Technologizer posts about Verizon Wireless

In the wake of bad press, angry customers, and government concern, Verizon decides not to charge a $2 fee for one-time online payments after all. My gut reaction on Twitter:

Posted by Harry at 12:47 pm

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Starting next month, Verizon Wireless is going to nickel-and-dime people who make one-time electronic payments–forty nickels or twenty dimes, to be exact:

Verizon Wireless today confirmed to Phone Scoop via email that it plans to institute a new $2 charge for customers who make single bill payments online or by telephone. The change goes into effect starting January 15. Verizon said that the fee will be waived in a number of circumstances, including: electronic checks sent through My Verizon Online, My Verizon Mobile, or via telephone; autopay enrollees who pay using credit/debit/ATM cards or electronic checks; payments made through customer home-banking services; credit/debit/ATM card or electronic check payments made at in-store kiosks; Verizon Wireless gift cards or Verizon Wireless device rebate cards to pay a bill in-store, online or by telephone; or a standard paper check or money order mailed directly to Verizon Wireless with a monthly invoice/bill. The telephone and online single payment fee will be disclosed up-front and throughout the transaction so that customers know it will be levied at the time of payment.

Many of the sites reporting on this are assuming that Verizon is charging extra for an option that actually costs it less money to provide. I’d love to know the exact math: How much does it cost the company in total when it sends you a paper bill which you then mail back to it? How much when you pay by credit card and it needs to pay a processing fee to Visa, Mastercard, Discover, or Amex? Does the $2 merely cover Verizon’s costs, as it seems to say, or is it padding its bottom line?

Here’s a Verizon page that gives the bad news and details the various options for avoiding the fee.

Posted by Harry at 2:32 pm

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Verizon Wireless says it isn’t blocking Google Wallet on its version of the Galaxy Nexus. Then again, it also doesn’t seem to be permitting it…

Posted by Harry at 12:09 pm

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Verizon Galaxy Nexus Isn’t Pure Google, May Cost $300

By  |  Posted at 9:55 am on Tuesday, December 6, 2011

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The Galaxy Nexus is a pure Google phone, free of bloatware and designed to run Android exactly as Google envisions it. But on Verizon Wireless, that won’t be the case.

Although the Verizon Galaxy Nexus will run a mostly unmodified version of Android 4.0, codenamed Ice Cream Sandwich, the carrier will block Google Wallet, which lets you pay at some retailers by swiping your phone in front of a payment terminal, Computerworld reports. Verizon, T-Mobile and AT&T are working on their own payment system called Isis, and Google Wallet, backed by Sprint, would be a threat. Isis isn’t launching until next year, though, so Verizon Galaxy Nexus users won’t be able to use NFC payments at all.

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Is Carrier IQ As Bad As It Seems?

By  |  Posted at 5:03 pm on Thursday, December 1, 2011

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The controversy over the nature of Carrier IQ’s phone-monitoring application is deepning, with Minnesota Senator Al Franken demanding answers over what the company is doing with the information it collects. Carrier IQ’s code is apparently on millions of devices, and is known to be currently used by at least one manufacturer, HTC, and two carriers, AT&T and Sprint.
 
Apple chimed in, and says it used Carrier IQ in “most” of its pre-iOS 5 products. It says the code will be removed completely in a future software update, and the submission of diagnostic data is opt-in.
Franken asks Carrier IQ to provide details on what exactly the software records, where the data is transmitted to, and whether or not protections are in place to protect the security of those affected. He is also calling upon the company to give consumers a method of opting out of the process.

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HTC Rezound: Beefy Specs, Beats Audio and Red All Over

By  |  Posted at 2:21 pm on Friday, November 4, 2011

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With the holiday smartphone smackdown in full swing, the HTC Rezound is stepping into the ring. At $299 on Verizon Wireless, this Android phone will have some tough competition against Motorola’s Droid RAZR and possibly Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus, but HTC’s hoping the addition of Beats Audio will help the Rezound stand out.

The Rezound has a 1.5 GHz dual-core processor and a 4.3-inch Super LCD display with 720p resolution, making it the first 720p phone we’ve seen in a screen smaller than 4.5 inches. HTC paid special attention to the camera as well, with an 8-megapixel, an f/2.2 sensor that’s supposedly superior in low-light, dual LED flash and 1080p video camera. There’s also a 2-megapixel camera up front.

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More on the Droid RAZR

By  |  Posted at 2:36 pm on Tuesday, October 18, 2011

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Droid RAZR

When I wrote about the new Droid RAZR this morning I hadn’t seen one in person. A few hours later, I visited with representatives of Motorola and Verizon and got a demo and a bit of hands-on time.

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Hey, There’s a New RAZR!

By  |  Posted at 11:52 am on Tuesday, October 18, 2011

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The first thing I noticed about Motorola and Verizon Wireless’s new Android phone was the name. The Droid RAZR is a neat nod to one of the most iconic phones of the pre-iPhone era. (What’s next–the Droid Star-Tac?)’

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The Best iPhone 4S Plans by Carrier

By  |  Posted at 2:58 am on Monday, October 10, 2011

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With three carriers now selling the iPhone, your options have gotten a bit more complex as far as monthly service plans go. We’ll take a look at which carrier’s plans are best for cheapskates, big talkers, big texters, and those who want it all—voice, data and text messaging.

