Can't get support callback... Phone upgrade issues. Verizon service is terrible.


TLDR: My 1-yr old ZTE Z839 worked fine, but had a slow SnapDragon 210 processor. I moved the sim that came with the phone to a new unlocked Z986, which supports all the LTE bands of the Z839 and then-some, and I cannot get incoming calls, neither will the Z986 register with the LTE tower - with the SIM in it. But, it will register with the same tower, if I take the SIM out... however of course it says 'out of service'. I can only MAKE calls, and get 3.5G service on the Z986.

Everything I read seems to indicate the Verizon network does not have this model phone as a 'valid' phone in it's database, and so it's not allowing the phone to fully register on the network.

Visiting a Verizon store several days ago, while they were friendly, and polite, they were functionally useless. They couldn't get through to Verizon's overworked and understaffed (and probably underpaid) tech support department, and phone call from TS I was supposed to recieve (I have a backup ATT number too!) I never got.

Long version:

First the good part: I bought a $50 (new) ZTE Z839 (ZTE Blade Vantage) from Walmart, around Spring of 2018, a Verizon Pre-Paid phone. Coupling it later with a SanDisk 64GB U3/A2-speed MicroSD card (less than $20), and doing a factory-reset, along with installing IceBox as Device Manager/Owner {Go read numerous articles online on how to turn-on hidden 'Developer Options' and enable ADB, then read how to make IceBox the Device Manager/Owner}, which allowed me to freeze certain 'bloat' built-in apps, like Google Play Music, from ever running or updating,

.. And overriding the default manifest so apps would install to the MicroSD {'Force allow apps on external' is the name of the option, again, in Developer Options},

..And, press-and-hold the Settings wheel to turn on granual app notifications {Called 'System UI Tuner' - will appear on the Settings main list just below Developer Options},

..made the phone quite decent. I have many apps installed, and only about half the built-in storage used. 

Because it had Android 7.x, the above features were built-in, as opposed to Android 6.x and earlier. I didn't need to root the phone to do all those things above, so OTA updates worked fine (system updates).

I wrote all that above, because people will be searching for information about the phone, and I wanted them to find out how it improved immensely. 

The only problem with the above, is the processor is slow. A SnapDragon 32-bit 4-core 1GHZ 210-series processor, it will bog down when running Youtube playback in the background, and switching to different apps. It causes the stream to stutter, sometimes the application just quits.

Encrypted phone calls will drop, similarly, because the device does not have enough CPU power to do the real-time compression&decompression needed.


So, I recently tried to upgrade to a Verizon-branded, unlocked Moto G6, and Motorola (really Lenovo, a chinese company, that makes Motorola phones now, except for the first-responder rugged line), had disabled the device manager features, built-in to Android since v5.x, by having a hidden software app appoint itself device manager, directly after a factory-reset (before it could be set by the user), indicating they are trying to hide software from the user, and force the user to run every app that comes with the phone (and update it, taking up space), thus introducing security concerns, as the user loses control of the device they paid for!

They had disabled built-in accessibility features, also normally available in android, so I couldn't choose which buttons at the bottom did 'back' vs 'recent app list' (normally reversable on a stock Android phone). 

Etc, so despite performing better purely speed-wise, it was a step backwards in usability, and I returned it within about a day (Amazon!). In it's place, I thought to go back to ZTE, as other than speed, the Z839 had performed so well. 

I found the ZTE Blade Max 3 (Z986U) - new!, for less than the Moto G6 refurbished. It supports LTE Bands 2, 4, 5, 12, 13, 25, whereas the Z839 only supports 2, 4, 5, 13, and the Z839 is an LTE-only device. Additionally, the Z986 supports CDMA, GSM and UMTS. It's branded 'U.S. Cellular', and comes with a U.S. Cellular sim, but removing that and inserting the Verizon sim from the Z839, data etc, seemed to work.

