Jan 122012

A few months ago, I bought a Verizon LGE 4G MFi device, and I said a couple times that the jury is still out on it. Well the jury is back with a verdict, and it’s unanimous. It sucks! Whether we are in a 3G or 4G area, at least two or three times a day the thing locks up and I have to reboot it. Quite often, rebooting doesn’t help, and I actually have to take the battery out of it to get it to reset to start working again. Then it might be okay for three or four hours, but it’s just as likely to lock up before I open the next webpage.

This can happen anywhere we are. At times it will work fine for several hours, other times it fights me every step of the way, and we haven’t moved one inch! Talking to Verizon’s tech support reminds me of those TV commercials with Peggy in customer service. If you’re considering getting one of these things, my advice is to save yourself the expense and a lot of frustration, and find another alternative. Or, do like my friend Jack Mayer said he’s going to do, and give it another year before you make a purchase. Hopefully the technology will improve by then.

Speaking of Peggy and customer service, the folks at Macy’s seem to have a whole bunch of Peggy’s on the payroll. On December 6, we were at the Macy’s in Ocala, where I bought Miss Terry her toaster oven. The sales clerk told told us that if we opened a Macy’s charge card we would save 20% off the sale price, which was already 20% off retail. Fine, I like saving money. I filled out the paperwork, they ran a quick credit check, and said we were approved. The sales clerk gave us a temporary purchase slip to use, and said the credit card would arrive in about four weeks.

Two or three weeks went by, and I began to wonder when the billing cycle would hit. I went online to check my account, but because I didn’t have a card number to enter, the website would not let me access it. Another week went by and I tried again, still no luck. Yesterday I tried again, and when that didn’t work, I called Macy’s 800 customer service number. The lady I spoke to immediately told me that my account was past due and had been assessed a $25 late fee, and that I needed to make a payment immediately. I asked her how my account could be past due when I hadn’t even received a bill yet, and asked her to confirm my address. Guess what? They had the wrong address, which explained why we never received a bill or credit card. She then informed me that there was also a $14.95 handling fee to pay by telephone with my MasterCard. That’s on top of the $25 late fee!

The lady was rude, and to be honest, I responded accordingly. Seeing that was getting us nowhere, I asked to speak to her supervisor. The supervisor eventually came on the line, after a long time on hold, and after looking at my account and noting the wrong address, acknowledged it was their mistake and agreed to waive the $25 late fee. But she insisted that the $14.95 fee was required to pay by telephone. She said I could go online to make a payment and not have to pay the fee, but I pointed out to her that I couldn’t do that because I didn’t have the account number, because they had dropped the ball and failed to send the bill or the card to the correct address. Not to mention the fact that this was not much over 30 days since I opened the account. I asked her when something became past due, and she replied “When we don’t get a payment.” Fine, I’d be happy to make a payment, just tell me the account number and I’ll go online and make it. She replied they could not give me the account number over the telephone, they would have to mail it out to me. Well, we know their track record on that already, don’t we? Meantime, she said, I had no alternative but to pay the past due bill over the phone and incur the $14.95 fee. Want to bet? I know exactly where the Macy’s in Ocala is, and I’ll just go there, pay off the account in full, and they can stick their credit card where the sun don’t shine!

But there is some good news today, too. Yesterday I finally got the cover for Big Lake formatted for the printed version, and uploaded to the printer’s website. Hopefully today or tomorrow they’ll get back to me with any final corrections needed, and we can get the printed version ready to go.

We’ve only got a few days left in Florida before we begin our journey West, and we want to make the most of the time available. Today we plan to drive over to Crystal River and do some paddling, and and with any luck at all, we may see some manatee! Friday we’ll probably drive down to the Tampa RV show, and look around. I’m not sure what we will do over the weekend. Monday is our 14th wedding anniversary, and we plan to go back to Tarpon Springs and spend some time wandering around the funky little Greek sponge fishing town. Don’t I know how to show a lady a good time on her anniversary?

Thought For The Day – You can’t always control who comes into your life, but you can control which window you throw them out of!

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Nick Russell

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  23 Responses to “I’ve Decided. It Sucks!”

  1. You just ruined my day. After having an air card and router for the past two years and being very satisfied with it, I just bought the Verizon LGE 4G MFi device, along with an iphone for both Patsy and I.

    Tomorrow, I head for Quartzsite and this is my first trip in a year because I went back to work from Feb to Nov in 2011. I tested the MIFI locally, and it has been dependable. I guess I will see how it will work on my 5 week trip.

