05-06-2010 09:32 AM
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  1. cmiddleton's Avatar
    I was ecstatic to get my VZW Droid Incredible last Thursday after pre-ordering it online. I was quickly disappointed when I turned it on and had only 1 bar on my signal, and the -db hovered around -96, while my wife's World BB issued by her employer maintained a full signal.

    Some background: I live next to RDU, home of the research triangle, UNC, Duke, NC State. This was rated by some organization, and I cannot remember which, as having top 3 wireless coverage and broadband in the US. Other posts have mentioned that the Triad region in NC had issues with towers and rebooting. Luckily, that has not happened in the Triangle. I have only the signal issues, like many are having.

    Steps I took: First I needed to know if my phone was actually defective. So on Friday, I went to Best Buy first, and my phone signal was -80ish, while Verizon Incredible store models were -60ish. So I went to a Verizon store, where I was made to feel like a completely irrational person for wanting a phone that kept a usable signal for the money I was paying.

    The models of Incredibles in the store had 20 point differences in signal strength. This is where I met Shawn, who is a complete moron with no social skills of which to speak. Shawn is a smug, unhappy, little man who works at the Verizon store in Durham, NC. He told me that the -db number is irrelevant and the bars are the actual indicator of signal (lie). He told me he would not exchange my phone, and I would have to wait for 24-48 hours for a hybrid PRL to get pushed to my phone. I told him that no PRL is going to fix the issue of having a bad antenna in the phone. He absolutely shut me out and did not listen to a word I said. I told the customer in line next to me that they should reconsider their purchase until VZW resolves the antenna issue, because if they got a defective phone like I did, VZW would certainly not do the right thing. This made Shawn angry. Shawn gave me my phone after doing something to it, and I left with a non-working phone to the parking lot, where I called customer uncare at *611.

    The rep on the phone empathized and explained the hybrid PRL solution, to which I told him it still does not fix a defective device. I explained to him the variation in signal strength, and he said it was not a good comparison to use VZW store phones, as they are calibrated to use only the tower closest to the store. (fishy?) So I asked if the tower closest to the store would have picked up my phone if that was also the tower I was closest to? He said maybe. And I don't doubt that VZW might do this to make the store phones appear to have the strongest signal available, but I bet mine had picked up the same tower.

    VZW shipped thousands of these phones, right? A couple have to be defective? I would think so. Unfortunately, I got a bad one.

    So, I left with my one bar signal/ -99db Incredible in an area that is blanketed with towers. And guess who is following me out of the parking lot. Apparently Shawn or one of his lackeys called the Durham PD, in case I decided to have a meltdown. The cop turned off after I got on I85. I never cursed or threatened anyone in the store, I would not jeopardize my livelihood and ability to support my family over any cell phone. So Shawn's calling of the PD was completely unwarranted. If you cannot tell already, I really did not like the way I was treated by Shawn, the strongest word I used was "unacceptable" or maybe "reprehensible".

    So it gets worse from here: On Saturday, I spent my hour long work commute on the phone (different line) with VZW who told me that I would not be able to return the phone until I followed Verizon's remedies. First the hybrid PRL had to be pushed, and I had already gotten it by Saturday and no big surprise here, it didn't fix the issue.

    So the rep connected me to tech support (a term I use loosely). That rep seemed to believe that I needed a Master Reset to fix the issue. She would call me back at 5pm on my lunch break and I would give her my work number and we would do it together. So 5pm came, she never called. I called Customer uncare, and a customer service guy and I reset the phone. I told him I would try it for 24 hours, even though I knew it wouldn't work.

    So later that night, I was sitting next to a nurse with a Moto Droid and she was using her phone. My hospital has Verizon signal repeaters installed in the hospital, one of my reasons for switching to VZW after my iPhone phase. She had full signal, and I had none...completely no signal whatsoever! She laughed and said my husband was wanting that phone so bad, but this is changing my mind.

