Unboxing the BlackBerry PlayBook

This is a bit of a present to myself. Normally, I eschew buying technology for technology’s sake, but over Christmas last year, I got a BlackBerry Playbook (2 actually, with one for my mom). The price was much less than an Android Nexus and since I already had an Android phone, I figured I’d give the BlackBerry a try. Yeah, I know… lots of people have done this ages ago, but I haven’t. So there!

I got the 32Gb version, mostly for the price. This doesn't have an expansion port, but I don't plan on keeping a lot of media on it. And yes, I did use a tin as a pot... so sue me!

I got the 32Gb version, mostly for the price. This doesn’t have an expansion port, but I don’t plan on keeping a lot of media on it. And yes, I did use a tin as a plant pot… so sue me!

The outer case comes out as a sleeve and underneath is a stylish BB logo box. And yes, I also used a cut up soda bottle and an old jug as pots. I'm a bachelor; I'm allowed to do stuff like that!

The outer case comes out as a sleeve and underneath is a stylish BB logo box. And yes, I used a cut up soda bottle and an old jug as pots too. I’m a bachelor; I’m allowed to do stuff like that!

The tablet inside comes in a typical "sock" like cover. If you use this for any length of time, a book sleeve is highly recommended.

The tablet inside comes in a typical “sock” like cover. If you use this for any length of time, a book sleeve is highly recommended.

Underneath is the documentation and charger.

Underneath is the documentation and charger.

Product info box has the booklet and the "Do and Don't" list in three languages. The charger box also has the USB cable and a nifty screen wipe cloth (which you will use a lot)

Product info box has the booklet and the “Do and Don’t” list in three languages. The charger box also has the USB cable and a nifty screen wipe cloth (which you will use a lot)

The startup time can be almost a minute, maybe more. I've been using it for 3 months now and it still hasn't changed

The startup time can be almost a minute, maybe more. I’ve been using it for 3 months now and it still hasn’t changed

You get to the next screen by swiping. And I can already see the fingerprints

You get to the next screen by swiping. And I can already see the fingerprints

After selecting language and region, you get to your BB ID signup. Note you get 10 tries after which, I think it can lock up. I didn't purposely lock myself out to find out ;)

After selecting language and region, you get to your BB ID signup. Note: You get 10 tries after which, I think, it can lock up. I didn’t purposely lock myself out to find out ;)

During the setup, you will be prompted to go through the "training" phase. Note: You *cannot* skip this part, which I found to be a little annoying. I guess they want to make sure people know how to use it before complaining.

During the setup, you will be prompted to go through the “training” phase. Note: You *cannot* skip this part, which I found to be a little annoying. I guess they want to make sure people know how to use it before complaining.

 I linked my BlackBerry 9930 phone to this tablet so I can use its data plan to browse. This is one feature I wished my Android had by default, but it's much smoother on the PlayBook. I get 3G speeds (that's the 9930 max) and no hiccups.

I linked my 9930 phone to this tablet using BlackBerry Bridge so I can use its data plan to browse. This is one feature I wished my Android had by default, but it’s much smoother on the PlayBook. I get 3G speeds (that’s the 9930 max) and no hiccups.

Update notification came up as soon as I connected to my WiFi. Update itself took about 10 minutes (to download and install)

Update notification came up as soon as I connected to my WiFi. You can keep your phone connected to the tablet while WiFi is on and it will use the WiFi to download. Update itself took about 10 minutes (to download and install)

During the restart after the update, I could see one of the bigger problems of the PlayBook. Now I know why they included the screen wipe cloth (see above). Even my phone isn't this bad.

During the restart after the update, I could see one of the bigger problems of the PlayBook. Now I know why they included the screen wipe cloth (see above). Even my phone isn’t this bad.

After the setup, I got to using the web browser, which I must say was very smooth. There are some issues after a second update with some YouTube videos in that I’m unable to skip ahead or rewind on certain HD videos and/or long videos, but I’m willing to chock this up to poor Flash compatibility than a fault of the PlayBook.

The apps are rather sparse, but does include a couple of games and the NFB (National Film Board) app, which is like the Canadian PBS. They have documentaries, art, culture and history related movies and I found this to be the most used app on it so far.

