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Received Calls From Verizon Asking About 4G or Your Galaxy Nexus? A Few of Us Have

Within the last couple of weeks, I received a call out of the blue from a Verizon analyst of sorts that wanted to talk about my phone. He definitely did not know that I was the dude that writes for Droid Life, but was instead calling to see why I was using my Galaxy Nexus with 4G LTE turned off. You see, I had been at a Portland Trail Blazers game a few days before that and from what I gathered during our conversation, Verizon was seeing how well their network was holding up during a sporting event that housed around 20,000 people. They must have noticed that a large enough group of people who had 4G phones in the arena were only using 3G. I say that because the specific question to me was, “We noticed you were at the Blazers game the other night and had 4G turned off on your Galaxy Nexus. Did you manually turn it off or were you having connection issues?” 

While this caught me a little off guard, he gave off the impression that he was calling all sorts of people, which was confirmed to me by another reader today who was at that very same game and received a similar call. When I responded with, “I turn it off on purpose…” he cut me off before I could finish because he knew why. Horrible battery life, something he had heard from almost everyone he called. That was his only question and the call was over.

But also this week, we heard from another reader who received a similar call, although the Verizon rep asked even more questions over a 20 minute conversation. They were curious as to whether or not he had rooted his Nexus or was using a custom ROM, if he had camera issues, how 4G to 3G handoffs were going, did he have white or black screen flashes, any random reboots, etc. Notice that many of those are issues that have filled up countless forums since this phone debuted?

It’s tough to tell if the our post-Blazers game calls were related to this lengthier conversation, but it made us curious. Has Verizon received enough complaints about the phone that an update is finally coming? Are they simply assessing network performance? What is it?

Has anyone else received a similar call? Attended a sporting event recently that was followed by a call from a VZW rep? If so, what did they ask?

Cheers brian and Will!

  • droidroks

    I’m also on my second GNex and this one seems to be worse than the first. @kellex:disqus can you confirm through the network of people you know if this is in fact a 4G/LTE or device software or hardware issue? After calling VZW 12+ times they issued a ticket for me and said they will have an answer for me with 48-72hrs. Once I hear what they have to say I might trade in my device for a different 4G/LTE phone. 

    BTW, I hear the loss of data and or voice is due to the phone not being able to authenticate itself properly with the towers. Any thoughts?

  • Granted

    Anyone who does not think this story is truly creepy, well you have a defunct head. All the data harvesting they do is supposed to be completely anymore, but it’s not like I ever believed that load of crap. But this just proves that there was nothing anywhere near anonymous about what happened. I find this incredibly creepy and I wouldn’t have answered a damn question, but instead I would have grilled whoever had called and made them thoroughly explain this breach of my privacy. Then I would demanded to speak with their supervisor. The terms of service let’s them collect data for sure, but I have yet to read a single one that says it’s not anonymous.

    There is absolutely nothing anonymous about them calling you. They have your phone, then that absolutely means they have access to your account and know every single detail about you. The fact that Kleenex finds this breach of privacy so benign is unbelievable. Not only would I raise hell with the people calling me and everyone I could get ahold through Verizon. But I would immediately bring this to the attention of privacy advocate groups and other people like the EEF, and user rights proponents. Another good reason I absolutely never turn location services on, and never use any applications that use them. Not that there are not ways beyond this to locate people, but why give these snoops the upper hand. And I could care less about Verizon’s intentions in deciding to place the call and abuse their power. They wouldn’t like it if I kept tabs on them and gave them a ring at home. And anyone who thinks this doesn’t affect you or it doesn’t matter, well you’re just ignorant to the fact and not really seeing the big picture here. I guess it will take a personal breach of your privacy and trust in the future to make you wake up.

    Anonymous data my @ss.

  • Jbjork70stpl

    They’re asking because the GNex is an over-hyped piece of crap.  Why did everyone drink the GNex Kool-aid?  Seriously people, it wasn’t that great and still isn’t.

