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Thread: Watershed moment, or not... - the days of no competition are over.

  1. #1
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    Watershed moment, or not... - the days of no competition are over.

    I've been a Verizon customer since 2000. In my area there hasn't really been a lot of competition. My experiences with Verizon sales staff (in-person) has been extremely bad-- just so much arrogance, and even arrogant and unapologetic when being factually incorrect.

    The competition in this industry is great, and I really have to acknowledge T-Mobile as a stand-out. Anyway, as I mature in my understanding, one realizes that the real needs I have for 'fringe' coverage is much less. In my case, I'm old enough to remember when we simply didn't have cell service anyway. So I see the competition bringing it, and think right on. All are improved, and better price points for service. Even within Verizon both prepaid and MVNO resellers of their network being readily available.

    So Verizon continues to push the extreme ("Our network is so strong we don't need true WiFi calling"), Shammo's constant embarrassing statements like the LTE network being complete including when Verizon has large swaths of 1x-only roaming, and still 3G native even in-town. Talking about how video streaming will make the company money overtly rather than selling the service from a customer's point of view.

    So Verizon has no real flexibility with network extender offers or really even retention offers. I'm not a hatter, but I am excited to see the shift which I believe has already gotten started and frankly Verizon may simply find unstoppable. Sad that companies really don't compete at all until they've been greatly humbled. Well, Verizon's humility is both here now to a certian extent but much more to come.

    -Dan
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    http://pages.uoregon.edu/dalbrich
    Eugene, OR -- Pacific Northwest

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    All of the lines that I manage are used by people that live out in the fields and woods far from densely populated areas. Many of them can afford Verizon service just fine, but have come to realize the tremendous savings per month of putting their daily driver on a different network, or perhaps staying with the Verizon network and going through an MVNO.
    Some who travel a lot on business and feel they need to be reachable 100% of the time and therefore need the ability to roam, carry a flip phone on selectel for that purpose, but their $800 flagship daily driver is on another network.

    Because they are mostly on Wi-Fi except for their commute time, many have a monthly carrier service bill but average is well under $20 a month, without any significant compromise in the quality of their handset or the functionality of their desired usage.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dalbrich View Post
    So Verizon continues to push the extreme ("Our network is so strong we don't need true WiFi calling"), Shammo's constant embarrassing statements like the LTE network being complete including when Verizon has large swaths of 1x-only roaming, and still 3G native even in-town. Talking about how video streaming will make the company money overtly rather than selling the service from a customer's point of view.
    Where are these "large swaths of 1x-only roaming" of which you speak?

    Attachment 133337

    I just don't see them on this map at all, screenshot taken this morning. Just the few areas in Texas, counties that contain very little population, mostly open desert. Verizon is not spectrum-rich in Texas either, most is held by other carriers, and in the case of the largest area of Verizon's 1x roaming, both AT&T and T-Mobile have it well-covered with LTE. Verizon does have their nationwide 700 MHz spectrum that they should be deploying down there, but considering one of those counties only has about 3000 people and it is already served with LTE by both AT&T and T-Mobile, perhaps they are leaving leaving the market to them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ggore View Post
    Where are these "large swaths of 1x-only roaming" of which you speak?

    Attachment 133337

    I just don't see them on this map at all, screenshot taken this morning. Just the few areas in Texas, counties that contain very little population, mostly open desert. Verizon is not spectrum-rich in Texas either, most is held by other carriers, and in the case of the largest area of Verizon's 1x roaming, both AT&T and T-Mobile have it well-covered with LTE. Verizon does have their nationwide 700 MHz spectrum that they should be deploying down there, but considering one of those counties only has about 3000 people and it is already served with LTE by both AT&T and T-Mobile, perhaps they are leaving leaving the market to them.
    My house according to Verizon's map is in a fairly strong lte coverage area. My Verizon devices unfortunately don't consult the map, they only offer up 1x here.

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    I think nowadays Verizon has competition they didn't have before. I travel a lot and other carriers hang with Verizon quite nicely. In tmobiles coverage areas they work flawlessly. As for att, my phone seemed to get lte in more spots when compared to my coworkers verizon phone. More often than not he would have to borrow my att phone to make calls when in the sticks.

    I'd give the reliability award to tmobile(in the places they cover), the lte award to att. I would give Verizon the give your customers the shaft most often award and the marketing spin drink the koolaid award. Verizon is such an awful company I'd be embarrassed to admit I pay them monthly for the bs and red tape alone not counting the mediocre lte service. There is competition now which is great to see.


