Verizon is getting dumber by the day.
I posted before about why we switched from Sprint to Verizon. Now Verizon is trying to hard to convince us we made a mistake.
Last weekend we went to the beach. I figured I had three shots at internet access, since our condo didn’t technically have it:
1 – Pick up a stray wi-fi signal.
2 – Use the free dial-up account from Bellsouth that we got with our DSL.
3 – Use my cell phone as a modem and connect that way.
We ended up using option 1, picking up a faint open hotspot if we went out on our porch. It was pitiful, but it was the only choice. Bellsouth didn’t have a local dial-up number, so they weren’t an option. Verizon’s tale gets more interesting.
I had purchased Verizon’s rip-off “music kit” a while back. Basically a USB cable to connect your phone to your PC, and a CD that tries to convert your MP3s to some other format since the phone can’t play normal MP3 files (stuuuuupid). The good news is that this meant I had the cable I needed to be able to use the phone as a modem and wouldn’t have to pay $50 more for that kit.
So, I called Verizon, the guy walked me through configuring Windows dial-up networking to connect and it wouldn’t work. We were roaming at the time, and chalked it up to that.
Now we’re up in Tennessee for the weekend. This time there’s no wi-fi nearby. However, I have good cell reception so I figured I’d try the Verizon thing again. It’s about $60/month, but I’ll just cancel after the weekend anyhow.
So, I call Verizon and simply ask them to enable that feature for me, since I already have the phone connected and Windows configured. “Uh, we can’t do that”. “You need to buy a special card for your computer”. I insisted that I didn’t, but he insisted that I did. I said something like “I just need the $60/month plan so I can use my phone as a modem”. Nope. I asked for a supervisor and was offered technical support. Ok.
The tech support guy comes on and says “So you want the $59.99/month plan so you can use your phone as a modem? No problem”. Strange, considering what the last guy had said, but good.
However, he told me I’d have to go online and download their fancy connection manager software. (note: I couldn’t freaking GET online – that’s the whole problem!) I explained that I didn’t want to buy it, and I’ll simply use Windows dial-up networking instead. He was quite adamant that it wouldn’t work without their fancy software, but I was quite adamant that he just turn the stupid thing on.
He did and I fired it up. No dice. I asked if there was someone I could talk to about it. “Nope”. “How about tomorrow?”, I replied. “Nope. No one here can help you with that.”. He insisted that no one anywhere at Verizon could help me with this kind of set-up. I told him I wished I had the name of the guy from last weekend, as he was quite helpful.
I hung up with him and then tried again. I guess it just took a minute for the update to go into affect on my account, because it worked and I’m using it now. It’s slow, but it works.
I’ve never been a big Cingular fan (excuse me, I mean “the new new really-new-this-time A T & T”), but between their iPhone and Verizon’s dumbasses, I might have to give them a shot later this summer.