For the past year or so, everyone in our household has noticed the Verizon Wireless service degrading. As in the reception and signal are not nearly what they once were. We must not be alone, as I have seen plenty of similar complaints online from all around the country.
The clueless folks at Verizon made many outlandish suggestions to us – most notably that we would need to upgrade our service to a newer plan because our older grandfathered plan was de-prioritized within their network. When I asked for further explanation, they told me that newer customers who pay for the top Unlimited plans get priority on their bandwidth. I’m not even sure this can technically be accomplished, but it sounded like complete nonsense and an insult to me. And the kicker was that when I recently asked to price out an Unlimited plan for my family, I was told they would first need to completely eliminate and terminate our current educator discount – just to give me an estimate. I asked the rep to repeat that because I thought I heard it wrong. And then she admitted it sounded “ridiculous” but that was the only way she could provide an estimate. I declined.
So I started shopping around for alternatives. Mind you, we are under contract until next summer while we pay off a phone that we bought at a huge discount. If we pay it off early, we must pay the full retail price for it – which is kind of outrageous.
One wireless company that’s intrigued me has been Mint Mobile, which essentially operates on the T-Mobile network at a large discount. For 99 cents, I ordered a SIM card starter kit that I could use for one week – getting 250 talk minutes, 250 texts and 250 MB of data. Mind you, T-Mobile used to not get a signal in our home but things have improved. And indeed, this past week it came in stronger than Verizon’s signal. But getting to this point was a bit convoluted. I have several extra phones lying around the house. I ran the IMEI number through Mint’s website to see if each phone was compatible, and they all were. However, the network didn’t work on the first two phones I tried it with because they were Verizon- and T-Mobile-specific phones that required those exact services to operate. Then I moved it to an old iPhone 6 and voila: instant connection.
Do you have a complaint about Verizon, such as hidden fees on your bill, lies by sales staff, or unsatisfactory service? Take your claim to FairShake, the consumer advocacy service.