cellular Dan Albrich <[email protected]> wrote:

    > The main thing that keeps me from making the change myself is a simple cost
    > issue. Verizon's been providing me with free 1xRTT data via the minutes of
    > use option and circuit switched data before that. I've had two palm phones
    > so I can access the data from my phone or via laptop and my monthly cost
    > stays the same.


    Sprint's pricing structure is different. Vision usage never comes out of
    your airtime, although 2G Wireless Web access used to cost 39 cents per minute.
    (Actually, it was always 39c/minute instead of airtime, so WW didn't deduct
    from your airtime either, IIRC.)

    With Vision, it's either per KB transferred or flat-rate. I like that better,
    actually. YMMV.

    Like Verizon, Sprint discourages tethered laptop use. You're supposed to
    pay the $70-80 per month for a separate unlimited Vision plan and an aircard.
    Perhaps unlike Verizon, as some of the SPCS newsgroup regulars will tell you,
    Sprint will unofficially look the other way if you don't use your $15 unlimited
    Vision option too often for laptop usage.

    > The family plan with two lines comes to $55 a month, and Sprint can't
    > currently beat that although they do offer more extensive roaming than the
    > AC plan for only $5 a month.


    FCA has a limitation that you can only use 50% of your minutes in any
    given month for roaming. If roaming is an issue you're *generally* better
    off with Verizon unless you're only roaming occasionally.

    Thanks, Dan

    --
    JustThe.net Internet & New Media Services, http://JustThe.net/
    Steven J. Sobol, Geek In Charge / 888.480.4NET (4638) / [email protected]
    PGP Key available from your friendly local key server (0xE3AE35ED)
    Apple Valley, California Nothing scares me anymore. I have three kids.



  3. #3
    Steve Crow
    Guest

    Re: Goodbye, Verizon...

    Steven,

    As you may well recall, it was back in November that I declared I was
    leaving Verizon Wireless and switching to Sprint PCS. That, too, was
    "unthinkable." I haven't looked back. Sprint's been a heck of a lot more
    reliable than Verizon Wireless, and with far better customer service, than
    what I was getting before the switch. I believe you will find fewer
    network problems, better service, and better value (note: did not say
    "better prices") when you come over to Sprint PCS.

    I took the plunge, and I welcome you to the family.

    Steve

    On Wed, 7 Jul 2004, Steven J Sobol wrote:

