Verizon 3G Network Optimization (data throttling)... my story

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  1. SimsDelt

    SimsDelt Well-Known Member

    Today I called Verizon Customer service about a data problem I was having. I noticed over the past 2 days my network connection was slow. Netflix would buffer constantly and pandora would play for 10 seconds and then buffer for 20. I spoke to the first representative around 11:50 AM. She informed me that I was in fact being "Network Optimized" because I was a little over 3gb. She told me my only options to keep from being "throttled" was to upgrade to a 4g phone or go to a tiered data plan. I said that that tiered data was out of the questions because I was currently at an unlimited plan. She then said she could early upgrade me but I would have to pay the price point price of the Galaxy Nexus, $299. She also offered me $10 off each line for 2 months (total of $60). I told her that was also unacceptable because I was basically being told I had to spend more money to use the service I had already. She said she would talk to her supervisor who was in a meeting and call me back at 2:00 PM EST.

    At 4:00 PM EST I had not received a call from Verizon so I called back in. I spoke with a CS Rep named Anthony who confirmed all the same things I already knew about data throttling (in the 3 1/2 hours between calls I read up on the situation online). After pleading my same case to Anthony he told me he could do nothing and I asked to speak to his supervisor, he side stepped this originally and told me he (supervisor) would not be able to do anything either. I asked again to speak to his supervisor and he obliged. After holding for about 10 minutes I was speaking with a Supervisor by the name of Brent. I plead the same exact case and explained to Brent that this was basically extortion by Verizon to force me into either spending money or giving up my unlimited data. He offered me a $30 discount on a 4G device. I declined the offer because $30 is nothing. If I went to my full upgrade date, 4/10/12 I would get $50 off. I asked to speak to Management... the next step in the chain. He took my information and we decided a good time for management would be 4:30 PM EST on March 8th. Today is March 7th.

    I write this so others can see the path and hopefully see some resolution to the situation. I equated what verizon is doing to me as if my power company called me and said that I had to pay the same amount but I would only get half the amount of power. Or if my cable company called me and said that, Yes you have unlimited data but we are going to slow down your connection to 25% of what it can do and that I still have to pay the same. These practices would not be tolerated with your utilities, but for some reason it seems acceptable for my cellular connection. I'm on business a lot and need my data to be snappy and effective, which it has been in the past. I have used a lot of data this month (3gb) but have used more before and have never been throttled. I have read the TOS (Terms of Service) that I signed for our 2 year upgrade last time and see nothing in it in reference to "Network Optimization". With nothing in the TOS about Network Optimization or Data Throttling Verizon is violating their own TOS by reducing the bandwidth of my connection.

    All I am asking is that either Verizon honor our original agreement and release my account from a throttled down connection, or upgrade me to a 4G phone (Galaxy Nexus) for free. I only ask the latter due to the fact that the original CS told me that if the released the hold on the data that the system would automatically re-apply it till the end of the current monthly service period. I will keep you all posted after the call with management tomorrow at 4:30.

    Update... it is now 5:36 PM EST on March 8th. I have not received a call yet.

    VoidedSaint likes this.
  2. danileo

    danileo New Member

    Verizon is too big to look down on us. I have problems with them also.
  3. butthead007

    butthead007 Well-Known Member

    Ok, I can definitely appreciate the generally bad sentiment regarding being throttled. Now, according to VZW's policy, they are only throttling people who are using too much data and bogging the towers down during peak times. There was never a "limit" attached to how much data you had to use to be throttled. While it is quite easy to see how much data you have used, that 3GB number is quite arbitrary and I strongly doubt you were given correct information.

    Truthfully, I have seen older accounts who were throttled at 5 gigs for mobile broadband, but I have never seen one of these newer smartphone accounts that is being throttled. I can try and look up the information tomorrow, but again, I'd like to believe I still have my faculties together and I do not recall seeing a data threshold. It was all about network congestion at certain times though I will look again.

    OP, PM me so we can talk.
  4. SimsDelt

    SimsDelt Well-Known Member

    There is a limit to be throttled. Told specifically by management it is 2 gb. I am currently at 3 34 gb. I'm not tethering or anything bad. Just streaming Netflix. Go after the people that us 30 gb. I'm just a normal guy.
    VoidedSaint likes this.
  5. SimsDelt

    SimsDelt Well-Known Member

    As of 5:56 PM today I had not received a phone call from a "manager" and called back in when I finished dinner around 8:00. I spoke to a CS rep who immediately put me through to a supervisor. After I spoke in depth with him he assured me I would receive a phone call from his manager between 9:30 and 10:00 PM EST. At 10:47 PM EST I have not received a phone call from anyone. I just got off the phone with customer service again and was told the CSM (Call center manager) was gone for the evening. That I needed to call help desk the morning and they could put me though. I was also given the web address and instructions how to get the corporate telephone number.

