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Verizon Wireless Support

A priceless experience, unless you're the customer.

Today, March 12, 2009, my phone's tethering capabilities broke. This happened in rather strange ways. While i was still able to get basic web (http), i couldn't ping and my Cisco VPN failed. My OpenVPN still worked, and i could still ping their DNS by IP. The ping resolved, but the packets didn't make it through. Now this not only happened on my Kubuntu box, but also in the Windoze 2000 VM that had VZAccess Manager installed.

Then i committed an act of desperation, i called Verizon Wireless "Support". Let's just say the experience was incredible and i would have given the world for a transcript so i could post it here. Aside from the fact that i was the one getting screwed [1], the conversation was absolutely priceless. Here are some highlights i remember. These are responses i got from the person responsible for providing support for Verizon 3G Wireless Data:

  • Oh, you actually got tethering on the storm to work? I could never get that working.
  • Maybe you should get a USB modem instead. (After the salesperson sold me an expensive phone with tethering capabilities more than 30 days ago).
  • OK, let's troubleshoot. First i need you to take the battery out for 2 minutes. (That was one of the more competent parts from the troubleshooting manual).
  • You are still running an old February activation. Please dial *22899 from your Blackberry Storm. (I think that was the part that actually fixed it).
  • What is ping?
  • What is UDP?
  • Would you like me to give you the number for Microsoft support?
  • Thank you for being so knowledgeable.
  • Wow, i learned a lot today.

And a few other's like that.

The general setting was that i had their VZAccess Manager running in a Windoze 2000 VM, since i was obviously not going to get help otherwise.

Well, it turns out that that Storm gets a bit mixed up when connecting and disconnecting sometimes. Try unplugging the cable and plugging it back in. I also noticed that the Cisco VPN client, which also isn't the brightest and hangs hard under SMP, has the occasional connection issues. Running /etc/init.d/vpnclient_init restart helps these.

The problems i experienced were with USB as well as Bluetooth.

I Verizon's defense, their support people were very friendly, but unfortunately incompetent. I was also on hold for a good 20+ minutes.

Also: Apparently i must dial *22899 once a month around the 12th so my phone doesn't go south.

[1]I consider being sold an expensive product that performs poorly being screwed.
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