    > Well, the unthinkable has happened.
    >
    > After nearly four years as a mostly-quite-satisfied Verizon Wireless customer,
    > I'm cancelling the service as soon as my contract ends, and porting my number
    > to Sprint PCS.
    >
    > Background:
    >
    > I live in Southern California, in the Mojave Desert. I have had
    > continuous dropped-call problems at the intersection of Bear Valley
    > Road and Hesperia Road on the Hesperia/Victorville border; ironically,
    > the Victor Valley Town Square shopping center is at this intersection,
    > and that's where the Verizon Wireless Victorville retail store is.
    >
    > I kept reporting the problems for months with no resolution, to find
    > out later that the ticket I requested opened was closed with no
    > communication. (VZW policy is that tech support is supposed to call
    > you back if you open a ticket, and I didn't hear from them for months.
    > They apparently ran some tests and didn't find any problems, or at
    > least that's what I was told.) I have also had some problems on
    > Highway 18 in Apple Valley, near Navajo Road - but I never followed up
    > on those problems and they aren't the reason I cancelled. The primary
    > reason is the lack of support on the repair issue, and the time it has
    > taken to fix - and supposedly the problem has been fixed, but I don't
    > know for sure. (And never will, either.)
    >
    > I live in Apple Valley, CA, in the northeast corner of town. The
    > terrain in my neighborhood is quite hilly, and it's also quite hilly
    > in the Marianas, the foothills that sit between southern Apple Valley
    > and the San Bernardino Mountains. Providing any kind of radio service
    > is tough - I've discussed doing 802.11x wireless Internet service with
    > people here recently, and you have to be careful where you put the
    > towers (although I am now partnered with a local ISP that IS doing
    > wireless). Providing cellular service has to be tricky too, and I'm
    > *just* outside Verizon coverage at my house. Sometimes I can get a
    > good signal, sometimes not; I often had problems receiving calls on
    > VZW, as well as problems with the phone not de-registering from the
    > network properly when I turned it off, because it couldn't FIND the
    > network (with the result that my callers still had to wait six rings
    > to go to voicemail when they should have gone direct to VM). If I forced
    > my VZW phone to analog, I *could* make a call without fail, except when
    > the analog cells were filled up, which was actually pretty often.
    >
    > Now, if I was to estimate about 1,000 people living in the immediate
    > area, I think I'd be guessing high. And you can look north from my
    > house towards Barstow and see miles of NOTHING except maybe one house
    > every half-mile or so. Given that, I can't fault Verizon for not
    > improving coverage in the neighborhood around my house, because they'd
    > be spending an assload of money on an area where they may only have a
    > few customers. I imagine that it's unlikely that they'd recoup their
    > expenditures. Yet Sprint PCS, the carrier world-renowned for "only covering
    > big cities and the major highways," has coverage here. Good, *solid*
    > coverage.
    >
    > Having experienced all of this, I have come up with a theory.
    >
    > You see, the Victor Valley -- Victorville, Apple Valley, and a group
    > of about four or five other towns in the immediate area -- has a
    > population of, mmm, probably about a quarter million people. Maybe
    > 300,000. But we're in the Los Angeles market. Of course, Los Angeles,
    > which is 90 miles away (a 1.5-hour to 2-hour drive if traffic is
    > light), is the second-largest city in the US, and the metro area has a
    > population of several million people. Given this, and given my
    > experiences with VZW since moving here, I have come to assume that
    > Victorville is the bastard child here.
    >
    > I call this the Akron, Ohio syndrome. I have spoken in private email
    > with someone else from the Verizon newsgroup to whom I mentioned that
    > my VZW service was outstanding when I lived in Cleveland. Well,
    > Akron's about 30 miles south of Cleveland and is much smaller.
    > Cleveland hovers around #25 in terms of population... I forget where
    > Akron ranks, but you're talking about MAYBE a couple hundred thousand
    > people compared to 1 .25 to 1.5 million in the Cleveland metro. And
    > this person told me they were having significant problems in DOWNTOWN
    > Akron, out near the UA campus - not exactly a rural area, and not a
    > place where a cell user should have trouble.
    >
    > And yet ANOTHER example... My sister-in-law and her husband were
    > stationed at Fort Campbell until recently. Now she is back in college,
    > but he landed a job at the base, so they still live in the area. Fort
    > Campbell literally straddles the KY/TN state line - part of it is in
    > Elizabethtown, KY and part is in Clarksville, TN. Apparently VZW
    > doesn't work too well out there either. And Clarksville would be
    > ANOTHER medium-size town close to a large population center: it's
    > 20-30 miles from Nashville.
    >
    > It's rather disappointing.
    >
    > So I activated my second line with Sprint on Friday*, and they sent me
    > a cool silver Samsung SPH-A660 (the "VI660" is what Sprint calls it), a tri-
    > mode phone, for $30 plus tax, with a two-year contract and a commitment to try
    > PCS Vision for free for two months. (The 660 is much like the SCH-A650
    > model that Verizon sells, but with some really cool features like
    > Voice Digit Dial - which is why I got the phone - and voice menus and
