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 (s vz) phone network. I canceled my long-time account as I signed up for Sprint (s s) 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.
Related GigaOM Pro Content (sub req’d)