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Summary:

Today is the first day in a decade that I have no service on the Verizon phone network. The lying I was blasted with by Verizon employees while canceling my account made the process much easier on me than I thought it would be.

No Verizon

Today is a historic day in Mobile Tech Manor. It is the first day in a decade that I have no service on the Verizon phone network. I canceled my long-time account as I signed up for Sprint 4G service to go with my Palm Pre voice line on Sprint. It wasn’t a move I made lightly, I tested the Sprint 3G and 4G networks and decided the Sprint service was a better value for me. I entered the Verizon store to cancel my voice and data lines with mixed emotions. The lying I was blasted with by Verizon employees made the process much easier on me than I thought it would be.

I entered the Verizon store and was signed in to wait my turn for service. I told the guy I was canceling my service and didn’t need a salesperson. He immediately sent me to a second salesperson and explained that I wanted to cancel my service. They both then asked why I would do that. I explained I signed with Sprint for the 4G service, and that I was switching as Verizon had nothing comparable at this time.

They both stated, eerily at the same time, that the Sprint 4G was not really 4G, it was “only WiMAX.” I replied that I knew that, but it was much faster than the EVDO 3G service of Verizon. Then they both asserted that the Sprint WiMAX service was not available “anywhere in the U.S. outside of Houston.” I looked at them and told them that was not true. Sprint has rolled out the 4G service in at least 11 cities across the country.

Then they argued that Verizon’s LTE service was almost ready for launch, and would be launched covering the “entire U.S.” all at once. I asked for them to put that in writing, and that stopped that claim in its tracks.

They took me to the Customer Service department, which I’d asked for upon entry to the store, and handed me off to “Steve”. Steve pulled up my account on the system and asked why I wanted to cancel both lines with Verizon. I explained once again that I had already signed up with Sprint, mainly for the 4G.

He called a manager over to the station who looked at the screen and then informed me that the Sprint 4G service was not available anywhere in the U.S. outside of Houston. I was getting ticked off and told him he was blatantly lying to me about that. He then told me that Sprint’s WiMAX was only a little bit faster than Verizon’s 3G. I told him he was lying yet again. Then he told me that Sprint’s 3G network was “nowhere near as fast as Verizon’s 3G network.”

I’d had enough at this point and I informed him that the Sprint 3G was the same EVDO technology that Verizon used, and it was just as fast. I asked to speak to the division manager to complete my business. At that point they tapped a few keys on the screen and informed me I was duly canceled. The whole thing left me with a very bad taste in my mouth for the way Verizon conducts business. Which is a shame after a decade of happy patronage.

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  1. I’ve heard similar stories like that about Verizon employees/service. The times I’ve been in the local shopping center, I always get aggressively greeted by one of those Verizon employees, there are times when I expect to be tackled by one.

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    1. I’ve had bad experiences with AT&T store reps too. I think the problem is likely pervasive throughout the industry, not that this is an excuse of any kind.

      I’m disappointed to hear this about Verizon since I just switched to them from AT&T several months ago. I had no problem leaving AT&T because I never told them I was leaving. I just ported my number to Verizon (which Verizon happily did even after I’d had my account set up for a month with a different/temporary number while I decided if I liked it). The port process canceled my AT&T account without any such hassles and took about 30 seconds to complete.

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  2. I had a similar experience here in the SF Market Street store, they tried to convince me that the 3G of Verizon was faster than Sprint’s 4G service (even though it is not out yet in SF). I showed them screen shots of the testing I had done with the Sprint 4G device (running 3G) vs. Verizon’s Mifi device and proved that actually Sprints 3G was faster than Verizon’s 3G here in SF. They continued to argue with me upon which I told them while there were about 10 customers in the store that I would be happy to do a demonstration of both devices right in the store (since I had both with me at the time) and they quickly agreed to cancel my account. As may already be known Sprint does not have 4G in SF yet (supposedly within the next 60 days) but I have used it in other cities which as you have stated is much faster than Sprint or Verizon’s 4G. I was shocked at how bold Verizon was in blatantly lying and misrepresenting their device vs. Sprint and can’t imagine the number of consumers falling for their scam/claims. It sounds like they are using a script because of how similar the stories are and someone should force them to stop this misleading tactic

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    1. Sorry meant to say Verizon’s 3G (not 4G) obviously they don’t have 4G yet

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  3. Wow. It’s hard to know with certainty, but it would not surprise me in the slightest that whoever puts their name on that paper as having processed the cancellation has it count against them in their quarterly review.

    As for the lying … well, I suppose I’m not surprised by anything some commissioned salespeople will do. I can tell you that I have had a VZW salesperson lie to me about phone availability. Long story short: Sales person swore up and down that they didn’t care the particular Moto phone I wanted any longer. Three weeks later (past return date, mind you), I hear a VZW ad on the radio promoting the very phone I had wanted. I called in and was able to get a swap.

    Most cell phone dealing I have ever had usually leave me feeling unusually confused. And I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone back into a store to discuss something and get a completely different answer than I did before.

    I think the bottom line is simply this: Sell everything you can in any way you can.

