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A Happy Cellphone Customer, Even Without Analog Service

Kim Hart

After getting lots of emails from disgruntled cellphone users unhappy about losing analog service this month, I was surprised to hear this story from a local Verizon Wireless customer.

Gabriel Goldberg of Falls Church said he and his wife have never upgraded from using analog phone service because it was inexpensive and met their needs. Although he had received several letters from Verizon Wireless about the shut-off of analog service, he figured he'd use the phones as long as he could and then go with a prepaid plan.

But a week before the Feb. 18 shut-off date, he received two new LG phones from Verizon Wireless, along with a letter informing him that all he needed to do was activate the phones after the transition and the would work with his account. No monthly contract or fees required.

He wrote in his email:

"So they gave me an easy path to stay with Verizon Wireless, no decision to make. Even if it's not the best plan for us, it's simple to accept it. They retain me as a customer and --I'm sure-- will take the opportunity to upsell me on higher-level calling plans that would enable more of the phone features. Had they not done this, I'd have bailed--having had multiple unpleasant dealings with them. So this seems a sensible approach for them to take, a win-win."

I called Debi Lewis at Verizon Wireless to ask her about the situation. She said the company sent basic digital phones to customers who are still using analog-only cellphones to make sure they didn't get disconnected. She declined to say how many handsets she sent out, but said only a small number of customers were still using analog service.

Goldberg said he is "surprised and relatively happy," but is still having trouble finding a new Verizon Wireless calling plan that's right for him.

Receiving the free phone was not the only victory for Goldberg in this situation. "I've mentioned to my wife that this outcome validates procrastination as a problem-solving tool," he joked.

By Kim Hart  |  February 26, 2008; 1:02 PM ET  | Category:  Kim Hart
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