One thing I did note is that the popup keys while typing can get a little annoying.

Note, how there's a blue popup above the finger showing the key you just pressed. While some people might find this useful, I found it annoying.

Note, how there’s a blue popup above the finger showing the key you just pressed. While some people might find this useful, I found it annoying.

So I went into the keyboard settings (the cog icon on the top of the screen will bring up settings) and turned it off.

Swipe the black border on the top down to bring up the top border with the settings icon (along with the battery status and time), if you have another app running in the foreground.  Turn 'Keypress popup' to 'off'

Swipe the black border on the top down to bring up the top border with the settings icon (along with the battery status and time), if you have another app running in the foreground.  Turn “Keypress popup” to “off”

There was one minor issue with the PlayBook acting up a bit when I had the browser open. The browser would suddenly close for no particular reason as soon as I opened it. I solved this by going into settings and changing the mode to “Showcase” (Settings > General > Application Behavior ). I guess this prevents apps from going into hibernation when running in the background, which may eat into battery life, but so far, I haven’t seen much of a battery issue.

Which isn’t the case with the BlackBerry 9930 which eats battery life like nothing else.

So I think I like my PlayBook. It’s certainly not the biggest at just 7 inches, but I don’t see much of a problem with that considering what I’m using it for; that is browsing, email and maybe a video or two. My biggest problem so far has been that I keep forgetting it in the bathroom. I need to find a way to shorten poopie time or bring a newspaper next time instead.

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Hoping for a happy Winter

Yesterday after work (and a nap) I figured I’d make my bleak Blackberry a bit more merry for the season.

This is the most cheerful this phone will ever get, I fear

This is the most cheerful this phone will ever get, I fear

I still haven’t been able to get rid of Bing (which wasn’t there when I first got the phone) thanks to Verizon sneaking in crapware, but aside from that, being my primary email phone and second line, it’s doing pretty well. Battery life is still abysmal though and I’ve been told this is an existing problem in the 9930 and 9900 series. Lovely!

Meanwhile my voice phone is the Samsung Galaxy Stellar which, contrary to nay sayers is actually pretty good despite not being as powerful newer models. I got it free with my renewal plan.

And this was taken with the Blackberry’s allegedly superior 5MP camera.

And these are the same lighting conditions. Can you believe it?

And these are the same lighting conditions. Can you believe it?

Grainy and out of focus? Check.
Tweaking settings have no effect? Check.

When Blackberry builds better products and stop riding on the coattails of its past achievements, it will be a successful company once again. I won’t be holding my breath.

Reception of the Stellar is on par with the Blackberry. I even lose high-speed internet, and all the bars even, at exactly the same locations while on the train (before the tunnel’s in sight). 4G — and Blackberry’s 3G — is confined to my apartment most of the time, when I don’t need it, and only at certain spots in New York. Because Verizon lies through its teeth about the 4G coverage. I noticed this happens mainly around Crestwood, back to full strength at Tuckahoe and Broxville, down again at Fleetwood and Woodlawn, back again at Williamsbridge through Botanical Gardens, somewhat spotty at Fordham and finally down again at Tremont and Melrose.

After Harlem the train is right about to enter Grand Central underground so naturally there should be no signal. Yet somehow, I get 2-3 bars around 10 seconds after we enter the tunnel.

I guess poor people really don’t need 4G.

Edit.

Just realized, this post’s ending was anything but happy, so here’s the balcony decoration my neighbors put up. Think they went a wee bit overboard?

It's a deer!

It’s a deer!

Mobile or Responsive? How about both

This started off as just another reply, before I realized I’m me and I don’t know when to shut up so here’s a reply in post form.

There’s little reason to be either/or in this case though.

I’ve been working on a side-project (a discussion forum basically) and been experimenting with ideas on mobile friendly pages.

It’s far from perfect, but for my purposes, it gets the job done. And I don’t claim to be a design “expert” since that’s not my forte, but I have designed for clients before.  I… er… “borrowed” a few topics from the front page of the WP support forums for the first example before switching to faux latin for the rest. Also stole borrowed the sidebar cues for the “topic” page from the support forums as well (which is running bbPress), but I’m using none of the same CSS. I think I’m done with Version 3.

