Update by user Sep 09, 2013
I have not heard anything from US Cellular, but I did receive a bill for something like $50. I am not sure what that is about, I have not yet called them about it.
Verizon has been a dream; my phone (a Samsung Galaxy SIII) is amazing, 4G LTE is simply mind-blowing, and the network is phenomenal.
It does cost more, but having a phone that works like it should makes it so worth it. I hope others have found my review helpful.
Original review posted by user Aug 09, 2013
Here is what I wrote to US Cellular, it explains everything.
I left you today for Verizon.
I spent over a month with one of your crappy loaner phones because of poor customer care at a corporate store, poor customer care from the call center, and finally inadequate resources to make my situation right at an authorized retailer. I am going to write my entire story here so others can know what you consider customer service to be. I began service with you in early May of this year. My phone, an HTC Merge, was a great fit for me - a slide out qwerty keyboard, easy-to-navigate set-up, threaded texting, functional camera - I was happy.
Until July 4th, when I tried to take pictures of my 17 month old enjoying fireworks. My phone, for some reason, would flash immediately after I tapped the shutter icon then actually snap the picture about a second later (actual timing, not an exaggeration). The next day, July 5th, I started to experience freezing issues which quickly culminated in the phone refusing to power on. So, I took the 45 minute drive to the closest US Cellular location to see what could be done.
The rep that assisted me (I am purposely leaving out details such as location and names, as I blame the company, not the individuals) failed to offer me the Advance Exchange option when he determined that my phone needed to be sent in. He also failed to let me know that, when my phone was either repaired or replaced, I would have to return to the store location (again, 45 minutes away) to pick it up. So I waited the 10 business days I was advised I would have to wait, then called customer care to see where my phone might be. I was advised of your system updates, and told to contact the store directly.
Which I did. It was at this time I was informed that I would need to return to the store to retrieve my phone. This was inconveniencing to say the least. I was also advised that although my phone was there, I would have to wait until Thursday of that week (I called on a Monday) to pick it up and activate it because of the system upgrade.
So I waited until Thursday, drove the 45 minutes, and proceeded to hang out at the store for 3 hours while absolutely nothing was accomplished. My phone was not activated because no one could figure out how to do it, my contacts and pictures were not transferred from the loaner to my new phone, even though I was told they were, and I did not receive the $25 credit the store manager promised me for the inconvenience. To make matters worse, apparently my phone could not be repaired, so I had been sent a "new" one. Upon leaving the store, I contacted customer care via phone to see if someone could activate my phone that way.
While on the phone with the rep, I finally had a chance to look at my "new" phone. I will be polite and simply say it was a very poorly reconditioned refurb. The call dropped as I was working with the rep to activate my phone, and when I attempted to call back in, the phones had apparently been shut off early due to high call volume. I have not mentioned previously, but I will remark now, that hold times during your system upgrade were atrocious -- but you know this.
Anyway, I tried to call in the next day, but systems were down, so I was promised a call back - which never came. I called again that evening, and was placed on hold while the rep attempted to figure out why my phone wouldn't activate, and was hung up on. I believe I called in once more during the next couple days, after I received your letter stating that you were raising your monthly premium for device protection (the letter also showed me that I had been lied to at the store when I purchased my phone and service - I was told that the deductible for my phone was $50... Imagine my shock when I saw it was actually $150!
I will note here that this HTC Merge is only worth $7 trade-in with Verizon, and you at US Cellular will pay nothing for it. Why would I pay $150 to replace a worthless phone?). So, I stated very plainly to the rep that I was returning home to Southern Oregon, and that I fully expected the dinged up, buggy, refurb I was sent to be replaced, and that I wanted my bill credited for what was quickly becoming a month of poor service. The rep was having system issues, and could not connect with a manager, and promised me a call back.
Guess what didn't happen. I made my way back to Southern Oregon, and last week went to an authorized retailer where my family has had good customer service in the past. I did, in fact, feel appreciated as a customer while dealing with the rep at this location. However, she and her asdm were unable to do much to repair my experience, and could not activate my phone, either.
They contacted the corporate store for assistance, but never received a response. So, yesterday, I called into customer care again. I laid out everything, again. I stated in no uncertain terms what I expected to have happen to make my situation right, and while the rep I first spoke with gave me the credit the store failed to deliver on, she was unable to do more, and the manager she connected me with refused to.
Verizon may cost more a month, but they have always treated me like a valuable person. Further proof that you get what you pay for, I suppose. I am currently advising everyone I know that uses your service to take a closer look at what they are really getting. This could have been a relatively easy fix for your company, and I could have been a satisfied customer.
Now you'll just have the pleasure of trying to get me to pay your ETF. Good luck with that.
Monetary Loss: $200.