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"Before you know it as the years go by, you're just like other people you have seen, with all those peculiar human ailments. Just another vehicle for temper and vanity and rashness and all the rest. Who wants it? Who needs it? These things occupy the place where a man's soul should be." -- Henderson the Rain King

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

My Painful Verizon Wireless Website Experience

I finally got my camera phone all set up today, but let me just say navigating the hell that is the Verizon website world is a pain that I wouldn't wish on anyone.

I started off my Dante-like journey by going to verizon.com, but I soon found that it doesn't cover their wireless offerings, just their internet and land-line services. I've made this mistake before, so I quickly realize that I actually need to go to website #2, aka verizonwireless.com where I can log on to my wireless account and view my current wireless plan. So far, so good. After much poking around in the various options listed under my account, I finally realize that although you can enable text messaging from here you cannot enable picture messaging (obviously). Why this would be, I have no idea but who am I to rock the boat. So now it's on to website #3 (aka getitnow.vzwshop.com) where I get to listen to some terribly annoyingly peppy background music (with no mute option) while I search through the various photo plans that are available for my picture uploading pleasure. I'm getting close now, I can feel it. After reviewing the plans and settling on one that won't cost me my retirement (or at least not all of it), I pick up my phone and go to the 'Get It Now' option where I've been conditioned to go to download anything that I want to 'Get Now'. Surely this will work and I'll be on my way. Oh if it were only that easy.

After playing with the phone for awhile (read too long), I realize that enabling my new plan from the phone itself isn't possible. It was a nice thought though. So it's back to the 'Get It Sometime Maybe' website for more poking around. After several more minutes staring at the site while banging my forehead on my monitor, I finally figure out that buried on the same screen that shows the available plans is a magic button that says 'Start Shopping'. Kudos to Verizon, I can't believe that other websites haven't implemented this wonderful feature to prevent people from accidentally shopping when they don't intend to. If I only had a penny for every time I was seemingly just innocently browsing the web only to find myself signing a UPS slip for a unexpected package two weeks later. Anyways, I add the picture plan to my cart and hit check-out. The plan is billed monthly so you would think that checking out would consist of entering your wireless number and then entering some basic info to verify it's your account. You would be wrong. Instead I find myself filling out a long form with a bunch of information that I know already exists in my wireless account. In fact I even have to enter my account number which sends me scurrying back to verizonwireless.com to look it up (contrary to popular opinion I do not have these things memorized). Is the 'Get It Now' web site seriously not able to look any of this information up from other data sources? Is anyone else getting the impression that the people at Verizon who work on 'Get It Now' work in one building and the people that work on the 'main' Verizon Wireless site work in a different building, and that they probably don't talk to each other all that often? Anyways, I stay calm, fill out the form and click Submit. One-Mississippi, Two-Mississippi, Woo Hoo everything works. From here I'm taken to a confirmation page which indicates that the feature will now be enabled pending a credit approval. Are you kidding me? $2.99 a month and I have to wait for a credit approval? Sigh.

So assuming that my credit gets approved (and I don't mean to jump to conclusions here), I'm all set now...or at least so I think. I pick up the phone and find one of the pictures I took yesterday to test things out. The picture seems to upload correctly to the Verizon picture site aka vzwpix.com aka site #4. Now all I need to do is create an account, log-in and see how it looks. To create an account the site requires you to enter your cell number to register your phone. No problem, I enter my number and click Register. Surprise, I get back an error saying this number has already been registered. Weird. I don't recall ever coming to this site seeing as I just got the phone 2 days ago, but whatever. I find an option that resets your password on an existing account, so I type in my number there. Now I get back an error saying that no account exists for my number. Now that's a cool feature, nothing is more secure than a web-site that no one can long on to. A deep breath, a 20 minute phone-call, two Verizon service agents, and one more website (vtext.com aka website #5) later I'm finally able to log-in and see a picture sent my phone. Technology, you've got to love it!

1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have had the same types of miserable experiences with Verizon. Sing it brother!

5:38 PM

 

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