Phone Hell: Google Voice, Verizon Wireless, Blackberry – can I get some help here?

       

This post outlines my annoyance / outrage / disbelief in the current situation with my Google Voice and Verizon Wireless phone service.

Be careful depending on Google Voice on your Blackberry from Verizon.

Im going to try and stick to the facts, and leave out any emotion or conspiracy theories.
Really, I just want some help. Or suggestions on what to do – such as go to Nexus, or another phone plan.

I have successfully been using Google Voice with Verizon Wireless for a few months now.

Not familiar with it? It's pretty damn cool. You pick a number for free (i guess Google advertisers are paying a penny more per click, so not free for them) and can have people call you on that number.
Via the web interface, you select which phones will ring under many conditions. Forward to home from 6pm – 11pm, to your cell 9am – 9pm, whatever.
It's very nifty. When your phone rings, it can display the actual caller or your own Google Voice number. MIne is on my friends and family plan with Verizon.
Catching on why this is nice?

2 weeks ago, I started dropping calls with Verizon. 7 times one day, 9 times the next. This was using Google Voice and also regular calls.   

On my way to DC from Pittsburgh, I called 611 and after updating via *228 – I was told it was the phone I was using because multiple calling areas were affected.

I was teaching that week and had no time to go to a Verizon store. On the way home, I tried to talk to a potential client, and the call dropped 4 times. Great impression!

I stopped in my local Verizon store 7 days ago on a Saturday, and they said they would have to order a phone since they don't carry the Blackberry 8330 anymore.

The replacement Blackberry shipped and I missed getting it Wednesday. Of course, the one 30 minute period I stepped out of the house is when the Fex Ex guy was here!

That night, I tried calling 1-800-GOOG 411 for directory assistance(free again), and I kept getting a Verizon message saying the phone number was invalid, check the number and dial again.
No need to check, it was in my address book. I tried 5 times in a row, finally got through, and got the info I needed. I then tried again just to see what would happen, and back to "the number is invalid" message.

Hmmm…

Got the replacement phone yesterday – it had a sticker, "Like-New Replacement" and a red "certified" stamped across it.


Well, the phone didnt work. I called and tried activating it, but the buttons didnt work. Then the previous phone didnt work. Certified?

So back to the mall and they tried giving me a temp phone, but the battery was incompatible, so the best offer, overnight another phone.

I myself felt drained at this point. Major time suck, and will the new phone be just as certified to work?

Got the new one this morning, and just as in the last week, when I initiate calls via Google Voice –
the people receiving the call cannot hear me.  I twitted and Facebooked about this – and the responses I got from others were that they were having no problems – on other networks.

I called to complain, 611, and after a long wait – then someone saying they would help me – the call dropped.

I called back and asked them to call my home number.   A tech listened to all I had to say, said the dropped call is probably the phone (second replacement phone, remember?),
and for me to monitor dropped calls over the weekend.

So, I pushed about the Google issue. That I was getting an invalid number for the 1-800-GOOG-411 from Verizon.
The tech called the number and said "worked for me!" Thanks – can you get the number for Ann Taylor to me, two nights ago, when I was trying to reach them?

So, I asked about the fact callers cant hear me, when I initiate the Google Voice call via the web. My cell rings, I answer, teh phone rings, we are connected. The response from Verizon regarding Google calls not working on my Verizon? Call Google.
Okay – I get this – it involves another party, and this is difficult to troubleshoot. But call Google?

Okay, I will get right on that.

Actually, I cant – there is no number.

I tried to use the feedback form on Google's site.

I entered:

 

And upon hitting submit – got:

Spreadsheets? Can they help me with my Google Voice problems? Can anyone?

Whoever coded that page, I feel your pain. I once brought down an entire website when i overwrote the index.html.
I was a fresh developer. But even if this is a new developer – didn't someone test this functionality?

 But I was a

I found another area to submit feedback, and I did. Hopefully someone will contact me and get this straightened out.
It's amazing. These are free services – if I ignore the targeted ads I receive from Google.

These services worked before and now they do not. I just want them back.

Interestingly enough, my contract with Verizon expires in March. Funny, everyone from Verizon is suggesting I upgrade my phone to fix this problem. Of course NONE said that this will extend my contract. Funny, isnt that how I got my $1.50 coupon towards Verizon Services from the previous class action lawsuit?

When I ask them if it extends my contract, they shyly look away and say Yes.

If I quit Verizon now – I have to pay a cancellation fee. Might be cheaper than monthly bill now.

I've thought of going to a cheap service like Cricket – but Im addicted to being connected.

I do like to be quick in responding to my clients as well, so it would be tough to give up a smartphone.

Any suggestions for my next mobile service with web?  Stay with Blackberry? iPod? Nexus?

This fills like one of those letters you write to an ex but never send. It's too long of a rant, and I have no idea if anyone will read it.
BUT…if it leads to me getting service that makes me smile, or warns others away from the same fate, it may be worth it.

 

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