Wednesday, February 24, 2016

An Open Letter to Verizon Wireless

Dear Verizon Wireless,

I fell in love with you all over again last week. I’ll admit, my love for you was waning a little, especially after our trip to Europe this summer. I brought you along to help with navigation and translation. Your translator function did great helping me order beers, and your map navigated us successfully across four countries and back, but I have to say, you were expensive.

You lured me in with your economical international voice and data plan, but then once we were actually in Europe, you kept charging me another thirty dollars every two days because my wife’s phone was using too much data. Your text messages were less than helpful. “We are charging you thirty dollars because this phone exceeded the data allowance” isn’t very useful when we have no idea what one phone was doing differently than another. A message more like “Tell your wife to stop playing Candy Crush until you get to Germany” would have been much more informative.

Europe aside, we had a great year with the new phones, but my love for you took a big hit a few weeks ago when my phone stopped being a phone. I guess at this point what I carry around in my pocket is tough to call a ‘phone’ anymore. It’s really an amazingly small television set that also has an amazingly good camera that also lets me read books, and read and send emails and texts, and allows me access to Facebook and Twitter and Instagram, and lets me order things and track them to my doorstep on Amazon Prime, and keeps track of my entire life with an amazing calendar feature, plays all my music, and lets me search literally the entire world’s collective store of information while I sit on my toilet, and also happens to have a phone feature.

I know some of the kids out there don’t even know or care that these things come with a phone feature anymore, but I’m over forty and still communicate with voice, so the phone part is still important to me. Especially since we got rid of our home phone last year. I know what you’re thinking – “What’s a home phone?” Never mind.

Anyway, my phone stopped being able to make calls without the person on the other end of the line sounding like I called a fax machine. I know what you’re thinking – “What’s a fax machine? And the other end of what line? What’s he talking about?” Never mind.

Frustrated, I arrived at your store at 10:01 A.M., which had opened at 10:00 A.M. I was fifth in line. I waited an entire ten minutes (I know, right?) before I was called to one of your space age-looking white oval desks and helped by your guy Jared. I explained the problem with my phone and tried to hand it to him. He didn’t want it. He just started typing on his handheld tablet.

“Do you have any kind of warranty on the device?”

Device? What happened to phone? “I didn’t purchase a warranty plan for this one. I bought an extended warranty for my wife’s device because she sits on it all the time. Hers works great, except in Europe.”


“Never mind. No, I don’t have an extended warranty.”

“OK, because this device only came with a one year warranty, and you’ve had it longer than that.”

Here we go. This is where you’re going to tell me I need to give you $400. I will end you and your hipster sideburns, Jared.

“No problem, though. We’re in open enrollment right now, so I can add a device protection plan to your account and get you a new device coming.”


Tap. Tap. Tap. “OK, your new device will arrive at your house tomorrow. Is there anything else I can do for you?”

“Uhhhhhh. No. I think that will do it. Thanks. By any chance, does Verizon have a health insurance branch?”


“Never mind. Have a great day!”

Sure enough, my replacement ‘device’ arrived the next day. I used Samsung Smart Switch just like Jared told me to do and it worked great. An hour later I was up and running with a new device, ready to proclaim my undying love for you from the mountaintops.

Sure, the replacement device shut itself off and rebooted a few times during the switch over, but I chalked that up to all the updating of apps and whatnot and so forth. It’s all very technical.

Then it kept shutting itself off and rebooting, and freezing up.

Hmm... This is actually starting to feel more like health insurance after all. My replacement device now makes great phone calls, but nothing else works right.

Yes, my replacement device is broken.

I read the fine print. The device you received may be a reconditioned Certified Like-New Replacement... I’m falling out of love with you again at this point. My original device worked fine when it was new. This is nothing Like-New.

Back to your store I went yesterday, making sure to arrive at 9:50. I was first in line when the door opened promptly at 10:00 A.M., and I was walking out the door at 10:06 with a second replacement device on its way. Fareed was faster than Jared, and his shoes and sweater were Verizon red. Jared was in all khaki and white. He’d better watch his step. Fast Fingers Fareed is gunning for top dog in Verizonville.

Triple-F has once again fanned the flame of my love for you, as my second replacement device arrived on my doorstep today.

I hope this one behaves Like-New, or you and Jared and Fareed and I are going to have to go to counseling.

Fingers crossed,


Copyright © 2016 Marc Schmatjen

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  1. Should have waited to see if the new, rather like new second device worked, otherwise I feel like you would still be writing. Webmaster RPYB

  2. So far, so good. Made the SmartSwitch last night and it seems to work fine. I'm typing this on it right no

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