    At this point I have moved from frustrated to angry. I have been nice and cordial to everyone I have talked to, but it seems I am just being lied to.

    3 Promised calls from Verizon. 3 Calls never made. This is not customer service at all.
    VoidedSaint likes this.
  6. VoidedSaint

    VoidedSaint Resident Ninja VIP Member

    sims my man, i hope you get this worked out, being moved to the 4g limit is absurd, and should not have to happen for an unlimited account member.

    it is basically saying even if you have been with verizon for 20+ years (just saying) then you will be throttled cause they want their senior members on board with what they want. its total crap if you ask me, i hope you get this worked out to benefit you, especially after being polite to them and being lied to. i wonder if they ever documented your account with this information...
  7. cougar214

    cougar214 Well-Known Member

    Correct me if i'm wrong but in order for any contract to be legal and binding don't all parties involved have to adhear to it's contents? Meaning not even VZW can bend the rules or the said contract is null and void?
  8. trparky

    trparky Well-Known Member

    Their CDMA network is being overloaded, that's why they have been doing this throttling to their users who are over 3 GBs of data usage on their Unlimited data plans.

    Most likely the tower that you're on is saturated. Is there a way for you to test to see if you are being throttled on another tower?

    Yes, they are trying to move their users to their new 4G LTE network. The offer of a Samsung Galaxy Nexus is the example of them trying to do so. LTE has a lot more bandwidth available for users to use, somewhere around a maximum of 15 to 20 Mbps whereas CDMA tops out at 3 Mbps shared among all users on the tower, you can easily see the network constraints here.
  9. VoidedSaint

    VoidedSaint Resident Ninja VIP Member

    if that were the case wouldnt verizon want to fully expand their lte speeds as fast as possible?
    i think it is safe to assume that vzw has the money to get running in all areas they have 3g by adding extra workload for employees, or more employees, they will shell out some bucks but be worth the hassle.

    i currently own a galaxy nexus and im in a 3G only area, and will be for quite some time (4G is all around my town but not in mine, strange...)
    and im not being throttled at all. granted sims isnt in a 4g area, but why would he be throttled at 3 gb of data? it actually makes no sense why he is being throttled when he isnt a high tiered data user. i doubt the tower that he is at is causing this issue, it wouldnt make any sense. but thats just how i see it.
  10. trparky

    trparky Well-Known Member

    That's the official line. They will only throttle you if your tower is saturated.
  11. bbuck002

    bbuck002 Well-Known Member

    Everything I have read about Verizon's throttling policies say what most of you have also said. They will only throttle you during peak times of tower saturation. Unlike AT&T, Verizon is not supposed to throttle users for the remaining balance of the month once started. I don't ever trust anything any CSR at Verizon says. They pretty much have zero information, or understanding of information.
    I agree with trparky, is there a way for you to go to another town and see if you have data issues. If this is the case, I would say a)something is wrong with your device, or b)something has gone screwy with your account. A few years ago, something weird happened in my account that call forwarding started randomly happening, and was forwarding some of my calls to my g/f's phone. I had to have them permanently remove call forwarding from my account to correct the issue. No one could figure out why this was happening.
    Good luck, I hope you get it straightened out.
  12. SimsDelt

    SimsDelt Well-Known Member

    We have reached an agreement. After calling again today and being disconnected I finally got through and spoke to a supervisor named Jason. We went back and forth and finally reached an agreement on upgrading me to the Samsung Galaxy Nexus for a significantly lower price. He understood my plight and was inclined to work his way of helping me. I will not say how he did it but he had to work a little supervisor magic to get it done. I will receive my phone tomorrow and will not have to worry about being throttled anymore, even though I do not have 4G in my area.