    > traditional voice dialing that in most cases DON'T REQUIRE TRAINING
    > THE PHONE! Plus, of course, since it's a Sprint phone it supports PCS
    > Vision apps written in Java as opposed to Qualcomm's Binary Runtime
    > Environment for Wireless [BREW], which Verizon uses. I like that too,
    > for reasons that are irrelevant to this post...)
    >
    > It was $45.50 out the door because they charge tax on the retail price
    > of the phone (in this case, $199). I didn't have to pay for next-day
    > shipping, though.
    >
    > My VZW contract ends on August 17th, and I've been issued enough
    > customer-satisfaction credits by Verizon that I probably won't owe
    > them any money, since I dropped my plan to the $15/25 minute emergency
    > plan a couple weeks ago. That's one thing that has been cool recently:
    > Verizon has been acknowledging my problems and offering service
    > credits. I even got a month free a couple months ago. Quite frankly,
    > however, I'd rather have the service work all the time than have to
    > call in and whine about problems. Not that I mind free wireless
    > service, but it's useless if the calls don't go through.
    >
    > Another issue is that I did switch down to the $15/month/25-minute
    > emergency plan for $15 from my $59.95 America's Choice 800 plan, but then
    > I was told I'd still owe the AC balance for the current month
    > and had to wait 30 days for the new rate to kick in. Keep in mind that
    > at this point, I'd be paying $59.95, not $15, for 25 minutes/month and
    > no nights/weekends or in-network calling. (I could have gotten the
    > emergency plan with 200 N/W minutes but it would have required a
    > contract extension.) What complete *crap.* On the hook for $60 for a
    > $15 plan. Bite me, VZW. I'd been relatively patient until I heard
    > this, but hearing it *really* pissed me off. I generally have no issues
    > with most of their policies, but that one has TURN THE CUSTOMER UPSIDE
    > DOWN AND SHAKE HIM UNTIL HIS MONEY FALLS OUT OF HIS POCKET written all
    > over it. Apparently, the "screw-the-customer" attitude exists somewhere
    > relatively high-up within VZW, wherever policies like this are cooked up...
    >
    > What I'm getting with Sprint PCS that I wasn't getting with Verizon:
    >
    > 1. Wireless service that actually works when and where I need it to work.
    >
    > 2. Wireless service that actually works when and where I need it to work.
    >
    > 3. Wireless service that actually works when and where I need it to work.
    >
    > 4. Wireless service that actually works when and where I need it to work.
    >
    > 5. Wireless service that actually works when and where I need it to work.
    >
    > 6. Unlimited PCS to PCS calling, which because I have lots of family and
    > friends on Sprint, will save me much more than the $5/month I'm paying for it.
    >
    > 7. Flat-rate unlimited web browsing and download time through PCS
    > Vision for $15 per month (ringtones and screensavers and apps are
    > charged individually if purchased from Sprint, but the downloads don't
    > cost extra if I go to a free site and send content to my phone).
    > Includes a monthly download credit for content I buy from Sprint, or I
    > can pay $10 if I don't want the download credit.
    >
    > 8. Flat-rate unlimited text messaging - something I really, really
    > wanted to have when I used text messaging on my Verizon phones. This
    > will finally make it practical to receive network outage notices,
    > notices about my servers going down, etc., to my cell phone as I will
    > not have to worry about counting messages. With Vision, 100 text
    > messages/month are free or unlimited would be $5/month. ($5 and $10
    > without Vision.)
    >
    > 9. A Samsung 660, although okay, I'll concede that I could have gotten
    > almost the same phone from Verizon.
    >
    > 10. Slightly lower monthly access fees on PCS Free and Clear than on
    > Verizon's equivalent plan (America's Choice). Plus, they're running a
    > promotion, an Area Wide plan that covers CA and NV (just like VZW's
    > local plans), 1000 minutes for $45, and since I am not planning on
    > travelling for a while i might sign up for it and switch back to F&C
    > later.
    >
    > 11. Wireless service that actually works when and where I need it to work.
    >
    > 12. Wireless service that actually works when and where I need it to work.
    >
    > 13. Wireless service that actually works when and where I need it to work.
    >
    > 14. Wireless service that actually works when and where I need it to work.
    >
    > 15. Wireless service that actually works when and where I need it to work.
    >
    > I'll still hang out in alt.cellular.verizon, but no longer as a
    > customer...
    >
    > OBTW, General Lee in the Verizon newsgroup suggested cancelling right
    > away and disputing the $175 ETF on the basis that "we paid what we
    > would have owed and you suffered no losses." I think it could work,
    > but Sarah and I decided to take the safe route and just stick it out
    > for another five weeks or so. My Verizon number goes to voice mail
    > right now, as does my toll-free number which forwards to my cell
    > phone. I check VM several times a day and will port my VZW number to
    > Sprint at end-of-contract. Not the most convenient option, but
    > definitely the safest.
    >
    > *sigh* VZW... what happened to the wonderful relationship we had? You seem
    > to have dropped the ball. The service was great when I lived in Ohio...
    >
    > --SJS
    >
    > *I've been an SPCS customer since the end of '01. My wife's phone is, and
    > always has been a Sprint phone.
    >
    >





