Dear John: (An Open Letter to Verizon Wireless)

Dear Verizon Wireless,

We’ve spent the past seven years together and it’s been pretty o.k. We’ve had some good times. I remember when I first got you… (your name was Bell Atlantic Mobile back then). But you adopted this new name and a bunch of folks making “v signs” with their fingers made me feel a bit more comfortable. You had some o.k. devices — there was the wonderful Motorola 8160. Oh, how small and cute it was. Then we shared the V60, which was a nice change of pace. I didn’t know who LG was at the time, but I trusted you with the V6000 camera phone. And it paid off. We had a great year with that one.

Well, I’ll just say it. I’m leaving you. Actually did already. (You’ll see my unretrieved voicemails on the floor Monday morning.) Don’t cry, Verizon. It’s not you….it’s me. I needed more. I needed a change. Things weren’t happening with us. You weren’t paying attention to my needs. After seven years, I feel that I at least need to offer you an explanation….

It was after the V6000 that things started to change. The landscape of technical devices was changing. Devices were getting sexier….and you didn’t seem to care much about your appearance. Sure, the other companies didn’t have as wide and as strong a network as you did. But you stopped considering my needs. I’m a tech enthusiast. When a new device is coming out, I want in. And not a year later, either.

I was happy when you made the decision to exclusively carry the Motorola V710. It was a bit bulky, but a sexy device no less. You dishonesty about bluetooth and telling me that bluetooth was just a mechanism to talk via a wireless headset and not the technology that it truly is — a mechanism to transfer files, data, etc. — upset me. I was thinking that things were changing. But they weren’t. You were still moving ahead with your controlling ways.

My confidence in you hit an all time low when the other companies were courting the Motorola Razr and you were folding your arms in the corner and refused to sell it to me. You kept saying that the Razr breaks and that it’s not as sexy as I think it is. As if you knew what I wanted better than I did. Of course you secured the Razr about a year later, but the bad taste in my mouth was beginning to get really stale.

When I read the news that you were getting an exclusive deal for the Motorola Q, I was elated. I thought, “Finally, our relationship is taking a turn for the better. Verizon is listening to me. This is the sexiest device available and she’s paying so that only I could have it.” I felt so special. And I still have a special place in my heart for my Q. But then, something happened that would change everything…..

Apple approached you about a mobile communications device….and you sent them away.

How could you do this to me? Why would you have the most forward thinking consumer electronics and technology company in the world approach you and you turn them away? Did you hear nothing that I said about needing to feel that you were in touch with changes in technology? This was the “coup de gras” and you were turning them away.

I guess I should have seen this coming. If there was one thing that you always have been, it’s been stubborn…. You didn’t get the Motorola Razr until a year after it came out (and then only under customer pressure.) You never sought the sexy Samsung devices that everyone else was carrying. You probably sent Apple away because they wouldn’t let you put your ugly logo all over the phone. Or they wouldn’t let you put icons all over the interface and destroy the beauty of the experience. Or perhaps they wouldn’t let you put a million useless 3rd party revenue generating ringtone sales apps on the Home screen.

I’m not sure why, but you always felt the need to muck up the operating system on the devices. Motorola would ship a perfectly good device with a somewhat sexy interface, but before it would get into my hands, you’d slap your logo on it (and I’m sure you know that we all scratched it off) and then you created the most horrible, unintuitive user interface of any phone. You put al sorts of restrictions on the phone and prevented what we could do with it. I’m sure you heard my screams. Our screams. But instead, you chose to ignore us.

Maybe it’s for the best. Maybe you’ll have the business customer base that you seek….that is, of course, until the next sexy device comes out that you refuse to carry and then where will you be?

I’m writing you this because I want to try and help you. It would be nice to see you change one day. But I’ll be gone.

One thing I never quite understood was why you were so cheap? As strong as your network was, I’m sure that it took money. But for you to charge me so much for so little will always baffle me. Your nights and weekends always started at 9pm. When other companies were running promotions to try and get those times started earlier, never did I see you budge. “He’ll stay with us,” you said. “Where else is he gonna go?”.

Well, I’ve chosen AT&T. Yeah, I know — I was with her before. But she’s said that she’s changed. See, she’s learned that the best way to offer the service is to just stand out of the way and let the technology company handle the interface and the device. And she’s not as cheap as you. For the same thing you wanted to charge $90 for, she’s willing to offer for only $59. And she’s throwing in 200 Text Messages — something you wanted to nickel and dime me for. You learned about YouTube and saw the opportunity to charge me for something that I get free at home. These new folks saw YouTube as an opportunity to offer something free to add value to the device and to increase the acceptance factor. Sure, her broadband experience might not be as fast as EVDO, but at the rate that she’s charging, I think I can learn to deal with the slowness.

There are a bunch of other things I can mention — your customer service (in the stores that is — I’ve had a pretty good experience on the phones) is a joke. I’ve had people playing with their phones right in front of me while I tried to get information on a device. You even tried to charge me money to transfer numbers to my new device after I spent over $300 for a new phone right there in the store!! Was the $300 not enough to warrant data transfer?? I can go on and on, but I’m sure you get the point. One day I’m sure you’ll understand what I’m talking about. And maybe you’ll change your ways. Or maybe you won’t. It really doesn’t matter. What’s most important to me right now is that I have the phone that I want and that I’m paying a reasonable price for the service. We’ll see how this new relationship progresses with time. I’m sure that it will have it’s problems as well. I’m growing to learn that no relationship is perfect.

But one thing’s for sure. This new girl understands that technology advances are very important to me. And for me, that’s worth dealing with the problems.

With so many customers undoubtedly looking at this phone and waiting until their contracts expire because you aren’t soliciting and sexy devices the only question that remains is this: Can you hear us now?? Good.

Best Wishes in the Future,



2 Responses to “Dear John: (An Open Letter to Verizon Wireless)”

  1. 1 yes!
    August 17, 2007 at 4:28 am

    soooo true! i have a q on vw and it is restricted. the q is really only cool if you have a microsoft exchange account; which i no longer have. i wish vw would line up with apple and google but maybe it’s best if they stay away from my evil girlfriend until she’s ready to play fair on the rates.

  2. 2 Brian E. Panichelle
    December 14, 2007 at 10:33 am

    Change your picture link for this post. The owner changed the target. I don’t think you are gonna like it.

    He got me too.

    Brian E. Panichelle

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