March 16th, 2005

Wireless Carrier Complexity with Handsets and Content

I recently signed up with Verizon Wireless when I purchased an LG 8000. Phone is great. Video great. Games great. Etc.

Use of the phone, however, has highlighted the many difficulties in bringing a new phone and applications to market.

1) Content distribution. I’ve anxiously been awaiting the release of Sorrent’s Zuma. I became addicted while I had use of a demo phone. (Great “easy to learn/hard to master” puzzle game) Verizon and Sorrent had a joint announcement earlier this week re the release. I tried to log on to the games catalogue about 19 times to find it before defaulting to the web site to learn that it is not yet available for my phone model. I’m somewhat concerned since one of my other favorites Bejeweled is also not available and it’s been out a lot longer.

2) Customer Support. I had a lot of difficulty logging into to the network to access the catalogue. I finally called customer service. Very friendly customer service. Apologized repeatedly for my wait. They had to elevate me from person to person (I’m on my fourth as I write this blog) because the customer service team was not familiar with the phone. I’m currently on hold while a “ticket” is created.

3)Complications of handset memory. I was having trouble launching the Vcast service. Since I’m at CTIA, I took the phone to the chipset company. They couldn’t figure out why it wouldn’t work so I took it over to Verizon’s booth. After five to ten minutes, they were able to diagnose the problem. I’d used too much memory and I was no longer able to download video. I did not receive an error message of this nature – it just wouldn’t work. They taught me how to check and manage the RAM and other memory on my handset. I’m good to go now.

4) OTA. They are working on diagnosing why I can’t access GetItNow. Apparently my feature set had not been configured correctly. Seems as though it’s a policy/access issue with my handset and service plan. The customer service person is explaining the nature of the issue to me in detail. I’m learning more from her about handsets then I did from many vendors at the show. OTA isn’t working at the moment.

I’ve had all of these issues, and I’ve been on the phone with customer service for 20 or 30 minutes now, but I’m not angry at all. This customer service team is extremely knowledgeable. They are also unbelievably friendly.

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