Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Ordered Motorola XOOM ... sort of.

I watched the David Pogue video again and realized that there's practically no chance that by waiting I would select any of these:

1. Apple iPad2
2. HP with its Palm OS, whatever it's called
3. Research in Motion's blackberry tablet thing.

So I ordered Motorola XOOM.  Verizon hasn't changed much from its total monopoly days.  It succeeds in spite of it's billing department.

I ordered online because the two Verizon retail I checked three days ago, which was two days after Verizon announced the XOOM, did not have the XOOM and provided only a vague sense as to when it might arrive, displaying minimal interest in having me buy from them.

I logged in to my Verizon account.  There was no way to order the damn thing.

Next I opened the Verizon promotional e-mail, which provided a link to buy it.  Fine but that was not associated with the fact that I had already logged in.  I went through the ordering process, which made it clear that even existing customers (it did not ask for identification as such) had to supply driver's license ID and social security number so that Verizon could do a credit check.  Verizon also assigned a new phone number even though I was ordering a computer, with no explanation about this stupidity.  I had gone through this when I ordered MiFi hot spot service about 18 months ago.

I received an e-mail message confirming my order but, again, giving no indication that Verizon realized that I was an existing customer.

I called Verizon because I could see trouble.  While waiting for some intelligent response by the Verizon human being I received a second e-mail message stating:

Unfortunately, we are unable to process your request for the following reason:

Our Credit Review Department has requested further information from you.

Say what?

Against my better judgement I called and was told that Verizon wanted to know if I wanted the new service to be in a new account or on my existing account.  You cannot make up stuff like this.

I told Verizon, yes, I want the new service on my existing account!  Geez!  All this agita could have been avoided with a website that functioned like it had been designed by people on THIS planet.

I also asked both Verizon people I spoke to the rhetorical question of whether Verizon had a discount plan for the many and varied Internet services that a customer could have.  No.  This after my having to explain the concept of bundled service discount.  The default reaction is for FIOS people to direct you to Wireless people and for Wireless people to direct you to FIOS people.  I have a bundled discount between FIOS and Wireless but I also want one for what will now be three Verizon Internet services (something I had been determined to avoid), maybe analogous to a family plan for voice service.  Note: Verizon does not have a family plan for data service among smart phones.

My three Verizon Internet services will now be:

1. FIOS at home
2. data plan for my Motorola Droid smart phone
3. data plan for my Motorola XOOM, which, despite being a computer, will have its own phone number so that the archaic Verizon computer systems can crawl through the information the manner of a monopoly.

Hot off the e-mail, one hour after I finished my conversation with the second Verizon person, the one who told me that I would receive the XOOM tomorrow:

Your order is currently in queue to be processed. In most cases orders are processed within 3 business days.

You can't make up stuff like this.

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