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  4. Seriously…. You went to a store to cancel when a call would have sufficed…. And for the record, 4G is just a marketing term. It has no basis in a reality for how fast the service is. If we’re comparing apples to apples, T Mobiles “3G” is faster.

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    1. Seriously, I was driving right past the store so I went in. You’re right, 4G is just a term but this was much more than that.

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    2. “4G” is not just a marketing term, it stands for Fourth Generation. A Generation is considered when a new network technology is built out, usually comprising of new phones for said network, new speed allotments, new applications that previously could not run on the previous generation, and/or the ability to multi-task voice, data, video, etc simultaneously within said network.

      Sprint 4G is WiMAX and YES it is 4G because it is their newest technology. Sprint did not have a 1G, CDMA was 2G, CDMA 1X alongside with EVDO Rev. 0 and EVDO Rev. A all in the “3G” category (ie, 3G and 3.5G since they are overlay networks), and WiMAX is a new network ground up 4G.

      Thanks for playing the name marketing game. Oh, and it should be noted that 4G speed CURRENTLY is not the speed that the technology can handle theoretically, no G technology will ever come close to “theoretical” in real time environments, however WiMAX is upgrade compatible to WiMAX 2 which is much faster then “tested” LTE, and capable of being just as fast as the “theoretical” max of LTE. So please get the information correct when you decide to talk about networks and what exactly “4G” means.

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      1. You show how little you actually know about cellular technology. First generation was called 1XRTT, second generation was EVDO, and 3G is EVDO Rev. 0 and Rev. A. CDMA is the base technology for carriers such as Verizon and Sprint. You should learn the facts before you start correcting people.

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      2. Roger A is right about the different generations, and I am a geek who spends an unbelievable amount of time researching stuff like this out of curiosity and because I have relatives on Sprint service.

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    3. Also, Sprint 4G has unlimited traffic. So, even if speed was the same, it is still a better choice. As far as I know, latency is much lower with WiMAX, which by the way is called “4G” in many countries in the world, which makes it de facto a standard and not some cheap marketing trick.

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      1. Its a cheap marketing trick taking advatage of the uneducated of society. while you(a small group of people that actually give a turd) might know the difference most people do not and there for take it at face value beiing: “This phone is 4g and that one is 3g the 4 is newer and better cause its 4″. Your an idiot if you dont think that the people that decided these labels knew that and count on it. Every thing your looking at in your daily lives is about money. PERIOD

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  5. When I wanted to cancel my Sprint service they tried very hard to keep me as a customer…but not in the way big red hasseled you.
    I ended up with a free Airave with no monthly access charge and free unlimited data on my TouchPro. Its been almost 2 years with the airave and no charges at all and just over a year with the data plan and no charges.
    David

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  6. I worked for an Authorized Verizon retailer for about 10 yrs. Of the 4-6 employees that worked there we all were very much into what was going on in the business as well as other gadgets. It always amazed me when i would walk into a Corporate Verizon store & i would hear some of the crap coming out of there mouths. I would have to interrupt some of the salesmen & correct them because i felt bad for the customer. I loathe having to go into 1 of their stores to do anything knowing that i know more than them. It is absolutely frustrating. They simply just do not train most of their employees. Dont get me wrong im sure that there is a select few that do know what they’re doing but i havent come across any yet.

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  7. Epic FAIL Verizon, Epic FAIL… Makes me even happier that I’ve been a T-Mobile customer for 9 years.

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  8. Verizon sales people are clowns hired right from Ringling brothers. One guy told me that Droid blows iPhone out of water. He continued with “Android has more apps then iPhone app store”.
    Well,, hmm, well, hmmmm, okay.

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    1. Droid does blow the iphone out of the water. It’s faster and is capable of doing more. The market is growing at @10k apps per month with open source software and that blows away anything apple has to offer with their Nazi tactics for applications. By year end at current progression droid apps will surpass iphone. Quantity doesn’t mean quality so iphone is just a name, a status symbol tied to the worst network in the nation. Nothing to brag about…..

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      1. Not the droid your looking for Monday, April 26, 2010

        Droid is faster at what and capable of doing more of what?
        Why point out that “at current progression droid apps will surpass iphone” then add (accurately) “quantity doesn’t mean quality” you sound more like a fanboy than the apple fanboys. Use what works for you and let other people use what works for them. I for one am glad to have options.

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    2. Droid does blow the Iphone out of the water. It is faster at playing my music while i browse the internet and have my photo gallery on one of my cutoms laid out screens. It is better at taking pictures at night. It also has an app for guiding you on the road built in for free. It is also quicker at downloading since most Iphone have spotty 3G. You are right though, we should use what works best for us. us who rather be free to do what we want and not have others dictate what we should or should not do….

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  9. I’d have used that Verizon voice line to cancel.

    I am also surprised they didn’t make any retention offer.

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  10. I waited 30+ minutes today to get my Eris Android phone switched out due to a busted volume control. The “salesman” I got was so arrogant I had to walk out of the store, plus they did not have any Eris in stock. This is the third time I’ve been mistreated. If I had another coverage choice at my house I would say adiós Verizon.

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