TWIFY: Motorola… No, Verizon… Both?

I honestly can’t figure out who I should be angry with this week. Is it Motorola or Verizon? Are they both equally at fault? I don’t know. But since I have already shit on Motorola a time or two, Let’s give Verizon Wireless a little time on the TWIFY stage.

Let’s start this with the letter that I sent to The Consumerist a little earlier today, along with the photos that I attached. Then we’ll get into the angry old man portion of the article.

This is what happens when you don't take it in for service.

Last week I had a problem with my Motorola Droid X that had just past the 1-year mark. Some of the pixels were dead. When I say “some of” I mean something around 100 pixels, spread over an area that took up about 40% of the screen. I had seen this before in my wife’s phone (she also has a Droid X, which turned out to be a lifesaver for me and you’ll see why in a moment) and I knew that if I didn’t get it replaced soon the pixels that were dead would start killing the ones around them like little zombie pixels. She never got hers replaced and as you can see from the attached photo, something that started as a tiny area grew to the size of a cigar burn. I knew that  with my dead pixels spread over such a large area, my phone’s screen would quickly become unusable.

I noticed the problem at about 9 AM on Thursday and by 12 when I went to the Verizon store during my lunch break, they had already begun to infect the pixels around them and spread. I spoke with one of the associates that told me a new phone would be sent to me and would arrive the next day. I left the store feeling really good about the whole ordeal. If only the rest of the situation had gone this smoothly, I wouldn’t be writing to you now.

I received my phone on Friday afternoon, went through the setup process, added all of my accounts and information, and eventually got everything up and running smoothly. It wasn’t until late that evening when I made a call to my wife and she answered with a confused voice that I realized we had a problem. The number that popped up on her caller ID wasn’t my number. When I went to Verizon the next day, it turns out that my “Guaranteed like new replacement” was actually someone else’s phone, and it was still active on someone else’s account. So after figuring this out, they tell me that I’ll get another phone sent to me and I’ll have it the next day. They are even going to foot the bill for the Saturday delivery (how nice of you!).

After getting it all set up, I used it with no problems all day (and spent a good bit of time explaining to everyone why I didn’t answer any calls or texts). The next morning I noticed that my second “Guaranteed like new replacement” wasn’t even taking a charge. By this time the battery was down to about 20% and there was nothing I could do to charge it up again. Since I was out in town anyway I stopped by Verizon for the 3rd time in less than a week to talk about getting yet another phone replaced. I was told that the reason it wasn’t taking a charge is because “The port is pushed in”. Which in layman’s terms means “I have no idea what the problem is, so I’m just going to make something up.” I took pictures of my wife’s phone next to replacement #2 and replacement #3, which arrived while I was typing this. I can’t see any difference in the micro USB ports, can you?

I’m then told that another “Guaranteed like new replacement” will be sent to me, only this time I won’t be receiving it the next day because it is now Sunday. Now I get to wait until Tuesday (today). So all day Sunday, Monday, and this morning I had to swap my battery into my wife’s phone just to charge it. If my wife had decided she wanted a different phone when we got these, I would have be screwed. I wouldn’t have had a phone for 2 days, because when I realized the problem initially the phone was almost dead.

I want to be clear on this much: I know that none of this is the fault of the people that I spoke with (well, except for that lame port excuse). This all could have been avoided with just a tiny bit of testing on Verizon’s part. Would it really be that difficult to plug in a phone to make sure that the juice is getting to the battery? How much effort does it take to deactivate a phone before you send it off to another customer?

You following me here? Does anyone else see why this would be more than a little bit frustrating for someone with an already short fuse? I don’t even have anyone to yell at simply because there’s nothing that anyone at my Verizon store could have done to make it any better. These repeated fuck ups rest solely on the shoulders of whichever idiotic entity is in control of the refurbishing/replacing portion of their company.

How is it possible that they managed to send out a phone that was still active? And yes, before you ask, I did try a factory reset. It just made me go through the whole activation process again which worked just as well the second time as it did the first time. And then when the problem is identified and they send me another replacement, I get one with faulty hardware. Now the way I see it there are 2 possible explanations for this. Either I am the unluckiest bastard in the history of gadget replacements, or Verizon has zero checks in place to verify that they aren’t mailing out unusable bullshit to their customers. I made an off-hand comment to one of the other customers about said lack of testing and the associate that was assisting me said “They test every device before it gets sent out.” “Really? You’re saying that to the guy who is bringing you his second faulty replacement device in less than a week?” *bitch you must have lost your mind look*

As angry as I am about this whole thing, I’m not going anywhere as far as mobile carriers are concerned. Why? Because AT&T and Sprint are fucking worthless around here, and I still have my unlimited data plan as long as I stick with Verizon. Now all I need is a goddamn phone that will work properly so that I can take advantage of it.

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