For the past two months, my Samsung phone had not been receiving text messages correctly—it cut out the majority of the words for incoming text messages. I realized this only happened with friends who used an AT&T smartphone. So I went to the Elizabethtown (PA) Verizon store and told them the problem, and that I felt I needed a new phone. They quickly suggested the iPhone. But I did not want an iPhone. Or the $30/month data fee that comes with it. So they quickly recommended a phone that looks like a Smartphone but is actually not a smartphone. It cost $150, but had a $20 mail-in rebate. The Verizon guy reminded me that I had two weeks to decide whether or not I liked the phone, so I may want to wait to send in that rebate slip, just in case I wanedt to return the phone. He would also give me $5 for my old phone if I wanted to participate in their phone recycling program. He assured me all my contacts would be erased in the recycling process. So I gave him my old phone for $5, and purchased the new one. It was still cheaper than paying $360 a year for a data plan. After I purchased the phone, he slid a piece of paper in front of me and told me to sign on the line, indicating I'd been told that there would be a $30 upgrade fee on my next Verizon bill. Incredulous over this, I I asked him what the fee was for? He tried consoling my by assuring me that Verizon is the last company to instate this kind of fee. I guess that was supposed to soften the blow.
It's important to note that not ONCE did these sales reps try to troubleshoot my texting problem. All they wanted to do was sell me a new phone.
I left the store with my new dumb phone, and texted my friend to let her know that I'd gotten a new phone, and I should be able to read all of her texts now. But guess what happened when she replied? Her texts were still cut off. So I returned to the Verizon store and let the guys know that this new phone had the same issue. The Verizon guys had no clue what was wrong, so they called their super and explained the issue. They put me on the phone with the super. The super had to do some research, but finally said that I needed to tell my friend, and anyone else using an AT&T iPhone with whom I communicate, that they must go into their settings on their iPhone and turn off iMessage so that I can read their entire text message. The super waited on the phone while I got my friend to do this and text me back. Sure enough, her message came through intact. Hence, I now had no need for a new phone, since the cut off text messages were not due to an error with my Samsung Intensity II. I told the Etown Verizon guys that I wanted my old phone back. They said sure, and retrieved my old dumb phone. My contacts were still conveniently all on the phone. I was able to return the new dumb phone, but of course I had to pay a $35 restocking fee.
So now I have to ask all my AT&T/iPhone-using friends to turn of iMessage so that I can read their text messages in their entirety. I still have my old dumbphone, and I am out $35. The Elizabethtown Verizon sales guys made $35 for doing absolutely NOTHING to help me. I should have just called Verizon myself. I will not be dealing with that store again.
As soon as my contract with Verizon runs out in April of 2014, I will ending all service with Verizon and switching to AT&T.
I’m beginning to think it’s true that those of us who don’t want internet access on our phones will soon be unable to communicate with those who have smart phones. Unless of course we just use our phones for their original intended purpose, which is to actually talk to someone.