I’m using just one stylesheet that makes the page adapt to any screen size between a minimum 480px to 1000px+ and the visitor doesn’t need to refresh the page.

I kept the range at that wide because there are still users of older monitors (that they don’t want to change for whatever reason or are unable) that still deserve to participate online and those are usually maxed out in the 800 – 1024 range. Tablets also fit the upper limit of that range these days.

Anyone should be able to resize the browser and see the page change styles. The “mobile” version (on the smallest window size) was designed to give maximum contrast. That’s to make it easy on the eyes since it’s pretty painful to browse a lot of sites with their tiny-weeny text and ridiculous backgrounds on a mobile device.

There’s a drive to create these “mobile specific” pages, if that’s the right term, from a lot of web designers and I totally disagree with the premise. I can understand if it’s a heavy-duty web application where one template can’t serve all platforms, but in most cases, it’s just a corporate site or blog that can just as easily be served with an adaptable stylesheet. I think it’s just narrow thinking for the most part.

It’s absolutely possible to design a site that will adapt gracefully to a mobile device while not depriving the desktop experience. Just a matter of leaving aside the junk, of which there is plenty sadly, being served to the client regardless. I wrote about that too a while ago.

Don’t get me wrong. There are very talented designers out there that go out of their way to make attractive mobile pages, but their focus should be “how much” they send to the client and not just “how pretty”. Data plans aren’t cheap after all and “unlimited” plans aren’t really “unlimited” or available everywhere a lot of times. Also a lot of mobile browsers aren’t capable of the voodoo that desktop browsers are capable of (yes even Safari on iPhone).

Sometimes designers just need to step back from their projects and go “what is it that I’m trying to accomplish here?”

The golden rule of web design always applies. The theme should fit the content, never the other way around.

Well, hopefully all that made sense. I don’t normally comment on web design choices unless they’re keeping me from browsing comfortably (like the Huffington Post which I’ve abandoned as a result), but since I was interested, there ya go.

8:00PM I’m tired and it’s been a long day so I’m off to hit the hay. Night!

Girl Growing up: Source for Sprint commercial

There’s a new commercial from Sprint lately showing a girl grow up from infant stage to 12.

The song is “All My Days” by Alexi Murdoch from the album, Time Without Consequence. And it used a truncated version of this video.

I’m a bit ambivalent about commercializing childhood (although toy companies have been doing that for ages) and the idea that your image and identity from birth to 12 is a commodity is a bit awkward for me.

The kid probably couldn’t give legal consent because she’s still a minor, which means the father, Frans Hofmeester, approved this. You can check out the dad’s website where he’s linked the video and the commercial. The site is in Dutch, but you can get the gist of what he’s all about.

Verizon: The Fine Print

Well, I couldn’t stand my BlackBerry anymore and decided to go with a free upgrade from Verizon. It will be an “underpowered” Android, which will be more enjoyable to use than the BlackBerry.

It’s a bit too late now, but Verizon has already thoroughly ruined my phone by installing Bing and other nonsense which I can’t seem to remove permanently. I’ll be contacting them shortly about that.

Meanwhile, if anyone else is going to upgrade their device or start a contract with Verizon, I thought I’d post the fine print on the checkout page here. It’s rather difficult (read: near-impossible) to find this on their website. A side note: They needed to run spell-check on this.

Verizon :

If you change your device or receive a Service promotion, you may be required to change your Plan to one that we are currently offering at that time.

My Privacy

We collect personal information about you. We gather some information through our relationship with you, such as information about the quantity, technical configuration, type, destination and amount of your use of our telecommunications services. You can find out how we use, share and protect the information we collect about you in the Verizon Privacy Policy, available at verizon.com/privacy. By entering this Agreement, you consent to our data collection, use and sharing practices described in our Privacy Policy. We provide you with choices to limit, in certain circumstances, our use of the data we have about you. You can review these choices at verizon.com/privacy/#limits. If there are additional specific advertising and marketing practices for which your consent is necessary, we will seek your consent (such as through the privacy–related notices you receive when you purchase or use products and services) before engaging in those practices. If you subscribe to Service for which usage charges are billed at the end of the billing period (“Postpay Service”), we may investigate your credit history at any time and share credit information about you with credit reporting agencies and other Verizon companies. If you’d like the name and address of any credit agency that gives us a credit report about you, just ask.

