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carrier customer service
During our first Verizon Wireless store
visit at 4:40 pm on a weekday, we had to
put our nameon alistandthenwaitatan-
othercounter. Samanthahelped us aftera
10-minute wait. She incorrectly stated that
we could tether our Droid for $20 extra
for 2GB of data (Verizon Wireless doesn’t
offer a tethering option for the Droid).
On the photo question, she incorrectly
told us that plugging the phone into the
computer would “automatically populate”
the photos on our PC. She did correctly
state that plugging a memory card into our laptop could
help transfer photos. Samantha said battery life depends
on usage, and if we used the phone less we would make it
through the whole day. She also recommended turning off
Wi-Fi and Bluetooth or purchasing an additional battery. She
took about five minutes to answer our questions.
During our second Verizon Wireless visit at 5:15 p.m. on
a weekday, the store was nearly empty. Guill was friendly
but vague. He (incorrectly) told us that tethering our Droid
would cost $15 to $20 a month. On the photo question, he
told us to use a USB cable to connect the handset to our PC,
and then a pop-up screen would let us pull the photos off.
Forbatterylife, theVerizon associate spent a minutetalking
about not having too many “icons” on the phone because
they drain the battery. Then he changed course and said
we shouldturn offGPS.He also saidcorporate e-mail would
drain the battery a lot, but we couldn’t do anything about it.
Guill then pitched us a higher capacity battery. The excha nge
took eight minutes.
Verizon Wireless does not offer a Chat option on its website. You
can e-mail a representative or browse the customer forums.
An e-mail sent at 3 p.m. on a weekday earned us a note back
within 30 minutes, but the answers were poor. Mike tried to
call us, but we missed it so he sent an e-mail. Despite know-
ing we had a Droid, he sent us an overview of the carrier’s
general tethering policies, which apply to many devices. He
also sent two links to more information about tethering; one
was to software that doesn’t work with the Droid.
For photo help, Mike sent step-by-step instructions forgetting
photos from the “Picture and Video Messaging Portal” to the
PC. This is a website where customers can upload photos from
a PC, not from a phone. Mike had no suggestions for improv-
ing battery life, saying we needed to go to an in-store location
for a hardware evaluation. He provided the closest Verizon
Wireless store relative to our home address. Mike signed off
leaving a call back number with office hours between 9 a.m .
and 5 p.m. (EST).
We spoke to Penny at 5:30 p.m . on a weekday after provid-
ing our phone number and “account password.” A fter three
minutes of wait time, Penny asked for our name and account
password agai n.
Pen ny said that Verizon Wireless doesn’t support tether-
ing for the Droid. Then she clarified that Droid phones could
do it, but not the original Droid, which is correct. She spent a
few minutes looking up an answer to our photo question, and
then said we could transfer pictures via a USB cable. On the
battery life question, Pen ny suggested downloading “App
Killer” from the Android Market because it kills apps running
in the background. (We think she meant Task Killer.)
Our second phone call at 12:30 p.m . on a weekday di-
rected us to Chris after a two-minute wait. He was attentive
while adequately answering all three questions. For tether-
ing, he gave us an official and unofficial answer—he noted
that Verizon Wireless didn’t officially support tethering on
the original Droid. Unofficially, we could download PDANet
or EasyTether from A ndroid Market, but he couldn’t help set
When it came to transferring pictures, Chris was one
of the only associates to accurately describe selecting USB
Mode on the Droid after connecting the phone to our PC. He
added that it was like pulling photos off a USB thumb drive.
Chris said we should adjust brightness settings to save bat-
tery life. He additionally recommended changing screen
time-out to 15 or 30 seconds, and downloading Advanced
Verizon Wireless’ representatives i n the store and onli ne were
not very knowledgeable and provided incorrect info. The car-
rier ha ndled our phone-based queries much better.
Mike had no
life, saying we
needed to go to an
in-store location for
In Store: C
Verizon Wireless is the only major carrier that doesn’t offer live
tech support chat.
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