  4. #4
    Roger Binns
    Guest

    Re: Goodbye, Verizon...

    Steven J Sobol wrote:
    > Like Verizon, Sprint discourages tethered laptop use. You're supposed to
    > pay the $70-80 per month for a separate unlimited Vision plan and an aircard.
    > Perhaps unlike Verizon, as some of the SPCS newsgroup regulars will tell you,
    > Sprint will unofficially look the other way if you don't use your $15 unlimited
    > Vision option too often for laptop usage.


    I recall reading somewhere that Sprint charges to do ESN swaps. Do you know
    if that is the case? Do you actually use multiple phones/devices with the
    same account?

    Roger





  5. #5
    Robert M.
    Guest

    Re: Goodbye, Verizon...

    On Wed, 7 Jul 2004, Steven J Sobol, Trying to convince himself he did
    the right thing
    >wrote:
    >
    > > Well, the unthinkable has happened.
    > >
    > > After nearly four years as a mostly-quite-satisfied Verizon Wireless
    > > customer,
    > > I'm cancelling the service as soon as my contract ends, and porting my
    > > number
    > > to Sprint PCS.
    > >
    > > Background:
    > >
    > > I live in Southern California, in the Mojave Desert. I have had
    > > continuous dropped-call problems at the intersection of Bear Valley
    > > Road and Hesperia Road on the Hesperia/Victorville border; ironically,
    > > the Victor Valley Town Square shopping center is at this intersection,
    > > and that's where the Verizon Wireless Victorville retail store is.
    > >


    > >
    > > What I'm getting with Sprint PCS that I wasn't getting with Verizon:
    > >
    > > 1. Wireless service that actually works when and where I need it to work.
    > >
    > > 2. Wireless service that actually works when and where I need it to work.
    > >
    > > 3. Wireless service that actually works when and where I need it to work.
    > >
    > > 4. Wireless service that actually works when and where I need it to work.
    > >
    > > 5. Wireless service that actually works when and where I need it to work.
    > >
    > > 6. Unlimited PCS to PCS calling, which because I have lots of family and
    > > friends on Sprint, will save me much more than the $5/month I'm paying for
    > > it.


    No extra charge with some other carriers, including Verizon.


    > >
    > > 7. Flat-rate unlimited web browsing and download time through PCS
    > > Vision for $15 per month (ringtones and screensavers and apps are
    > > charged individually if purchased from Sprint, but the downloads don't
    > > cost extra if I go to a free site and send content to my phone).
    > > Includes a monthly download credit for content I buy from Sprint, or I
    > > can pay $10 if I don't want the download credit.
    > >
    > > 8. Flat-rate unlimited text messaging - something I really, really
    > > wanted to have when I used text messaging on my Verizon phones. This
    > > will finally make it practical to receive network outage notices,
    > > notices about my servers going down, etc., to my cell phone as I will
    > > not have to worry about counting messages. With Vision, 100 text
    > > messages/month are free or unlimited would be $5/month. ($5 and $10
    > > without Vision.)


    Cingular and T-Mobile now have unlimited Internet and mass quantiities
    of text messages for $20/month, $15 + $5 = $20 where I come from.

    > >
    > > 9. A Samsung 660, although okay, I'll concede that I could have gotten
    > > almost the same phone from Verizon.
    > >
    > > 10. Slightly lower monthly access fees on PCS Free and Clear than on
    > > Verizon's equivalent plan (America's Choice). Plus, they're running a
    > > promotion, an Area Wide plan that covers CA and NV (just like VZW's
    > > local plans), 1000 minutes for $45, and since I am not planning on
    > > travelling for a while i might sign up for it and switch back to F&C
    > > later.


    After 3 months SprintPCS will now require a new contract to change plans.
    Did you miss that minor detail?


    > >
    > > 11. Wireless service that actually works when and where I need it to work.
    > >
    > > 12. Wireless service that actually works when and where I need it to work.
    > >
    > > 13. Wireless service that actually works when and where I need it to work.
    > >
    > > 14. Wireless service that actually works when and where I need it to work.
    > >
    > > 15. Wireless service that actually works when and where I need it to work.


    A very good reason to change carriers, and why so many people leave
    Sprint. Driving from New Orleans to Los Angeles along I-10 all the way
    gives the lie to SprintPCS being a National Carrier. Hundreds of miles
    at a time with Zero coverage.

    > >
    > > I'll still hang out in alt.cellular.verizon, but no longer as a
    > > customer...
    > >
    > > OBTW, General Lee in the Verizon newsgroup suggested cancelling right
    > > away and disputing the $175 ETF on the basis that "we paid what we
    > > would have owed and you suffered no losses."


    But then you're not porting and retaining your number, which SprintPCS
    STILL has problems with. and often for no known reason takes days.



  6. #6
    Røbert M.
    Guest

    Re: Goodbye, Verizon...

    In article <[email protected]>,
    "Roger Binns" <[email protected]> wrote:

    > Steven J Sobol wrote:
    > > Like Verizon, Sprint discourages tethered laptop use. You're supposed to
    > > pay the $70-80 per month for a separate unlimited Vision plan and an
    > > aircard.
    > > Perhaps unlike Verizon, as some of the SPCS newsgroup regulars will tell
    > > you,
    > > Sprint will unofficially look the other way if you don't use your $15
    > > unlimited
    > > Vision option too often for laptop usage.

    >
    > I recall reading somewhere that Sprint charges to do ESN swaps. Do you know
    > if that is the case? Do you actually use multiple phones/devices with the
    > same account?


    Apparently SprintPCS has finally stopped that customer unfriendly
    practice.



  7. #7
    Mitchell Regenbogen
    Guest

    Re: Goodbye, Verizon...