Many services and applications offered through your device may be provided by third parties. Some of these services and applications, which you may block or restrict at no cost, may involve charges for which you will be billed. The amount and frequency of the charges will be disclosed when you agree to the charges. Before you use, link to or download a service or application provided by a third party, you should review the terms of such service or application and applicable privacy policy. Personal information you submit may be read, collected or used by the service or application provider and/or other users of those forums. Verizon Wireless is not responsible for any third–party information, content, applications or services you access, download or use on your device. You are responsible for maintaining virus and other Internet security protections when accessing these third–party products or services. For additional information, visit the Verizon Content Policy at http://responsibility.verizon.com/contentpolicy

What Happens if My Postpay Service Is Canceled Before the End of My Contract Term?

If you’re signing up for Postpay Service, you’re agreeing to subscribe to a line of Service either on a month–to–month basis or for a minimum contract term, as shown on your receipt or order confirmation. (If your Service is suspended without billing, that time doesn’t count toward completing your contract term.) Once you’ve completed your contract term, you’ll automatically become a customer on a month–to–month basis for that line of Service. If you cancel a line of Service, or if we cancel it for good cause, during its contract term, you’ll have to pay an Early Termination Fee. If your contract term results from your purchase of an Advanced Device after November 14, 2009, your Early Termination Fee will be $350 minus $10 for each full month of your contract term that you complete. (For a complete list of Advanced Devices, check verizonwireless.com/advanceddevices.) Otherwise, your Early Termination Fee will be $175 minus $5 for each full month of your contract term that you complete. Cancellations will become effective on the last day of that month’s billing cycle, and you are responsible for all charges incurred until then. Also, if you bought your wireless device from an authorized agent or third–party vendor, you should check whether they charge a separate termination fee.

Can I Take My Wireless Phone Number to Another Carrier?

You may be able to take, or “port”, your wireless phone number to another carrier. If you port a number from us, we’ll treat it as though you asked us to cancel your Service for that number. After the porting is completed, you won’t be able to use our service for that number, but you’ll remain responsible for all fees and charges through the end of that billing cycle, just like any other cancellation. If you’re a Prepaid customer, you won’t be entitled to a refund of any balance on your account. If you port a number to us, please be aware that we may not be able to provide some services right away, such as 911 location services. You don’t have any rights to your wireless phone number, except for any right you may have to port it.

Directory Information

We will not publish your wireless phone number in any available directory or give it to anyone for that purpose, unless you ask us to.

Can I Have Someone Else Manage My Postpay Account?

No problem – just tell us by phone, in person, or in writing. You can appoint someone to manage your Postpay account for a single transaction, or until you tell us otherwise. The person you appoint will be able to make changes to your account, including adding new lines of Service, buying new wireless devices, and extending your contract term. Any changes that person makes will be treated as modifications to this agreement.

Can Verizon Wireless Change This Agreement or My Service?

We may change prices or any other term of your Service or this agreement at any time,but we’ll provide notice first, including written notice if you have Postpay Service. If you use your Service after the change takes effect, that means you’re accepting the change. If you’re a Postpay customer and a change to your Plan or this agreement has a material adverse effect on you, you can cancel the line of Service that has been affected within 60 days of receiving the notice with no Early Termination Fee if we fail to negate the change after you notify us of your objection to it.

My Wireless Device

Your wireless device must comply with Federal Communications Commission regulations, be certified for use on our network, and be compatible with your Service. Please be aware that we may change your wireless device’s software, applications or programming remotely, without notice. This could affect your stored data, or how you’ve programmed or use your wireless device. By activating Service that uses a SIM (Subscriber Identity Module) card, you agree we own the intellectual property and software in the SIM card, that we may change the software or other data in the SIM card remotely and without notice, and we may utilize any capacity in the SIM card for administrative, network, business and/or commercial purposes. If you bought a wireless device for Postpay Service from Verizon Wireless that doesn’t use a SIM card, and you want to reprogram it for use with another wireless network, the default programming code is set to “000000” or “123456.” But please note that your wireless device may not work with another wireless network, or the other wireless carrier may not accept your wireless device on its network. If you activate a wireless device for Prepaid Service, during the first six (6) months after activation, it can only be used for Prepaid Service. The iPhone 4 is configured to work only with the wireless services of Verizon Wireless and may not work on another carrier’s network, even after completion of your contract term.