    So, Sunday on my way to work, I spent my hour commute with VZW again. This time, I was fed up. I was not called to troubleshoot; I was mad after having zero signal last night in the hospital while someone else had a full signal. I was calling to cancel.

    I told the rep right away that one of two things were going to happen, either she replaced the phone, or she could connect me to the cancellation department.

    This is where I learned something about VZW. They don't care if you are happy, they care if you are a paying customer. All the time I was troubleshooting, I was using my 30 days of money back guarantee. I was being put off with a non working device. They were not out any money for additional equipment and in order to do this, they blame the customer. "I" needed a hybrid PRL or "I" needed a master reset.

    She told me she would look at my account, then came the rebuttal and lie. "Sir, I see you are not running the latest version of the software" (the only update addressed exchange servers and not antenna) "This new software will probably fix your reception problem" I was not happy that once again I was not being listened to.

    I said, "No, I am not going to troubleshoot anymore, I am done and I am canceling service"

    Then and only then, did she finally utter the magic words: I will list your phone as "DOA" (Dead on arrival). They will fedex you a new phone, but you will need to let them bill you for the replacement, then it will be credited back in 15-30 days to your credit card when we receive the defective phone.

    So this is what I did. I am not crazy about VZW holding even more of my money hostage. But if you are having trouble with your antenna, my advice to you is pop out the battery and call them and tell VZW it wont work at all, wont even turn on. You will solve a weeks worth of frustration, troubleshooting, being blamed for the defective device.

    This horrible experience is hopefully ending, as I got my replacement via Fedex this morning, and have -10db to -20db better signal strength over my first incredible out of the box. Now to wait and see if they botch the return of the old Incredible.
    05-05-2010 11:39 AM
  2. sum spicy rice's Avatar
    Hope Shawn doesn't stalk you.. since he has your phone # info lol
    05-05-2010 11:47 AM
  3. fillossofer's Avatar
    I haven't had that much more of an issue with my Incredible than I did with my Storm. Certainly not enough of an issue to try for a replacement. Signal strength is something Verizon is definitely going to push back on. You're much better off deliberately breaking something on the phone (if you have insurance) and getting a replacement than trying to convince a store rep that he is stupid. I've been a Verizon customer for nearly twenty years now and I can tell you with utmost certainty, you catch more flies with honey than vinegar at VZW customer service. I also have a policy that keeps me sane: if at first you don't succeed, hang up and try again. If the rep says no, just politely thank them and call back. You'll get a different rep who might be more willing to help you. If you get irate, you will have a note in your account and will be behind the eight ball before you even start. Best of luck with your new Incredible!
    05-05-2010 11:52 AM
  4. Roy Aguilera's Avatar
    Damn that sucks. I don't let them trouble shoot. I know the phones better than them.
    Last night my wifes Tour lost the ability to connect to the web. I did a battery pull, then registered the phone, then resent the host routing table and lastly deleted the 3rd party apps (after backing them up). Yet I kept on getting the "Java.exemption.error" message when trying to open the browser.

    So I call VZW, request a new phone and when they offer to transfer me to tech support, I say:
    "Hold on, I already reregistered the phone, reactivated it, resent the host routing tables, deleted all the 3rd party apps that might cause a conflict and performed a master reset. I am not looking for troubleshooting help. Nothing was added that would affect the browser. The phone has gone bad. I need a replacement."
    I got 2 seconds of silence, then the magic words, "Your phone will be shipped to ________________ tomorrow. Have I resolved all your issues."