    That's interesting, because here on the Right Coast, around NYC in
    particular, Sprint was a disaster for me, which is why I switched to
    Verizon and haven't looked back. With Sprint I saw only unreliable and
    spotty service, including constant dropped calls, horrific customer
    service, the pricing plans depending on which CS rep you spoke to,
    standing on line at stores for 45 minutes or on telephone hold for 20
    minutes and then getting bad information, etc. That was 18 months ago. I
    still have friends waiting only for their Sprint contracts to end to take
    their numbers and run. Verizon been much more reliable, dropped calls are
    very rare, customer service generally available within a minute, and it
    travels well with me to upstate New York rural areas as well as various
    cities around the country. Hope your experience with Sprint is better
    than mine.



  8. #8
    Jerome Zelinske
    Guest

    Re: Goodbye, Verizon...

    Anyone who knows for sure, please confirm/deny, but I did not
    think that you could port a number to an existing line/number. Does not
    a ported number have to be to a new line of service?


    Steven J Sobol wrote:

    > Well, the unthinkable has happened.
    >
    > After nearly four years as a mostly-quite-satisfied Verizon Wireless customer,
    > I'm cancelling the service as soon as my contract ends, and porting my number
    > to Sprint PCS.
    >
    > Background:
    >
    > I live in Southern California, in the Mojave Desert. I have had
    > continuous dropped-call problems at the intersection of Bear Valley
    > Road and Hesperia Road on the Hesperia/Victorville border; ironically,
    > the Victor Valley Town Square shopping center is at this intersection,
    > and that's where the Verizon Wireless Victorville retail store is.
    >
    > I kept reporting the problems for months with no resolution, to find
    > out later that the ticket I requested opened was closed with no
    > communication. (VZW policy is that tech support is supposed to call
    > you back if you open a ticket, and I didn't hear from them for months.
    > They apparently ran some tests and didn't find any problems, or at
    > least that's what I was told.) I have also had some problems on
    > Highway 18 in Apple Valley, near Navajo Road - but I never followed up
    > on those problems and they aren't the reason I cancelled. The primary
    > reason is the lack of support on the repair issue, and the time it has
    > taken to fix - and supposedly the problem has been fixed, but I don't
    > know for sure. (And never will, either.)
    >
    > I live in Apple Valley, CA, in the northeast corner of town. The
    > terrain in my neighborhood is quite hilly, and it's also quite hilly
    > in the Marianas, the foothills that sit between southern Apple Valley
    > and the San Bernardino Mountains. Providing any kind of radio service
    > is tough - I've discussed doing 802.11x wireless Internet service with
    > people here recently, and you have to be careful where you put the
    > towers (although I am now partnered with a local ISP that IS doing
    > wireless). Providing cellular service has to be tricky too, and I'm
    > *just* outside Verizon coverage at my house. Sometimes I can get a
    > good signal, sometimes not; I often had problems receiving calls on
    > VZW, as well as problems with the phone not de-registering from the
    > network properly when I turned it off, because it couldn't FIND the
    > network (with the result that my callers still had to wait six rings
    > to go to voicemail when they should have gone direct to VM). If I forced
    > my VZW phone to analog, I *could* make a call without fail, except when
    > the analog cells were filled up, which was actually pretty often.
    >
    > Now, if I was to estimate about 1,000 people living in the immediate
    > area, I think I'd be guessing high. And you can look north from my
    > house towards Barstow and see miles of NOTHING except maybe one house
    > every half-mile or so. Given that, I can't fault Verizon for not
    > improving coverage in the neighborhood around my house, because they'd
    > be spending an assload of money on an area where they may only have a
    > few customers. I imagine that it's unlikely that they'd recoup their
    > expenditures. Yet Sprint PCS, the carrier world-renowned for "only covering
    > big cities and the major highways," has coverage here. Good, *solid*
    > coverage.
    >
    > Having experienced all of this, I have come up with a theory.
    >
    > You see, the Victor Valley -- Victorville, Apple Valley, and a group
    > of about four or five other towns in the immediate area -- has a
    > population of, mmm, probably about a quarter million people. Maybe
    > 300,000. But we're in the Los Angeles market. Of course, Los Angeles,
    > which is 90 miles away (a 1.5-hour to 2-hour drive if traffic is
    > light), is the second-largest city in the US, and the metro area has a
    > population of several million people. Given this, and given my
    > experiences with VZW since moving here, I have come to assume that
    > Victorville is the bastard child here.
    >
    > I call this the Akron, Ohio syndrome. I have spoken in private email
    > with someone else from the Verizon newsgroup to whom I mentioned that
    > my VZW service was outstanding when I lived in Cleveland. Well,
    > Akron's about 30 miles south of Cleveland and is much smaller.
    > Cleveland hovers around #25 in terms of population... I forget where
    > Akron ranks, but you're talking about MAYBE a couple hundred thousand
    > people compared to 1 .25 to 1.5 million in the Cleveland metro. And
    > this person told me they were having significant problems in DOWNTOWN
    > Akron, out near the UA campus - not exactly a rural area, and not a
    > place where a cell user should have trouble.
    >
    > And yet ANOTHER example... My sister-in-law and her husband were
    > stationed at Fort Campbell until recently. Now she is back in college,
    > but he landed a job at the base, so they still live in the area. Fort
    > Campbell literally straddles the KY/TN state line - part of it is in
    > Elizabethtown, KY and part is in Clarksville, TN. Apparently VZW
    > doesn't work too well out there either. And Clarksville would be
