Saturday, July 24, 2010

Cell Phone Envy

Droid Screen-Shot

I hate getting used to a new cell phone, it takes me forever getting them all set up and loaded with quirky little features I like, plus since I tend to be in the car some sort of voice recognition is imperative as I rarely actually "dial" a number preferring to speak to the device and telling it who to call. Voice recognition is therefore paramount to me.

The iPhone never stood a chance with me.

After spending 12 or 13 years with who has since become AT&T, under a variety of names (ie: SNET Wireles, Lynx, Cingular, etc) and being treated poorly consistently I went to Bell-Atlantic (now Verizon) in 1999 and have never looked back.

In fact I've been so happy with them I sent them fan mail at one point, an excerpt of which has been on their website for a few years now.

"The attitude one encounters regularly with virtually all of your employees is what sets you apart from any other large business that I have ever encountered. Generally one might find similar helpful friendly people in a small local hardware store, rarely in a business of massive size such as yours; and then not with any regularity. Several of your employees have told me they find themselves at training seminars constantly, and it shows. I'm a very satisfied customer with every intention of remaining so for a long time.”

How good is their service you ask?

Prior to stopping into a Bell-Atlantic store I had been complaining to a friend about SNET Wireless shutting my phone off despite my having a credit balance in excess of $400. (They had done the same thing previously as well, failed to apologize, and took their time correcting it usually requiring me to make a personal visit to their CT office in Rocky Hill where the level of arrogance was world class.)

My friend, a wealthy fellow, reached into his sport coat, took out his phone and hit a couple of buttons, he was clearly calling someone on speed-dial; told him my name and so forth hung up and told me to go down the street to the nearest Bell-Atlantic store.

I walked in, told them my name and the whole store leaped into action  (they apparently had me confused with someone important) and set me up on the spot with a phone and the number I have to this day.

I've been treated about the same every time I've walked in to any Verizon store since, regardless of where store with but rare exception.

Considering as I learned later, that my friend had called the then President of Bell-Atlantic, now Pres. of Verizon prior to my first visit; this speaks volumes regarding the level of service one receives from Verizon.

The Palm Treo was getting a little long in the tooth and was giving me trouble re-charging; when it left me high and dry with all three batteries (two backup) dead simultaneously I knew it was time to go. Having no phone isn't an option, which is why Verizon gets paid ahead of even the mortgage.

I had been happy with the Treo and would have moved up with Palm or at least to another Windows Mobile device were it not for both companies (Palm (recently sold to HP) and Microsoft)  having -0- intention of earning my repeat business.

Palm no longer offers a Windows Mobile OS device, the Treo was their one and only. Too bad, I liked it, found having all sorts of Excel spreadsheets available on the PDA to be a welcome convenience, and would have simply moved up to a fresher version of the Treo had there been one available.

Droid x

Surprisingly, Microsoft a company that's become legend for continually tweaking and updating everything they produce, has no intention of updating Voice Command from version 1.6 and seeing as it gave me fits for several years that was a deal breaker.  I'd say "Call Gail" and Voice Command would reply "Call Todd at home?" to which I would reply "No" several times all the while the device is repeating "Call Todd at home?" after saying "No" 10 or 12 times the device would say "Calling" at which point I'd reach for the phone and press "end".

Droid x
Everett Lagassey, my Verizon representative showed me the features and benefits of several PDA's that might be suitable for the abuse he knew the device was in for. Blackberry had several units that would have gotten the job done, but the Motorola MB810 does everything they do and more.

It's smart to find a rep. you're comfortable with and stick with him or her; they'll appreciate it, but not as much as you will. Everett's product knowledge is encyclopedic and he's been helpful countless times over the past few years.

This thing has a learning curve that at first glance appears something akin to Mt Everest expedition; it does tricks you've never imagined. And, like joining the AAA, more features than any one person could ever possibly avail themselves; and some like the metal detector you're not likely to ever actually need.

However, it backs itself up automatically, makes and receives calls smoothly, does text and email *and* takes dictation (albeit rather clumsily) which allows the user to briefly reply to a text message while driving.

Best of all, it creates it's own wifi hotspot thus eliminating the need and additional expense for an air-card for ones laptop.

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