    Me: "Yes, Yes you have."
    05-05-2010 11:52 AM
  5. bigslam123's Avatar
    I would have called the cops on you as well. You are scary. There is a big difference in a few defective devices and the whole build being defective. The fact is you got a bad unit, lost your cool and got nowhere because of it. I, as well as thousands of other Incredible users, have a perfectly working phone and couldn't be more happy with it.
    05-05-2010 11:52 AM
  6. Roy Aguilera's Avatar
    I see nothing wrong with what he did.
    He received a defective unit and was brushed off by the store. I would have raised all kinds of hell.
    05-05-2010 11:56 AM
  7. hakoreh's Avatar
    i heard the signal problem is limited to the southern states, any truth to that? i mean my eris has 2 bars at most usually
    05-05-2010 12:03 PM
  8. VZWBB's Avatar
    Sounds like you just ran into a bad store manager or worker, etc. Maybe its the only store near you but if you have problems again, I would try a new store.

    I don't know what it is about some store managers and customer service people. I want to say they are power tripping, but I don't think that can be all of it..maybe just some of it. I am sure they are burned out because of people complaining about this and that, equipment, service, whatever.

    All I have to say about that is, if you don't like your freaking job, than find a new one. Its pretty simple. Additionally, even if you have to bs your way with a customer and kiss thier butt to make them happy, do so and let go of the rest of the power tripping customer is dumb attitude. It makes for less stress for you and them.

    Theres a store by me I refuse to go into because I know how that manager acts. Its a waste of time and energy if you have a problem. As for 611...if I get an attitude I don't like I just politely end the call and try again...not all customer care agents are bad ones.
    05-05-2010 12:18 PM
  9. kilofoxtrot's Avatar
    OP... I can certainly understand your frustration and I am glad things worked out for you. But I question the value of these "buyer beware" or "this happened to me and could happen to you" stories. You are one person. Do you expect the same has or will happen to everyone else who has a problem with an Incredible?

    I had a similar return issue and had no problems what so ever.

    Is my experience or your experience the norm? Its hard to know, and due to the fact that human beings are to be factored into the equation, what one can expect is hard to guess.

    This much I do know, if I took every single complaint or issue I have heard or read about on any product to heart....... I wouldnt own anything.
    05-05-2010 12:37 PM
  10. theoneuafter's Avatar
    I would have called the cops on you as well. You are scary. There is a big difference in a few defective devices and the whole build being defective. The fact is you got a bad unit, lost your cool and got nowhere because of it. I, as well as thousands of other Incredible users, have a perfectly working phone and couldn't be more happy with it.
    How did he lose his cool? He said not one swear word was uttered and they kept blowing him off. That would frustrate ANYONE that spent the kind of cash we all do on these latest and greatest devices.

    My wife and I have been through this before with them as well.

    That is the same as taking your car back to a mechanic after a $300 brake job and him telling you your headlight fluid is the problem. He got blown off.
    I would have , and have done the same thing as he did.

    I just climb the ladder, if you cant help me your boss can, if he cant, guess what? I will get to somone that cares about losing money eventually.

    He was scary, lmfao He just wants his moneys worth dude.......
    05-05-2010 01:16 PM
  11. theoneuafter's Avatar
    That also makes perfect sense. good post.
    05-05-2010 01:17 PM
  12. cmiddleton's Avatar
    I would have called the cops on you as well. You are scary. There is a big difference in a few defective devices and the whole build being defective. The fact is you got a bad unit, lost your cool and got nowhere because of it. I, as well as thousands of other Incredible users, have a perfectly working phone and couldn't be more happy with it.
    Bigslam, I understand it is hard to convey the tone of a board posting to reflect actual events.

    I could not have been more polite to the rep in the store, in spite of his disdain for what I had to say, and not listening or caring. I really don't know how you can draw an opinion that I lost my cool if you were not there.
    05-05-2010 01:21 PM
  13. samdroid's Avatar
    I can certainly empathize with the OP. I had a similar problem with my Moto Droid where its signal strength was very weak (I had posted about this in the Moto Droid forum). I tried speaking to VZW, Motorola etc, but in all fairness, I should say VZW customer support came through. The tech support at the local store tried many things on my phone and eventualy asked me if I'd like a different phone and gave me a "like new" which was actually spanking new and the signal strength was atleast 15 - 20 dBm better than my previous one. VZW did acknowledge that the internal antenna could be the problem here.

