Verizon Asking Former Customers if They Would Have Stayed for iPhone?

Ouch. Don't know what else to say. Verizon told Apple they didn't want the iPhone so Apple went to AT&T (and the mostly GSM world still thanks Jobs for that). To make up for it, Verizon -- almost 2 years later -- rushed the BlackBerry Storm to market. Still, during the iPhone 3G's second quarter, it outsold the BlackBerry Storm in the US by almost 2 to 1 (1.9 million activations on AT&T vs. 1 million in sales on Verizon).

Now BGR brings word that Verizon is finally asking former customers -- customers who left their network to go elsewhere -- if they would have stayed for the iPhone.

Think maybe Verizon really really regrets saying no to Apple back in 2006? TiPb knows you want it. And if you left for the iPhone, would Verizon getting it encourage you to switch back? Even if it meant waiting a few years for LTE?

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!

Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Verizon Asking Former Customers if They Would Have Stayed for iPhone?


If VZW had the iPhone I certainly would not have left. I was a customer for 10+ years and was always happy with their service coverage and customer support.
I left for the iPhone and they knew it (because I told them). They moaned and whined and leaving turned out to be the worst customer service experience I've ever had with Verizon. That said, I'd go back in a heartbeat if they had the iPhone.

I left Verizon specifically for the iPhone 3G, even paying the ETF in the process. Although their network truely is stellar, they would nickle-and-dime you to death, and I really wanted the iPhone.
If they did have the iPhone as we currently know it, however, I definitely would have stayed with Verizon, but I haven't been asked yet.

"QQ Moar Verizon, should have signed with apple when you had the chance"
Did you type your response on an iPhone? HA

Verizon would rape the iPhone of all its useful features like they do every other device on their network anyway. I paid $175 to leave Verizon early for iPhone. They couldn't give me a free iphone and $175 to come back. No thanks.

Funny, because I told my Verizon rep as I was changing my plan (AT&T paid my ETF to leave early & we kept my wife on Verizon) that it was a pure equipment decision and that I would switch back to Verizon in a heartbeat if they ever got the iPhone.
And I still stand by that.

Incidentally, contrary to Matt M's experience, the rep I spoke to was very courteous and open to my feedback. Maybe because they still had part of my business.

We closed down our two CDMA networks in Australia not long before the iPhone was announced. I'm certainly glad Jobs went for the world standard GSM, I'd have had to move to the US to get it otherwise!

I was with Verizon for 8 years. I loved their network coverage and customer service. However, the iPhone wouldn't have worked with the way Verizon runs their company and its phones. They would have crippled the iPhone to death and, believe it or not, would charge even more than what AT&T charges now.
Verizon increased their text messaging plans so I got out of my contract without having to pay ETF. I then went to T-Mo to get a BlackBerry (still has a special place in my heart) and had awesome customer service. Then T-Mo increased their text messaging also right as the iPhone came out so I got out of that contract w/o ETF again and switched to AT&T.
So I guess you can say I switched out of Verizon and T-Mo for the iPhone. I'll probably stay with AT&T as long as they have the iPhone.

My wife and I had been with Verizon for several years. We were out of contract and just paying month to month. I got an iPhone 3G the day it came out, and we switched our coverage to AT&T (my wife, per her wishes, got a basic little Nokia).
About a week later, we received a call from Verizon. Some kind of "follow-up survey" or something asking why we'd switched. My wife simply said "because of the iPhone." The Verizon guy said, "yeah, we're hearing a lot of that lately."

I left Verizon and paid an ETF + my wife left T-Mo and paid an ETF for the iPhone. No way are we going back!! Verizon blew it!

The point being missed in all these personal stories is WHY is Verizon asking?
Is this because they are beginning the process of getting iPhones (now or in the future), or maybe going for an exclusive deal with Palm for the Pre?
I suspect Apple could slip a chip-change into the iphone that would enable it on Verizon's current and planned network (and given the lackluster performance of the infenion chips it wouldn't be hard to do better).
In the past year several companies have come out with newer multi-platform chipsets which, given the falling prices of other iPhone components, Apple could afford to upgrade to.
FCC Test models have been reported in the wild for new iPhones, with no clear features/platform info being known. Who's to say they might not be preliminary LTE phones with backward UMETS 3G capability.

Posting this from my blackberry storm...
Its frustrating when people say that Verizon would have crippled the iphone. I have everything I need on my storms 29.99 plan. 3rd party apps and all. The iphone would have been no different. Pdas on verizon have never been crippled.

Marcus your speaking post iPhone, the iPhone is the reason you now are experiencing freedom on the Verizon network.

I left Verizon for AT&T for an iPhone. As people have mentioned, Verizon cripples phones and makes you pay for everything so my switching back would depend on how the dealt with those kinds of things. I will say I was on Verizon for years and think their service is great - I could always get a signal when others couldn't. But their hardware selection stinks and that is why I switched.

@14: Pdas on verizon have never been crippled? Google "PDA crippled Verizon". They crippled the BB Pearl for one and various WM handsets as well.

I left VW for the iPhone. 10 days later I was back due to AT&T horrendous coverage in my area.
Yeah, their hardware blows. But when it comes down to it, the whole reason I have a friggin cell phones is to make / receive calls. Without that capability, it's an expensive gizmo.

I switched my wife from Verizon to give her an iPhone. Shortly thereafter I switched from T-Mobile prepay to join her on a family plan. But that said, I don't know if I would go back. My iPhone works (albeit expensively, but at least I can be reached in emergencies) when I'm abroad, which wouldn't be the case for a CDMA iPhone. I guess it would depend on coverage, plans, pricing, and handset features.

Sorry. I guess gps could have been more open on some of the devices but I can't think of anything else that Verizon has done to pdas to warrant being called crippled. Some devices have wifi some don't. Just like the razr on verizon had a memory card and the original didn't. The original wasn't "crippled".