  • whoster69

    I had a call and was busy so I asked them to call back.  They said they would and never did.

  • Soga

    you can really see that verizon actually CARES for their customers lol unlike that death ball AT&T :P

  • RoadsterHD1

    I was thinking about trading in my Bionic for a RAZR and yesterday i did a side by side comparioson cause a friend of mine has a RAZR and what I found blew me away. 
    1. I compared data speed in a fairly good area for speed. My Bionic was faster in the up and down loads on about 7 test I took. The RAZR dropped to 3G and my Bionic stayed in 4G. The RAZR eventually returned to 4G and retested them again. The average score were Bionic down was 8Mbps and UP 5 to 6Mbps. The RAZR was 7 to 8Mbps down and 1 to 3Mbps up. My down at my home is 20 to 28Mbps and up is the same.
    2. The screen on the RAZR is more color saturated than the Bionic, but looking further I discovered the reason for the saturation on the RAZR is because it has a blue tint to it. You can really see it if you look at the RAZR’s screen side ways. This causes the brightness to go down.. Bionic screen is brighter. The gray scale really tells the story. Bionic’s grey scale is blacker and whiter more true. The RAZR is blueish even greenish at times. Look at the power widget and you will see what I’m talking about. Open GOOGLE-MAPS and it’s obivious that the clarity and color is better on the Bionic. To make this more interesting I compared the GNex screen and it was worse than the RAZR. 
    3. The RAZR was faster onthe bench marks but in everyday use you will not notice the difference. 
    4. All the Verizon 4G phones have data drop issues, Bionic’s “were” worse but are just like or better than most now after the 902 update. 
    5. Pentile Screen can be seen in direct sun light, the other HD amoled screens can NOT. Pentile will show what’s called compression on low resolution video but that’s because Pentile is more focused and clear than the others. I use “Vplayer Version0.99 and Daroon Player and play back High Def 1080i video and it looks incredible, no compression and no lag. The video recording at 1080p look incredible. But put crappy video in and it will give you crappy video out. Colors in my opinion are more realistic than the RAZR. For poor quality video the Bionic tends to favor reds, so I use “screenadjuster” and “filter your screen” to adjust for this. Netflix has different resolution streams and you can tell the two. For the most part Netflix does and incredible job and the streaming looks great. Please know that different player play differently on any phone. The old version of VPlayer is allot better that the newer versions. Daroon player play high quality HD video very well.
    6. The speaker is louder on the Bionic.
    7. I decided to keep my Bionic and not get the RAZR or the RAZR MAXX.
    We have high end phones with high end screens, use high end video and you will be happier…   :)  

  • http://brgulker.wordpress.com/ brgulker

    I didn’t ,but if I did, I surely wouldn’t tell them if I were running a custom ROM. 

    Frankly, it’s kinda creepy that they’d be so up front with you about how closely they are monitoring you, if you ask me.

  • http://www.thinkgeeks4u.com Hiral Patel

    If you are not in a major metropolis 4G device is useless it wont be available for at least another year. The couple of times I did get to use it while in Det, Lansing or Grand Rapids the battery drain was so hideous that I was like F this I gonna just use 3G. We as the testers are paying for technology that has not be perfected yet. 

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Brandon-Bunker/13730921 Brandon Bunker

      A good portion of your southern neighbor state is LTE (small cities + many rural areas that get the benefit from areas such as Ft. Wayne, Lafayette, South Bend, etc.)..

  • T4rd

    I got a call out of the blue the other day about my Galaxy Nexus too.  But they only asked if I still had my “Samsung Galaxy Nexus” and if it was the original one that I had bought.  I told them “No, I had to exchange it due to random reboot issues.”  Then they asked if I exchanged it for a different phone or for another Samsung Galaxy Nexus and I told them I exchanged it for another Galaxy Nexus.

    At that point they just said “thank you” and hung up.  I was a little confused as wanted to ask what the call was for, but she hung up before I got the chance to ask.