    I just kept vigillant and stuck to my guns. When I explained that even though I would be upgrading to a 4G phone I would still be on the 3G network around my area and therefore would be on the same exact network I was being throttled on now but with a shiny new phone... he saw what I was trying to say when I said it was extortion that I had to pay more(new phone) to be on the same network I'm on now just without having to worry about throttling.
    AVSkillet and VoidedSaint like this.
  13. ZeroOne

    ZeroOne Guest

    Verizon told me they optimization a account if they're at the top of the usage chart I think they said around the top 5% I believe
  14. VoidedSaint

    VoidedSaint Resident Ninja VIP Member

    i highly doubt sims is in top 5%, i know some people who use the illegal tether, and continue to power their xbox live account on cod black ops or mw3
  15. hilmar2k

    hilmar2k Well-Known Member

    I am glad to hear that you can use your phone for business once again....watching Netflix.

    By the way, I fail to see how this in any way violates their TOS. Nothing in the TOS guarantees speed. They are still giving you unlimited data, which is all you are promised. VZW has every right to reduce the speed they provide.
  16. AVSkillet

    AVSkillet Well-Known Member

    I can't believe that in the end, they are going to basically give you a shiny new 4g phone, because you were throttled. Way to fight the system, and win. I strongly disagree with throttling when it's under 5 GB on a unlimited plan, so I'm happy to see that you came out with a win. I just hope you end up liking your new phone. I've heard it's had some connection issues.
  17. trparky

    trparky Well-Known Member

    I certainly don't agree with the throttling but I have to say it's a lot more fair than the BS that AT&T is pulling. That's just BS and a lot of people know it. Verizon's throttling, though can be just as bad at times, is a lot better than AT&T's BS.

    I figure that your area, SimsDelt, will probably get 4G LTE coverage within the next half year. Verizon is pushing to get LTE into more places in more markets faster than ever. Heck, all new smart phones that they are going to be selling from here on out are going to be 4G LTE phones, no more CDMA smartphones.

    If that doesn't tell you how dedicated they are to 4G LTE I don't know what will.

    They eventually want to shut off their legacy CDMA network and get everyone onto their LTE network even for voice but a VoLTE standard hasn't been established yet, this is of course a couple of years off. I figure a year or two away. And until they have their entire network footprint blanketed by LTE they would have to have a CDMA-to-VoLTE bridge in place which of course they don't have yet so they can't deploy VoLTE just yet. Rumor has it that a CDMA-to-VoLTE standard is being tested in the labs and has shown some promise but that's of course just a rumor.

    VoLTE = Voice over LTE, a kind of VoIP or Voice over IP
  18. Shurple

    Shurple Well-Known Member


    BTW the contract does say that after February 2011, all 3g phones are throttled above 2gb of data, that includes streaming videos. It's a ploy to get people on their 4G network. So glad this worked out for you!!!!
  19. Demache

    Demache Well-Known Member

    Not that I'm against it though. At least the "getting people to move to 4G" part. My 3G speeds are abysmal at best even with a decent signal (and its been like that for years) and I rarely ever go over 1 GB. The sooner EVDO is ditched, the better.
  20. Heathe1

    Heathe1 New Member

    This is going to be long, but I want to share my experience, and it's kinda nice to know I'm not alone, as I haven't found any other threads where this was actually happening to someone else...I upgraded to a 4G phone as soon as the Thunderbolt came out, so I've never experienced throttling on my phone, but I do have an aircard that I'm about to eat the ETF on, just because Verizon has made it unusable. I live less than 2 blocks from one of 5 or 6 towers that serve my town and the surrounding smaller communities. I am in a small town, less than 20 thousand folks here...less than 60 thousand in the whole county. I'm also in Arkansas. And as much as I like to think we aren't a bunch of backwoods dumb hicks, to say that would be false. The facility I work for looked for an IT assistant for 6 months before I came along, if that tells you anything. So, there aren't a lot of "power" users around here. Using my phone, either through app, or tethered to my computer, I usually get around 85-110 ms ping, 2-2.5 down and .8-1 up. The 3G network zips here.
    In September, Netflix stopped working. It would play a few seconds, buffer, play a few seconds, buffer. I logged into my account and noticed "Network Opt" as one of the features on my aircard line. I immediately started using my phone's hotspot instead of the MiFi card, and it streamed fine.
    I tested this from then until last month. Network Optimization becomes a "feature" on my data line at 9 GBs. It's never more, it's never less. It always hits at 9 GB. I suspended it without payment until that feature rolled off, speeds back, and no buffering, soon as it hit 9 GB again, buffering again. I suspect this threashold is 3 GB for phones.
    To test the robustness of the network, I took my ThunderBolt, ReZound (another line on my acct), and a computer connected to the MiFi (with network optimization)....All the phones hit over 2 MBPS, all at the same time, while the MiFi went up and down before a final reading of .6 MBPS. Doesn't matter if it's early morning, or late at night, middle of day, the fastest it will hit when "Optimized" is .8 MBPS.
    I even drove over to the river (we're located near Mississippi River) to the rural tower after 11 p.m. one evening. My phone got close to 3 down, the aircard spiked up to almost 2.8, then bam bam bam, got .6.

