I recently upgraded from a Galaxy S3 to an S6. This means going from a phone that due to old tech used 2 CDMA chips allowing the voice and data Verizon so readily touted several years ago. Problem is that the Galaxy S6 and now my Note5 only use 1 CDMA chip. This has revealed that Verizon's network, despite their own coverage maps saying I am clearly in a 4G LTE area, I never see 4G....for that matter even 3G. I am relegated to the dreaded "1X" and as such am unable to utilize data and voice simultaneously.
Having called tech support several times, Verizon's latest suggestion was to try a network extender for 2 weeks...at a "discounted" cost of $200. What a deal, but I agreed to try it and see if it would help. To the point, the network extender did allow me to "access data" while on a voice call, approximating 3G network speeds. However, when you step back and look at the facts, this appears to be a total con on behalf of Verizon. Take the following into consideration:
1) I am paying for Verizon service for 2 phones every month already....meaning I am paying to have access to their network as they advertised. Problem is that despite already paying them for this, now I am supposed to pay out of pocket for this device that is a Band-Aid at best just to get the service I am already paying for. How is that right?
2) Again, I am supposed to pay them for the monthly service on 2 phones and also foot the bill for this network extender.....but this network extender also costs me additionally in that it is taking up bandwidth that I am already paying a separate provider for. So they want me to pay for access to their coverage network (or should I say lack of coverage) monthly for 2 phones, charge me $200+ for this network extender, AND utilize MY own broadband because they are unable to adequately provide the coverage they state I should have and show on their own map as available....but magically doesn't exist for about a 1 mile radius around my home.
3) There is no 4G network extender available at this time so, using your own broadband connection you pay separately for, you are spending all this for 3G network speeds at best.
4) This network extender, which just seems to keep on costing more and more, directly or indirectly, doesn't provide all that much of an extension of the network. I tested coverage of the network extender from various locations inside and outside my home. The best this thing could do was about 47 feet....that doesn't even reach from the central location of the extender to all the bedrooms or attached garage. This thins certainly is getting expensive for being so limited in its capability.
5) For those people who they have conned into paying for this device, Verizon has actually cheated their customers in two ways: 1. they convinced their customers that this is something they should pay for to fix a problem that, with few exceptions, is a glaring deficiency in their own network coverage, and 2. In conning people into using this thing, Verizon is actually offloading paying customers and their devices that would otherwise be trying to access their network onto broadband services that these customers are already paying someone else for. This frees up, apparently much-needed, capacity on their network and the consumer is paying for it several times over.
So with all this I called Verizon support back and said that while it worked, and I am being generous with that statement, this is really Verizon's problem to resolve and not mine. I had fine coverage with an older phone that had separate CDMA chips for voice and data. I spoke to the representative and stated my argument and suggested that considering all this, the only option/compromise that I saw was that Verizon could simply provide the network extender for free and I would allow it to utilize my bandwidth in turn to help resolve the issue to everyone's reasonable satisfaction. Verizon absolutely refused saying it is the same as any accessory that I would have to pay Verizon for. So their argument is that this is an accessory.... one that I MUST use in order to have a tiny area of voice and data capability. So how is that an accessory? It isn't, Verizon is just too cheap or greedy to step up and do what they know they should when their coverage sucks despite what they have sold the consumer and provide this device.
Supposedly there was some ticket opened for our case which we were supposed to get a text regarding and which, much like Comcast, never actually happened. Needless to say they are getting this network extender back and we are going to pursue moving to another service since Verizon can’t provide adequate coverage they are obligated to allow us to break the contract. Does it seem ridiculous that at $150/month for a 2 year contract Verizon is shooting themselves in the foot by preferring customers to leave their service instead of simply providing a device that probably didn't cost them more than a single month's cost of service?
Does this seems like a con one would expect from Comcast or Time Warner? It certainly is not what I expected from Verizon.