    > ANOTHER medium-size town close to a large population center: it's
    > 20-30 miles from Nashville.
    >
    > It's rather disappointing.
    >
    > So I activated my second line with Sprint on Friday*, and they sent me
    > a cool silver Samsung SPH-A660 (the "VI660" is what Sprint calls it), a tri-
    > mode phone, for $30 plus tax, with a two-year contract and a commitment to try
    > PCS Vision for free for two months. (The 660 is much like the SCH-A650
    > model that Verizon sells, but with some really cool features like
    > Voice Digit Dial - which is why I got the phone - and voice menus and
    > traditional voice dialing that in most cases DON'T REQUIRE TRAINING
    > THE PHONE! Plus, of course, since it's a Sprint phone it supports PCS
    > Vision apps written in Java as opposed to Qualcomm's Binary Runtime
    > Environment for Wireless [BREW], which Verizon uses. I like that too,
    > for reasons that are irrelevant to this post...)
    >
    > It was $45.50 out the door because they charge tax on the retail price
    > of the phone (in this case, $199). I didn't have to pay for next-day
    > shipping, though.
    >
    > My VZW contract ends on August 17th, and I've been issued enough
    > customer-satisfaction credits by Verizon that I probably won't owe
    > them any money, since I dropped my plan to the $15/25 minute emergency
    > plan a couple weeks ago. That's one thing that has been cool recently:
    > Verizon has been acknowledging my problems and offering service
    > credits. I even got a month free a couple months ago. Quite frankly,
    > however, I'd rather have the service work all the time than have to
    > call in and whine about problems. Not that I mind free wireless
    > service, but it's useless if the calls don't go through.
    >
    > Another issue is that I did switch down to the $15/month/25-minute
    > emergency plan for $15 from my $59.95 America's Choice 800 plan, but then
    > I was told I'd still owe the AC balance for the current month
    > and had to wait 30 days for the new rate to kick in. Keep in mind that
    > at this point, I'd be paying $59.95, not $15, for 25 minutes/month and
    > no nights/weekends or in-network calling. (I could have gotten the
    > emergency plan with 200 N/W minutes but it would have required a
    > contract extension.) What complete *crap.* On the hook for $60 for a
    > $15 plan. Bite me, VZW. I'd been relatively patient until I heard
    > this, but hearing it *really* pissed me off. I generally have no issues
    > with most of their policies, but that one has TURN THE CUSTOMER UPSIDE
    > DOWN AND SHAKE HIM UNTIL HIS MONEY FALLS OUT OF HIS POCKET written all
    > over it. Apparently, the "screw-the-customer" attitude exists somewhere
    > relatively high-up within VZW, wherever policies like this are cooked up...
    >
    > What I'm getting with Sprint PCS that I wasn't getting with Verizon:
    >
    > 1. Wireless service that actually works when and where I need it to work.
    >
    > 2. Wireless service that actually works when and where I need it to work.
    >
    > 3. Wireless service that actually works when and where I need it to work.
    >
    > 4. Wireless service that actually works when and where I need it to work.
    >
    > 5. Wireless service that actually works when and where I need it to work.
    >
    > 6. Unlimited PCS to PCS calling, which because I have lots of family and
    > friends on Sprint, will save me much more than the $5/month I'm paying for it.
    >
    > 7. Flat-rate unlimited web browsing and download time through PCS
    > Vision for $15 per month (ringtones and screensavers and apps are
    > charged individually if purchased from Sprint, but the downloads don't
    > cost extra if I go to a free site and send content to my phone).
    > Includes a monthly download credit for content I buy from Sprint, or I
    > can pay $10 if I don't want the download credit.
    >
    > 8. Flat-rate unlimited text messaging - something I really, really
    > wanted to have when I used text messaging on my Verizon phones. This
    > will finally make it practical to receive network outage notices,
    > notices about my servers going down, etc., to my cell phone as I will
    > not have to worry about counting messages. With Vision, 100 text
    > messages/month are free or unlimited would be $5/month. ($5 and $10
    > without Vision.)
    >
    > 9. A Samsung 660, although okay, I'll concede that I could have gotten
    > almost the same phone from Verizon.
    >
    > 10. Slightly lower monthly access fees on PCS Free and Clear than on
    > Verizon's equivalent plan (America's Choice). Plus, they're running a
    > promotion, an Area Wide plan that covers CA and NV (just like VZW's
    > local plans), 1000 minutes for $45, and since I am not planning on
    > travelling for a while i might sign up for it and switch back to F&C
    > later.
    >
    > 11. Wireless service that actually works when and where I need it to work.
    >
    > 12. Wireless service that actually works when and where I need it to work.
    >
    > 13. Wireless service that actually works when and where I need it to work.
    >
    > 14. Wireless service that actually works when and where I need it to work.
    >
    > 15. Wireless service that actually works when and where I need it to work.
    >
    > I'll still hang out in alt.cellular.verizon, but no longer as a
    > customer...
    >
    > OBTW, General Lee in the Verizon newsgroup suggested cancelling right
    > away and disputing the $175 ETF on the basis that "we paid what we
    > would have owed and you suffered no losses." I think it could work,
    > but Sarah and I decided to take the safe route and just stick it out
    > for another five weeks or so. My Verizon number goes to voice mail
    > right now, as does my toll-free number which forwards to my cell
    > phone. I check VM several times a day and will port my VZW number to
    > Sprint at end-of-contract. Not the most convenient option, but
    > definitely the safest.
    >
    > *sigh* VZW... what happened to the wonderful relationship we had? You seem
    > to have dropped the ball. The service was great when I lived in Ohio...
    >
    > --SJS
    >
    > *I've been an SPCS customer since the end of '01. My wife's phone is, and
    > always has been a Sprint phone.
    >





