I’ve talked before about Verizon’s complete incompetence, but they now warrant another post. Here is the situation: My sister wanted to get me a Black RAZR phone for Christmas (I know, my sister is very awesome.) She found an “unlocked” online claiming to be “for use with your existing GSM 850 MHz, GSM 1800 MHz, GSM 900 MHz or GSM 1900 MHz provider and SIM card.” Wanting to be sure that would work with Verizon, she emailed the Verizon people, including all of that information, and explaining that she wasn’t sure what all that meant, but wanted to be sure it would work. She got a reply saying once she got the Serial Number of the phone, they’d verify that it would work, and then explained the steps she would have to take after getting the phone in order to get it to work. In other words, my sister asked if this phone would work, and they said “when you buy it, we can find out.” Thanks, that’s not helpful at all.
My sister emailed again, explaining the situation (that we couldn’t get the Serial Number until the phone arrived, but we needed to know based on the information provided if it would work or not without having to buy the thing first.) Providing no new information, we got a new response, saying that they could be sure once we got the serial number, but based on the speeds, etc.. it looked like it should work. Okay, so it looks like it should work. This is good.
I sent out two emails, one to a specific Verizon rep, and another to the Verizon online contact form people (where the first two emails had gone.) Now, I had done some research online, and what I had learned was this:
- There were two main types of phone service “things”: GSM, and CDMA.
- GSM worked for things like TMobile, Cingular, etc.. and CDMA worked for Sprint and Verizon.
- You couldn’t get a GSM phone to work for a CDMA company, nor a CDMA to work on a GSM service.
Based on the “looks like it should work” email, my 2 emails said something along the lines of: This phone says it uses GSM, and you guys are CDMA, but your rep says based on the speeds, it looks like it should work… So
1.) GSM phones work with Verizon,
2.) Will rates/charges be different using GSM rather than CDMA
3.) What kind of SIMM card would I need if it works.
I got a reply back from the rep saying “I don’t think it will work, but I’m not sure. You can call these people to find out.” and provided the same phone number the website provides for contacting Verizon.
I then got a reply from the “contact us” website, saying that it definitely won’t work… that Verizon needs a CDMA phone, and so GSM won’t work on their network.
So by providing the exact same information to the same email address 3 times, we got:
- I don’t know, maybe it will work.
- I’m not sure, but it probably will work fine
- No, it won’t work.
Verizon, you get the finger.. and I hope you can see this because I’m doing it as hard as I can. You’ve got the shittiest phones of any company, which you further mangle by intentionally disabling features that the phone can do simply so you can charge people to use your services to do the exact same thing (only less efficiently and far uglier). Then forcing your hideous and almost unusable UI on on the crippled, ugly phones, and stamping your name on it wherever you can. You guys suck. But I guess if you’ve got a good network, you can just skip everything else, eh? Suck it.