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dirtyboots

Verizon terminates rural Montana accounts

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Looks like Verizon can/will breach any ones 'contract'.  Here's a recent article.

"Montana's U.S. senators have chastised Verizon after the company sent out letters in the past few weeks to hundreds of eastern Montana customers essentially telling them they were getting kicked off Verizon’s cellphone service.

http://missoulian.com/news/state-and-regional/plan-wasn-t-so-unlimited-verizon-terminates-s-of-rural/article_fc3af9b3-4d69-5073-b24a-df35f70bc165.html

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5 hours ago, dirtyboots said:

Looks like Verizon can/will breach any ones 'contract'.  Here's a recent article.

"Montana's U.S. senators have chastised Verizon after the company sent out letters in the past few weeks to hundreds of eastern Montana customers essentially telling them they were getting kicked off Verizon’s cellphone service.

http://missoulian.com/news/state-and-regional/plan-wasn-t-so-unlimited-verizon-terminates-s-of-rural/article_fc3af9b3-4d69-5073-b24a-df35f70bc165.html

I read the entire article which you linked to.  I didn't see anywhere that it said or implied that Verizon was breaching a contract.  Where did you get that from?

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Not that I think Verizon is handing the situation well, but as I recall from their TOS, one of the reasons they can terminate service is for excessive roaming off the Verizon network. That likely does give them a legal out. I would like to see them work more closely with the affected subscribers and the local area cell carriers though, to resolve the situation with less drama.

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Not just Montana, they are cancelling customers in other states also and this article has more details - https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2017/09/verizon-kicks-8500-rural-customers-off-network-for-using-roaming-data/ .  

Here is another article with even more info - http://bgr.com/2017/09/15/verizon-unlimited-plan-reviews-throttling-problems-2017/ .  

Edited by Bill Joyce

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My cousin was affected by this.  The problem is Verizon has no towers in that area and therefore their customers in that area are always roaming.  I didn't read the linked article, but after my cousin was told by Verizon when she got the letter that she was roaming over 90% (it may have even been 95%, I forget exactly) of the time and therefore was being terminated.  Verizon told her to buy service from the local provider in the area so she wouldn't be roaming all the time.

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This is very understandable to me. I had a local carrier, US Cellular. When I came West it roamed constantly. After a couple of months got terminated. Just got a different carrier. Jfi we a year ago switched from AT&T to Version and really don't see a noticeable difference. 

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It seems the primary problem in this case is the short notice. The local cell service providers are just not equipped to handle the unexpected influx of a large number of new subscribers. Verizon should have foreseen that, and worked with them in advance of cutting off subscribers for a smoother transition.

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37 minutes ago, Dutch_12078 said:

The local cell service providers are just not equipped to handle the unexpected influx of a large number of new subscribers.

If the Verizon subscribers living there are roaming, are they not then doing so on the towers and equipment of those local providers? It seems that is the reason for Verizon dropping them from service so the only lag for the local providers should be getting them all signed up since their towers are already being used by those people. 

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Just now, Kirk Wood said:

If the Verizon subscribers living there are roaming, are they not then doing so on the towers and equipment of those local providers? It seems that is the reason for Verizon dropping them from service so the only lag for the local providers should be getting them all signed up since their towers are already being used by those people. 

My understanding from the various articles is that the local carriers do not have the support infrastructure in place to handle the influx. The tower equipment itself may be adequate if Verizon leaves the equipment they supplied or underwrote in place, but that's of little help if the companies do not have the underlying systems capacity to handle the large amount of number ports, possibly new phones if Verizon phones are not compatible or Verizon doesn't unlock the existing phones, and the required back office accounting to accommodate the new subscribers.

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1 hour ago, secessus said:

Sounds like V shouldn't have sold service in the area to begin with.

Im thinking that they had V before they moved to the area or they went somewhere else and got service but lived in the affected areas.

Denny

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12 minutes ago, D&J said:

Im thinking that they had V before they moved to the area or they went somewhere else and got service but lived in the affected areas.

Denny

That does not appear to be the case. For instance:

" Mid-Rivers Communication in Montana sent a similarly passive-aggressive letter to affected customers. The relationships we have with this provider have not changed. Like other small carriers around the US who are dealing with the same issue, we did not know this was coming. Because we have been losing cellular customers to this company’s active marketing in our area for years, we did not have any excessive inventory of devices on hand or other resources needed to support a large influx of new cellular customers.” "

http://bgr.com/2017/09/15/verizon-unlimited-plan-reviews-throttling-problems-2017/

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22 minutes ago, D&J said:

Im thinking that they had V before they moved to the area or they went somewhere else and got service but lived in the affected areas.

