All VZW will tell you is that their towers aren't the problem. After all they do have a repuatation to uphold with the best coverage anywhere.
As for your problem to see if it is just your phone you might go to Radio Shack where they have signal boosters for your phone and ask if you could use one. If it helps your signal then its the equip, so keep getting a new one until you get a good one.
If it doesn't help then it is a software problem and you really can't do much about it until you get an update.
Either way are you able to make and receive calls still? If so i would just ignore the bars and go on with life.
"Every War can be ended with one well placed shot."