FCC Takes Aim at Verizon Wireless.

It’s about time.  I mean, really.  Here’s my two cents:

For the most part, Verizon Wireless is OK… but that’s it, it’s just OK.  I don’t love them as a company.  In my opinion, VZ has the best network of any of the major carriers, hands down.  Calls aren’t dropped, call quality is pretty good, coverage is unmatched, and service outages rarely happen (2 in 12 years of VZ service, by my count.)  All that is good.

However, the rest is lackluster, at best.  Here’s a laundry list of what I hate about VZ:

The logo.  It’s visually offensive and meaningless, and hopelessly uncool.

The stores.  What’s with giving each representative an 18″ clearance at the counter.  When I visit the store, I can smell the breath of the customer next to me, we’re so close.  I hate that. I also hate the Red, Black, and Blue store interiors.  Again, visually offensive and hyper-male.  Cool if you’re a headbanger in the 1970s living in your parents’ basement.  Not cool if you’re a tech-savvy telcom company in the 21st century.  How about pink, orange, or aqua instead?

The website.  Is just horrible.  Information design is non existent, and codes abound.  Even though I can access information, I’m really not sure what AC400 FREEDOM PLAN 6/04 means.  Especially because it isn’t spelled out anywhere on the site.

Voicemail.  I hate the voice, I hate having to put in a password, and I hate having to pay for it.  I dumped VZ voicemail for YouMail (excellent) and then for Google Voice (even better).  Haven’t regretted it for a second.

Obsession with ZIP Codes.  I hate having to put my ZIP code in every time I sign in to the VZ site.  Is this some kind of identity theft prevention thing?  Don’t they already know my ZIP code?  Can’t they guestimate my location from my IP address instead?  So annoying.

Pricing. Is really convoluted, and I hate it.  I wish they just had a flat rate: $69.99 for all you can use. They’re doing it with data, so why not with voice?

Phones.  Until recently, VZ phones sucked, and everyone knew it.  I changed my tune on this after I was lucky enough to link up with the HTC Eris.

Customer Service.  All over the map.  It really depends on which call center you get.  The Rochester, NY call center is the absolute worst.  They make arguing a sport.  The North Dakota call center is the best.  I think it’s because they were trained by Alltel.

Texting.  20¢ a text is absurd.  Make it free.

Lack of excitement.  Corporate is not cool.  Build some buzz.

Payback.  How about a free month of service here and there?  Rewards for your better customers?  It’d sure be nice to know you like having us around.

Check out the letter from the FCC to Verizon Wireless here.

FCC questions Verizon’s early termination fees • The Register.

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