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Verizon terminates rural Montana accounts

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1 hour ago, SCClockDr said:

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

I have seen nothing so far to indicate that Verizon is interested in acquiring these small rural carriers. These carriers are still servicing quite a few other Verizon customers that have not exceeded whatever roaming limit Verizon is using limit their contracted unlimited usage. Flooding them with demand will only increase the resentment these customers feel towards Verizon when the local carriers simply say, "Sorry, this is Verizon's doing, and we'll be happy to accommodate you as soon as we are able."

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There is nowhere near enough business to be gained by Verizon for them to even consider updating the infrastructure to handle more traffic. Those 8500 customers are not all in Montana. They are in 13 states. Notably states that have a lot of wide open spaces and/or mountains. Alaska, Idaho, Montana..... The irony is that people want to live in places where the nearest neighbor is 25 miles away for whatever misanthropic reasons  they have,  Nobody is going to build a cell tower just for their house. Of course that is an extreme and ridiculous over simplification to make a point (reductio ad absurdem) but it's true. With solitude comes sacrifices. I have no data but I suspect Verizon got a lot of customers specifically because of their unlimited data plans. Now with the preponderance of the towers in Montana being AT&T towers (as I read somewhere), that means those customers are getting their data from Verizon as provided by AT&T, so the customer is paying Verizon for that data but Verizon is paying AT&T for it. There's no money in it for them, so they are cutting them loose now that they are taking advantage of unlimited data. Their main issue, which speaks to how small the local are, is that there is no more capacity to add new customers without expansion, and without increased revenue, and only minor levels of customers who could be added , there is not enough income potential to make it worth their doing it. Quite a circular problem.  I saw this exact thing at that internet provider where I worked. Customers wanted faster internet, but the infrastructure upgrades would have cost so much that it was projected that it would take 25 years to recover due to the number of potential customers in an area that was housing saturated. All about bottom lines, like every other business.

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Edited by eddie1261

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AT&T has no dog in this fight at all... Verizon is forcing out subscribers that they feel are excessively using the non-Verizon voice/data capacity supplied by local rural "mom & pop" carriers that Verizon contracted with and assisted in upgrading to 4G/LTE so Verizon could claim more rural coverage. Because these are Verizon network "partners" that get paid by Verizon to supply their subscribers, the subscribers may not even know they're using the local carrier's towers. According to the various articles, many of these subscribers were lured away from the local carriers by Verizon's aggressive marketing and unlimited plan availability, causing the carrier to down size their front offices. Now those subscribers are being told, "Well, we didn't really mean unlimited, just unlimited when you use our own towers.", and the local carriers no longer have the infrastructure and devices to support the sudden short term impact caused by Verizon's actions. I suspect legal action will likely be forthcoming.

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We are in the middle of this. Verizon moved in to Sydney with a huge fanfare, signing up customers during the 'boom', promising new towers, customer service etc. Looked like we were finally going to get service. Folks signed up in droves, buying Verizon phones and packages. Most customers were always roaming, as Verizon never got around to setting up the service towers they promised. Nothing. Now their 'partners' who Verizon planned on running over, are no longer on board. people outside the 2 metro areas are now forced to throw their Verizon phone in the trash or have it reprogrammed. I never got a Verizon contract but most of our friends did. It actually went down just as Dutch says above. I have AT+T, and SaskTel (Canadian) and my service is gawd awful to non existent. SAT phone at the farm.

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On 9/16/2017 at 10:27 PM, eddie1261 said:

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.

 

Search results always have a sort function by "price".  Have yet to see a sort function by "customer service".  When people stop buying on low price, there will be money available to support customer service.

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8 hours ago, Little said:

We are in the middle of this. Verizon moved in to Sydney with a huge fanfare, signing up customers during the 'boom', promising new towers, customer service etc. Looked like we were finally going to get service. Folks signed up in droves, buying Verizon phones and packages. Most customers were always roaming, as Verizon never got around to setting up the service towers they promised. Nothing. Now their 'partners' who Verizon planned on running over, are no longer on board. people outside the 2 metro areas are now forced to throw their Verizon phone in the trash or have it reprogrammed. I never got a Verizon contract but most of our friends did. It actually went down just as Dutch says above. I have AT+T, and SaskTel (Canadian) and my service is gawd awful to non existent. SAT phone at the farm.

Sydney?

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10 hours ago, DuffMan said:

Search results always have a sort function by "price".  Have yet to see a sort function by "customer service".  When people stop buying on low price, there will be money available to support customer service.

While you may not see a sort, don't you read customer reviews before you buy anything? What stinks for those people is that they don't have many, if any, other choices. So 8500 people, carrying 19,000 lines, are going to hate them, but they don't care. They still have over 145 million customers. The tried to sell some people service, and it didn't work out.

I worked at a DSL provider for a few years. DSL is distance based. If you are not within 18,000 feet from a switch, it isn't going to work. Yet they had so many people complaining about it they launched a campaign to sell what they called "Best Effort", meaning "We'll wire you despite the fact that you are outside normal operating maximums, but it may be intermittent". And a bunch of people bought it, and we at the help desk had to be the bad guys who got the angry callers who lived 25,000 feet away and should never have been sold DSL. But that company at the time had 4.5 million customers, so they didn't care. (That was also the last time I had a job where I had to deal with outside customers. Thanks god!) This is kind of the same thing. 8500 customers in 13 states, only 650 per state, is not huge in the big picture. It is huge to THEM because they may not have cell service, but I am sure that somewhere in the business decision came the concerns about bad press. Can anybody being objective blame any business for wanting to stop losing money?

