For several years now, we’ve been paying an exorbitant phone bill. Verizon enjoyed charging us $185 per month for two phones and unlimited data. When I’d ask the assistants in the Verizon store in town, “Can’t you lower this bill?” their answer was, “Oh, sure! When you’ve paid off your phones, it will go down $20 a month.”
A friend said she and her husband used the new Spectrum Mobile carrier and were only paying $28.50. They had no complaints. That sounded good to me, so I called Spectrum. I got a pleasant young woman in South Carolina. “Oh, you don’t need unlimited data based on your usage,” she told me. “You’ll be fine with the $28 plan, and if you use more data, it’s only $14 a gig.”
I signed us up.
A few days later, the new Spectrum SIM cards came in the mail, and my trials began. First, I had to figure out how to get our phones out of their cases and open the iPhones. I mastered those tasks. Then I was supposed to go online to Spectrum and follow the directions to activate the phones. Easy, right? No way.
Before we could activate our phones, we had to have them unlocked. In order to unlock the phones, we had to pay them off. That made sense. But no, we couldn’t pay them off on the phone, we had to go to the store.
At the Verizon store, a youngish guy with an ineffective mask took my money and announced we were paid and clear to go. However, I didn’t escape the store without a dire warning from the manager that I would be sorry sorry sorry to leave Verizon, because Spectrum had lousy service. And those fools who had left Verizon had come slinking back.
Back online to Spectrum I went, and discovered that my husband’s phone was unlocked, but mine wasn’t. I was told to contact Verizon.
Have you tried to contact Verizon? It is not easy. I spent about four hours that afternoon, first chatting with two different Verizon chat people. Finally, one said, “Oh, no, we can’t unlock your phone from here. You have to call the tech support guy.”
Well, the tech support guy messed around for a while and finally said that something that sounded like “FIMA” wasn’t unlocking so I should call the super-tech. I spent about another hour with the super-tech (who happens to live in Arkansas and has two grown girls and came from New Zealand—we had a lot of wait time). He eventually had me erase everything and start over. Unlocked?
I went online later that night and Spectrum advised me to call my carrier because I needed a “number transfer pin.” I was borderline hysterical by now, so I waited til the next morning.
First thing, I called the number Spectrum messaged me, and got the information that, as of three weeks ago, Verizon was requiring these number transfer pins. If you call Verizon to get one, the recording just tells you to go online. That’s when I discovered that we’d been messing around with my phone so much that I couldn’t access my Verizon account.
I called the Verizon tech support, waited on hold for another long while, and finally got Amy. I burst into tears while explaining my problem. She put me through a long list of steps, downloading the Verizon app, resetting passwords and account owners and on and on. Finally that was straightened out. But could she give me the precious PIN? No. I had to get it online.
At this point, I was terrified. I’d had two new passwords and reset things and I was afraid to push a key and get locked out of my account again (back to square one). But, blessings upon us, I managed to navigate to the right place and click on the right icon, and LO! Verizon messaged me my PIN.
What a nightmare! I do suspect that Verizon makes exiting difficult so that customers will just give up and keep paying. However, we appear to be free for now. Whew.