Good point wifiguy. But for the most part verizon has left the pdas alone. Wifi is about as open as it gets and most of the samsungs have had that. I'm not sure what that guy meant by the pearl is crippled. It just sucked.

Didn't cripple?? How about Bluetooth for data connections? Some people want to do more than pair a headset.

Good point. The iPhone already suffers a significant amount of Crippleing.
So how much of the current Iphone Cripplage is due to ATT and how much is due to the RIAA?
Tethering is the only bit I see pointing to ATT's unclean hands.
I can't imagine who convinced Apple to lock out the movie camera capability that the Jailbreakers turned on.

Verizon wasn't the first company to treat Apple like a red-headed stepchild.
All these people saying they'd go back if Verizon offered the iPhone is pathetic. That's why big companies don't learn their lessons, because people won't teach them any. They had their chance, they blew it, now they deserve to suffer.

@dloveprod. Sprint sucks. No phone is worth suffering through the suckish Sprint service. I have an Lg Voyager on Verizon and they cripple everything I mean come on. Is it that hard to give consumers a good device with all the features that it's ment to have? Verizon would make the iPhone suck. Verizon is the best service provider but you have to draw the line somewhere. Verizon made one of the biggest mistakes in history (Next to Americans electing Obama) an they should have to pay for their stupi judgement. P.S I types this on m iPod Touch. P.S.S Its iPod Touch not iTouch. If it was supposed to be called iTouch Jobs would have called it that. BB STORM SUCKS

I definitely would have stayed with Sprint if they had the iPhone. AT&T is by far the worst part of the iPhone. At least in Los Angeles, the Sprint EVDO network was faster and had much better coverage than what I'm getting with AT&T. I am typically falling back to edge 50% of the time.

I agree with what most ppl are saying about the iphone being crippled under verizon because that's exactly how I felt when ppl wanted the iPhone on that network. . All the verizon phones have that disgusting verizon os. Apple created the iPhone as a feature/ software phone and they wanted to control the os them selves. I feel that it would make sense to say that since apple make iMacs with OS X , apple would make the iPhone with iPhone OS. Choosing a GSM carrier with a GSM chip is the best choice since CDMA is unpopular and obsolete around the world. That's the reason why I don't ever see my self on verizon / sprint. Does verizon really have the ' best ' service ?

Would leave AT&T in a "New York" minute if the i-phone worked on the Verizon network. Learned on Inaugural Day in DC just how superior the Verizon network is when compared side-by-side to AT&T.

We were literally standing in the vzw store, ready to upgrade to iclones, but the particular dbags working that particular store on that particular day decided to pay us no mind. We quite literaly said "f this" and went over to the apple store. Yeah, the network's not as good as vzw, but the iPhone kicks booty in so many other ways. No regrets.

I switched from Verizon to ATT simply for the iPhone 1 week ago and thus far haven't been disappointed!

My wife and I lefted Verizon for the iPhone 3g. If Verizon gets the iPhone on their side with all the perks as it should. WeI would definately go back after my contract is up with AT&T.
Never had a dropped call with Verizon. Great service provider. Very generous people.

I have never used Verizon and would not if you paid me. Well maybe I would if you paid me like 1,000 dollars a month. I have had AT&T for like 15 years. I have never had one day of problems with them. If Verizon had the iPhone I would not have left AT&T. I would have purchased a Blackberry. I cannot tell you how many people in my area have left Verizon not because of the iPhone, but because their service sucks. I have had my iPhone for 5 months and I have no problems. I love it and will get an upgrade to the next version.

I left VW just to get my hands on the iPhone and I payed the penalty as well.
VW has very good reception but they don't have the iPhone, all the phones offered by VW is just old and crappy. You had your chance to get the most popular phone in the market but you missed it.

I am currently w/ VZW and have a BB Curve. I "like" the phone but I am eagerly awaiting the iPhone 3.0 in which I will leave Verizon for At&T. I like the actual service and coverage w/ Verizon, it is the customer service I HATE. I would rather have a root canal @ the DMV than be in the VZW store. The people in my local store are compete morons and rude. They kinda act like their $hit don't stink. Customer service on the phone has been mixed for me as well.
I am a 100% Mac user so it makes sense for me to upgrade to the iPhone when it comes out. I thought I would be okay w/ my BB and using the Missing Sync to sync my calendars and such but it just isn't working out. It's like trying to use windows on a Mac. Just isn't right. Don't get me wrong, the BB is a nice phone, and in fact I almost moved to AT&T for the BB Bold but why when I really want the iphone.
I do agree when people say the VZW cripples the phones w/ their own proprietary programs. GPS and Nav for instance on my Curve SUCK!
In terms of coverage of VZW and AT&T I think it depends on where you live, your topography, and the actual phone you are using as well. I have to say I got better reception on my basic LG then I do on my current BB Curve in some spots. So I think it also depends on your phone.
Lastly, to answer the question, would I return to VZW if they were to get the iPhone in 2010 or 2012??? It would all depend on how they (VZW) had the phone set up. If it were crippled like the BB's are then there would be NO WAY in heck I would go back. I love how the iPhone is set up and am very excited about the new features coming.

I just ordered a refurbished 3G 16G iPhone from AT&T for $150. Since all the refurbs are simply returns less than sixty days old and do carry the warranty I feel pretty comfy with the decision.
If my calculations are correct, the $150 I saved will pay 85.7% of the $175 ETF for this friggin sorry hunk 'o duke excuse for a smart phone AKA BBerry Storm. Im on my 4th one in 4 months.....
If I drop a call here and there... oh well. I'll gladly trade that for the addition of wifi and a screen that doesn't freeze up every time I look at it the wrong way.