Motorola MicroTAC flip phone, bought at Office Depot, contract through Century Cellunet. Which begat Centurytel, which begat Alltel and thence Verizon. Over 20+ years, we've only had three phones -- the current Motorola RAZR V3's are over six years old.
The phones are fine.
The service is fine.
Back in the Alltel days we put the account on Autopay. Last month I get a text message saying that the card's expiration date is coming. So I need to input the new date.
Verizon does not make it easy.
The web link they provide asks you for your My Verizon account login. I have one, which I set up for haiku, our Verizon 3G credit card sized WiFi hotspot. But that's pay-as-you-go, not contract, so I guess I have to add the cellphones or create a new account. Login. Oh noes! We have to create a more secure system, so let's play clown car security theatre and have you select one of our canned security questions -- ones which can be easily answered by friends, family or blog readers. But okay, we'll play.
Now my computer is registered.
And... My Verizon is down right now. Okay.
I do try to set up a new account. It wants to send me a text message with a PIN number. To my phone, which is off. And I'm not turning it on with Mrs. Dr. Phil asleep in the next room. Oh, the PIN is good on my for two hours. Disconnect.
Today. Try again. Do clown car security theatre again. My Verizon is STILL down.
Try to find a customer support number. Use My Verizon! It does everything! Check minutes! Cure Ebola! Look ten years younger! If it were working! ... Idiots.
I recall years ago there was a direct way to get to customer service. 611? I Google "Verizon 611", it gets links to *611 and the incredible Android phone *611 experience. What if you don't HAVE an Android phone. Finally I just call *611 -- it rings.
It's a menu system. But first I have to listen to a LONG commercial touting the virtues of the wonderful -- and nonfunctional -- My Verizon. Sigh.
Eventually I was able to update my Autopay.
But man, it was not easy.
Of course, it's probably my fault. I didn't try 0 in the menu and get a human on the other end.
If Verizon employs any in Customer Service...