Let me tell you a story…
It all began with an unplanned stop into a Verizon store in Ladysmith, Virginia. My wife - on a break from work - stopped to get a coffee and decided to pop into the Verizon store to just check it out.
Before I continue, a bit of backstory: For about the last 10 years or so we have been customers of Sprint. We only originally went with Sprint because money was tight and we had a relative that worked for Sprint and got us on some type of employee family plan. Over the last several years Sprint has done away with that plan, and bit by bit phased us into other plans as we upgraded phones - basically a plan that originally cost us around $70 for both phones/service, eventually ran up to about $140 (and that did not include equipment fees, as there were none). That along with horrible customer service and a website that was difficult to load, navigate, and use had us considering a change.
So, on that Thursday afternoon, my wife popped in to see what Verizon had to offer. During her conversation with the sales associate, she got some information on plans and phones which she seemed to be somewhat impressed with; however, what really got her attention was the information she received on a wireless internet he called a JetPack. When she returned home from work she shared the information with me and it also peaked my interest, so we decided to go back to the Verizon store the following day together to get more information and even possibly sign up with Verizon.
Before I continue, another backstory: We live in a rural area that does not offer may options for internet connection. For a couple years we had an air card from Sprint - which was sporadic and slow - and for the last 5 years or so we have had satellite internet through Dish Network (who also provides our television programming). Originally the service from Dish was good - not great, but much and way better than the air card from Sprint, and considering it is not DSL, latency can be expected. However, the issue with satellite from Dish (and other providers) is that your data is limited to various "plans" - we had purchased a 10GB plan which worked fine for a while. One of the things we were not informed of was the fact that we really couldn't stream anything because of the amount of data it chewed up - okay, we were a bit miffed, but, oh well. Anyway, as of late the service we have received from Dish was horrendous - extremely slow speeds even when data was new, connectivity issues no matter the time of day, and, of course the data limit was becoming an issue as my wife had begun going to school and needed the internet for her schoolwork. Oh, and if you wanted extra data, it cost $10 per extra gig. Well, between that and Dish Network customer service being unresponsive, unwilling to help, and giving you the runaround (one person sends you to another and that person sends you back to the first) on both our internet and programming service, we were looking for a change.
So, the next day, Friday afternoon, I met my wife at the Verizon store in Ladysmith, Virginia and met the sales people she spoke to the previous day. One was the store manager, Jhonatan [removed], and the other was a young man who I believe is named Andrew. Interestingly enough, this other young man said he used to work for Sprint and just left them to come to work with Verizon. Anyway, while I was interested in talking about phones, plans, and overall cost, my real quest for information was regarding this JetPack and the WiFi for our home. Honestly, most of the conversation revolved around this topic - more so than discussing the phones and plan for the phones.
We made our needs VERY CLEAR: told them that my wife was in school and needed reliable, fast, affordable internet; we also told them about our current "deal" with Dish and how 10 GB of data just did not cut it as the speeds slowed considerably when we used them up (which, by the way, usually took almost the month depending…but more on that later). The EXACT response I got from them was, "UNLIMITED IS UNLIMITED" (and they smiled when they said it). I again reiterated my concern with Dish about once you hit the 10GB limit speeds slow and it is inconvenient; again, they both nodded, smiled and said, "NOPE, NOT A PROBLEM THERE. NO SLOWDOWN TO OVERAGES; UNLIMITED IS UNLIMITED". We then went on to say that, if that is the case, we may even consider getting rid of Dish TV programming and just stream Netflix, Amazon, etc., and get an HD antenna for local channels. Again, they said, "YOU CAN STREAM ALL YOU WANT AT THE SAME SPEED. UNLIMITED IS UNLIMITED". I remarked that this would be great, because we tried watching stuff on Netflix and Amazon through our Dish internet, when the data limit had been reached and it was horrible because of the buffering or not loading at all. Again, they smiled and nodded saying, "NOPE, NO NEED TO BE WORRIED ABOUT THAT; UNLIMITED IS UNLIMITED - NO DATA LIMIT WILL SLOW SPEEDS, THOUGH DURING HIGH TRAFFIC YOU MAY EXPERIENCE SOME SLOWDOWN, BUT NOT BECAUSE OF DATA LIMIT".
So, we signed up - got 2 phones, a Jetpack, and a plan that would save us money once we got rid of our internet and programming service from Dish Network…we figured we would save roughly $50 a month at first and more later once the phones were paid off. We were told we'd have 14 days to cancel and return items if we were not satisfied. We were ecstatic, and ready to roll. Friday evening, my wife experienced some issues with her phone: couldn't receive calls, some texts, and other things. So, Saturday afternoon, my wife and I made our way back to the Verizon store to rectify this problem. Again, the store manager Jhonatan [removed] th at first and more later once the phones were paid off. We were told we'd have 14 days to cancel and return items if we were not satisfied. We were ecstatic, and ready to roll. Friday evening, my wife experienced some issues with her phone: couldn't receive calls, some texts, and other things assisted us and we even decided to purchase a wireless charger for our phones. Everything seemed to be working well - phones and service worked, got all our content transferred, and the internet speeds were phenomenal (especially compared to what we had). My wife was able to do her homework with no latency issues or slowdowns and even though it was difficult to find an actual central location for our WiFi signal to ping on all our devices, that evening I called Dish to cancel our internet service with them. We felt we had made a wonderful choice.
