A Very Unhappy Customer: Me.

Dear Verizon,

My family and I have been loyal customers with Verizon for nearly a decade. Your coverage throughout the country is second to none, which is outstanding. But right now I am absolutely irate with Verizon and will continue to be until something is changed.

I am one of the unfortunate souls who is a BlackBerry Storm owner. I have been plagued by the Storm’s litany of problems since I first got it nearly ten months ago. In that time, I have had the dubious experience of having cycled through four different Storms in hopes of each new phone replacing the problems experienced by the previous – to absolutely no avail.

Besides that the phone simply feels plasticy and cheap, the biggest problems are that it constantly freezes, crashes, and resets itself. Yes, I have the newest software and yes, this has reduced the number of incidents of freezing and reseting. However, to still reset or freeze anywhere from one to half dozen times daily with normal use is obviously beyond absurd.

Let’s say the phone has a bad week and either resets or freezes and therefore needs to be reset the full six times per day. Six incidents multiplied by seven days multiplied by a minimum of two minutes each time is eighty four minutes per week. Nearly an hour and a half of my week can be dedicated to the Storm giving me a headache. That’s inexcusable.

A better testament to how despicable the phone is happened to me a few weeks ago. When I see a car broken down on the highway, I nearly always alert the authorities. Moreover, when I see an accident I stop and try to help in any way I can. I came upon a two-car accident recently, yet when I pulled out my phone to call 911, the phone was frozen. No fewer than three minutes later, I was able to call the authorities. Thankfully no one had been injured. Yes, this is a rare event when the phone needs to be used in such a fashion, but if someone had been injured in this accident and the Storm couldn’t have been used to call the paramedics… well that is simply beyond a reasonable explanation.

It takes next to no brainpower whatsoever to recognize that the BlackBerry storm is a flawed device. Consumer reviews are seething towards the Storm with the only exception is by those brainwashed customers who, through think and through thin, will always side with BlackBerry. Yet, I think what really makes me angry is that it is corporate greed and staring at the bottom line that lends itself to such a horrible phone. The phone first came to market conveniently right before the 2008 winter holiday season. It’s obvious that the Storm was rushed to the retail market well before it should have been released because the majority of the issues would have been resolved with a little more pre-market testing. However the Christmas rush was too much to pass up.

As I said, I am now on my fourth edition of the phone. Each edition of the phone was preceded by at least an hour in the Verizon store explaining the phone’s flaws. Verizon’s customer support is generally fully aware of the problems, and they jump through the requisite and time consuming hoops to replace the phone.

I was a bit miffed, however, when the latest customer support agent said to me, “If you think you’re upset, imagine what we have to go through to hear these complaints every single day!” I nearly blew a gasket. Good Lord, sir. If you know the phone is inherently flawed, then DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.

So what to do? Simple: stop replacing the problem phones with new problem phones. I ask that you offer replacements using different phones to all customers who have been plagued with this heinous device. The new Tour, for example, is rumored to have fixed the problems. So offer that one or any other device.

Yesterday I spent more than three hours in a Verizon store, then on the phone with your customer service going through the same song and dance explaining how and why my newest phone is giving me problems. The phrase, “The more things change, the more they stay the same” ran through my head on more than one occasion when dealing with the replacement pieces of junk, errr, phones. At the end of this hair pulling experience I was told two different stories of what it would take to replace my Storm with the Tour: one person said I would pay the $200 for a new phone plan with the Tour while the other told me it would cost the retail price of $500 for the Tour.

To pay a single penny would be too much. The seemingly ceaseless ten month headache you have caused me with your phone is reason enough to replace the phone at no cost. For goodness sake, you have buy-one-get-one free on your BlackBerrys. It’s obvious you make your money on the phone plans and not the phone itself. To offer a new phone is not going to put you out of business; rather it will increase the respect your consumers have for you. One step backwards and two steps forwards seems like an obvious and strategic business move.

All I can do is be eternally grateful that you are just in the phone business and not in the car industry. Imagine if the cars you work with simply stopped operating while going 70mph down the highway. Or even worse: aviation? Yeah, a plane stalling a half dozen times throughout the day… that’s much more than I care to think about.

Thank you for your help and consideration. I eagerly await hearing how you will resolve my problem.

Ted King


  1. Bob T.

    I’d make a smarmy comment about how how my iPhone works flawlessly and you should get one of those … but I won’t because I’m not a dick.

    Also, I’m afraid you’d punch me in the face next time you see me.

  2. casharp

    The storm is a piece of crap. I bought one for my wife. Its now a paper weight. Complete waste of $$. I have a BB tour. Its very nice. Lesson learned for both of us I hope… Return any new phone from verizon within the 1st two weeks if any problems are experienced.

  3. Hondo McBorkman

    *insert smug comment by iPhone user here*

  4. d

    Verizon has a Twitter customer service account. Send a tweet to them with a link to this. Once they see you are a professional athlete I’m sure they’ll give you a new phone.

  5. iamtedking

    Let it be known I loved my iPhone. As in, I’m embarrassed how much I loved that thing. But it’s prohibitively expensive to use overseas. Sad sad sad.

  6. Mike G

    My wife has had the exact same problems with the Motorola Q – same poor design, same excuses by Verizon. Pitiful.

  7. Bob T.

    Oh, you DO have an iPhone?! Please feel free to completely ignore my previous comment, then.

  8. Ted

    Bob, note the past tense. Used to have one. Not any more.

  9. mat

    had an iphone. it was nice but sucked for email/text/talking. had a blackberry before and have one after…..dropped my iphone ONCE and shattered the screen on my 30th birthday on my way to my birthday party.

    phones with buttons are still the way to go.

    good luck.

    • iamtedking

      To each his own. I had an iPhone and LOVED it. Talking was it’s biggest bane, but I could honestly type 40-50 words per minute. I smoked that thing! Only problem – and I mean ONLY problem – was cost for international use. Prohibitively expensive. It was a sad sad day when I had to get rid of it. But I appreciate the comment Mat.

  10. Lee Wassilie

    This is so funny because I was in montpelier yesterday and read your bicycling magazine favorites list. you know what your third fav was? hmmm? do you know what you said it was there? hmm? any clue? any idea what that might have been? hmmm? any ?? need a hint??? hmm ? a lil more time??? IT WAS YOUR PHONE!

    • iamtedking

      Touche Lee. I’ll hand that to you. That said, the phone has been a headache from the very first week I had it and it’s only been worse since then. I think I threw into the Bicycle description that I miss my iPhone – getting rid of it, besides not having mega international fees – was a sad sad day.


  11. Steve

    The wife and I just DUMPED (took a dump) on Verizon….Goodbye!
    IPhone users now and so pumped….Amazing technology! Hopefully they sort it out for you soon.


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