    I know that the network in this area is NOT congested. Especially a tower sitting in the middle of a field. Seriously, this tower is in a field, by the river. There isn't a house within a couple of miles of the site on either side of the river, so I KNOW this tower doesn't have a load. It doesn't even have a potential to reach more than a couple hundred people, very rural people.

    Network Optimization would be fine if it weren't for the fact it's an outright lie. True, they may not kick you off 3G entirely, or throttle you down to 128k like ATT or T-Mobile, but it's still full time, always there/always on throttling, not just on congested sites. So it's not entirely fair.

    I know it's true that wireless bandwidth does have a "limit", but it's much higher than any of the wireless companies want us to believe. The problem with it is, the wireless companies don't want to spend a precious nickel to upgrade their 3G networks, and instead slow us down or force us to tiered plans that make no sense for anyone but the wireless companies bank account.

    I came from Alltel, I was with them since 1998. After the inital hiccups, I was happy with Verizon service until this...

    And to the comment above regarding total bandwidth of LTE and EVDO, EVDO doesn't split 3.1 MBPS among all users, that is the maximum throughput per channel, maximum throughput of LTE Release 3 (Version that VZW and ATT are using) is 100 MBPS dn/50 MBPS up over a 10 MHz channel, though the fastest I've personally gotten on my device is 54 down and 26 up.
  21. Demache

    Demache Well-Known Member

    20 thousand is considered small where you are? Wow.

    Anyhow, I've had sort of a similar experience with our 3G networks in South Dakota. .5 Mbps is a pretty typical speed. 1 Mbps is more of an oddity than anything else. If I had to take a guess, I'm thinking that the 3G network here is becoming more stressed. Even though EVDO might be able to handle the demand, I'm thinking the backbone network is becoming antiquated. Especially when it seems that many of the towers are running off microwave dishes (so they are sharing bandwidth). However, obviously, I don't work for Verizon so there is no way I could possibly know that as a fact. But I don't see why my connection would fall down to 200 Kbps with a decent signal.
  22. Ridgerunner665

    Ridgerunner665 Well-Known Member

    Small towns...LOL.

    20,000 people is a metropolis...barely 1,200 people in my little town...but we have 4G (full bars) because this lil town sits right smack in the middle between Knoxville and the Tri-Cities (Bristol, Kingsport, Johnson City)...Tennessee.

    Good thing DSL service...its either broadband, satellite, or dial up.
  23. dirkbonn

    dirkbonn Well-Known Member

    Sounds like Verizon may have set a precedent. Everyone getting "throttled" should get an upgrade to a 4G phone at "supervisor magic" discount pricing.

    Best of luck to everyone....
  24. ben7337

    ben7337 Well-Known Member

    It sucks that so many people are being throttled like this, especially being throttled all the time on unused towers. However there is definitely a need for it. During the day in Burlington VT, on the UVM campus I see speeds of 50-300kbps tops generally, pings go up to 500ms, usually 200 or so, and 3g is just unusable. At night at 3am, I can usually get 1mbps+ and even got over 2mbps twice on a server last night. They clearly are being overloaded to the point that I'm seeing 2g speeds at best. As a user who almost never break 2GB and usually hits around 1GB a month, I'd almost prefer more throttling on 3g since it seems to need it, and just keep 4g open for those who really need or want it, but that's only because I despise the service I'm getting now.
  25. Yeahha

    Yeahha Usually off topic VIP Member

    I think what you are seeing is more common than throttling on the network and people mistake one for the other. As much as I've seen people try to deny network congestion it is a real thing and causes service issues for people. VZW has pretty much stopped doing anything more than maintanence on their 3G network and is only working on expanding 4G since it is the future.

    Heathe1's story isn't about the phone plan but a mobile broadband plan so I am unsure if the same network optimization is in effect or if they officially throttle it after hitting a certian amount.

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