Emeryville Amy

This blog will be a combination of my favorite places in the Bay Area and abroad, memoirs, recipes, restaurant reviews and travel experiences.

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Location: Emeryville, San Francisco Bay Area, CA, United States

Monday, September 26, 2005

What I Think About Verizon


I held out a long time on getting a cell phone for many reasons, but I finally broke down and bought one so that I would be able to use it on the road. Verizon said they had excellent nationwide coverage and that they had a great North American plan which allowed you to have the same service in Canada for $20 more a month. I signed up for it for a month so that I would have it the whole time I was in Canada.

I spent quite a while on the phone with the representative to make sure that I knew everything I needed to know about my new service plan for the month. And then I left for my trip.

I had been told that the coverage would start a few days before I arrived in Canada (just to be on the safe side). The guy told me that AFTER I arrived I should dial *228 to update my phone and to make sure that I got the best reception possible. The part that he got wrong was that it was necessary to update it BEFORE I got into Canada. There is a big difference between the two. So now even though I can use my phone I will be charged 65 cents a minute.

I called Verizon and they said that I should have updated my phone before I left the country. Or I could come back to the USA and try from there. Boy that sounds convenient ! I called Tim in desperation and he pretty much said the same thing. He suggested that we drive down close to the border and try to get US reception from there. Crossing and recrossing the border can take hours and didn't sound like something I wanted to do but I thought that it might be my only solution. Why they can't just do it some other way baffles me. I mean, come on, they have all my info, can't they just update it themselves instead of saying the only way it can be done is if I leave the country? There has to b a better way than that.

So, Peter kindly drove me from Vancouver down to White Rock and we got close to the border crossing. I kept trying to get through on my cell but the phone repeatedly said,"Programming Unsuccessful!". We decided to pull over at the last Duty Free store before the border and try to walk over closer. We were stopped by a guard who wanted to know what we were doing. He said we probably shouldn't be doing that but that we could try. Peter and I dodged our way through enormous semi-trucks waiting to go through the border until we were stopped and interrogated by another guard who said that we were in a dead cell phone place for security reasons and that we should leave immediately.

It took a couple more walkie talkie messages between the guards to let us out of the parking lot. We drove to the bayside town of Crescent and I kept trying to get through on the cell to no avail. In order to have the trip not be a total loss we got out and walked along the beach and had an ice cream. The beach was full of people with their dogs enjoying the crisp but warm Autumn day. Maybe my life is just better without a cell phone. I am planning to have a few words with Verizon at a later point in time...


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