Anyone using Sprint mobile phone service?

I’ve used a Palm Treo 650 for about 2 1/2 years, and it’s served me well (especially when teamed up with ChatterEmail). That being said, my Verizon Wireless contract is up for renewal, which means I can get a severely discounted new phone… or I can switch to a new provider.

Palm Pre I was going to stick with the Treo until the announcement of the upcoming Palm Pre. I’m no iPhone junkie or gadget-hound, but I’m a fan of Palm, so this new device certainly caught my eye and created a small amount of drooling.

No surprise that the Pre will initially be available to a service provider other than Verizon Wireless – that service provider being Sprint. I’ve never used Sprint, but their rates seem much more competitive than Verizon, and they do have the phone I’m yearning for.

Does anyone have experience with Sprint, especially in the New York City area? How’s the service and wireless coverage? Is data access fast and reliable?

A few days with FiOS TV

Those who know me know that I am not a fan of Time Warner Cable, so when Verizon started offering FiOS TV in my area, I quickly signed up.

This may sound odd, especially considering I’ve blogged quite a bit about Verizon in the past, and didn’t always have flattering things to say. Still, Verizon is orders of magnitude better than Time Warner, and over the past few years their customer service has typically been very good.

So, how has my experience been so far? Quite good!
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Verizon: Pricing based on who you talk to

I recently ordered Verizion FIOS TV. Since I already have home phone and Internet service from Verizon, and wireless service from Verzion, I wanted to make sure I am getting a bundled rate. (They offer a bunch of “bundle prices”.) I went into an online chat with a Verizon customer representative. Here’s what happened.

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Is Verizon FiOS TV in your area? Don’t try checking online.

It seems I always have usability issues with Verizon‘s web sites. After checking to see if, after two weeks, they figured out why an old cell phone number of mine was still showing up on my online profile (they didn’t, it’s still there), I decided to see if FiOS TV was in my area.

They have a nifty Check Availability page where you enter your phone number (if an existing Verizon customer) or address to find out if you can get this service. Being a Verizon customer, I enter my phone number, click the “Can I get it” button, and wait…

While you wait, you do get a little graphic that is somewhat more useful than a spinning Ajax cursor.


So, is FiOS TV available to me? Well, I don’t know. The response you get says nothing about FiOS TV — instead, it tells you about your FiOS internet service.


But wait, that isn’t what I asked! I wanted to know about FiOS TV! I am well aware that I already have FiOS Internet Service.

Alas, there’s apparently no easy way to find out online. Sometimes, you just can’t find what you’re looking for.

Unrelated but related — why did they spell it FiOS? Why the lower case “i”? Was FIOS ruled out for some reason? Or is it an acronym where only the F, O, and S dictate new words (perhaps Fi is for “Fiber”)?

According to Wikipedia’s FiOS article, “Verizon has cited the fact that “fios” is an Irish word for “knowledge.” If that’s the case, couldn’t they just make it FIOS? After all, it’s so hard to type FiOS… Maybe a marketing guru told them that the lower case “i” makes it “cool, hip, and Web 2.0.”

In any case, look elsewhere for your FiOS TV availability.

Verizon lets you debug your own form submissions

About a week ago, I had to contact Verizon to find out why a cell phone number I haven’t owned for three years was showing up on my online statement. In the process of the call, they reset my online account password, and now I can’t log in. (Hence the misuse of the phrase customer support.)

Today, I went to Verizon’s web site to reset my account information, where I was asked to provide my email address and phone number.

Clicking submit opened up Firebug! Thanks, Verizon, for letting me do your debugging work for you. Does this mean I’m on the payroll?

Verizon lets you debug using Firebug