  • http://twitter.com/kilxler tony

    @Kellex  Quick question. Was your phone on a business plan or is it your personal phone? There is a reason why I am asking this.

  • dulum

    Is that even legal?

  • JohnPA2006

    That’s silly they would ask that.
    easy guess, battery life, duhhh can you hear that now verizon???

    Come on like they really dont know why people turn 4G off.
    they want the phone to last more than 6 hours.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_6GIPJHGPLNF543AY3QLWRV7DRQ crzytwnman

      John, that’s really not true.  Sometimes people will turn it off for battery life, yes.  But other times, you’re in one of the countless areas where 3G hits against the 4G barrier (either on the edge of, or within one of the 4G cities), and it’s an absolute pain to use the phone as it keeps switching between the two.  At other times, wireless tether becomes disrupted and has to be restarted every time 3G and 4G switch off.  The hand-off question Verizon is asking is, in my view, one of the most important because if there weren’t issues with it, they wouldn’t be asking it.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001458670467 Tyler Cameron

        I never turn 4G off on my Nexus and consistently get 10-20 hours of battery life depending on how I use it. That’s excellent. That’s the whole day..

  • BroRob

    That call seems a bit “Big Brother” to me. I prefer the out of sight out of mind approach to information gathering! lawlz

  • http://twitter.com/Cherriza Cherriza

    I used to get decent battery life and could go all day with a charge on my normal usage.  Now I can’t even get through work.  This is just recently.  

  • Dan Ralaston

    I myself received a call from VZW RE: why I had turned off 4G on my GNex and moreover had I rooted it or installed a custom ROM.

    I asked why he cared and at first he said because it was against VZW’s TOS, but then later said that they were trying to determine if customers were happy with the device “as is” or if they needed to modify it to make it better.

    I did state that I had rooted the device and that I purposely kept 4G turned off to conserve battery.

    He then asked if I had rooted it to tether “illegally” and I responded that was none of his business and hung up on him. For what its worth, I do not tether off my of my phone because work provides me with a DATA card.

    • cguella

      First, they are very concerned about the revenue that they may be losing with rogue tethering from rooted uses.  Second, they are concerned if you can connect properly.  In reality, the GNex has connection issues, needs radio and/or system updates to improve 4G/3G coverage and switching.

  • Just_Some_Nobody

    Kudos to Verizon.  I’ve never gotten a call like this from AT&T.  I doubt I ever will.

  • nobody72

    Personally I would raise privacy issues; as they are clearly tracking you in a fashion that is (IMHO) inappropriate.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001458670467 Tyler Cameron

      Its inappropriate that they call you up after records show that you were in an area where there was an event with ~20,000 people, and those records show that he has a Galaxy Nexus (there’s a few out there with bad radios) with 4G disabled. That’s not inappropriate. They “track” everyone who is on their network. Sounds to me like they want to make sure their network isn’t performing poorly..

      • Nobody72

         That’s the point. Unless you have enabled verizon location service; they should not be tracking (or saving) your location. That is the meaning of privacy and they are violating such privacy.

        Naturally if the person has enabled verizon location service then the situation is a bit different.

        This is very different than if you call verizon to report an issue and they ask for your location.

        Anyways I’m fairly sure this would make an interesting case in court.

  • http://twitter.com/Coast19 Coast19

    4g is almost non existent with large amounts of users.. Did the Disney leap year stitch and about half way through the day (as the park filled to its max) my 4g started going out.. Some times it would connect but by 9pm (once they reached capacity) 4g and 3g was no where to be found.. :( 

  • Thelegendofdavid

    I’ve actually had no signal for the past three days. I thought there was something wrong with my phone so I took it back to costco and they exchanged it. After they set up my new phone, we discovered that the new one they had given me was having the same issue and loosing its 4g signal. Ive called verizon and have had several discussions about the signal issues i have been having over the past couple of days and they told me they were going to look into it and get back to be withing 24 to 72 hours. 
     As of right now I have a brand new nexus that I cant use cause i have no signal. Just f-ing ridiculous!