Where and How Does Verizon Wireless Service Work?

Wireless devices use radio transmissions, so unfortunately you can’t get Service if your device isn’t in range of a transmission signal. And please be aware that even within your Coverage Area, many things can affect the availability and quality of your Service, including network capacity, your device, terrain, buildings, foliage and weather.

What Charges Are Set by Verizon Wireless?

You agree to pay all access, usage and other charges that you or the user of your wireless device incurred. For Postpay Service, our charges also include Federal Universal Service, Regulatory and Administrative Charges, and we may also include other charges related to our governmental costs. We set these charges; they aren’t taxes, they aren’t required by law, they are not necessarily related to anything the government does, they are kept by us in whole or in part, and the amounts and what they pay for may change.

Government Taxes, Fees and Surcharges

You must pay all taxes, fees and surcharges set by federal, state and local governments. Please note that we may not always be able to notify you in advance of changes to these charges.

What Are Roaming Charges?

You’re “roaming” whenever your wireless device uses a transmission site outside your Coverage Area or uses another company’s transmission site. Sometimes roaming happens even when you’re within your Coverage Area. There may be higher rates and extra charges (including charges for long distance, tolls or calls that don’t connect) for roaming calls, depending on your Plan.

How Does Verizon Wireless Calculate My Charges?

For charges based on the amount of time used or data sent or received, we’ll round up any fraction to the next full minute or, depending on how you’re billed for data usage, the next full megabyte or gigabyte. For outgoing calls, usage time starts when you first press SEND or the call connects to a network, and for incoming calls, it starts when the call connects to a network (which may be before it rings). Usage time may end several seconds after you press END or after the call disconnects. For calls made on our network, we charge only for calls that are answered, including by machines. For Postpay Service, usage cannot always be processed right away and may be included in a later bill, but the usage will still count towards your allowance for the month when the Service was used.

How and When Can I Dispute Charges?

If you’re a Postpay customer, you can dispute your bill within 180 days of receiving it, but unless otherwise provided by law or unless you’re disputing charges because your wireless device was lost or stolen, you still have to pay all charges until the dispute is resolved. If you’re a Prepaid customer, you can dispute a charge within 180 days of the date the disputed charge was incurred. YOU MAY CALL US TO DISPUTE CHARGES ON YOUR BILL OR ANY SERVICE(S) FOR WHICH YOU WERE BILLED, BUT IF YOU WISH TO PRESERVE YOUR RIGHT TO BRING AN ARBITRATION OR SMALL CLAIMS CASE REGARDING SUCH DISPUTE, YOU MUST WRITE TO US AT THE CUSTOMER SERVICE ADDRESS ON YOUR BILL, SEND AN EMAIL THROUGH THE “CONTACT US” LINK ON VERIZONWIRELESS.COM, OR SEND US A COMPLETED NOTICE OF DISPUTE FORM (AVAILABLE AT VERIZONWIRELESS.COM), WITHIN THE 180–DAY PERIOD MENTIONED ABOVE. IF YOU DO NOT NOTIFY US IN WRITING OF SUCH DISPUTE WITHIN THE 180-DAY PERIOD, YOU WILL HAVE WAIVED YOUR RIGHT TO DISPUTE THE BILL OR SUCH SERVICE(S) AND TO BRING AN ARBITRATION OR SMALL CLAIMS CASE REGARDING ANY SUCH DISPUTE.

What Are My Rights for Dropped Calls or Interrupted Service?

If you drop a call in your Coverage Area, redial. If it’s answered within 5 minutes, call us within 90 days if you’re a Postpay customer, or within 45 days if you’re a Prepaid customer, and we’ll give you a 1–minute airtime credit. If you’re a Postpay customer and you lose Service in your Coverage Area for more than 24 hours in a row and we’re at fault, call us within 180 days and we’ll give you a credit for the time lost. Please be aware that these are your only rights for dropped calls or interrupted Service.

