Verizon, the Mafia Phone-Lord of the Cell Phone Carriers

Verizon-Wireless

I know I need to figure out what to do with my American phone while I’m in Italy. How can I keep my number without paying the same amount? Why is Verizon some kind of Mafia Phone-Lord who won’t let you switch to other carriers because their phones don’t have slots for sim-cards? What kind of favor do I have to do to get out of this “contract” (pact with the devil)?

After putting it off for weeks I finally made it to a Verizon store.

“HI HOW ARE YOU WHAT CAN I DO FOR YOU?!” the red-head at the Verizon asked me, far too loudly.

I explained I just had some questions about my contract, and after verifying that I have no idea what my account password is, pissing the girl off in the meantime who cannot look up my account without it, I negotiated a peace-treaty by explaining that we don’t need to look up my account.

“I was just wondering what Verizon’s international plan options are,” I asked somewhat pathetically.

“Oh well, how long are you going for? Where are you going? What kind of phone do you have?” The redhead was incessant, scary, no one else was in the store.

Let’s say a year, to Italy, I have an iPhone 4.

“ITALY?!”

What are the odds, she majored in Italian at Ohio State University. Now, however, she works “here. at Verizon Wireless.”

There was no way to segue in to a brighter discussion. I needed to know about Italy, she studied Italian with grand thoughts about Life Under the Tuscan Sun but, instead, works under the florescent lights of Verizon at Maxtown. I did the only thing I was able: polite response, awkward chuckle, complete change of subject.

With a few more questions I left not much more knowledgeable about my options than before, but I did learn that I can suspend my contract for three months, not paying anything, but I’ll still retain my number.

Though it’s not a complete solution, when you go into business with a phone carrier monopoly (cough the mob) you have to take what you can get. It’s a start.

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