Well, all that changed about a week later. Now, mind you, we signed up on a Friday and this was the following Friday. Friday evening we decided to stream our first program using our UNLIMITED WiFi data through our Jetpack. Although we experienced some issues loading Amazon (the Jetpack showed on the Wii and the Wii showed up on the Jetpack, so still not sure the issue), we were able to watch a 45 minute program my daughters wanted to see. Following that, we decided to stream a movie for them as well. My wife was on the laptop doing some schoolwork at the time and sitting less than 2 feet from the Jetpack, and we were about 10 feet from her. Suddenly she said, "Hey honey, the Jetpack says we have a new message". She checked it, and she said, "What?!?!? This says 'Your 4G internet…has reached its 10GB LTE allowance. You'll have speeds up to 600 Kbps until your next bill cycle'. What in the world is going on? We have unlimited data, right?!?!?"
"Uh, yeah, that's what they said at the store", I replied, "Maybe it's a glitch or something, I don't know". At that moment, the movie my 7 and 9 year old daughters were watching began to buffer; needless to say, I was just a bit miffed…and beginning to get real upset. I tried to immediately contact the store - no answer, they were closed, so I left a message; I then went online to find out some info, attempted to enter a chat…no response from the chat. I read p on the plan, and the only thing it mentioned about a data limit was with the phone mobile hotspot/tethering and something confusing about 22GB limit which I did not understand.
We spent some time trying to figure out what the heck was going on - I mean, "UNLIMITED IS UNLIMITED" is the quote I got…repeatedly. Now, I'm not exactly the most technologically smartest individual, but the claim on your site says "STREAM AS MUCH AS YOU LIKE" and comments about speeds and quality and such; however, if you limit data and slow speeds because of that data limit (though not explicitly and empirically stated) how the heck can you "stream as much as you like" at the same speed and quality…YOU CAN'T - that is called misrepresentation. Also, it's rather interesting that in a week's time we burned through 10GB of data when previously the fastest we ever did with Dish was about 3 weeks. Again, mind you, until Friday evening we had not streamed movies, TV, music, or anything…and yet the previous Saturday - while we were at the Verizon store fixing original issues (see above) - there seemed to be this unexplained 5GB usage…how does THAT happen.
So, Saturday morning I drove back to the Verizon store; there were my new “friends” Jhonatan [removed](Store Manager) and his sidekick Andrew(?) smiling when I walked in the door. "You misled us", I said. Both of them had this perplexed confused look on their faces (which I now believe to be false & insincere), "What do you mean?" I then reminded them of our conversation the previous week and their response "UNLIMITED IS UNLIMITED", to which they both nodded and said, "Yes. THERE IS NO LIMIT ON YOUR DATA. UNLIMITED IS UNLIMITED". I showed them the text message and they again had feigned looks of confusion and concern. Again, told me that it could be a "traffic" slowdown, to which I responded that I understand that aspect, but this message clearly stated we had hit a allowable limit. Jhonatan suggested I go home and reset the Jetpack because it could be a glitch or something. He said for me to do a speedtest before and after reset and see if that fixes it.
I went home, did the speed test, reset the jetpack, and did another speed test…holy cow, speed was even slower AFTER reset. I called Jhonatan back, he said he was researching and going to contact someone in service/corporate, but probably wouldn't be until Monday when he heard something, but assured us he would call back when he did. Today is Wednesday - 3 days before we cannot return/cancel without penalty - no answer yet. So, the only thing I can take away from this whole thing is:
We still have 2 ½ days before the 14 day window closes, and believe me that in those 2 ½ days I am going to do everything I can to find other solutions for me and my family and kick Verizon to the curb like an abusive relationship. Truly, customer service and fair sales practices have gone the way of the dodo these days; it's a sad commentary that we can no longer trust what those who claim to want our business are telling us.
Very disappointed and disgruntled,
Personal information removed as required by the Verizon Wireless Terms of Service.
Message edited by Verizon Moderator.
I sincerely apologize that the proper expectation was not set, WEPERKPEP. The Unlimited Data Plan will give you 22GB for each smartphone and one the data allotment has been met, the line will deprioritized. This means that the line will be queued behind other users who have not used 22GB and the tower will also have to be congested. If you are connected to a tower that is not congested, you will experience the same 4G speeds. The Jetpack will have 10GB of mobile hotspot and after that it will be throttled down to 3G speeds. The good news is that you can use the mobile hotspot on the smartphone and it will also have 10GB of mobile hotspot. Here's more details http://vz.to/2li86Gw. What is the make/model of the phones? ZangY_VZW
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OK....you, like everyone else I have chatted with at Verizon seem to have missed the point. We were sold something that was not delivered on. I don't now, call me crazy, but UNLIMITED means just that; in fact, Webster's defines it as:
I don't want to run off my phone's hotspot even though I can. Also, if -- and how it happened no one has yet to explain -- we ran through 10GB in less than a week, what the heck is 22?