Seemed like a good idea at the time.

Redbox Instant Streaming Service Is Dead

Redbox Instant seemed like a great idea when it launched at the beginning of 2013. A partnership between Redbox and Verizon, the service planned to compete with Netflix while offering one thing that Netflix couldn’t: bonus instant DVD rentals from Redbox’s in-person kiosks. It seemed like the two services could coexist happily. They couldn’t. Redbox Instant will shut down tomorrow night, at 11:59 PM Pacific time. [More]


Being In New Verizon Wireless Rewards Program Means Giving It Your Phone’s Location, Web Browsing Info

There’s no such thing as a free lunch, so it comes as no surprise that companies want a little something in return when they reward customers for staying loyal. Thus, the tradeoff at the center of Verizon Wireless’ new Verizon Smart Rewards system: Customers opt in to the company’s location-tracking/marketing program, Verizon Selects, and then earn points toward discounts on “brand-name” merchandise and deals at local restaurants, stores and offers on travel. [More]


When Verizon Unlimited Data Glitch Didn’t Glitch, They Help Me Out Anyway

We were happy to hear that Verizon Wireless decided to let customers who were able to upgrade their phones at a subsidized price while keeping their unlimited data plans keep those data plans. What happened, though, if someone thought that they were able to exploit that glitch and Verizon downgraded their data plan anyway? [More]

(Ninja M.)

What If Blackberry Customer Service Ran Other Things?

Alex uses a Blackberry Bold, and isn’t very happy with Blackberry right now. He was just minding his own business when the phone decided to over-the-air update itself, the update failed, and his phone just went ahead and wiped itself. When he called to complain, he says Blackberry virtually shrugged and told him that he should have uninstalled the app that caused the update problems. Even though it was an app that shipped with the phone. Alex wondered: what if other businesses ran things the same way? [More]


Verizon Store Still Won’t Sell Me A Smartphone Without A Contract

Greg recently fought a new battle in his ongoing war with Verizon. His war is in defense of a noble goal: over and over, he just wants to buy a phone for the full retail price without signing a new two-year contract. If this seems like it should be pretty straightforward, you don’t work at a Verizon corporate store. [More]

(Louis Abate)

Verizon And Asurion Cast Me Into Smartphone Replacement Purgatory

Smartphone replacement purgatory is a dreary and tragic state. When the tiny and fragile creatures called smartphones are defective, people who have come to depend on the pocket-sized computers and who are trapped in data plans are stuck. Their warranty or phone insurance plan might provide them with a replacement, and sometimes that replacement works fine. Other times, that replacement is just as their original phone, throwing the customer into a cycle of replacements that never ends. This is what happened to reader B. when she got a Motorola Droid less than two years ago. [More]

(Tom Raftery)

The $30 SIM Replacement Fee: When A Verizon Store Isn’t A Verizon Store

It was a really exciting time for reader Poochie’s wife. She was getting an iPhone 5. Yaaay! Once everything was set up in her brand-new phone, though, the SIM card failed. No problem: Poochie pulled out his own phone and asked his trusty friend Siri where to find the nearest Verizon store. That store wanted $30 to replace the SIM of a phone that was just out of the box and under warranty. If that seems unreasonable, that’s because… it is. [More]

Verizon Thinks My Wife Spent 10-Hour Roaming Call Talking To Co-Worker’s Voice Mail

Verizon Thinks My Wife Spent 10-Hour Roaming Call Talking To Co-Worker’s Voice Mail

RL isn’t arguing that his wife made a roaming call to a co-worker from a hotel in Venice, Italy. His dispute with Verizon wireless is regarding how long that call was. His wife says that it was ten minutes long. Verizon counters that it was ten hours and nine minutes. Considering that the call was to a voice mail box, that must have been an epic, almost close to the the actual meaning of the word “epic,” voicemail. [More]

Seemed like a good idea at the time.