    So, I do agree with the OP that this could be an issue with an entire batch of phones. While it may not be rampant, it exists. I have seen many people complaining on forums about signal strengths, maybe they got one of the bad apples.

    Good luck OP. Enjoy your phone.
    05-05-2010 01:25 PM
  14. sum spicy rice's Avatar
    I think what the OP did was correct and most of us would act the same way. He did not yell/curse. Verizon was just trying to brush him off. I think calling the cops was over the limit.
    05-05-2010 01:29 PM
  15. cmiddleton's Avatar
    kilo, you are right, maybe the buyer beware was a little strong.

    The entire posting was not intended as a rant, it was actually so I could advise anyone else who got a bad phone on a tactic to maybe get a replacement without the kind of frustration that I endured.

    A company simply cannot mass produce without a few hiccups. If a customer comes in and can prove they have a defective device by comparison with working floor models, the right thing to do is refund or replace. It isn't to lie to the customer that bars are more accurate than -db and provide a hybrid fix that isn't really going to work.

    Same thing happened to me last month, I bought a Honda Pilot and the driver window wouldn't roll down, except an inch at a time and making me hit the button 16 times to get the window down and up. Honda reproduced the error, ordered the part and fixed it. No Hassle. They even gave me a coupon for lunch at a Rib Place and a loaner to eat while I waited. That is the right way to treat customers.
    05-05-2010 01:29 PM
  16. cmiddleton's Avatar
    Lots of other people, according to various forums, have had issues with the reception. If you have not, congrats on a owning best of class device on a very reliable 3G network. I hope others who may have a device with a defect get it resolved with less hassle than I encountered.
    05-05-2010 01:35 PM
  17. NVR2ND's Avatar
    Honestly, Your first post sounds like you are a doctor(nurse Reference) that doesnt understand people have jobs to do. If you think that one of the people that you talked to makes the policies that they have to follow you are high. This happens all the time, Yes it sucks you have to go through it. So do I and I work for/with them. At the same someone writes their checks, that provides for their family.

    No there isnt much excuse for the Shawn's of the world, but I can tell you this much. As many times as I have had customers come into my store, throw ****, cuse at me, and one even asked me to step outside(until he heard I had my permit to carry)**. He was following the steps that he has layed out for his livelilhood as well. Was calling the police needed, probably not. But Im guessing shortly after leaving you felt somewhat like an *** for bring a third party customer into your pissing match.

    Sorry you had a bad experience, but really life is too short. Also if you work in a hospital, walk up to the cancer floor, or ICU and ask them to switch places because life sucks so much you have 1 bar of signal....

    ***customer said I'll be outside waiting for you. I replied I get off at 530, you'll be waiting awhile. He replied It will be worth it. My coworker asked if I was carrying. My reply Yes in my bag, it wont be fired.... All over him spilling something on his phone, but not wanting to admit it.
    05-05-2010 01:37 PM
  18. cmiddleton's Avatar
    Roy, having owned a BB 7130e and a Pearl a couple years ago, I definitely remember doing the host routing table send more than once. Owning these devices and using the Verizon network really made me loathe my 2 year sentence with AT&T for an iPhone. Never again will handset alone determine my carrier choice.

    UPDATE: New replacement seems to be working just fine thus far. Thanks to all the well wishers.
    05-05-2010 01:39 PM
  19. cmiddleton's Avatar
    NVR2ND, I appreciate your perspective. I keep my cool because I see those patients you are referring to and know that many things are worse than a signal fade.

    I also know, that time was important to get it resolved so I had a properly working phone. My 8.5 months pregnant wife cannot wait if she needs me via phone to get to the hospital.

    Like you, I am licensed to carry, but no one would have ever known, as I have never had to draw a firearm nor, told anyone that I was armed. A cell phone is not even close to a reason to ever consider a lethal use of force.

