Is Verizon Wireless Falling Apart

by Colin Berkshire

Colin here.

A number of users are reporting that when they make phone calls on Verizon they are more frequently getting error messages “The Verizon Wireless Number you dialed cannot be completed.” After a few more attempts the call goes through.

Your odds of being accurately billed by Verizon seem to be poor.

They “get you” on the little things. Did you activate and terminate a line within a day or two? Their policy is that the Activation Fee does not apply. But their billing system will still tack on the $35 fee and it will cost you half an hour of time arguing with Customer Service to take the charge off. Never mind that the language in their contract is clear.

Did you qualify for an employee discount? The employee affiliation may show on your account, but their billing system likely is cheating you out of it. That 18% Boeing discount just doesn’t get credited. When you call they explain that it takes “a few months” for this discount to apply but after 3 and then 6 and then 12 months it still doesn’t show up. You are again cheated.

Oh, and when you finally fulfill your 2-year contract Verizon will likely remove your employee discount. Some Verizon folks say you can’t get the employee discount unless you are in a contract, but the official Verizon policy is not what these folks are saying.

Do you have their More Everything plan with 10 Gigabytes of data? Think you are paying the $80 advertised rate? You are probably getting cheated again. Verizon grandfathers you at the old, higher rate of $100 or more unless you Change from the “More Everything” plan to the “More Everything” plan? Yes, you have to manually change from and to a plan with the same name. How confusing is that?

VoLTE (“aka Advanced Calling 1.0”) by Verizon is terrible. Calls drop like they do on AT&T…gone are the days of a rock solid voice network. The call quality is often garbled or broken…traits that are historically rare on Verizon. And, if you are in a basement you may not have coverage on Advanced Calling 1.0 when you have great coverage without it.

Remember when you could get 40 megabit speeds on LTE? They advertised these great speeds as a reason to buy a new phone. Well, there is a reason that you are no longer able to watch Netflix and YouTube on your shiny new phone: Verizon’s LTE network is collapsing. There are a lot of spots where you are lucky to get a few hundred kilobits per second…a far cry from the tens of megabits you were sold.

Verizon seems to think it is OK to sell you a 10 Gigabit plan and then make it impossible for your to use it because their speeds are so slow. “Sneaky Business” I say.

For $20,000 you can purchase a new Dodge Journey or a 2015 Dodge Dart.

OR- You can use 1 GB of data when traveling globally.

Yep, I am serious. Verizon thinks it is ethical to charge a new car ($20,000) for one single gigabyte when roaming internationally. Oh, plus taxes, so perhaps call it $25,000. How do they sleep at night?

If you are paying more than about 5-cents a minute to call China, Japan, Hong Kong, or most of Europe you are paying too much. We’re averaging about 2-cents a minute and often its just free. But Verizon has no ethical problem with charging you $2.49 per minute (plus taxes.)

I don’t get the impression that senior management has a lot of ethics. Now, I also don’t get the idea that they are good at technology, either.