Verizon Sells Customer Impossible KRZR

A base assumption of consumerism is that the product you buy will actually work. This, as we all know, is rank naivete. But it is also apparently naive to believe that the product you just purchased actually exists: it doesn’t.

Such was the metaphysical mind bender that confronted reader Kevin S. who recently purchased a Motorola KRZR from Verizon in Seattle. But upon contacting Motorola, he was shocked to discover that his phone was impossible. The KRZR does not exist in the States. It isn’t released. As Graham Chapman might say, It’s an un-phone.

So Kevin calls Verizon. They want to charge him $29.99 for the driver along with a “music pack” that he doesn’t need. If he just wants the driver, he needs to convince Motorola that their own phone exists.

Kevin’s email, after the jump.

Just a quick little mail, don’t even think this needs any further pursuing, just to let people know.

I picked up a KRZR from my local Verizon store in Seattle, great customer service there, as I was NOT eligble for an upgrade, but they gave me the upgrade price anyhow. This morning, I decided to plug my phone in to my computer, as it’s got a USB port. Windows XP correctly identifies my phone make and model, but can’t find a driver. Cool, the phone is new, I can understand that MS doesn’t have a driver yet for it. So, I check out motorola.com for a driver, only to be told that the phone is not released yet, and the web site will be updated when it is.

So, I took the next logical step, I called Moto directly, in the hopes that they would have some more information for me. After going through the usual routine of what model phone I had, and what I was calling for, I got to a live person in under two mintues. I asked the rep if there was any software available for my phone, to which he told me that the phone was not yet released, and therefore there would be nothing available for it. I told him that I had the phone in my hand, and he explained to me that sometimes phones get released to Asia before America, and had I gotten one of those phones, that the software would be available when the phone was released to this country. I then told him that I had picked up the phone directly from a Verizon store in Seattle, to which he told me that I need to talk to them to get the software I need. I’ve been around the cell phone block several times, I was a Verizon rep for many years during my tenure at (ack!) Radio Shack. I know that the big V will help me with software and apps that relate directly to the phone, not how the phone talks to the computer.

While I’ve been writing this email, I’ve been on the phone with Verizon customer service. I told the rep that I was looking for just the driver to the phone. He placed me on hold for a couple of minutes, telling me that he was talking to a ‘wireless advisor.’ When he came back on the line, he reiterated what I already know: If I want just the driver, then I need to talk to Moto directly. He did tell me that they have a music pack for $29.99 that includes everything I need, however, including headphones, a USB cable, and, oh gosh, the driver. So, this tells me that the driver for the phone is already available from Moto.

So, like I said up front, I don’t think this is a huge deal, more just the incompetance of big companies. I just thought that this might be an interesting read for a Sunday. Having that driver sure would be nice though!

Thanks for having a great blog!

Comments

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  1. exgratia says:

    Here’s the driver:
    http://developer.motorola.com/?path=1.2.6.30.867

    It’s for some reason easily available on Motorola’s developer network.

  2. marge says:

    i’m sure there must be SOME websites available to you where you can download these drivers. they might not all be in english, but that surely isn’t going to affect whether or not the driver itself works.
    if you know the model # of the phone, you can just type it into google and see what comes up. you will probably eventually find something that will work for you.
    whatever you do, don’t ever trust verizon to solve a problem for you. i’ve been in a cell phone contract with that company for a few years and nine times out of ten if i had a problem and spoke with a customer service rep about it, in person or over the phone, all they did was complicate it.

  3. tz says:

    If you can try a Mac or Linux, most phones are simply USB serial ports. Windows is a bit tight in that it won’t create a serial (COM) port unless it recognizes the magic values and strings. Linux just works (as does BitPim for my phones to edit contact, connection, etc.). Mac is usually between the two – they don’t cripple things, so if your chip is near (or can add the keynumbers to a similar driver – they are just XML files easily edited) it would work there too.

    Note there are boot-from-cd linux distributions so you could test things using it.

  4. I direct Kevin to here: http://www.howardforums.com/

    If anyone knows how to fix this problem, they’ll be at Howard forums.

    You may need the Verizon/Motorola PST software to bypass the issue that tz mentioned…if that is the case, contact me and I’ll point you in the right direction.

  5. Chairman-Meow says:

    I own a RAZR phone and wanted to be able to up/download pics, ringtones, etc. Since the phones (KAZR, RAZR, etc) have a simple 1394 port, I figured I could configure Windows to recognize the port so I could talk to the phone.

    It appears that Motorola has come sort of propritory comm protocol that connects the phone to 1394 port. I could get Windows to see the port but I could not do anything with it. Looked to me like the phone did not want to talk to the comm port.

    I ended-up buying the Motorola package for $29.95 in order to get it to work. Now I can upload & download with impunity.

    Much better than buying a stupid service from Verizon for xxx.xx per month just so I can swap files.

  6. RulesLawyer says:

    …he reiterated what I already know: If I want just the driver, then I need to talk to Moto directly.

    You’ve got a friend at the phone company: three-way calling. Put Verizon on hold, call Motorola, bring the Verizon guy back online, and wait for Motorola to tell you to talk to Verizon. Step back and listen to them duel it out.

    This worked very well for me when an Actiontec modem that Qwest provided me wasn’t working. They blamed each other, so I connected them, and resolved the issue (return the modem to Qwest) within a few minutes.

  7. kerry says:

    RulesLawyer is right. My dad did this with two airlines to get some confusion with a trip to China fixed. Worked like a charm, and no “you need to talk to them,” “No, we can’t help you, talk to them” crap.

  8. zl9600 says:

    Pretty funny that Moto doesn’t even know that Verizon is advertising the sh*t out of this phone online today. Every other banner ad is for this phone.

  9. exkon says:

    Maybe Moto’s website is just slow? I’ve heard commericals about the new KRZR. That’s really sad on how Verizon just won’t give you the damn driver.

    I would look online for Motorola Phone Tool 4.0(MPT). Its a fairly simple program that’s allows you to create your own ringtones, wallpaper, etc.

  10. Kangarara says:

    Sorry folks, John Cleese was the petulant pet-shop patron who purchased the parrot, not Graham Chapman.
    (I can’t believe that I’m the first one to point that out – does that make me the geek of the week?)

  11. d0x says:

    The KRZR didnt come out officialy in USA until Thursday at midnight (Friday), which is the day I bought mine. Before that they wont offer support for it and Motorolla shouldnt be blamed for a company selling their unreleased products early.

  12. Sarlac says:

    just go jack a copy of motorola phone tools from some friendly neighborhood bittorrent proggy

  13. randberger says:

    The drivers you want are Microsoft’s MTP (Media Transfer Protocol) drivers, and are bundled with Windows XP SP1 and higher, or updated when you download Windows Media Player version 10.

    To synchronize music, you can switch the phone from modem mode to “MTP” or “Sync” mode using the “Sync Music” application in the Music and Tones directory.

    There’s also a special phone number in the KRZR user manual that will get you to Moto’s top level tech support. They can probably help. Good luck!