We Switched To Verizon For Better Coverage, Just Got Dropped Calls And Terribleness

Image courtesy of (dooley)

Jonathan and his roommate both ditched AT&T at the same time in favor of Verizon. They’ve experienced years of spotty coverage and dropped calls nearly everywhere they went, and wanted Verizon’s famed ubiquitous rock-solid coverage. They brought home their new iPhones and discovered that instead of vastly superior coverage, they had incredibly craptastic coverage and even more dropped calls. Verizon representatives told them that was weird… their area is supposed to have great coverage. When Jonathan tried to wrangle a free femtocell out of Verizon for their trouble, Verizon wouldn’t budge. His roommate fled back to the less terrible coverage of AT&T, but Jonathan hasn’t made that leap.

I wanted to tell you about a Verizon nightmare my roommate and I have been living with for the past two weeks.

2 weeks ago, we both cancelled our AT&T contracts in favor of a new iPhone 5 on big red. We were thrilled to be leaving AT&T after 5 years of dropped calls, lousy coverage and no service at events like Coachella music festival, where Verizon had no issues. Even though we’d be losing our grandfathered unlimited data plans in exchange for 4gb plans, we didn’t care. We wanted coverage and reliability.

We ordered our iPhones on Verizon at midnight when the pre-order started, and received our phones the following week. Much to our dismay, Verizon service in not just our home, but the entire area around our home, was spotty (and that’s putting it lightly). In our house, our service cuts between 1-2 bars of LTE and zero bars of 3G. All calls made outside of a corner in our kitchen are dropped. While I experienced plenty of dropped calls on AT&T over the last 5 years, few, if any, have been at my home. Considering my office is downtown, my house is the only place I make calls after the work day. Not just to family, but I also field support calls for my job at home.

We reached out to Verizon on Twitter with hopes they’d offer a solution. Unfortunately, we got the stock answer of “odd… we show your area has full coverage!” Bollocks. I spent two hours on the phone with Verizon last night, pleading my case, to no avail. While my roommate and I were getting between 2mbit down and .5 up with 5 bars of LTE service in our house, friends who had stuck with AT&T for their new iPhones were getting 30-43mbit down and 20 up in the exact same spot.

Verizon sells a repeater box, which hooks up to your network at home and extends your coverage (they claim). The customer service rep on my call yesterday had led me to believe Verizon would foot the bill for this $250 device. I mean, you’d think they would, considering I can’t even make an undropped call in our house. You’d also assume they would since AT&T is known to give out their microcell boxes to customers who experience little to no coverage in their homes or offices. Once the rep passed me on to a technician, it was all downhill from there…

I was told (with what I assume was a straight face) that despite my claims, their maps and data showed we get coverage at our home and that 2 bars was sufficient. Mind you, these calls to the tech had to be returned twice, as my phone dropped 2 of the calls while speaking with him,

Even MORE damming evidence is the phone call I received from their tech, CONFIRMING I have little to now coverage in my area, and that there’s an issue going on. I’ve attached this voicemail for reference.

So where does this leave me? Well, my roommate has since switched back to AT&T (of course they wouldn’t let him back into his unlimited data plan, but he just wants coverage). He now happily has full service at our house with incredibly fast speeds. Someone by the initials “CB” running the Verizon Twitter handle wants me to pay $250 just so I can make a phone call in my home and extend their coverage to other people in my neighborhood they’re screwing. When I contested, he offered me a $50 discount. Granted, the tech over the phone last night offered me $100 off but I refuse to pay a penny. I should mention that these boxes require an active broadband connection to the internet, so leaving it on will tax my home internet plan as well, just so other people can use Verizon on my street and in my home.

I’m at a loss, and I don’t know what to do. I should note that I’ve worked in customer service and support for 5+ years, at Apple, startups, and most recently Google. Never, in my entire career, have I seen a customer treated this poorly.

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