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3 hours ago, chirakawa said:

Sydney?

That's funny. I was in Sidney when I typed that. Waiting for DW at grocery store. Seems a lot busier in town than last couple of trips thru.Maybe things are picking up.

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I just saw someone post in a FB group that AT&T sent them a message that they have repeatedly used too much bandwidth on partner towers and starting in Oct, they will now be fully restricted from using data on any partner tower. However, they can still use voice & text and wifi of course. 

It looks like this is starting to become the norm for cell companies if you are not on their tower. 

We went from years back where roaming added up to big charges on your cell bill, to then everyone advertising "no roaming charges", to now if you roam to much, we are just gonna cut you off permanently or just kick you to the curb, tough luck. 

Edited by BlueLghtning

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Yep, the pendulum appears to be swinging back the other way on roaming, but as I recall, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon all have had similar roaming restrictions in their TOS pretty much since roaming charges disappeared. All of them may be more closely enforcing the restrictions though, as unlimited data plans proliferate and run up the charges they pay roaming partner carriers.

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5 hours ago, Little said:

That's funny. I was in Sidney when I typed that. Waiting for DW at grocery store. Seems a lot busier in town than last couple of trips thru.Maybe things are picking up.

Hey, I'm just trying to figure out where you're talking about.  The only Sydney I've heard of is in Australia.

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5 hours ago, chirakawa said:

Hey, I'm just trying to figure out where you're talking about.  The only Sydney I've heard of is in Australia.

I have assumed Sydney Nebraska which is western NE

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I think they are speaking of Sydney Montana, which is about 75-80 miles form the Canadian border, given that Montana has so much wide open space and the article kind of centered on Montana.

Edited by eddie1261

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59 minutes ago, Bill Joyce said:

The cities in Montana and Nebraska are spelled "Sidney", not "Sydney".  

Ha . Maybe Little likes to spell it with a Y ? ;)

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Yes, Little did misspell it in the first post and corrected it in the second.  I'm assuming they're referring to the Sidney in Montana, but I've been burned by assuming in the past.

It's not unusual for the presenter to assume the listener knows what they're talking about.  I once listened to a newscaster speak for over 10 minutes about Charleston, and still hasn't identified which Charleston they meant.

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Sorry, my grandpa used to say "assumption is the Mother of all screwups". One area affected by the Verizon fiasco is the Sidney MT/Williston ND area.

This has been an ongoing issue in this area since Verizon made the big  splash with aggressive marketing, a new building, billboards etc. Kind of a cart before horse syndrome.  No infrastructure (towers, staff) 

AT+T is no better, but we stayed with them as their service is great in AZ where we live for 5-6 months. My AT+T contract allows unlimited roaming, but the local carriers block me from using their towers. Rogers in Canada works with my AT+T but their towers are very limited, only near larger centers. We carry a SAT phone in case of emergencies, but never had to use it.

Just returned from Moab, and had phone service 2/3 of the time.

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29 minutes ago, bobsallyh said:

Interesting.  I noticed that the two examples given in that article are businesses who are using Verizon for their business.  The restaurant owner even admits that she is providing free Verizon wifi for her customers.  No wonder VZW wants to dump her.

I wonder if VZW is also backing off in other locations.

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Verizon will give rural customers more time to find new providers

Engadget Mallory Locklear,Engadget 1 hour 54 minutes ago
 

Recently, Verizon sent letters to around 8,500 customers living in rural areas that informed them their service would be cut off as of October 17th. Verizon claimed that those customers were using enough data while roaming outside of the Verizon network that the company's costs exceeded the fees being paid by the users. Well, there was, understandably, quite a bit of backlash over the letters and Verizon has now walked back both its deadline and its hard cutoff.

In a statement, Verizon said, "Since that notification, we have become aware of a very small number of affected customers who may be using their personal phones in their roles as first responders and another small group who may not have another option for wireless service." Because of this, Verizon has extended its disconnection date to December 1st, giving customers a little more time to find a new carrier. For those without any other wireless providers in the area, they'll now have the option to switch to the 2GB, 4GB or 6GB plans -- which cost $35, $50 and $70 per month respectively -- or the 5GB single line plan priced at $55 per month. The December 1st deadline also applies to switching Verizon plans.

The options still aren't great for those being forced into them, but at least these customers have slightly more time to make a decision.

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It is interesting and probably a good PR move on behalf of Verizon, but ultimately, if there are capacity problems as of Oct 17th, they will still be there on Dec 1st as well. I'd hate to be in that position but it really doesn't look like they have a lot of options. I have a feeling that Verizon may go as far as to say hat if a customer can prove they are first responders of any type that they can keep their service no matter what. Those folks I can understand and would hope that Verizon is willing to accept the losses to keep people safe. Remember, this is an average of less than 100 customers per state involved. It can't be that hard to validate less than 100 customers. Quite happy living in a big city where I don't need to be concerned with stuff like this.

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At least Verizon is offering these folks a few plan options that will keep them on Verizon, at least in the interim until the "mom & pop" carriers can accommodate them. I don't know if the businesses involved are on business plans or not, but if not, they should be. Verizon has previously said that business and government accounts would not be affected.

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