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.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Verizon finally quotes Canadian roaming rate as $2.05 per MB!

Verizon has finally conceded and started to quote their roaming rates as "$2.05 per MB." It seems that reason has finally worked its way into their silly little heads.

I'm not sure when this revision was posted. A google cache search only goes back as far as Feb 9, 2007, so no luck there. I do know that back during all the controversy I tried to find the rates online and couldn't find them anywhere. My suspicion back then was that all the materials were pulled pending a review of this situation.

At any rate, at least they finally acknowledge that the correct and clear way to quote is per MB, while of course they still mention the $.002/KB first... go figure.

From: http://b2b.vzw.com/broadband/bba_terms.html

Additional Plan Information
Required Minimum Term, Activation Fees, and Early Termination Fee
• One- or two-year minimum term required
• Activation Fees: $35, except $25 for $59.99 BroadbandAccess Plan
• Early Termination Fee: Up to $175 per line

NationalAccess roaming in Canada will be charged at a rate of $0.002 per kb or $2.05 per MB. For more information on roaming in Canada, visit www.verizonwireless.com/naroaming.

Friday, February 9, 2007

America's Most Wanted - Verizon

Consumerist.com has a great new story about a guy who sued Verizon and won. In the process a warrant was issued for Verizon's arrest. (Thanks to Davman for the link.)

If anyone knows Verizon's whereabouts, or has had any contact with Verizon in the last few days you may want to alert your local authorities. ;)

Also, I wanted to update anyone still following the blog about Peter, the other known person to get screwed by the cents vs. dollars issue. A while back he initiated contact with Verizon for what I count would be the 10th or so time (Worry free guarantee my a$$) and the notes on his account must have been annotated galore - because according to him, it was like a completely different experience. They immediately took care of his problem. Better late than never, but wow.

I wonder if they shift some of their funds from commercials like "can you hear me now?" to customer service if their bottom line would increase or decrease.

Have a nice weekend!