Verizon’s Redbox Instant Video Service Launching New App For Xbox 360

Entering the already busy arena of online streaming video services, Xbox 360 announced yesterday that it’s teaming up with Verizon to offer the company’s Redbox Instant Video exclusively on its gaming consoles. It’s always good to have options, and it seems companies are going to continue coming up with competitors for Netflix, Hulu and Amazon’s video services. And when companies compete, we win. Hurray! [More]

Verizon Wants To Wean Me Off My Discount And My Unlimited Data

Verizon Wants To Wean Me Off My Discount And My Unlimited Data

Timothy is one of those lucky Verizon Wireless customers who still has an unlimited data plan. He also happens to get some pretty great discounts, and pays less for the four phones on his account with data plans than he would if he were to walk in off the street as a new customer today. If he wants to upgrade those lines, Verizon says that’s cool, but he’ll have to give up his discounts and go from his current unlimited plan to a limited one. [More]


Verizon & Coinstar Launching Redbox Instant Streaming Video Service This Month

Sure, finding a Redbox kiosk in your neighborhood might be pretty easy. But going anywhere to get a movie, even as far as your mailbox, much less getting in your car to drive somewhere, is so 2009, right? That need for instant access to movies is what’s leading Redbox owner Coinstar to hook up with Verizon to launch their very own video streaming service, set to debut later this month.  [More]

(oh, poppycock)

Report: Cops Want Wireless Carriers To Save Text Messages, You Know, Just In Case

That thing you texted to that person the other night which you deleted out of overwhelming shame the next day? Messages like that could be pored over in the future by cops if various law enforcement officials have their way. They’re reportedly asking Congress to make wireless carriers record and store customers’ private text messages for at least two years, in case police need that info for a future investigation. [More]


Verizon’s Proposed DVR Would Know You’re Still Sitting In Your Pajamas, Air Ads For Real Pants

You won’t have to worry if Verizon can hear — or see — you now, if the company’s dream of a set-top box that could monitor all the activities  inside your home becomes a reality. The company has filed a patent for a DVR system that would be used as a tool to then target customers with ads based on their daily doings. Which means I’d get a lot of ads for pajama jeans. [More]

Call your Region President.

Consumerist Tips Helped Reader Get More Than $200 Back From Verizon

Mischelle was trapped. Her son picked out a new subsidized phone from Verizon Wireless, and in doing so lost his unlimited plan. He could live with a metered plan. What he didn’t know was that Verizon would retroactively change his previous month’s usage to the new plan. He took full advantage of unlimited data while he had it, which meant that his mom was on the hook for 14 gigabytes of data at $15 each. Verizon’s best offer? A $50 refund. Mischelle wasn’t going to let that stand. [More]

Hey, Verizon And Motorola, I Want My Ice Cream Sandwich

Hey, Verizon And Motorola, I Want My Ice Cream Sandwich

Reader GC owns an Android tablet purchased from Verizon Wireless. Customers were promised that the device would receive an update to the latest version a newer version of the Android operating system, called Ice Cream Sandwich, by now. The promised update has come for the larger version of the tablet, the Droid xyboard, but not for its little brother. Sure, GC could jailbreak the device, but why do that and void the warranty when the update was supposed to be here by now? [More]

Will You Be Able To Take Your Unlimited Data Plan With You If You Upgrade To iPhone 5?

Will You Be Able To Take Your Unlimited Data Plan With You If You Upgrade To iPhone 5?

Yesterday, Apple went through its occasional ritual of taking an hour to go over every minute detail of its new phone. But what wasn’t mentioned in that overlong introduction to the iPhone 5 was what it means for the folks who still have unlimited data plans from back in the day. [More]

How I Finally Escaped Verizon's Droid R2D2 Smartphone Replacement Purgatory

How I Finally Escaped Verizon's Droid R2D2 Smartphone Replacement Purgatory

Like many of our readers, Elizabeth is sort of a nerd. When a special edition of Motorola’s Droid smartphone came out that’s dressed up to look like actual fictional ‘droid R2D2 from “Star Wars,” she took the opportunity to upgrade. Critics say that the phone is just a painted-up Droid 2, but Elizabeth liked it. Well, she liked it until a week or so later when it stopped working properly. That’s when Verizon encased her in carbonite and cast her into Smartphone Replacement Purgatory. [More]

I Get A Replacement Phone, Verizon Fakes My Death

I Get A Replacement Phone, Verizon Fakes My Death

Douglas has been a customer of Verizon Wireless and its ancestor companies for more than 20 years. He’s an executive at a company that cuts Verizon a five-figure check every month for employees’ devices. You’d think that they would be interested in making sure that he’s always happy, but not so much. When his phone stopped working, they didn’t send him to smartphone replacement purgatory: they killed him. Well, they suspended his account in a way that made it look like he had died. [More]