    Sent from my RM-1073_1004 via the HowardForums WP7 App

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    Quote Originally Posted by eddiehaskell View Post
    As for att, my phone seemed to get lte in more spots when compared to my coworkers verizon phone. More often than not he would have to borrow my att phone to make calls when in the sticks.


    Sent from my RM-1073_1004 via the HowardForums WP7 App
    I'm calling total BS on this statement. I've been retired and traveling in an RV for 8 years. I mostly stay in small towns or rural areas in the mountains and "in the sticks". I can't remember a single time when I didn't have a signal on Verizon yet one of my fellow campers did have one on ATT. Certainly, there are areas where Verizon doesn't have a signal and perhaps ATT does, but to say that this is "more often than not" is total BS.

    However, I have had others borrow my phone on several occasions when their ATT couldn't get out. Both of these companies have dead spots, but to suggest that ATT has better rural coverage is nonsense.

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    It comes down to location. Not implying all spots but from my experience Verizon wasn't as perfect as they imply to be. Sometimes other carriers work better but depends on location. Verizon has more competition now than ever before. That's my main point.

    So because you call total bs on a statement its wrong? You have your experiences I have mine.
    Sent from my RM-1073_1004 via the HowardForums WP7 App

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    Quote Originally Posted by eddiehaskell View Post
    It comes down to location. .....
    I sometimes point out to people who hold that coverage trumps everything else that the only way to be assured of coverage everywhere is to carry a satellite phone. Even then having obstructions, like buildings and trees can put you in a dead spot. Everyone has to do the calculus themselves to determine what meets their needs and what costs they can afford. I know people who don't bother with this and always go with whatever is "the best". These are the same people who don't count money in units smaller than $1000. For everyone else, the value received for the cost is very important.

    The Communications Act of 1993 charged the FCC with promoting wireless competition. One can see from the fact that we're only having this discussion now, that they've failed miserably in carrying out this responsibility. Through many administrations they've acted more as an industry lapdog than a consumer watchdog.

    Anyway, all wireless carriers suck. The trick is to find one that sucks in a way you can live with.
    Last edited by DRNewcomb; 11-11-2015 at 10:15 AM. Reason: spelling
    Donald Newcomb

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    Quote Originally Posted by HansCT View Post
    All of the lines that I manage are used by people that live out in the fields and woods far from densely populated areas. Many of them can afford Verizon service just fine, but have come to realize the tremendous savings per month of putting their daily driver on a different network, or perhaps staying with the Verizon network and going through an MVNO.
    Some who travel a lot on business and feel they need to be reachable 100% of the time and therefore need the ability to roam, carry a flip phone on selectel for that purpose, but their $800 flagship daily driver is on another network.

    Because they are mostly on Wi-Fi except for their commute time, many have a monthly carrier service bill but average is well under $20 a month, without any significant compromise in the quality of their handset or the functionality of their desired usage.
    So you manage the lines of alot of homeless rich people who travel alot but yet somehow are always on wifi and can afford whatever they want yet buy an 800 buck phone but wont spend more than 20 in service.....WTF.....

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    They do certainly vary in their socioeconomic status, but none of them are what I would call poor, I certainly never said anything about homeless, and only a few are what I would call rich.

    And yes, because they are saving so much money on their monthly bill, largely through my advice, that enables them to turn over their devices and upgrade much more frequently than they could or would if they were using traditional arrangements with the big carriers.

    All seems perfectly logical to me. In fact I find those that are actually on the better off side of the spectrum, are the ones that value frugality all the more. They only want to spend the money on things that deliver good value, and I show them how to maximize that in their telephony services.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HansCT View Post
    They do certainly vary in their socioeconomic status, but none of them are what I would call poor, I certainly never said anything about homeless, and only a few are what I would call rich.

    And yes, because they are saving so much money on their monthly bill, largely through my advice, that enables them to turn over their devices and upgrade much more frequently than they could or would if they were using traditional arrangements with the big carriers.

