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Frequent Travelers Are Verizon Fans

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Anonymous
July 21, 2004 2:28:29 PM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.verizon (More info?)

http://www.pcworld.com/news/article/0,aid,116955,00.asp

Frequent Travelers Are Verizon Fans

Airline personnel say they've tried 'em all--and praise one cell phone service's reliability and support.

Emily Kumler, Medill News Service
Tuesday, July 20, 2004

WASHINGTON -- In the never-ending search for a cell phone service with truly reliable, wide coverage and fast and dependable
customer support for a bargain price, it seems appropriate to check with people who are paid to roam.

For cell-phone-using flight attendants and pilots consulted in a random survey, Verizon is the overwhelming choice.

Consistency Cited

"It picks up everywhere, even in this airport, even downstairs in the crew room," says Laura Walker, a flight attendant with
Chautauqua Air, at Ronald Reagan National Airport in suburban Washington.

Walker switched from Sprint after September 11, 2001. "There were dead spots all over the place even days after the attacks," she
says. Now a Verizon customer, Walker says she hasn't been caught by surprise by any mysterious charges. "I've used it in Canada and
I know exactly what the bill will be, whereas Sprint charges all kinds of roaming charges," she says.

Steve Graffi, a first officer who often flies US Air Shuttles, is a kind of mobile phone connoisseur. Having tried AT&T, Sprint, and
Nextel, Graffi embraces his relationship with Verizon. He even convinced his parents to sign up with the carrier.

"I found Sprint to have pretty bad signal strength, and its customer service was horrible," Graffi says, complaining that Sprint's
automated system was tricky to maneuver around and if employees took the call they often didn't know the answers to his questions.

"When they didn't know the answers they would sometimes hang up on you," Graffi adds. "They told me they were building new
towers--it was just a way to get people off their backs."

Sprint spokesperson Jennifer Walsh says the company has made customer service a top priority. Sprint has changed its automated
answering system, making it easier to reach a person, she says.
"In the 2004 budget we've allotted $2.4 billion to increase wireless coverage," Walsh adds. "The number of dropped calls has already
decreased." The company feels "very positive" about the service it provides, she says.

Competitive Lures

Graffi's cell phone is the only phone he has, so he says it must be reliable and meet his needs. His Nextel phone lacked the
features he needed, like an alarm clock--so he ditched it after a week.

Pleased when Verizon offered him a $100 rebate for his Sprint phone, Graffi signed up for a comparable package at a similar price.

"I've never stayed with a company past my contract. This was the first time I ever did," he says about his continuing relationship
with Verizon.

According to a Verizon spokesperson, the company has invested $4 billion yearly on increasing network coverage since it became
Verizon Wireless in 2000.
"We've worked hard for years on blocking and tackling to have a high-quality network," says Jeffrey Nelson, a Verizon
representative. "Verizon tests the living hell out of devices before they go to market. We are delighted to be recognized for our
efforts."

While Graffi is impressed with Verizon's coverage, service, and pricing, he continues to keep an eye open for unexpected costs.

"I spent a couple of overnights in Wilmington [Delaware], where it's in an extended network, so I'll see on the next bill if they
charged me for it," he says, adding that Verizon has been good about fixing billing problems in the past.

He also hopes Verizon will offer a flat monthly fee for unlimited service someday. Currently paying $40 monthly, Graffi says he is
willing to pay as much as $60 for the peace of mind of never worrying about exceeding his allotted minutes.
Anonymous
July 21, 2004 8:07:15 PM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.verizon (More info?)

Richard Ness <richardno@damnspam.nessnet.com> wrote:

> He also hopes Verizon will offer a flat monthly fee
> for unlimited service someday. Currently paying $40 monthly, Graffi says he is
> willing to pay as much as $60 for the peace of mind of never worrying about exceeding his allotted minutes.

What an idiot. "I love that I have great service, I just don't want to pay
for it."

--
JustThe.net Internet & New Media Services, http://JustThe.net/
Steven J. Sobol, Geek In Charge / 888.480.4NET (4638) / sjsobol@JustThe.net
PGP Key available from your friendly local key server (0xE3AE35ED)
Apple Valley, California Nothing scares me anymore. I have three kids.
July 21, 2004 11:02:29 PM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.verizon (More info?)

Steven J Sobol wrote:

> Richard Ness <richardno@damnspam.nessnet.com> wrote:
>
>
>>He also hopes Verizon will offer a flat monthly fee
>>for unlimited service someday. Currently paying $40 monthly, Graffi says he is
>>willing to pay as much as $60 for the peace of mind of never worrying about exceeding his allotted minutes.
>
>
> What an idiot. "I love that I have great service, I just don't want to pay
> for it."
>
Damn, Steve. You are always so calm and easy going, I can't believe you
called someone an idiot. Not that such an exclamation is not in order
for a few of the people here; like the ones who think Verizon walks on
water. Tom
Anonymous
July 21, 2004 11:02:30 PM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.verizon (More info?)

Tom <tom@cox.net> wrote:

>> What an idiot. "I love that I have great service, I just don't want to pay
>> for it."
>>
> Damn, Steve. You are always so calm and easy going, I can't believe you
> called someone an idiot. Not that such an exclamation is not in order
> for a few of the people here; like the ones who think Verizon walks on
> water. Tom

Calm? Easy-going? Check my posting history on Google Groups. sjsobol at
JustThe.net, sjsobol at nstc.com, sjsobol at nacs.net are the three addresses
I've used over the past 8-9 years. (The three I've used the most, anyhow.)

I try not to flame people, but I often fail to try hard enough. :) 

But really, I think that the desire for flat-rate is stupid. First, it's
a big money loser, which is a big deal for Verizon who claims to spend billions
every year on network upgrades. Second, you end up with lots of people rushing
to sign up with you and the network ends up in a meltdown. Northcoast PCS is
one of three or four regional carriers that offers $40/month flat-rate local-
area cellular calling, and I signed on with them a month after they launched
(in April 2001). About a year later, I couldn't keep from dropping calls on
Interstate 90 between Lakewood, a largish suburb, and downtown Cleveland. ETR
was about six months, according to customer service.

Granted, there are companies that make it work. Cricket and MetroPCS do
flat-rate unlimited local calling, prepaid like Northcoast, in certain markets.
Alltel does prepaid flat-rate unlimited in some markets, and in Cleveland you
can get a postpaid account and pay $69.95 per month for unlimited home-area
airtime.

Cricket and Metro and
NCPCS don't let you roam. You pay up front for long distance. On the Alltel
postpaid account you pay for long distance, and if you roam you pay per minute
for roaming and long distance just as you would on a regular plan.

But I think it would be a horrible, horrible idea for Verizon to launch an
unlimited plan. We are ALREADY seeing growing pains in certain markets - how
about all those recent complaints from NYC? The growing pains are a result of
Verizon gaining a buttload of business as Wireless Local Number Portability
took hold. It'll be *much* worse if they start offering an unlimited plan.

So, my slam was based in fact, not just the desire to call someone stupid. :) 

--
JustThe.net Internet & New Media Services, http://JustThe.net/
Steven J. Sobol, Geek In Charge / 888.480.4NET (4638) / sjsobol@JustThe.net
PGP Key available from your friendly local key server (0xE3AE35ED)
Apple Valley, California Nothing scares me anymore. I have three kids.
!