  • Rob

    I received a 20 minute call last night with most of the same questions about my 4g connection, rooting, camera issues, screen touch issues, 4g connectivity issues, keyboard issues. She was speaking very quickly and through the conversstion asked some questons in several different forms. I wonder if they aconcerning the upcoming software update?

  • DeathfireD

    Verizon has been calling a lot of people about their service in general. My family received a call asking how our service has been within the past month. If we had plans to get a 4G enabled phone. what phones we where thinking about getting. How we felt about the pricing…etc. I think they’re getting really serious about fixing the current issues that have been giving the company a bad name.

  • Rayoflight

    I received a call and the rep told me to stop touching myself. I was like “What??? How did you? Huh?” Scary.

    • r0lct

      That’s what you get for sexting their support reps.

  • GNEX(MOTOX)

    wish they called me… random reboots lately just started… not good. and 3g wifi handoff sucks.. i put it on cdma to save battery life, besides there isn’t 4g where i live yet and it takes forever to get 3g back on.. 

    • Ivealwaysgotmail

      Same here, No random reboots until about 3 weeks ago, Now ive easily had 10 instances where my phone randomly vibrates and i look and its restarting. … Very strange

  • Zebra

    “Sir, are you running a custom ROM?”
    “Yes…”
    “Ok thanks” – hangs up and voids your warranty in the system

  • weapon x

    Holy smokes!!!! If they know where you are and when you were there, and if you were on 4 or 3 g, they have to know you are rooted. They only ask to confirm what they already know. I think the gig is up for us phone hackers. They know who we are and they are formulating a plan to erradicate us…permanently…

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001458670467 Tyler Cameron

      Nah, they can’t know that.
      4G and 3G tower antennas are completely separate assemblies with completely separate backhaul. I assume you knew they can pull up a record to show where you were recently (based on the towers you were connected to within a certain timeframe) and they can easily figure out “Oh, he only used 3G the whole time.” because your phone only pinged the 3G and 1xRTT voice towers. Think man. Think.

  • http://twitter.com/mikesaimname michael broder

    Verizon just called me and told me to stop reading this…but my phone is off….(dun dun dun)

  • QtDL

    The Verizon rep knew you were at the game because he was sitting behind you looking over your shoulder the whole time. They’re watching us…..

  • Manuel Olague

    Just got my nexus a week ago. I randomly lose my connection a couple of times a day for a minute or two and sometimes my signal indicator in the notification bar isn’t correct. For me it’s not a big deal though. I usually use that minute to play a game and I figured that this is probably not unique to me and an OTA update would come soon enough that would address these issues. Now that I know one might be coming,  :D

  • Korey Page

    Well I know that my friend got a call about her GNex which they asked her questions and they ended up sending her a new one stating “the first run of phones were defective”. This was last week in the Virginia area. 

    I haven’t received any such calls. 

  • X2caleb2X

    Do you think verizon is able to detect if you are using a custom rom and not the stock rom?

    • kixofmyg0t

      Yes. Well at least people with 3G speed hacks. 

    • Sam

      think a bit. . . . if they can read the gps and phone state they already have a backdoor into the phone.

  • 0pusX

    I am in Southwest Michigan, Non-4G area, and last night when I was in the shower, my wife answered our home phone and talked to someone who said he was with Verizon and wanted to speak the owner of the Samsung Nexus phone. The caller ID read “Research Center” and was a Michigan telephone number.

    She told him I was not there and he said ok. They have not tried calling back today but had called 5 times in the past 2 days.

    I tried calling it back but it is just a recording for “Mountain West Research Center”

    I really hope they call back as I cant wait to tell them I got rid of the phone because it was embarrassing that my phone had 1 bar of 3G while the guy next to me had full bars of 4G on his Droid Charge……

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001458670467 Tyler Cameron

      You seriously got rid of it based off the # of bars? You’re an idiot and do not deserve a Nexus…