Verizon Wireless
Attn: Customer Service
PO Box 4009
Silver Spring, MD  20914-4009


I've been a Verizon Wireless customer for many years -- in fact, since before there was a Verizon Wireless (I was a Bell Atlantic Wireless customer).

I was still using the original phone I bought from Bell Atlantic Wireless many years ago, a Motorola 36100. This phone uses only an analog signal, and has no digital capability. Because of this, I received a note from Verizon Wireless notifying me that next year (February 2008, if I remember correctly) Verizon Wireless will turn off its analog network, and encouraging me to take appropriate measures.

I knew this was coming, and a friend of mine had already offered to give me one of her old Verizon Wireless phones. To be precise, it is a Motorola 120E, with an ESN of 331OCE91. So we met at the Verizon Wireless store in Gaithersburg, MD, on Tuesday 27 Feb 2007, and had them switch my service to the 120E (photocopy of receipt enclosed). Everything worked fine, my friend and I tested the phone by placing and receiving calls, and everything was okay. However when I got home, my phone was no longer working.

So I struggled for a couple of weeks without a working cell phone, and on Tuesday 13 March 2007 my friend and I went back to the same Verizon Wireless store in Gaithersburg, and explained the problem. The folks there downloaded some new firmware to the phone (bringing it to 8300_01.41.00 and a PRL version of 50740), and the phone worked fine. But by the time I got it home, it had stopped working.

I thought this very odd, so I did a few experiments. It turns out that my phone would work only when it was physically located in Montgomery County, Maryland. It would not work in Virginia or in the District of Columbia, but it would work in Montgomery County, Maryland.

This is somewhat disconcerting, as I live and work in DC, not in Maryland. Then I took a closer look at the letter sent to me by Verizon Wireless on 28 February (the day after my first visit to the Gaithersburg Verizon Wireless store). A double-sided photocopy of the letter, providing me with "a complete list of the active Included Features and Optional Services" for my phone, is enclosed. After looking at the list for a while, I realized that there is no Calling Plan on the list. Okay, I guess I now have to actively select a Calling Plan. Then the next day I received my current Verizon Wireless bill dated 7 March 2007 (a week after the letter of the 28th). A double-sided photocopy of the four-page bill is enclosed. Note that according to my bill I'm being charged $27.99 a month for the "Talkalong Plus 20_20 Anytime_$27.99_1y_1097" calling plan.

So let us review: I suppose the only way Verizon Wireless could more effectively have told me "We don't want your business, go away" is to actually use those words. No need, your message got through loud and clear, and as a result I have transferred my wireless phone number and wireless service to Sprint/Nextel.

It's kind of sad, really. Bell Atlantic Wireless/Verizon Wireless saw me through the stroke/seizure of the love of my life, saw me through her incapacitation, saw me through dealing with her family and with the nursing home over her life support, saw me through her deterioration, saw me through her death, her funeral, and her burial. And now Verizon Wireless has chosen to throw all that away. As I say, it's sad, but there it is.

William Reitwiesner
[my snail-mail address]

cc: Verizon Wireless
1515 Woodfield Rd Ste 1400
Schaumburg, IL  60173