  9. #9
    Robert M.
    Guest

    Re: Goodbye, Verizon...

    In article <[email protected]>,
    Jerome Zelinske <[email protected]> wrote:

    > Anyone who knows for sure, please confirm/deny, but I did not
    > think that you could port a number to an existing line/number. Does not
    > a ported number have to be to a new line of service?


    Nope, you just change numbers.



  10. #10
    Bob Smith
    Guest

    Re: Goodbye, Verizon...


    "Roger Binns" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > Steven J Sobol wrote:
    > > Like Verizon, Sprint discourages tethered laptop use. You're supposed to
    > > pay the $70-80 per month for a separate unlimited Vision plan and an

    aircard.
    > > Perhaps unlike Verizon, as some of the SPCS newsgroup regulars will tell

    you,
    > > Sprint will unofficially look the other way if you don't use your $15

    unlimited
    > > Vision option too often for laptop usage.

    >
    > I recall reading somewhere that Sprint charges to do ESN swaps. Do you

    know
    > if that is the case? Do you actually use multiple phones/devices with the
    > same account?
    >
    > Roger


    They stopped charging for ESN changes at least a year ago, and maybe up to
    18 months ago.

    Bob





  11. #11
    Cyrus Afzali
    Guest

    Re: Goodbye, Verizon...

    On Thu, 8 Jul 2004 11:52:16 +0000 (UTC), Mitchell Regenbogen
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >That's interesting, because here on the Right Coast, around NYC in
    >particular, Sprint was a disaster for me, which is why I switched to
    >Verizon and haven't looked back. With Sprint I saw only unreliable and
    >spotty service, including constant dropped calls, horrific customer
    >service, the pricing plans depending on which CS rep you spoke to,
    >standing on line at stores for 45 minutes or on telephone hold for 20
    >minutes and then getting bad information, etc. That was 18 months ago. I
    >still have friends waiting only for their Sprint contracts to end to take
    >their numbers and run. Verizon been much more reliable, dropped calls are
    >very rare, customer service generally available within a minute, and it
    >travels well with me to upstate New York rural areas as well as various
    >cities around the country. Hope your experience with Sprint is better
    >than mine.


    I think that's going to be something you'll see more on the"right
    coast" than left. Once you leave NYC, you can be "nowhere" within a
    couple of hours, especially since drives often take you off parkways
    and interstates.

