The Motorola Droid is a fairly fragile phone. Too many moving parts, they just wear out. The first one I got broke after a couple of months, and Verizon swapped it out surprisingly quickly and easily. A few weeks ago the replacement phone, almost two years old now, started behaving badly. The screen would jump around. It presses buttons by itself. Hung up on people. It's as if there was a ghost typing on the virtual keypad.
Well, I don't want another Droid. Just had my AT&T iPhone shut down. The T-mobile deal I thought was so good was just voice, no data. So at this point I'm paying for one phone, and it doesn't work. When I go out I don't have a net connection. I am paying for one.
I went down to the Verizon store at 581 Broadway, waited 45 minutes only to be stiff-armed. They want me to upgrade and get a new phone and a new contract. I just want a replacement phone. I pointed out if they replaced the phone they would still have me as a customer. They insisted I had to buy one. I would have told them to shut it off right then and there except for one thing -- I want to keep the number.
While I was sitting in the store waiting to be served, twenty people came through the store to buy new phones. No waiting. Very friendly. They have it down. Make the customer suffer when they want something from you. But you breeze through when you sign up.
Funny thing is they said "sorry" to everyone one of the people who was before me in line today. They all walked out without their problems being solved. It was instructive if only for that reason. You can see how customer dis-satisfaction is built into the system.
Update: I ported my existing number to Google Voice. They take care of closing the Verizon account for me. For $20. Not a bad deal, considering cancelling the account was sure to cost me one hour on the phone with them. (It's like paying someone to wait in line for you at the DMV.)