Submitted by Nick Vahalik on Thu, 08/28/2008 - 21:19
Well, I'm heading up to Missouri, Kansas, and Arkansas this weekend with Sarah to visit her kids up there. It'll be a long weekend since we have Monday off! Considering my quasi-successful PHP4 to PHP5 upgrade on my hosting server last week, I figure it'd be a good idea to get a wireless access card. This is how my adventure began... When I first got my own cell-phone in college, I ordered it directly from "verizonwireless.com":http://www.verizonwireless.com/. It was quick and painless. What happened between then and now? I'm not sure, but it was definitely not the same experience I had with them in the past. The first SNAFU was when the order "completed," there was no e-mail verification. I'm really used to the idea that I always get at least one e-mail when making purchases online. It's the electronic equivalent of a receipt. What vendor doesn't send one? Verizonwireless.com, apparently. "Oh well," I thought, "maybe it's just stuck in cyber-space." This was Tuesday afternoon. Wednesday rolls around and no e-mail has graced my inbox from verizonwireless.com. I call their support. She asks me for an order number, which I don't have, because I never got an e-mail. I ended up giving her my SSN (which they get from you for a credit check online) and my first and last name. She says that she order shows as being "in process" and hasn't been shipped out yet. She promises that once it does get shipped out, it will be overnighted to me. This was Wednesday (yesterday). Today, still no e-mail from verizonwireless.com. Actually, that's not true. I *did* get an e-mail from them. They were nice enough to tell me that they were glad I stopped by and to sell me the "experience" of buying online: !sites/nickvahalik.com/files/free_overnight_shipping.png! I called them at lunch and was rather terse with the woman on the phone about my order. This time, she explained that she "wasn't quite sure what was going on" with my order. I asked her if I could cancel it and she said that she could "cancel the credit check" which would, subsequently, make the rest of the order fail to process successfully. When told that "their website says it would be delivered tomorrow":http://www.verizonwireless.com:80/b2c/promotion/controller?vendorid=EMAIL&jspName=/promotion/controller&promotionId=2154&promotionType=SPECIAL_OFFER&email=Responsys&CMP=EMC-C-S-ShopCart-1 , she responded that it only happens if an order gets processed successfully. Ugh. What a joke. So I finally went to a store and ended up paying a little bit more for a "UM175 USB Modem":http://www.evdoinfo.com/content/view/2421/64/. It's a great little device and so far, the speed is *very* acceptable for my purposes (1.19Mb down, 234Kb up... in Belton). The lady who helped me was out very nice (her name was Natalie, and she works at the "Verizon store in Temple Mall":http://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en-us&q=verizon,+temple,+tx&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8. It was definitely a much more pleasant experience going there instead of buying online. I shall follow up again once this card has been put through the rigors.