I tried to email Verizon through the wireless website about a problem with my LG POS. I selected my topic from the drop down menu…
Topic: Phones and Accessories
Subtopic: Phone is Not Working [sic creative capitalization]
…and was presented with this:
While there’s little I can tolerate less than bad customer service—perhaps the most valuable business tool there is and the easiest to way to get and maintain customer loyalty—I find the meta-irony of these instructions endlessly amusing.
Thank you, Verizon, the aloof, elusive hipster of wireless communication.
I recently got a software upgrade for my piece of shit phone from Verizon. The upgrade did nothing to address the irritating little problem that causes the phone to spontaneously shut off. It did, however, randomize all my photos and change, of all things, the order of operations in predictive text. Moreover, it dissed the comma, one of my top five favorite punctuation marks.
It’s not enough that I have to unwire the muscle memory that I’ve developed using T9 for years, I’m also dealing with the conspicuous short-shrifting of the trusty comma. Once just a single “Next” press after the default period, the comma is now a full five keystrokes down the line, after the @ sign, question mark, exclamation point and hyphen, in that order.
The comma is oft unappreciated, but to be considered inferior to the @ sign and the hyphen? A second class citizen, just one step up from an ampersand? It’s a sad, sad state of affairs.
Commas make your text(s) more readable. And they make you look smarter. (Bonus!) This is a call to action, folks. Don’t forsake the comma. Keep ’em coming, please.
Now I’ll return to quietly seething. Thank you.
Last week AT&T wireless head Ralph de la Vega revealed that dropped calls and spotty service on AT&T’s 3G network isn’t really the company’s fault: It’s yours. For using your phone in the first place.
Betraying a sinister Obamarxist agenda, de la Vega told the Telegraph that 3% of users account for 40% of the network’s data capacity, and that the only way to relieve the crunch is to dissuade the bandwidth bourgeoisie from using their phones so much:
We’re going to try to focus on making sure we give incentives to those small percentages to either reduce or modify their usage so they don’t crowd out the other customers in those same cell sites….What’s driving usage on the network and driving these high usage situations are things like video, or audio that keeps playing around the clock. And so we’ve got to get to those customers and have them recognise that they need to change their pattern, or there will be other things that they are going to have to do to reduce their usage.
Hear that, paying customers? Quit using all those apps the iPhone is specifically designed to provide you. (Ahem, please continue buying them, just don’t, you know, like use them.) Or else.
Or else what? Well, or else you’ll probably have to pay more — in a structured data plan, say — for service that will inevitably stay the same, or get worse. Or you can switch to Verizon, should they ink a deal to sell iPhones when AT&T’s exclusivity agreement ends. Then you can wait until the current self-proclaimed leader in 3G service nationwide finds itself overwhelmed with app-happy screen-touchers and turns the finger back on you.
Verizon did a bang up job with its There’s a Map for That commercials, lambasting AT&T’s shitty nationwide 3G coverage. So the latter, naturally, sued to get the ads off the air, on the grounds that they mislead the viewer into thinking that if you’re not in a 3G zone you can’t get any service at all. Nice try, but no cigar. Engadget this week commented on Verizon legal’s nanny-nanny-boo-boo rejoinder:
Sure, Verizon’s doubled down on the 3G map ads in response to AT&T’s false advertising lawsuit, but eventually the company’s lawyers had to file a response and, well, ain’t nobody backing down in this one. Here’s the freaking introduction:
AT&T did not file this lawsuit because Verizon’s “There’s A Map For That” advertisements are untrue; AT&T sued because Verizon’s ads are true and the truth hurts.
Yeah. It’s gonna be like that. Verizon goes on to argue that even AT&T concedes the maps are accurate, and that pulling any of the ads off the air without proof that they’re misleading consumers would be unfair, and that at the very least both parties need time to investigate further. Honestly? We’ve read it over a couple times now and while the legal arguments are certainly interesting, it’s hard not to get the impression that Verizon drafted this response with publication in mind — check out this quote:
In the final analysis, AT&T seeks emergency relief because Verizon’s side-by-side, apples-to-apples comparison of its own 3G coverage with AT&T’s confirms what the marketplace has been saying for months: AT&T failed to invest adequately in the necessary infrastructure to expand its 3G coverage to support its growth in smartphone business, and the usefulness of its service to smartphone users has suffered accordingly.
See what we mean?
Booya. Pretty entertaining stuff. Maybe they should put their lawyers on their next ad campaign. Of course, their money might be better spent making phones that can utilize Verizon’s extensive 3G coverage, without sucking. Cue the Droid.
For all its pros, the enV2’s slicker younger sibling has got plenty of cons. Read on for the good, the bad and the just plain weird.