    I've heard a lot of people in NYC and surrounding area complain about
    Sprint too. If I had to guess, I'd say T-Mobile, which is one of the
    carriers that's done pretty well at gaining customers who left after
    WNP went into effect, gained a lot of customers from Sprint.



  12. #12
    Bob Smith
    Guest

    Re: Goodbye, Verizon...


    "Robert M." <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > On Wed, 7 Jul 2004, Steven J Sobol, Trying to convince himself he did
    > the right thing
    > >wrote:


    So Phillipe, why the need to post under two separate IDs in this thread?

    Bob





  13. #13
    Mike
    Guest

    Re: Goodbye, Verizon...

    On Wed, 07 Jul 2004 22:10:09 -0500, Steven J Sobol
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >I call this the Akron, Ohio syndrome. I have spoken in private email
    >with someone else from the Verizon newsgroup to whom I mentioned that
    >my VZW service was outstanding when I lived in Cleveland. Well,
    >Akron's about 30 miles south of Cleveland and is much smaller.
    >Cleveland hovers around #25 in terms of population... I forget where
    >Akron ranks, but you're talking about MAYBE a couple hundred thousand
    >people compared to 1 .25 to 1.5 million in the Cleveland metro. And
    >this person told me they were having significant problems in DOWNTOWN
    >Akron, out near the UA campus - not exactly a rural area, and not a
    >place where a cell user should have trouble.


    You knew I'd pipe up on this one, Steve.

    I've used my VZW phone (actually, two of them) extensively in the
    greater Akron area, and have yet to run into such problems. I don't
    recall using the phone near the UA campus, but not terribly far from
    there at the Akron main post office (Wolf Ledges/Grant area, about a
    mile or so south of the campus), I've used it frequently and it has
    been fine. Of course, that's about a block north of I-76/I-77, so
    maybe that's a plus...maybe the towers are closer to the highway.

    Best of luck to you on your "switch". I've never seriously considered
    Sprint, and am not sure if it's something I'd ever do. I have been
    thrilled with VZW's service since day one, and I travel way too much
    to really consider any other carrier, coverage-wise. I know Sprint
    has the "FCA" thing, but there are months I'd come dangerously close
    to stomping on the 50% thing!

    I can certainly understand what you're doing, and your frustration,
    based on what you've talked about it. It doesn't really seem like VZW
    gives a crap about that area you're in.

    Mike



  14. #14
    RAF
    Guest

    Re: Goodbye, Verizon...

    Steven J Sobol wrote (in part):

    > So I activated my second line with Sprint on Friday*, and they sent me
    > a cool silver Samsung SPH-A660 (the "VI660" is what Sprint calls it),
    > a tri-mode phone, for $30 plus tax, with a two-year contract and a
    > commitment to try PCS Vision for free for two months.


    [snip]

    > It was $45.50 out the door because they charge tax on the retail price
    > of the phone (in this case, $199). I didn't have to pay for next-day
    > shipping, though.


    Recently, when I activated a second line and purchased a new phone
    (Sanyo RL-7300), I was charged tax only on the price *after* the $150
    instant rebate. (Regular price $279.99; selling price $129.99 + 5% sales
    tax $6.50 = $136.49 paid.) However, this was *in store* (Boston, MA
    area). It seems unfair that they figure it differently for online sales,
    but that's a reason to buy from a Sprint PCS store instead. Although,
    note that they would not allow me to charge this to my bill; the phone
    (and only the phone) had to be paid for up front.

    --
    [Newsgroup distribution changed to just alt.cellular.sprintpcs]





  15. #15
    Steven J Sobol
    Guest

    Re: Goodbye, Verizon...

    In alt.cellular Roger Binns <[email protected]> wrote:
    > Steven J Sobol wrote:
    >> Like Verizon, Sprint discourages tethered laptop use. You're supposed to
    >> pay the $70-80 per month for a separate unlimited Vision plan and an aircard.
    >> Perhaps unlike Verizon, as some of the SPCS newsgroup regulars will tell you,
    >> Sprint will unofficially look the other way if you don't use your $15 unlimited
    >> Vision option too often for laptop usage.

    >
    > I recall reading somewhere that Sprint charges to do ESN swaps. Do you know
    > if that is the case? Do you actually use multiple phones/devices with the
    > same account?


    Probably is, but I don't know for sure, and no, I don't use multiple devices
    with the same account (and didn't with Verizon either).

    --
    JustThe.net Internet & New Media Services, http://JustThe.net/
    Steven J. Sobol, Geek In Charge / 888.480.4NET (4638) / sjs[email protected]
    PGP Key available from your friendly local key server (0xE3AE35ED)
    Apple Valley, California Nothing scares me anymore. I have three kids.



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