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Is Verizon Wireless Network Extender a Ripoff?

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[qi:004] Updated: Verizon Wireless (s VZ) is going to launch a femtocell device on Jan. 25 that would allow you to get better coverage on your Verizon wireless line. Of course, you will need to pony up $250 for a femtocell gizmo, perhaps pay an additional monthly fee and use your own broadband network (for which you already pay a monthly fee) — all so that you can use the hardware (phone) and the service (your wireless service) you are already paying for. I can understand paying for the hardware, but additional service charges don’t make any sense. In fact, it gives Verizon and others reason to not upgrade their infrastructure and keep picking your pockets …don’t you think? (Sprint (s S) isn’t any different either.) Now that’s a racket better than Don Corleone’s business!

Update: When contacted, Verizon Wireless says it hasn’t announced the pricing just yet. “We have been testing a product and plan to make an announcement early this year,” Verizon spokesperson wrote in an email.

81 Responses to “Is Verizon Wireless Network Extender a Ripoff?”

  1. Nov 2010, I live in a dead zone no cell reception. Spoke to a verizon rep and he offered me a 50% discount on the extender and recieved it in 3 days. Set it up and I have full service inside my home. All for $132.00 one time fee. NO monthly fee’s. Rep was very helpful.
    Happy in Erie Co, Pa

  2. Just an update…I’ve been using the wireless extender unit for a week now. We moved recently from the state capital to 30 mins outside of the city where our cellphone signal was extremely poor, and non-existent inside.

    I do think its messed up that all Verizon stores/retailers do not offer this device over the counter. Inside, you must contact Verizon by phone and wait for them to ship it to you. Our experience did not go smoothly. Because of so many issues with our service, we were told we’d be given a discount and be able to purchase this suggested device for $99. The rep went on to say it would be sent via FedEx and arrive in 2-3 days. Because our home phone had not yet been hooked up yet, those 2-3 days seemed like eternity (especially since we have a home-based business).

    When nearly a week passed, we called Verizon to inquire about our order. We were told that the order had been canceled. HUH??? What for? They said it was because they could not confirm the discounted price. Why didn’t anyone call, I asked. They had no answer for that. Finally, after speaking to three different reps, they put the order back into the system and apologized. They shipped it via FedEx overnight and it did finally arrive.

    When opening the box, I happened to read we would need a broadband internet connection. I was NEVER told this by any of the reps I had spoken to previously. This was very misleading. I assumed it would communicate solely via GPS/satellite. Because we did not have our internet hooked up, we had to wait another 10 days!

    The device really is worth having…IF you already have the internet. It’s VERY easy to set up. One AC cord for power, one ethernet cable to your router, and you’re good to go.

    There are NO monthly fees of any kind. Just the purchase price of the unit. I get 4 out of 4 bars throughout most of the house and I’m certainly happy this equipment is available. Otherwise, my Verizon service would be useless here at home. Hope this info helps.

  3. Ariel

    We got the service extender just today.. We live in Missouri in the boonies, HAVE NEVER BEEN ABLE TO USE MY CELLPHONE WHILE ON MY COUCH!! We have NEVER been able to have service here, and with the service extender we can finally use our cellphones! It is pricey, but amazing!

  4. I have used the AT&T micocell and it seems like a better product.

    1. The AT&T model get’s 3G data connection. Note: I am confused about this because shouldn’t the device be using my internet connection? In the case of a site in NM. the user gets faster data speeds via the bonded t1’s then at&T 3g network.
    2. AT&T’s device lets you let only numbers you want to have access to the device. (look I’m ok with 911 calls going out but that may screw up the police as they will come to my location rather then the callers) Note: all of this is a mute point if your property is big enough nobody else is going to ride your connection.

    So my recap is this: should be locked down device that supports data speeds as fast as your local internet connection… Aka work like wifi.
    If you home is a dead spot this is far easier then messing with a repeater. THose are great if you can run the wire and keep the outdoor antenna 50′ (as the crow files) from the indoor antenna… but it’s not fun.


  5. I have recently purchased a network extender. Outside the house I have great reception, inside the house the signal comes and goes. I will happily share some bandwidth for a reliable phone. So far, calls using the extender are crystal clear, where they used to be choppy. The device is $250 with a $50 mail in rebate right now. There are no monthly services charges.

    I do feel a little wrong that I am paying to extend their network. I can keep access to the device to my phones, but that just seems petty. I would happily take a larger one from them and share with more of the neighborhood.

    $200 one time charge to be able to have a great strong signal inside the house is not too bad.


  6. BeachRider

    Whoever TC is needs to take a breath. It can absolutely be impossible to get an indoor cell signal due to things beyond Verizon’s control (e.g. building construction). That being said, Verizon will be flamed by people that get crappy reception when VZW marketing drones on about its venerable cellular coverage. For an individual, if the $200 lets you kill-off a landline, then it is easily worth it. I suppose that there are other easy justifications, too. Frankly, it sounds like a nice-to-have dispensation to Verizon, in some cases.