Verizon vs AT&T… And How To Get Out Of Your Contract Without Penalties

by Lynnette

phone service, tech humor, z1

Our favorite beat reporter, Randy, is at it again…

He sends us this great tip for how to get out of a Verizon phone contract — without any penalties!

But first, I have to ask… how many of you prefer Verizon over AT&T… or vice versa?



Our Experiences With AT&T

For nearly a decade now, we’ve had AT&T (formerly Cingular) cellphone service or some derivative thereof — based on whoever owned the company at the time. (Currently it’s known as AT&T).

In all those years, we have been more than satisfied with AT&T’s cellphone service.

But I’m wondering… Is this a fluke? Because I’ve also heard horror stories about AT&T phones and AT&T cell phone service.


Our AT&T Phones

We currently use a Motorola Razr phone and an 8125 PDA phone, while being subscribed to AT&T’s cell phone service. We love both phones.

UPDATE: As of November, 2009 we both now have iPhones and we still use AT&T wireless as our cell phone provider. And yes, we’re still happy!


We Are Thinking About Switching To Verizon

Coincidentally, we recently thought about making the switch to Verizon for 2 reasons:

#1 If/when we ever get this log home built, we’d need to switch to Verizon, because Swan Ridge is a fairly remote area, and everyone there tells us that Verizon is the only cellphone service that works. (And their coverage is quite good, so they say.)

#2 Verizon’s Canada plan is much better than AT&T’s Canada plan. Since Jim travels quite frequently to Canada for his racing gig, the roaming fees in Canada are important to us.


AT&T vs Verizon’s Customer Service

I’m sure you can find good and bad customer service from reps at both Verizon and AT&T (we certainly have!).

Fortunately, on the day we were going to pull-out of AT&T, we happened upon a very knowledgeable AT&T rep who pointed out a lot of great things about AT&T that we didn’t even know! (And, for some reason, all the other AT&T reps we’ve talked to never felt compelled to share these things with us.)

On that same day, we also met with a Verizon rep who was very knowledgeable, very friendly, but also very “pressuring” in an easy-going kind of way. I wasn’t buying it, but he managed to convince Jim to fill out the paperwork to “pre-qualify” him and and make it a faster process when/if Jim decided to actually make the switch from AT&T to Verizon. (We were *this* close to making the switch!)


Why Are We Sticking With AT&T?

A couple of reasons:

1 – Rollover minutes. We’ve had rollover minutes for so long with AT&T that we were actually shocked to learn that all cellphone companies aren’t offering rollover minutes at this point.

And yes, those rollover minutes have saved our butt on several occasions! (We don’t have a land line for our home phone… we use our cellphone as our phone at home and on the go.)

2 – Ability to change your plan on the fly. With AT&T, you can make changes month-to-month like “add the Canada plan this month, then take it off next month” — on a whim, whenever you need something different. (In our case, whenever Jim has another business trip in Canada.) There are no fees or penalties to make these changes with AT&T, and they don’t “renew” or “extend” your contract each time you do it. (This may be only because we are longtime customers, I’m not sure.)

But with Verizon, your contract gets “renewed” or “extended” automatically whenever you make such a change. In effect, this makes it harder and harder to get out of a Verizon contract. If you don’t want/need to make changes like this month-to-month, then Verizon vs AT&T are probably very similar.

Which leads me to Randy’s great tip for those who want to get out of a Verizon wireless contract — without any fees or penalties!…



How To Cancel Verizon Without Penalty

Randy writes:

I read on The Consumerist about a way to get out of Verizon’s two-year contract and we’re gonna give it a shot because Sandy’s phone is awful and so is the coverage in our area. We don’t live in the boonies so we feel the need to skeedaddle on over to Cingular where we have our daughter’s plan already and she has no reception problems whatsoever. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Here’s a link to the Consumerist article: Cancel Verizon Without Penalty Over Admin Fee Increase

Thanks for the link, Randy! I’ve heard about The Consumerist before, but I’ve never paid much attention to their site until now. I think I’ve found a new favorite… I’ve added it to my RSS feeds.

And I like their tag line: “The Consumerist: Shoppers Bite Back.”
Listen to Bud Light’s Real Men of Genius ”Mr. Cell Phone Holster Wearer”: