This a long and sordid story unfortunately but I believe it bears telling if for no other reason than to relieve the frustration Chris & I have both experienced with our Verizon Internet service since re-entering the USA earlier this month.
We've been Verizon customers since 2007 and been fairly happy with our service despite poor reception in some areas. We started with an aircard and have been upgraded over the years to a USB 720 dongle and a Mifi 2200 all under our unlimited 3G data plan. Last March while at TT Orlando, Verizon called me with an offer to upgrade to 20 GB of 4G data per month and included a brand new Verizon 4G LTE 4510L mifi at the same $59.99 + tax rate we have been paying all along. The 4G mifi worked very well in Orlando and handled 3G speeds well for us without any external antenna or amplifier until we returned to Canada in late April 2012. The mifi unit was on a vacation stop until we re-entered the USA earlier this month. We were so impressed with our new mifi that we decided not to renew our HughesNet satellite internet contract in October.
The new 4510L mifi did not perform very well on our way south. We had spotty service with very slow connection speeds as we traveled south primarily on interstate highways. Once we set up at Tanglewood I set about sorting out our problems. On or about Nov 10th, Verizon customer service agreed something was wrong and sent me a new 4510L mifi under warranty. At the same time, I also ordered a Wilson Sleek booster and a Cradlepoint MBR95 4G/3Grouter from 3GStore. The Wilson Sleek and our Smooth Talker antenna gives us five bars of signal on our 4510L mifi but connection speeds are still very slow in this 3G only area of Sebring. We are less than a mile from Verizon's tower too.
The first night we used the replacement mifi 4510L, the battery died despite the unit being plugged into the charger all night. Even with the help of Verizon customer service, I was unable to reset the device so they sent me a second replacement unit under warranty. That didn't work either so I took both units into the local Verizon store which is less than a mile from us. The in store rep deemed the battery was the problem but unfortunately the store did not have a replacement battery nor would they swap my dead units for a new 4510L. Apparently Verizon stores will not supply already paying customers with replacement product. One needs to rely on Verizon's warranty replacement program for that. So now I'm looking for a replacement battery after being without Internet for almost a week and with Thanksgiving fast approaching Verizon would not be able to get it to me unless I paid for overnight shipping. After twisting the agent's arm and threatening to walk away, Verizon finally agreed to pick up the cost for overnight shipping. Of course, the new battery didn't arrive until after the holiday though.
Put the new battery in and charged it for eight hours……nothing. The 4510L is dead, won't reset and won't charge the battery. Called Verizon again and explained everything…..again….and they thought it might be the charger. New charger arrives overnight and still no change in our dead unit. Call Verizon again and regurgitate all the events thus far to yet another customer service agent who puts me on to someone in Verizon's tech department and to whom I again have to explain our problems. I tell her I want a complete new unit overnighted to me or I will walk away from our 2 year contract and they can chase me for the money. I am p*ssed! I am promised a brand new complete Verizon 4620 Jetpack 4G mifi unit overnighted at Verizon's expense. I also insist they credit me my first month's bill because of all the problems we've experienced.
Stay tuned to see if our new unit arrives later today.