I do not give up easily -- and I called Verizon Tech Support again (10th time? 11th time?), and, Oh, did I get lucky!!! This wonderful tech looked up my problem, and found the answer.
Control panel / Network Connections / Advanced, and uncheck "Operator-Assisted Dialing". How this ever got checked since I used EVDO 3 years ago, is beyond me.
But, this tech took the time to look up the answer and found it.
Thanks and I'm off and surfing!