    Have you had it checked for a bug or other problem. Have others had a problem, other than the lack of much 4G availability?

    I had great hope for this thing!!


  2. You just ruined my day. After having a Verizon air card (based on your experience) and router for the past two years and being very satisfied with it, I just bought the Verizon LGE 4G MFi device, along with an iphone for both Patsy and I.

    Tomorrow, I head for Quartzsite and this is my first trip in a year because I went back to work from Feb to Nov in 2011. I tested the MIFI locally, and it has been dependable. I guess I will see how it will work on my 5 week trip.

    Have you had it checked for a bug or other problem. Have others had a problem, other than the lack of much 4G availability?

    I had great hope for this thing!!


  3. Ha. The thought for the day nearly made me choke on my breakfast. Funny thought and one I could have used many times in the past. Thanks!

  4. We have had had the same problem & after many calls to Verizon, frustrations, bad language & threats to go elsewhere without paying contract fees. Well a couple days ago I was offered an upgrade on the card. We accepted & lo & behold it seems to be OK now, so hang in there. Oh, the upgrade popped up all by its self.

  5. I had a similar experience with Macy’s when I opened my account there a number of years ago. There was a late fee on the first bill before I could blink. I cut up the card right then and there, and although Macy’s is big where I live, I hardly ever shop there. The “savings” isn’t worth dealing with the card or them.

  6. Hi Nick, I’ve been using my iPhone’s wifi hotspot feature for my internet connection and it works just fine. I’m still on AT&T since I started with them a couple of years ago before Verizon got the iPhone so I do enjoy the “limited” AT&T coverage area but that aside it works perfectly every time. Have you considered using one of your smart phones as a wifi hotspot?

  7. Jack Mayer is right about the 4G technology not being what it should be. We contracted with Verizon for a Pantech 4G USB Modem back in May. The new contract saved $10 per month plus they gave us another 15% discount for being a veteran (they don’t do that any more on air cards/modems), that’s what inticed us. Anyhow, the modem just didn’t work well with our Cradlepoint CTR500 router. Cradlepoint upgraded their firmware, but for some reason our router would not upload it. So we just bought a new Cradlepoint CTR35 router and only time will tell if this combination will work any better. Bottom line is that 4G has some refinements to make and I would have rather paid the $60 per month that we were paying than have this inconvience.

  8. I have the same hassles with my Verizon miff. Its a piece of crap and this is my third one! First one was dead on arrival and that should have told me something. Second one did the same thing you reported, locking up all the time, and its replacement is no better. I’ve upgraded firmware, jumped through all there hoops. No luck.

  9. I am convinced the larger the company, the more frustrating they can be. Berni & I no longer carry any credit cards and at times it can be inconvienient. We do not care how much more we may save with a purchase by opening an account, we just DO NOT do it anymore.

    I hear too that Verizon is now going to charge to pay your bill either on-line or by phone. Good thing they still do not charge extra when sending in a check. If they start doing that, they will get dropped quickly.

    We also keep a close on eye on our banks. So far no addtional charges for what I call normal usage. We do use a debit card, but only use an account with just enough to cover how we use it, just in case the account gets hacked someway.

    Somdays I am not convinced life is getting any easier because of technology, even though I love technology.

  10. It’s worth repeating that there are (at least) two devices called MiFi and there may be some differences. We have been using our Samsung SCH-LC11 with mostly good results since April over 7600 miles of travel. It *IS* our internet since we dropped the cable company at our house. Nick’s device is different from my device and I cannot compare its performance.

    4G is rolling out, and there are a lot of parameters that can affect your success. And we do have to reboot occasionally ourselves. As a test, we hooked up our phones as wifi hotspots and they were working fine and suddenly my computer does not like the phone hotspot, running at 3g speeds while it runs at 4g when connected to the Samsung SCH-LC11. Same room in the house, same time of day… So I checked – the phones are running at 4g (speedtest.net) – – so something on my side of the network seems to be messing up the connection. I’ll have to trouble shoot that later…

    Bottom line is that this is new technology and I’ll tolerate the occasional glitches for the significantly higher speeds. Using RV park wifi is not an answer for us compared to the above glitches. It all depends on your tolerance level for an emerging technology… I’ll take 3g speeds over an insecure public network. (Does anyone remember Hayes modems running at 300baud speeds ?)

    Keep testing, in different locations, and be diligent in keeping notes… a slight difference can make a world of difference… 🙂

  11. I had a Macy’s account for a year, and every bill had a discrepancy, always in their favor. When I would cal, their response was to go ahead and pay it, and they would reflect the overpayment on my next statement. I did that the first two times, and it took forever to get the credit reflected on my statement. I finally closed there account. Every employee in their billing department had an attitude and expected me to be wrong before they would even hear me out when I called.

