OK, I guess "horrible" and "nightmare" are redundant in the title of this blog post. But after what my wife has gone through the past few days with Verizon, I wanted to include as many nasty adjectives as possible in the title.
Now, maybe this tale of woe will have a happy ending. No matter. Verizon has acted so incompetently after my wife called them about her iPhone losing its cellular service, there's no way we'll go back to thinking of Verizon the way we did before this debacle.
Last Saturday, two days ago, Laurel, my wife, tried to make a call from our home on her iPhone 14 Pro Max that was purchased from Verizon last January. It didn't go through. We have crappy cell service at our house in rural south Salem, Oregon.
However, I'd gotten Verizon to send us a signal booster after we both got new iPhone 14's and it was clear that we still were getting the same one or two bars as we did when we had ancient iPhone 8's. So that was good of Verizon, since the signal booster used our Starlink wi-fi to boost the signal to four strong bars.
Which my iPhone 14 still was getting while Laurel's had no bars at all, just the "SOS" notice that appears when there's no cell service but an emergency call still can be made. Not sure how. Maybe via satellite, since the iPhone 14 has that capability.
I Googled "no cellular connection on iPhone 14" and did some of the recommended things. Turn the phone off and on. Turn airplane mode on and off. Can't remember all that I did, just that when nothing worked, I said to Laurel, "You need to call Verizon."
On our land line, of course, since she had no cell service.
That led to Laurel being on the phone for almost three hours with Verizon tech support staff. First with an agent, then a supervisor, then another tech support person. She ended up being told that the problem had to be with the iPhone, since they couldn't figure out how to get the e-sim (electronic sim) in the iPhone 14 activated again.
So Laurel phoned Apple. We had AppleCare for the almost new iPhone 14. And the tech support person at Apple was pleasingly competent. He did his best to get the cellular connection working, but failed. His view was that the problem almost certainly wasn't with the iPhone, which turned out to be correct.
However, he agreed to send Laurel a new iPhone 14, with the proviso that she pay for the phone with a credit card. Then when Apple got her old iPhone 14 back within ten days, that payment would be reversed.
Today the new iPhone 14 arrived from Apple. We had some problems transferring data and apps from the old phone to the new one, so Laurel had to call Apple tech support and get some help with that. They recommended backing up to iCloud, then restoring from iCloud, which ended up working fine.
But Apple tech support said Laurel would have to phone Verizon again to have the e-sim activated.
That's what kicked off the second installment of her Verizon nightmare, for she was on the phone with Verizon tech support staff for four freaking hours, 1:30 to 5:30 pm today. The first tech support person dropped her call, then failed to call her back after she waited for twenty minutes.
Laurel then called Verizon again and had to go through the horrible process of trying to get a live person to talk to. Verizon has no direct tech support phone number even though she had a ticket number. She ended up talking with four different Verizon staff.
The last guy was the nicest, but he couldn't figure out the cause of the problem either. He ended up by saying that he'd entered a "Force SIM Status" request, whatever that means. Laurel was told that could take up to five days, so she headed into town and bought a cheap prepaid phone to use until Verizon figures out why she can't use her iPhone for calls and text messages.
Like I said, it's been a nightmare -- about seven hours on the phone over two days with Verizon tech support. Apple tech support was good. Verizon tech support was awful. Hopefully the problem will be resolved in a few days, or we'll be looking for a new cellular service.