Denny

This is part of the problem, but not completely.  Normally, Verizon would not be allowed to sell service or issue a phone number in an area where they don't have native service.  With these LTE Rural Agreements, they may have fudged a bit.  Instead of the agreements simply allowing Verizon customers to have service when passing through such an area, it also allowed Verizon to sell service in that area or on the fringes of that area to people who live in the area.

Now, Verizon has decided it is not an attractive business situation anymore and is terminating those plans.  Like it or not, most businesses will make these types of decisions according to what's in their best interest.

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44 minutes ago, chirakawa said:

 Instead of the agreements simply allowing Verizon customers to have service when passing through such an area, it also allowed Verizon to sell service in that area or on the fringes of that area to people who live in the area.

Now, Verizon has decided it is not an attractive business situation anymore and is terminating those plans.  Like it or not, most businesses will make these types of decisions according to what's in their best interest.

And as Data usage expanded and the Cell Tower became more loaded, the Foot Print of coverage area got smaller and smaller. Thus some fringe area Verizon customers were roaming more.

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22 minutes ago, ms60ocb said:

And as Data usage expanded and the Cell Tower became more loaded, the Foot Print of coverage area got smaller and smaller. Thus some fringe area Verizon customers were roaming more.

Verizon customers were always roaming on those rural towers from the time they signed up for the service. That's what Verizon agreed to, and now they don't like the deal they made with the rural carriers.

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12 hours ago, Dutch_12078 said:

My understanding from the various articles is that the local carriers do not have the support infrastructure in place to handle the influx.

Just that sentence makes me want to ask how that is Verizon's problem that Bob's Phone Service isn't capable of growing by adding more customers? Doesn't roaming data cost a LOT more than normal data? So these people will likely see their bill cut a LOT if they switch to a local carrier, however long it takes, will save a lot of money. Do these people have internet? There IS voice over IP for home phone but that only helps IF they are using their cell as their only phone, like so many people do now. I had VOIP for a while but I found having a redundant phone in my house was kind of, well, redundant.  I also get maybe 4 calls a month that aren't robodialer calls which I don't answer.

Remember, businesses aren't in business to do YOU a favor. They are in business to maximize profits. Have any of those articles estimated how many customers they are terminating? One of my IT contracts was at a phone company that provided DSL and they made a living by eating small phone companies. Every other quarter we had an acquisition and most of them were NIGHTMARES! And most of them never upgraded infrastructure because they knew they were soon to be sold.

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I don't necessarily disagree with Verizon wanting to drop 8500 high roaming usage subscribers to help their bottom line. What I do think though, is that they could have handled it a lot better with much less negative publicity just by working with their partner carriers in advance to help prepare them for the influx, and perhaps spacing out the cancellations over a longer period to ease the pressure. These small carriers are still Verizon partners, and it was Verizon that came to them with the original deal, not the other way around. It may be good business on one hand, but on the other hand, using tactics that draw the negative attention of the politicians that oversee the commission that regulates your industry is likely not such a great business move.

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Absolutely right, Dutch. And sadly, the state of the businesses in our country. Nobody cares about me, you, us, them, him, her.... Customer care is just gone.

I liken it to the only pizza shop in a town of 2500 people. They can make crappy pizza, overcharge for it, and deliver it "when it gets there" when they are the only pizza game in town. And if their business sags, they can just close up shop and leave the town without a pizza shop. That isn't EXACTLY this situation, but close. Verizon is pretty much saying "Get your service elsewhere and we don't care where, because after this date you are not our problem." Not cool. They'd make a lot more friends if they took the attitude of "Let us help you all we can to find service." There are 2 options for customer service. You can do as much as possible for a customer or as little as necessary. Anymore the latter is the norm.

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Remember when Verizon was a phone company providing phones to your home. Verizon's choice was sell the phone system and build out a Data system. So I think of the Cell Companies as data sales and since the cell phone is one of the data movers (Voice and text are data), sell phones that work. So ( Lily Tomlin on Laugh In?), "We are the phone company.  We don't have to care." applies to some customers to keep the others happy.

Windows 10 eats a lot of data and providing screaming is growth in data sales, but someone's planning hasn't provided infrastructure for today. 50 plus years ago the same thing was happening with the phone companies. Many may remember the difficulty making long distance calls at peak times. And then there were days of difficulty like Mothers Day and Christmas. That is what I'm seeing now certain hours of Cell use. 

If the Electric Companies did that you would be in a outage condition quite often. But don't get me started on the health system.

Clay and I have been on earth over 3/4 of a century. Former Mom & Pop phone co's., (several forgotten names) IL Bell, Consolidated, GTE, Frontier, Altel customers

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On 9/16/2017 at 9:33 PM, Dutch_12078 said:

By sending them more customers???

By flooding them with demand they can't satisfy, then making them an offer they are unlikely to refuse.

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