I have been a Verizon customer since they first got into the cellular phone business and I have been happy with their network coverage and (up until now) their customer service.
Fortunately, before actually buying this phone, I learned that despite settling a class action suit, Verizon still deliberately cripples many of the features on all the phones they sell (while still charging the same price other carriers charge for an uncrippled phone). The only Bluetooth feature they don't completely disable is the ability to connect to some, but not all, handsfree Bluetooth head sets (coincidentally you can only reliably connect to headsets sold by Verizon). What you cannot do with these Verizon phones but can do with the same phone sold by any other carrier, is to get ringtones and wallpapers from your PC, download pictures you take with the phone to your PC for printing, download video clips and movie trailers and transfer data files between your PC and phone.
You can still do all of these things through Verizon - in fact, the only way you can do them is through Verizon. You just have to pay extra per picture, per download or per file to use Verizon's Get it Now, VCast, and Video/Picture Messaging services. Remember now, I am not talking about sending files, photos and such to others, which I don't have a problem paying Verizon for. I am talking about transferring them the length of a USB cable (> 2') or via Bluetooth (> 30') from my home pc to the phone in exactly the way the phone was designed to do by the mnanufacturer.
I mentioned in passing here (additional comment by others here and here) that Verizon had done this and linked here to a transcript of a conversation with an unrepentant customer relations representative who basically expressed the corporate view that they pretty much don't care what their customers think. Here is the party line in corporate speak from Verizon's own, Brenda Raney:
Verizon does business unlike any other carrier, and we make no apologies for that. ... [Those features] don't work with our business model.Despite all of this, I was still leaning toward staying with Verizon because I thought that although it would be more inconvenient than a wireless Bluetooth connection, I could still get the benefit of the phone's features through a direct USB connection. I was even willing to pay extra for Motorola's Phone Tools and a mini-USB cable - until I read this fine print:
This made me wonder why any Verizon customer would bother buying it and it also turned out to be a wakeup call when it suddenly dawned on me that Verizon was counting on people like me who would just "suck it up" rather than switch carriers. It also occurred to me that the other carriers were probably considering similar profit gouging measures and were waiting to see if Verizon paid any sort of price in terms of losing customers.
Note: If you are a Verizon customer, all multimedia and internet connection features in this software will be disabled due to carrier request.
So, notwithstanding a long and otherwise comfortable relationship with Verizon, I have decided that when my current contract is up next month, I will vote with my feet on Verizon's new attitude toward their