Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Verizon - "It's On" - but watch out for your genitals!

At the risk of really looking like a Verizon basher, I wanted to mention something I just noticed regarding a recent Verizon television ad.

The ad is for Verizon home phone service, and the theme is "It's on". The message of the ad tries to imply that during a power outage their subscriber's phones remain "on", while phones on their up and coming competitor's VoIP systems will presumably be "off".

It reminded me of a skit on one of my all time favorite shows Mr. Show with Bob and David. If you haven't seen this show you should really check it out on DVD. Anyway, the skit is about dueling grocery stores. The instigator store starts the ad duel with stating "we always have plenty of apples", slowly evolving to something along the lines of "your kids will never be abducted in our store." Meanwhile the other store has to jump through hoops to fight the implications of the ads - including an expensive child tracking security system including electronic child collars...

Back to the Verizon ad, all throughout the ad the Verizon customers are happily using their phones and we are supposed to assume that it wouldn't matter with Verizon whether or not the power was out. Of course I find it interesting that most if not all of the "customers" shown are using cordless phones (not mobile phones, cordless home phones). The last time I checked when the power goes out the base station powers off rendering cordless phones as useless as a phone plugged into a cable VoIP phone - a little oversight there maybe?

If you really cared of course you could buy a UPS (uninterruptable power supply) and plug your cordless into that to provide a stop gap for 30 minutes or more during a temporary outage, but of course then you could also do the same with your cable phone equipment - generally speaking your cable connection doesn't drop during a power outage any more than your phone would.

The one semblance of a point and advantage they have left is that if you used a corded phone you would in fact not require power whatsoever - landline corded phones are powered by the phone line itself.

I find it notable and interesting the minor angle Verizon has chosen in this case to spend its marketing dollars on.

For my dollar I vote for VoIP technology - its cheaper and more importantly its safe - it doesn't cause sterility, cancer, birth defects or genital shrinkage.

9 comments:

Steve said...

Most cable company equipment has a backup battery in it that lasts at least 4 hours. On another note verizons' new FIOS service is in the same boat as other voip providers - It relies on utility power at the premises. There is a small ups they install that keeps the equipment up as well but it's kind of the case of the pot calling the kettle black.

Ramie said...

Not sure about 4 hours. But my FIOS Internet/TV/Telephone box has a built-in 90 minutes of fail-safe power.

That's what they sort of mean; but really once that box is out, you still lose your phone. The problem even WORSE than current analog landlines, because your box can no longer decipher the digital voice signals.

Just a thought said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Just a thought said...

Try tapping out the morse code with the receiver by banging it against the wall. But really, I am enjoying my Voip service from ecr for about five months so far. Works great with the cable internet connection.

I somehow winded up at your blog after reading a hilarious post that linked here. It was about the guy that wrote a check to Verizon....

Anyhow, I really enjoyed reading your blog. Have a great weekend!

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Payback said...

Everyone is forgetting one very important thing with all of this. U.S. Federal Law requires all phone lines to work regardless of phone service to be able to contact emergency services, such as 911. So, regardless of whom has your phone service, keep 1 corded phone always connected to the phone lines that come into your home, and if the power goes out for a while, you will still have access to 911. Other than that use your cell phone, that still works as long as it has been charged and if not charge in your car.

Logan said...

It could be because VOiP solutions that require a running computer like skypeout won't work if you're computer doesn't have power.

Vogrin said...

Actually (speaking from experience in Time Warner tech support), there's a good chance the the cable _will_ be down in a power outage. The cable has to have power at the node, and if the whole neighborhood goes down, the node's going to be down too.

Time-Warner used to offer UPS equipment for it's VOIP modems, just to address this. They stopped doing it because most of the power outages were taking down the node as well, making the UPS useless. So they stopped offering the UPS, and simply started advising customers that they could get one of their own, but it would still fail if the whole neighborhood lost power.

Michael said...

Actually, my cordless phone has a second battery in the base. If you're talking, and the battery in the phone dies, you can swap the two and keep talking. During a power failure, the second battery will run the base for a few hours before it dies. Pretty cool actually.