Verizon Wireless quirks

Verizon Wireless quirks

Summary: Verizon Wireless doesn't live up to its performance promises and has a sneaky way to get people to consume their precious minutes.

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TOPICS: Verizon, Mobility, AT&T
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Since I didn't wish to ever have to deal with AT&T, I decided to leave T-Mobile and move over to Verizon.  I found a nice Android phone that was available for a decent price and ordered it.  It arrived on time, my phone number was moved from T-Mobile to Verizon and life appeared to be just ducky.

When Verizon turned on 4G/LTE service in my area, I was looking forward to experiencing the 10 times performance improvement that their advertisements seemed to promise.  The very best I've seen has been a download speed of 4.83 Mbps and an upload speed of 1.27 Mbps as measured by speedtest.net. T-mobile's 3G service usually offered 0.8 Mbps download and .3 Mbps upload.  While this is a nice improvement, it is nothing even remotely close to the promises.

I've been noticing another problem and just was informed by a perky Verizon Wireless technical support agent that this is inherent in how Verizon's wireless network works. Here's the scenario that demonstrates the problem. I'll call a friend and end up in that friend's voicemail box. The friend will immediately call me back.  I'll accept the call, tell them that I'll be right back and switch to the other call.  When I press the end call button, expecting the call to voicemail to be disconnected and me being returned to the call with my friend, both calls are disconnected. The manual for the phone appears to indicate that the behavior I'm expecting was what the phone manufacturer expected to happen, that is that the voicemail call would be ended and I would be returned to the other call.  I guess that Verizon hopes that people will keep both calls going and burn up their minutes much more quickly than expected.

As I learn more quirks about Verizon Wireless, I'll comment on them here.

Topics: Verizon, Mobility, AT&T

About

Daniel Kusnetzky, a reformed software engineer and product manager, founded Kusnetzky Group LLC in 2006. He's literally written the book on virtualization and often comments on cloud computing, mobility and systems software. In his spare time, he's also the managing partner of Lux Sonus LLC, an investment firm.

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19 comments
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  • Cellphone business makes used car dealers look honest.

    Billing errors always in their favor, cramming and unexplained surcharges, minutes that disappear for no reason, and consistently poor service, these are the hallmarks of ALL cellphone providers. I haven't found one yet that actually behaves like an ethical company.
    terry flores
    • RE: Verizon Wireless quirks

      @terry flores

      Where's the +1 or "like" or "vote Up" button on comments for zdnet? :D
      bc3tech
  • RE: Verizon Wireless quirks

    I get 4.5 Mbps on ATT 3g with iPhone and I'm quite happy! Not sure why people like Verizon so much...
    Hasam1991
    • RE: Verizon Wireless quirks

      @Hasam1991

      Are you serious? Are you sure you're reading that right? Please send me a screenshot (to jikhead@gmail.com) of your phone w/a speed test run, otherwise I call bulls$*t on that claim. I'm pretty sure no 3G network can support those speeds.
      jikhead
    • Yea... I believe you

      @Hasam1991 That is complete and utter bull ****. The fastest I ever seen AT&T go on their 3G was 2Mbps, that was in LA, Pasadena. In New York City, where I live, AT&T never breaks 1Mbps, and if you get .8Mbps, consider yourself lucky. I've been all over the US, and .8 - 1.2 Mbps is normal for AT&T with 1.8-2 Mbps being the absolute top speed. <br><br>T Mobile's network smokes AT&T in New York. Their HSPA+ (fake 4G) tops out at 3.5mbps, while AT&T get half of that at best. In other places, AT&T's fake 4G is slightly faster but can't match T Mobile.

      Verizon's 4G, on the other hand, can break 15Mbps at times. When the HTC Thunderbolt first came out, I was getting 25Mbps +
      Compare this to your stupid AT&T phone: http://img98.imageshack.us/img98/9825/19811268484409504426311.jpg
      solomonshv
    • RE: Verizon Wireless quirks

      @Hasam1991 It's because they are familiar with it. It's the same with anything. Why do people stick to one brand rather than another, because they are familiar with that brand or they feel some kind of loyalty towards it even if there are better alternatives like a Garmin <a href="http://www.bestsatnav.net"><font color="#000000">best sat nav</font></a>
      toby juggles
  • RE: Verizon Wireless quirks

    It depends on your location. I get 9.5 Mbps down and 5.0 up in the Philly burbs.
    ballkrussher
    • RE: Verizon Wireless quirks

      @ballkrussher - nothing like in th southern four counties of New Jersey. This is the boonies down here. No FIOs either.
      antinormal@...
  • RE: Verizon Wireless quirks

    There are other reasons to prefer Verizon to AT&T. I used AT&T for years but I finally couldn't put up with their incompetent store staff -- and the fact that my local store had no place to sit and no bathrooms with a typical 45 minute wait.

    The Verizon store I changed to had separate marketing and technical staffs. the technical staff could fix most problems in a minute or two. And, oh yes, there's lots of space to sit and clean bathrooms. If you're going to run a retail store you need to know what pleases retail customers!
    amywohl
  • RE: Verizon Wireless quirks

    Please note that every speed "Promised" says UP TO. No speed is "Promised".
    brian0527
  • RE: Verizon Wireless quirks

    I was with Verizon for years until the last straw, a new Android that I was stuck with that had major problems. I went through 30 individuals and posted on the Verizon forums until the executive office of Verizon contacted me and offered me refunds, which I took. I am now with AT&T for my IPhone and I am very happy. I have never had a bad experience with AT&T, have had good customer service, and no problems with service. My husband's personal IPhone works where his company Verizon phone won't work.
    dragonflynda
    • RE: Verizon Wireless quirks

      @dragonflynda

      We left Cingular for the reasons you're describing. Have been on Verizon for over 5 years. No problems, no dropped calls, excellent service.

      Also, the tests have been done. You can drive across country and never lose service for VZW. That's just not true for AT&T.
      evilkillerwhale@...
  • RE: Verizon Wireless quirks

    YMMV
    ncted
  • RE: Verizon Wireless quirks

    If you have an android phone you have to deselect and hang each call up and not just hit the end call button on the phone which is android feature. Here in chicago Verizon 4G is constant right at 15-20 Mbps and my sprint 4G wi max is right at 8 Mbps.
    Fletchguy
    • RE: Verizon Wireless quirks

      @Fletchguy

      Consistently in the 20-25Mbps range in Atlanta.
      evilkillerwhale@...
  • RE: Verizon Wireless quirks

    Treo 700WX on Sprint hangs up both calls with END button.
    BRedmond@...
  • Dan Kusnetzky Quirks

    Better title. Expecting a long series of misunderstanding of every little thing with Dan. The comments are far better than the article. Maybe SJVN has a competitor!
    pmchefalo@...
  • RE: Verizon Wireless quirks

    I was with Sprint & then AT&T for years. They drove me mad with the "you can never say goodbye" routine; you know the one where the call is going to drop before you say goodbye. Anyway, I get fast customer service from Verizon and the fixes are sound. I have yet to get the old run-around. I get satisfactory to excellent service where ever I go, so considering what I have experienced in the past, Verizon is about as good as it gets. Also, they just seem more advanced, for example, in the fiber network they have as well as the way they do business, like having bathrooms for its customers. I am just not going back to AT&T. I would rather "sleep in a hollow log, and drink muddy water"--bb king.
    jlockhart@...
  • RE: Verizon Wireless quirks

    Thanks for sharing this news. Im a tech fan and i love reading news and information about latest technology trend. Glad i found your post. Awesome! <a href="http://2012wsop.com" title="wsop 2012">wsop 2012</a>.
    jayjay2011