Verizon Tech Support: Make Your Smartphone Stupider So It'll Work

Last fall, David upgraded his Verizon Wireless phone to the Samsung Fascinate, That’s a decently powerful Android smartphone with a decent processor and the ability to run all sorts of online apps. You wouldn’t know that if you were David, though. Even his warranty replacement phone is appears to be having software problems that make it unusable unless he uses it just for phone calls and texts, disabling everything else. That’s what Verizon support has advised him to do. Because that’s what people buy Android smartphones for.

In October 2010, I upgraded to a Samsung Fascinate. Since February 2011, I’ve been having problems with the phone. It regularly doesn’t receive calls, but a voicemail notification appears. I’ll set the phone down and it won’t lock, then random menus and screens come up without me touching it. I’ll go into the settings menu and it won’t let me exit. I’ll try to lock it manually, and it takes a screen capture.

After numerous phone calls and emails with Verizon Wireless, they replaced it with a refurbished phone in May. I’m having the same problems. One tech support person told me to just not download any apps on the phone (effectively making it a basic phone for phone calls and text messages only). This answer didn’t sit well with me. Why am I paying $100 per month for a phone that is only really good at texting and nothing else? I’m fed up with this and don’t know how to get my issue escalated. Tech support won’t let me talk to a supervisor and they always make me repeat myself to every rep I have to speak with.

Do any other Fascinate owners out there have similar problems, or is this an issue specific to David for some reason? In the past, Verizon Wireless has responded well to an executive e-mail carpet bomb, or a call to your “region president.”