Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Adventures in VerizonLand

VerizonLand isn't quite Wonderland and I am not Alice. But there are some similarities...
A couple of weeks ago we bought Motorola Xoom devices. Nice they are too. In fact we like them a lot. No worries there. While in the Verizon store a rep asked us to see if there was a way to reduce our monthly billing. We have FIOS, phone service a couple of mobile phones and the Xooms. So we are quite well kitted out. Of course what was really wan was for us to switch to FIOSTV, but we have resisted that for years. We did find a way of saving some $, - so far so good. The rep mentioned that we were "eligible" for the Verizon hotspot capabilities - and of course they are free. Cool, I thought. So far nothing terribly strange.

Eventually I get around to the sign-up for the wifi services. Thee provided by the Residential group within Verizon (not the Wireless group like you might expect). The penny had yet to drop with me. So off to the website, and once I had gone through the mental gymnastics of password recovery, waiting for a PIN etc. I felt that I had stepped out of Louis Carroll and into Samueal Becket. Managed to get over that.

Off to the link I went, and the system wants to install something on my desktop. Now this computer is a boat anchor. It is never going to access an external wi-fi unless I make a special trailor for it and house my own portable generator.So that's just plain nuts. However I was already into it - I had my flamingo as it were and had started playing croquet. Eventually it installs. I get this nice tote telling me to visit a Verizon web site to get access from other computers.

The only computers that need to have this feature are th XOOM and the DINC (an Android smartphone). So of course I attempt to go to the website to activate the XOOM. I manage to get the first layer sign in - but t wants something I don't have and can't possibly have. Trip to Verizon store later and am told that the application isn't available for the XOOM. I scratch my head and clean my ears thinking that the one device that could really benefit doesn't have the capability. So I ask again. Same answer. The assistant tells me that the "XOOM is a wireless device and is handled by Verizon Wireless and that the WiFi service is a residential service and handled through residential group." No sense of irony there.

I think perhaps Verizon really has had its head cut off and that its parts are flailing about independently.

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