Dear Verizon Wireless,
As a customer of you company for the past decade I would just like to say that at this point, I have had it up to here (above my eyebrows and an inch below my non-receding hairline) with your phone lineup. Allow me to elaborate on the particulars.
I have been eligible to upgrade for the past few months but was determined to hold off due to the impending release of the HTC One and Galaxy S4 this year. I have already had some rather unfortunate experiences with two of your lemon devices so this time around, I was content to wait it out to ensure that I will get a quality device as opposed to a lemon that you guys wanted to push. To be more precise, the phone I have now is the HTC Thunderbolt (a phone I would have learned more about if the battery could last beyond 3-4 hours of STANDBY on 4G mode) and the one before that was the Blackberry Storm (a product that was literally a bug-filled "Alpha" at release if we were to refer to software development stages). In any case, it is now April and while the Galaxy S4 is going to be available soon (more on this later), there is no concrete news to be found regarding your version of the HTC One. That phone was announced in the middle of February and you guys still don't know whether you will get it after two whole months? Just who is running your device approval department, Gomer Pyle?
Getting back to the Galaxy S4. In theory the availability of this device on your network should assuage my disappointment regarding the HTC One except for one little caveat. Your Global Services department still doesn't know if the APN issue will be resolved on your Galaxy S line of devices. The last time I checked with them (3 days ago), the representative actually told me that he's not hopeful at this point. In essence, what we will continue to have here is a "global capable phone" that is still limited to making calls and SMS while using a foreign SIM. Is that like a "full featured" gaming console without wireless network or any other online connectivity? Laughable absurdity if not downright advertisement fraud. You see, unlike 62% of my fellow Americans I actually have a passport and travels quite a bit. In fact, I am overseas for at least 4-6 weeks every year. The ability to have one phone holding all of my contacts, emails and calender reminders is sort of important to say the least. Of course I could just use a third party work around but then there is that whole voiding the warranty snag. Guess what idea your CSR proposed as a solution? Pay for insurance. Excuse me? I have to pay an extra monthly charge just to acquire a function that every *true* global phone should have to begin with? Logically speaking, that makes about as much sense as complaining about the lack of fine dining options at McDonald's. Now I know Verizon and Samsung are blaming each other for this screw-up but unequivocally speaking, we the consumer (at least I) do not care about who to blame. We (at least I) just want to problem resolved. Even our Congress would be rather proud of the back-and-forth rhetoric being exchanged between Verizon and Samsung on this issue. Given their approval rating, well, you get the picture.
Look, I know you guys enjoy claiming that the uninspired, lackluster and somewhat embarrassing phone lineup of the past was due to a "strict approval process" to ensure that these devices can meet Verizon's standards. I know that line by heart because I used to work for Verizon many years ago. However I now work in financial analysis and as a result, I have also acquired the ability to see right through a ** excuse and that line simply reeks of it. Where was this "high standard" when an endless stream of electronic waste disposal worthy Pantech and LG devices were being trotted out while the HTC One, Lumia 920 and the Xperia Z are noticeably absent? Frankly speaking, your phone lineup reminds me of shady used car lot. A couple of low mileage, Carfax verified gems drowned out by a bunch of water damaged, high mileage 1998 Ford Escort or 2002 Chevy Cavalier clunkers that the dealer is desperate to get rid of. A sad state for a major carrier to be in to say the least.
Bottom line, AT&T is looking more attractive by the day as they have both of those phones that I'm interested in and is willing to unlock after 60 days for overseas use. With that said, don't think for one minute that this is an idle threat due to your overconfidence in the fact that "superior" network coverage will prevent customers from switching. That is a myth which varies greatly based on geographical location and in the Bay Area where I live, AT&T's network and 4G coverages are rated as highly as Verizon's (ut oh). Even though I will end up paying 10-15 dollars more a month due to losing my grandfathered SMS package which AT&T charges $20 a month for, that in itself is not a deal breaker by any stretch of the imagination. I spend more than that on my weekly dry cleaning trip. Finally, come May 18th if there are still no updates regarding a Verizon HTC One and the Galaxy S4 APN problem, I will be at the AT&T store porting out my number at 9am in the morning. Good riddance.