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 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!

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.