    Also, I doubt Shawn at Verizon makes any policies, but his attitude was very poor. I am expected to be cheerful to my patients at work, even if I just had a family member scream and cuss at me for long wait time (even when they are there for non-emergent conditions and the rooms are full with people who have critical conditions).

    Shawn could have completely changed this by saying, "gee, you might be on to something, I just reproduced the problem by visually looking at identical model phones and your -db is substantially lower, a hybrid PRL and a master reset isn't going to help you, let me see what I can do to get a replacement for you."

    I wasn't an angry, disgruntled customer, just demanding a replacement. I researched the problem, saw others were reporting the same problem, saw my state in particular was having an issue, and did comparisons in 2 different locations with the same model phone.

    If I do have a regret, I should not have made small talk with the other customer. I didn't invite the conversation. The other customer was very interested and eavesdropping and initiated the exchange.
    05-05-2010 01:52 PM
  20. Qazme's Avatar
    I've mostly had bad experiences with customer service in Verizon stores. With that being said I have had some really good people at the stores in the last few years, as it seems some of their customer service training or something along those lines has changed.

    BUT, with my bad experience in the back of my mind each and every time I decide I want or need a new phone I have gone to purchasing online, and dealing with phone support. I can honestly say I've never had a bad experience with the phone support people and they have always been courteous and very helpful. When there has been pricing, discount, billing, or phone issues I most always get the problem solved after talking with the first person on the phone.

    The only times it has had to go above to a supervisor in the call center was when I bought my Storm my Incredible and once for a replacement phone a few years ago. I came from AT&T(Cingular at the time) and I never had a good experience with anyone either in-store or on the phone. This mixed with the fact Verizon has always made me happy when an issue has arisen is why I'm now a loyal VZW customer and will continue to be so until something not only better but cheaper comes along.

    Sucks you had a bad experience, but give it a bit and everything will work out. Like most things in life dealing with issues, it behooves you to be calm, courteous, firm and fair. They'll do the right thing.
    05-05-2010 02:38 PM
  21. CharlieL3's Avatar
    They even gave me a coupon for lunch at a Rib Place and a loaner to eat while I waited.
    Most people would have eaten the ribs, and not the loaner...
    05-05-2010 02:47 PM
  22. Qazme's Avatar
    Yeah that must have tasted awful, unless they gave you a blackberry, I like blackberries. lawl.
    05-05-2010 02:56 PM
  23. sum spicy rice's Avatar
    Most people would have eaten the ribs, and not the loaner...
    lol that made me chuckle
    05-05-2010 03:01 PM
  24. sum spicy rice's Avatar
    Yeah that must have tasted awful, unless they gave you a blackberry, I like blackberries. lawl.
    im not sure which fruit tastes better.. blackberries or apples.. but both of them arent that incredible
    05-05-2010 03:01 PM
  25. NVR2ND's Avatar
    My 8.5 months pregnant wife cannot wait if she needs me via phone to get to the hospital.

    Like you, I am licensed to carry, but no one would have ever known, as I have never had to draw a firearm nor, told anyone that I was armed. A cell phone is not even close to a reason to ever consider a lethal use of force.
    First, Congrats. My wife and I are also expecting. We are only 11 weeks into it though. Not that this helps much as you are already almost done, but I found a cool app called pregnancy ticker gold. This is my first child, so I check it all the time.

    Second, I didnt read your entire reply, because I sent my post off the cuff. Most of it is out of frustration as I have been on both ends of the countertop. Ive seen both sides with verizon. It is frustrating, and I wish from this side I could do more to help people, but some person in a suit some where said I have to jump through the hoops that I do. It is stupid, and annoying. When I was the customer it felt like I was helpless to this corporate monster. In Fact it took me 2 months to accept my job offer because of bad experiences with verizon.

    Last, I agree a cell phone is no where near the reason to even pull a weapon. My comment was more based on the fact a customer wanted to wait 2 1/2hours for me to get off work, and then god knows what might happen.
    05-05-2010 03:02 PM
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