Kenneth Ballenegger

Angel Investor, Engineer, Startup Founder

A Verizon reality check

Marco Arment:

It’s easy to glorify Verizon as an iPhone owner, because AT&T is so awful. But Verizon sucks, too — just in different ways, for the most part.

I’ve been saying all along that as much as AT&T’s coverage sucks, I’ve generally been happy with their service. The lack of tethering sucks, but I get around it. Customer representatives I’ve encountered are usually helpful and pleasant to converse with while things get taken care of. They acknowledge jailbreakers with amusement and complicity. Things take forever to get fixed, but the same can be said of any other large company. Even Apple, in my experience, does a much poorer job of helping me out beyond the very basic stuff they’re trained to deal with every day.

This isn’t meant to be a glowing review of AT&T. There are still plenty of major problems, not least of which is the ridiculously poor coverage. I get dropped calls all the time. The network’s inability to deal with density makes it impossible to use my phone at any crowded event. (Attending a conference, concert, festival, expo? Forget about using your iPhone.) But I don’t expect any of that to change should I switch to Verizon. In fact, I expect the few improvements in coverage to be offset by major worsening of the situation in other areas. Ethics, customer relations, and technological innovations are all areas in which AT&T has the upper hand.