Before we start, some constants between all three carriers:

The iPhone 4S starts at $199 with a two-year contract.

Voice plans include unlimited minutes to people on the same network, so even if you have the 450-minute plan on Verizon, for instance, you won’t use any minutes when calling other Verizon customers.

Apple’s new iOS software features “iMessage,” which lets you send and receive free text messages (for now, at least) between other Apple devices that have the iMessage feature turned on as well.

And with that, let’s get started.

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Motorola Xoom’s 4G Upgrade Shows Up Late With No Apologies

By  |  Posted at 3:06 pm on Wednesday, September 28, 2011

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Verizon Wireless’ 4G upgrade for the Motorola Xoom tablet was supposed to arrive during the second quarter of this year. It will finally be available Thursday, two days before the fourth quarter begins.

The upgrade process from 3G to 4G is inconvenient. Xoom owners must ship their tablets away for six business days, and are encouraged to back up any personal information on the device before shipping.

But buyers knew about the hassle going in. What they didn’t know was that Verizon Wireless and Motorola wouldn’t be good for their word. First, the upgrade date slipped to the late summer, and then September, with neither company saying it was sorry for the wait. And then Motorola and Verizon have the gall to put out a cheery press release that acts as if the delay never happened.

I agree with Computerworld’s JR Raphael, who wrote on Twitter that Xoom owners deserve some free credit, a free accessory, or at the very least, an apology. But I’m not surprised that Xoom owners are getting nothing. This is, as Harry put it, the era of beta hardware. Gadget makers have no qualms about selling unfinished products with vague promises of eventual fixes. If you get fooled into buying a half-baked Android tablet, well, shame on you.

(UPDATE: The Xoom 4G upgrade page says users who upgrade now can get a free dock–a $35 value–”while supplies last.” The offer wasn’t mentioned in the press release or on the upgrade page until it went live on Thursday, but it does take some of the sting out, provided there are enough docks to go around. Thanks to commenter Steve Landsberg for pointing it out.)



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Hey, Off-Contract Smartphones Are Getting Cheaper!

By  |  Posted at 5:00 pm on Thursday, July 7, 2011

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As I looked over Verizon’s announcement of the Motorola Droid 3 today, one thing in particular caught my eye: Without a two-year contract, the phone costs $460.

That may look expensive next to the Droid 3′s two-year agreement price of $200, but it’s a lot cheaper than what high-end, off-contract smartphones used to cost. Last year, for example, the Droid 2 debuted for $599 without a contract. At the time, that was pretty much the standard price.

So I figured the Droid 3 was cracking the mold, until I looked around. Right now, Verizon’s Droid X2 sells for $450 without a contract, and the Droid Incredible 2 sells for $440. Over on AT&T, you can get a contract-free Motorola Atrix 4G for $450. These are all high-end phones, with dual-core processors and screens of 4 inches or higher, but you might not know it from their off-contract prices.

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Verizon Powers 32% of All iPhone 4s in the U.S.

By  |  Posted at 2:12 pm on Thursday, July 7, 2011

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If you subscribe to the theory that most potential iPhone buyers on Verizon have held out on purchasing a device till the new model launches this fall, then this statistic should surprise you: 32% of all current iPhone 4 users in the U.S. are on the Verizon network.

Yep, that’s right. Research firm Localytics released data Thursday that shows the device has shown steady growth since its launch on the Verizon network in February. The iPhone 4 started out on the right foot rather quickly, quickly grabbing 20% of the market early on, but its real growth has been over the summer.

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AT&T, Comcast, and Verizon May Start Punishing File Sharers

By  |  Posted at 10:53 am on Thursday, June 23, 2011

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People who illegally download movies and music may soon face more than just empty threats from their Internet service providers.

Some of the largest ISPs in the United States are close to agreements with the entertainment industry to crack down on piracy with stiffer punishments, according to CNet. Repeat offenders could face throttled bandwidth speeds or limited access to the Internet, or they may have to attend programs to learn about the subtleties of copyright law.

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Verizon: “iPhone 5″ Will Compete with AT&T for Global Coverage

By  |  Posted at 3:07 pm on Friday, May 20, 2011

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noticed this story late last night, basically another ‘iPhone 5′ tease that’s even bigger news from where I sit than whatever newfangled whatsits Apple’s tucked under the hood: global Verizon iPhone support.

The tipster: my wife. She wants a phone she can take on business trips abroad (like the U.K., or more recently, the Middle East). But the phone has to be all things. It has to work across the pond, but also in her tiny northwest Iowa hometown. Actually out of town a couple miles to where her parents’ farmhouse sits, nestled behind a tower-blocking hill, flush with trees, cows, and a compost pit. Lest you think we’re asking the moon for cheese, Verizon’s had bumper voice and data coverage across the area for years, while—nothing against them otherwise—AT&T offers neither.

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The bad news–at least for some people–is that Verizon Wireless plans to follow AT&T’s lead and eliminate all-you-can-eat data plans this summer. The good news is that it’s talking (albeit vaguely) about family-plan data pricing that would let you spread one bucket of megabytes among multiple gadgets.

Posted by Harry at 2:45 pm

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