This webpage is old and probably not useful.
Verizon offers excellent wireless service via what I consider the overall highest-quality nationwide network. However, Verizon’s postpaid service tends to be quite expensive. I think Verizon’s postpaid service is worth considering if you live in an area where Verizon offers good service, frequently travel (especially outside of urban areas), and are willing to pay top dollar for top-notch reliability. Verizon’s prepaid service offers roughly the same reliability at a much better price point for consumers OK with the possibility of deprioritization when the network is congested.
At the moment, I believe RootMetrics is the third-party testing company with the most appropriate methodology for assessing nationwide network performance. Verizon took the top spot in RootMetrics’ report for the second half of 2018.1 Verizon also tends to score well in other third-party evaluators rankings. I go into far more detail about third-party assessments of Verizon in the article Reliability of Nationwide U.S. Wireless Networks.
My postpaid experience
I was a Verizon user for a little shy of ten years. While I think my anecdotes are less useful than data from firms that collect performance data, I found Verizon’s service to be awfully good. I often had service in remote areas where my friends using other providers didn’t have service. Data speeds were usually great. I saw how the data service performed under intense loads thanks to a data-only SIM from Verizon that I used in my laptop. I regularly had powerful service on public transit, in airports, and in other places where I accessed the internet while on the go. The service was so good that I often found myself choosing to use my laptop’s Verizon connection in places where free, public Wi-Fi was available.
I’d say my experience with Verizon’s support was decent overall. I had a couple of pretty frustrating experiences, but I used the service for so long that I’m inclined not to judge a few bad experiences too harshly (I also had a handful of efficient, positive interactions). I found Verizon’s customer website to be oddly buggy. On a number of occasions, I found the website serving me with unexpected error messages. Multiple times this led me to call support to deal with things that Verizon seemed to want customers to be able to do online.
My prepaid experience
In May of 2019, I went to Verizon’s website to purchase a prepaid plan. I selected a $40 per month plan that offered unlimited talk and text along with 3GBs of data. After choosing to bring my own device, I was prompted to enter its IMEI number. I first entered the IMEI of my obscure Unihertz Atom phone. The website didn’t seem to like the IMEI. Rather than telling me the phone was incompatible, the website seemed to get stuck trying to process the IMEI. After a few additional tries, I gave up and entered the IMEI of my Motorola G6 Play which was compatible. Next, I was able to have my choice among several cell phone numbers from area codes near me. The last four digits were obscured, so I selected a number that looked like 303-555-XXXX. This process involved more flexibility in my choice of number than I’ve seen from many carriers.
During the checkout process, it was easy to sign up for Verizon’s auto pay option. Using auto pay provides a $5 per month discount, but that discount did not apply to my first month of service. Shipping was free on my SIM card, and I paid $0.60 in additional fees described as “CO State 911/TRS Fee.”
A bit later, I received a SIM card, a receipt, and some instructions in the mail from Verizon:
Setup was easy, and I didn’t have to do anything complicated to get service running after putting the new SIM card in my Motorola G6 Play.
Using the service
So far, my experience using the service has been good. Apart from a few times where I think I might have been getting deprioritized, the service seems like what I would expect out of postpaid Verizon service. I haven’t had any experience with prepaid customer support yet.
- For overall performance, Verizon scored 94.4, AT&T 92.6, T-Mobile 86.9, and Sprint 85.7. RootMetric’s isn’t transparent about what these numbers mean, so I’m unsure how to interpret these scores.