    All seems perfectly logical to me. In fact I find those that are actually on the better off side of the spectrum, are the ones that value frugality all the more. They only want to spend the money on things that deliver good value, and I show them how to maximize that in their telephony services.
    Largely through your advice??? So youre the phone guru....these people who live in woods and fields....we shall call them the outsiders these outsiders can't manage their own phone accounts??? Paying a bill once a month is wayy to complicated....but have a flip device on top of an 800 dollar smartphone they handle just fine? You would also think you'd "advise" them on the benefits of sub 800 dollar phones if frugality is the key here. You can find many of handsets below 500 bucks that offer just as good if not better performance than an 800 dollar device. That kind of throws your frugal argument out the window there.

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    Haha I see what you mean. No, by "hills, woods and fields around here" I mean we are away from densely populated areas, most people I know live on lots of 5 - 40 acres, when you drive down a winding dirt road with stone walls on both sides , sometimes a quarter mile between driveways. There are actually quite a few working farm here still, although most of them are just hobbies, subsidized by weekenders.

    And I'm sorry if this wasn't more clear, but owners of the very highest price flagships are in the minority, not sure where you got the impression it was most of them.

    I was simply making the point that there does not need to be any relationship between the quality of the handset and how much you need to pay for a carrier services.

    Having to pay a high monthly bill should only depend on your needs and preferences in choosing a service provider, and usage patterns in consuming those services. When I first "sit down" with someone, I find most of them are spending at least twice as much as they need to on their carrier bill, often far more than that.

    Sometimes the compromises necessary to save money are actually things that turn out to be important for them, but usually they are just uninformed and haven't put much thought into those variables.

    Since you seem so interested, here are the questions that I usually start out in gathering information, and often it takes some time and discussion, or even real world testing over a couple of months, to actually get all the answers:

    ​What network carriers provide good signal coverage in the places where you live work and travel? Do you need roaming?

    On average per month how many voice minutes, text and data megabytes do you need? Are your usage patterns consistent or highly variable?

    Do you use VoIP or video conferencing, or do much gaming? Would 3G only service be ok for you or do you want LTE? Do you want to be able to hotspot? Explicitly allowed or is sneaking it ok?

    Do you have multiple lines, or would you be willing to get a group together in order to save money? Would you want the pools to be shared between those lines or separate?

    Is customer service important to you? How about access to brick-and-mortar stores?

    My services usually eliminate the need for that latter item....

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    Even in the greater Chicago area, AT&T has a stronger LTE signal than Verizon in most places. It's not hard at all to find places where you drop down to 3G or 1X in buildings but AT&T still has a strong LTE signal.

    The only place Verizon really shines is out in the rural areas where there is little or no service from other carriers but Verizon is holding on to a bar or two of 1X.

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    Maps

    Quote Originally Posted by ggore View Post
    Where are these "large swaths of 1x-only roaming" of which you speak?
    Not long ago, the Verizon maps showed lots of 1x coverage when one zoomed in (not at the national level). One would usually need to select the prepaid maps to see it. I looked today and the map shows none in Oregon/Washington, which is simply incorrect.

    For example, a Verizon phone can roam in many rural places in Oregon and Washington on US Cellular, but 100% of that is 1x.

    One specific example: There's a huge geographic swath of US Cellular (or zero coverage) just between Vancouver WA (just north of PDX), and south of Centralia WA. As one travels either East of West off I5 in this region, one gets US cellular 1x roaming or nothing. This is just one giant area (as an example) but there are many others throughout both states.

    Verizon's maps have always been overly optimistic. At present, they've reached "completely ridiculous."

    -Dan

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    Quote Originally Posted by bmtvaquero View Post
    I'm calling total BS on this statement. I've been retired and traveling in an RV for 8 years. I mostly stay in small towns or rural areas in the mountains and "in the sticks". I can't remember a single time when I didn't have a signal on Verizon yet one of my fellow campers did have one on ATT. Certainly, there are areas where Verizon doesn't have a signal and perhaps ATT does, but to say that this is "more often than not" is total BS.

    However, I have had others borrow my phone on several occasions when their ATT couldn't get out. Both of these companies have dead spots, but to suggest that ATT has better rural coverage is nonsense.

    I think we've all had people "borrow our phones," for service from time to time. It's a big country though. There ARE areas where ATT has better rural coverage than VZ and vice versa. But perception can be based a lot of times on our travel patterns and geographic location.

    VZ has made more strides to partner with rural carriers's to extend their LTE range whereas ATT does it more solo. We're talking about 308 million POPS covered in LTE vs 310.5 million if you include VZ's rural partners. Not that much of a geographic difference. When I was driving through Utah I had AT&T HSPA 4G in areas my Verizon device had no service at all.

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