  12. We feel your pain. We were having the same problems and thought that having to remove the battery and all the other hoops to jump through was all wrong. However, like Dave, our Verizon LGE 4G MFi was updated last week, via phone with a Verizon tech, and has been working smoothly ever since. I would still have reservations in recommending this device until a few more months pass and it functions without interruption.

    Side Note: Like Macy’s we had problems getting Verizon to send us our password. We couldn’t go online to check how much we had used without a password. It took us 4 weeks to get an actual letter with our password. It leaves me breathless that in this day and age of high tech that there could be such a time lag in getting crucial information to you. They, too, couldn’t give us our information over the phone.

  13. I would return the toaster oven to Macy’s for a fill refund and quit using the credit card. Then I would buy Terry another one for your anniversary from some place else. That way you made a hit at with her at Christmas and the anniversary.

  14. We are on our 3rd LGE mifi from Verizon & each one is as bad as the one before. We are workamping long term and have not moved since we got it, so the problem is not different locations. On 4G it is super fast, but it switches back and forth, even after supposedly “locking” it to 4G only. Because every time it freezes up and we have to reboot, it looses the “lock.” Rebooting is a three of four times a day thing. Think Fleetwood RV quality and you’ll understand it better.

  15. A word to all of you who carry bicycles on a rack on the back of your motorhome. We suffered a total loss due of our diesel pusher to an engine fire. The fire department was there in less than 2 minutes because we were almost across the street. But they could not get the engine bay open because of the bikes being locked on the ladder. Now our insurance company says they will not cover the loss more than 50% because we put the bikes on there and hindered the fire department from stopping the fire before it got too big.

  16. We tried to counsel you about the mifi when you purchased it. You were petulant.

    Again, when you see new technology, wait for version 2,3 or 4.

  17. Maybe the question now is, “Who DID get your Macy’s credit card?” And even more important, what are they doing with it?

  18. That is why we have NO credit cards…….

    also our Sprint MIFI card works great….

  19. I never laughed so hard reading about Peggy!!!! Hope you two have a great anniversary. Cyndy says she loves her Macy’s card, she charges something at one counter to get the savings, and pays it off at another counte or the same counter. We are currently in Demming Escapees heading to AZ. See you in just over a month!!!

  20. Oh My Gosh! I just had the same thing happen with GE Finance. I purchased a new pair of glasses and they suggested I put them on a 6 month, no fee card. The card didn’t come, I called, I owed them $25.00 late charge, they wanted it over the phone with the $14.95 service charge to do that. What a rip off. They had my address wrong so they dropped the charges but had I not called, I would still be racking up the fees. I prefer Visa or Master Card that I already have and pay it off. It is a big money maker for them to make these mistakes. Happy Anniversary to you both.

  21. Years ago we got a Target card to get the discount. Never used it after that. Then when we did a credit check 5 years later it was still on our report and gave us a downgrade in our credit rating, reason-we hadn’t used it. Can you imagine the time we had to contact Target. Even going to the store they told us they couldn’t help us that we had to call the number on the back of the card. Of course, we didn’t have the card because we had destroyed it and they couldn’t give us a number to call – IT IS ON THE BACK OF THE CARD which we didn’t have. It took many calls to finally get it fixed. Make sure you document the return of the card – do not just shred it.

    MIFI- Finally after many calls to complain we have received a new one. It has been about 2 weeks, but so far it is working better than the original air-card that we had. Time will tell.

  22. I have a Sprint MIFI card that has worked very well for me, but is limited to 5G a month and when my grandkids used it (w/o my knowledge) they went over to the tune of $500! Because it was the first time Sprint waived the overage fee. I also purchased a Palm Pre from Verizon because it has a FREE UNLIMITED HOTSPOT. This has been outstanding. I learned about it at the 2010 East Gypsy Rally at Elkhart – what a great deal. I use it driving down the road and rarely lose the signal.

  23. Hey Nick…the battery in your MiF is overheating and causes the shutdown, thus it will re-start after you remove it a couple of times to reset and it cools down. They WILL replace it (or do an upgrade if appropriate) and the new one will NOT have those issues!! We fought the same thing for several months, as it got increasingly worse. You need an entire new unit including a new battery…call them and get one on the way. We felt the same way about the dang thing, until we were able analyze what was happening and got it cleared up. LOVE it now! Don’t give up on it yet! Hugs to you and Terry!!!

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