Later, I realized when people called my Verizon number, they would get routed to voicemail immediately. Although I could place outgoing calls. Text messages, also worked only one-way: outbound. While the people at the Verizon store I visited, to fix the problem, were polite, they were of no help. Tech support was supposed to call me - I have a backup ATT number, naturally, because cell phone service terrible in the States - and these low-level consumer garbage phones are likely to break at any time. Nevertheless, I received no call, at my Verizon or ATT numbers, in several days hence.

Today, while swapping the sim, again, into the Z986, to see if I could gather any more information, I noticed the Z986 was running at 3.5G speeds, not connecting to the LTE tower. LTE Discovery, an app, shows, without a SIM, there is a 4-bar connection to LTE (but naturally 'out of service' without a SIM), and the same on the older Z839 phone (except, it works!). But when I put the SIM, from the Z839 into the Z986, and turn airplane mode on and off (resetting the connection), it only connects at 3.5G, and, again, won't accept incoming calls.

I need this fixed! Thanks.


Re: Can't get support callback... Phone upgrade issues. Verizon service is terrible.


are you aware that the best speeds you'll ever get from verizon is 5-12mbps, so connected at 3.5g means nothing.


Re: Can't get support callback... Phone upgrade issues. Verizon service is terrible.


Lemme get this straight, Verizon is terrible because you're trying to fit a square peg in a round hole? Just because a phone is unlocked doesn't mean it's going to work like you got it from the carrier. If you want ez mode transition for unlocked devices, you go iPhone - and I'm an Android user.


Re: Can't get support callback... Phone upgrade issues. Verizon service is terrible.

LOL. No thanks, trolls. I'll wait until someone qualified to answer, answers. Can't even reply to your nonsense! 


Re: Can't get support callback... Phone upgrade issues. Verizon service is terrible.

Sr. Leader

Have you put your phone's information thru the BYOB device questionaire to see if it will be accepted on Verizon's network?




While the device "should" be able to work on Verizon's network, it won't be able to work (at least for some capabilities) until Verizon chooses to add it to its list of supported devices.


Re: Can't get support callback... Phone upgrade issues. Verizon service is terrible.

Community Manager
Community Manager



We're sorry to hear that you're experiencing difficulty using the device you purchased on our network. Unfortunately, we are unable to guarantee the compatibility of phones designed for other carriers. rcschnoor asks an excellent question. Have you had an opportunity to check for compatibility using the site? You can also do so here: https://vz.to/2Nbus8G Please let us know your results and we'll be able to assist you with the next best step.




Re: Can't get support callback... Phone upgrade issues. Verizon service is terrible.

I know what an IMEI is, and have copied it directly from the phone (press-and-hold in the Status menu on the IMEI) and pasted into the BYOP website link above. 


The website is poorly-coded, and won't accept the IMEI. Not that it won't process against the database of phones, it won't even accept it to process the IMEI. {removed]

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Re: Can't get support callback... Phone upgrade issues. Verizon service is terrible.

First, [removed]  everyone I've talked to has been polite [removed].

I went into the local Verizon store the second time, explained that technical support had not called me back in 5 days, despite giving them, in addition to my Verizon #, a completely separate # on the ATT network, in case Verizon wasn't working.

I had done some experimentation last Saturday AM, and was satisfied the only reason the new phone wasn't (fully) working, was because it was not positively authorized to work on Verizon. Not for any other technical reason.

The store clerk, this time, was able to get through to a knowledgable technician! Who said:

On the Pre-Paid Verizon plans, only specifically pre-authorized Verizon-branded phones will work. No other phones, despite technical compatibility with the network, can be added/will work. Only Post-paid plans have that capability.

That is not a technical issue, that is a marketing and money-making issue. Someone flying in from overseas, who buys a pre-paid SIM for their existing phone, and is not going to get into a post-paid contract/situation, is going to have trouble with those Verizon restrictions, and will go with the 'uncarrier', Tmobile (or possibly ATT). Another advantage to Tmobile!

And now with band 12 (700mhz) support, Tmobile will no longer have problems with signal when entering buildings, or rural coverage. So I will switch to them at the end of the month when my pre-paid service window ends.

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