I got a new iPhone 4S about a month ago. Two weeks ago, I reset the phone back to the factory setup and it took 18 hours to authenticate. I spent over 2 hours on the phone w/ VZW tech support, they escalated it to a network engineer (I use the term "engineer" loosely) and still nobody could figure it out. It finally just re-authenticated by itself and everything worked fine.
That is, until this week. Tuesday I tried sending a text message and it failed. I tried a few times, no luck. I tried a call and got a msg saying my phone could not be authenticated on the network. I noticed a while later that the number on the top of my contacts list was not my number. After beginning to get text messages for someone else (ends up it was the number showing up on my phone), I finally figured out that somehow, someone else got my number when setting up a new phone at the local VZW store. Don't ask me how that worked, but after doing a *228-1, it began working again. The person who ended up with my number was also getting my text messages but our voice function worked sporadically.
Anyway, I got VZW Tech Support to replace my iPhone with a Droid Razr which I got today. Since the network is down, I can't activate it. Unfortunately, once I tried, now my iPhone no longer works either. So at this point I am stuck with two practically brand new smart phones that do not work.
I am in Lexington, SC, by the way.
I'm most definitely NOT a VZW employee. If a post answered your question, please mark it as the answer.