About My Payments

If you’re a Postpay customer and we don’t get your payment on time, we will charge you a late fee of up to 1.5 percent per month (18 percent per year) on the unpaid balance, or a flat $5 per month, whichever is greater, if allowed by law in the state of your billing address. (If you choose another company to bill you for our Service [such as another Verizon company], late fees are set by that company or by its tariffs and may be higher than our late fees.) Late fees are part of the rates and charges you agree to pay us. If you fail to pay on time and Verizon Wireless refers your account(s) to a third party for collection, Verizon Wireless will charge a collection fee at the maximum percentage permitted by applicable law, but not to exceed 18 percent, to cover collection–related costs. We may require a deposit at the time of activation or afterward, or an increased deposit. We’ll pay simple interest on any deposit at the rate the law requires. We may apply deposits or payments in any order to any amounts you owe us on any account. If your final credit balance is less than $1, we will refund it only if you ask. You may have to pay a $35 fee to re–activate Service if your Service is terminated , or a $15 fee to reconnect Service if it is interrupted for non–payment or suspended for any reason.

If you’re a Prepaid customer, you may replenish your balance at any time before the expiration date by providing us with another payment. Your balance may not exceed $1,000 and you may be prevented from replenishing if your balance reaches $1,000. We will suspend service when your account reaches the expiration date and any unused balance will be forfeited.

We may charge you up to $25 for any returned check.

What if My Wireless Device Gets Lost or Stolen?

We’re here to help. It’s important that you notify us right away, so we can suspend your Service to keep someone else from using it. If you’re a Postpay customer and your wireless device is used after the loss or theft but before you report it, and you want a credit for any charges for that usage, we’re happy to review your account activity and any other information you’d like us to consider. Keep in mind that you may be held responsible for the charges if you delayed reporting the loss or theft without good reason, but you don’t have to pay any charges you dispute while they are being investigated. If we haven’t given you a courtesy suspension of recurring monthly charges during the past year, we’ll give you one for 30 days or until you replace or recover your wireless device, whichever comes first.

What Are Verizon Wireless’ Rights to Limit or End Service or End this Agreement?

We can, without notice, limit, suspend or end your Service or any agreement with you for any good cause, including, but not limited to: (1) if you: (a) breach this agreement; (b) resell your Service; (c) use your Service for any illegal purpose, including use that violates trade and economic sanctions and prohibitions promulgated by any U.S. governmental agency; (d) install, deploy or use any regeneration equipment or similar mechanism (for example, a repeater) to originate, amplify, enhance, retransmit or regenerate an RF signal without our permission; (e) steal from or lie to us; or, if you’re a Postpay customer, (f) do not pay your bill on time; (g) incur charges larger than a required deposit or billing limit, or materially in excess of your monthly access charges (even if we haven’t yet billed the charges); (h) provide credit information we can’t verify; or (i) are unable to pay us or go bankrupt; or (2) if you, any user of your device or any line of service on your account, or any account manager on your account: (a) threaten, harass, or use vulgar and/or inappropriate language toward our representatives; (b) interfere with our operations; (c) “spam,” or engage in other abusive messaging or calling; (d) modify your device from its manufacturer’s specifications; or (e) use your Service in a way that negatively affects our network or other customers. We can also temporarily limit your Service for any operational or governmental reason.

Am I Eligible for Special Discounts?

If you’re a Postpay customer, you may be eligible for a discount if you are and remain affiliated with an organization that has an agreement with us. Unless your discount is through a government employee discount program, we may share certain information about your Service (including your name, your wireless telephone number and your total monthly charges) with your organization from time to time to make sure you’re still eligible. We may adjust or remove your discount according to your organization’s agreement with us, and remove your discount if your eligibility ends or your contract term expires. In any case, this won’t be considered to have a material adverse effect on you.

Disclaimer of Warranties

We make no representations or warranties, express or implied, including, to the extent permitted by applicable law, any implied warranty of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose, about your Service, your wireless device, or any applications you access through your wireless device. We do not warrant that your wireless device will work perfectly or will not need occasional upgrades or modifications, or that it will not be negatively affected by network–related modifications, upgrades or similar activity. If you download or use applications, services or software provided by third parties (including voice applications), 911 or E911, or other calling functionality, may work differently than services offered by us, or may not work at all. Please review all terms and conditions of such third–party products.

