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Why I'm willing to pay an early termination fee to leave Verizon

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I'm fed up with my carrier and my phone. The ETF fee will be worth the freedom.

These days, most people use smartphones for everything but making phone calls. I never got the memo, however, and still dial out numbers on a regular basis. So service means something. At the same time, I want a phone that runs well and is well-supported.

Currently, I have neither.

So, come October, after Tim Cook introduces the iPhone 6, count me among those who will be queueing up for one. On AT&T. I gave Windows Phone and Verizon a chance and they have failed. It means an Early Termination Fee (ETF) of a few hundred bucks, but maybe I can make that selling the phone on Glyde. Here's why:

  1. Verizon's throttling. Usually companies deny it until they get caught, but Verizon has come right out and said it will throttle certain users. Oh sure, they said only unlimited bandwidth users only. They also cooperated with the NSA after umpteen promises of protection our privacy. Quite frankly, I don't trust you.
  2. Lousy coverage. This may shock some of you but it is true. In the canyons where I live in Orange County, wireless phone coverage is a challenge. When I was with AT&T, calls were always clear and went through on the first try. Verizon, which always toots its own horn about its coverage, just plain stinks. Calls don't go through, my parents and others complain of not being able to reach me, and calls are constantly dropped. Enough is enough.
  3. Cost. My Verizon plan is comparable to my plan with AT&T in terms of usage and data allowance, but costs about $40 to $50 more a month, assuming there are no extra charges.
  4. Samsung let me down. I had to go to a Verizon store and ask them to special order the Samsung ATIV SE. That should have been my warning of Samsung's commitment. But I bought the phone and now I'm left hanging. Nokia owners have Windows Phone 8.1 and are already seeing the first update to it. I have no ETA on 8.1 because it's up to Samsung to do the firmware update. Given that I had to ask for the phone, it wasn't on display, and the recent lawsuit between Microsoft and Samsung, I have no confidence their relationship will improve or Samsung will expend any energy on its WP products.

Plus, Windows Phone has some really annoying quirks, like you can't power off the phone while it is plugged in. There are some things I will miss. I really like the My Verizon app. It's a great way to manage your account. And iOS is pretty boring compared to the more active Live Tiles of WP8. But enough is enough. See you in two months, AT&T.

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