Please be aware that if you activated your wireless device through our Open Development program, we can’t vouch for the device’s call quality or overall functionality.

Waivers and Limitations of Liability

You and Verizon Wireless both agree to limit claims against each other for damages or other monetary relief to direct damages. This limitation and waiver will apply regardless of the theory of liability. That means neither of us will try to get any indirect, special, consequential, treble or punitive damages from the other. This limitation and waiver also applies if you bring a claim against one of our suppliers, to the extent we would be required to indemnify the supplier for the claim. You agree we aren’t responsible for problems caused by you or others, or by any act of God. You also agree we aren’t liable for missed or deleted voice mails or other messages, or for any information (like pictures) that gets lost or deleted if we work on your device. If another wireless carrier is involved in any problem (for example, while you’re roaming), you also agree to any limitations of liability that it imposes.

How Do I Resolve Disputes with Verizon Wireless?

WE HOPE TO MAKE YOU A HAPPY CUSTOMER, BUT IF THERE’S AN ISSUE THAT NEEDS TO BE RESOLVED, THIS SECTION OUTLINES WHAT’S EXPECTED OF BOTH OF US.

YOU AND VERIZON WIRELESS BOTH AGREE TO RESOLVE DISPUTES ONLY BY ARBITRATION OR IN SMALL CLAIMS COURT. THERE’S NO JUDGE OR JURY IN ARBITRATION, AND THE PROCEDURES MAY BE DIFFERENT, BUT AN ARBITRATOR CAN AWARD YOU THE SAME DAMAGES AND RELIEF, AND MUST HONOR THE SAME TERMS IN THIS AGREEMENT, AS A COURT WOULD. IF THE LAW ALLOWS FOR AN AWARD OF ATTORNEYS’ FEES, AN ARBITRATOR CAN AWARD THEM TOO. WE ALSO BOTH AGREE THAT:

(1) THE FEDERAL ARBITRATION ACT APPLIES TO THIS AGREEMENT. EXCEPT FOR SMALL CLAIMS COURT CASES THAT QUALIFY, ANY DISPUTE THAT IN ANY WAY RELATES TO OR ARISES OUT OF THIS AGREEMENT OR FROM ANY EQUIPMENT, PRODUCTS AND SERVICES YOU RECEIVE FROM US (OR FROM ANY ADVERTISING FOR ANY SUCH PRODUCTS OR SERVICES) WILL BE RESOLVED BY ONE OR MORE NEUTRAL ARBITRATORS BEFORE THE AMERICAN ARBITRATION ASSOCIATION (“AAA”) OR BETTER BUSINESS BUREAU (“BBB”). YOU CAN ALSO BRING ANY ISSUES YOU MAY HAVE TO THE ATTENTION OF FEDERAL, STATE, OR LOCAL GOVERNMENT AGENCIES, AND IF THE LAW ALLOWS, THEY CAN SEEK RELIEF AGAINST US FOR YOU.

(2) UNLESS YOU AND VERIZON WIRELESS AGREE OTHERWISE, THE ARBITRATION WILL TAKE PLACE IN THE COUNTY OF YOUR BILLING ADDRESS. FOR CLAIMS OVER $10,000, THE AAA’S WIRELESS INDUSTRY ARBITRATION (“WIA”) RULES WILL APPLY, IN SUCH CASES, THE LOSER CAN ASK FOR A PANEL OF THREE NEW ARBITRATORS TO REVIEW THE AWARD. FOR CLAIMS OF $10,000 OR LESS, THE PARTY BRINGING THE CLAIM CAN CHOOSE EITHER THE AAA’S WIA RULES OR THE BBB’S RULES FOR BINDING ARBITRATION OR, ALTERNATIVELY, CAN BRING AN INDIVIDUAL ACTION IN SMALL CLAIMS COURT. YOU CAN GET PROCEDURES, RULES AND FEE INFORMATION FROM THE AAA (WWW.ADR.ORG), THE BBB (WWW.BBB.ORG) OR FROM US. FOR CLAIMS OF $10,000 OR LESS, YOU CAN CHOOSE WHETHER YOU’D LIKE THE ARBITRATION CARRIED OUT BASED ONLY ON DOCUMENTS SUBMITTED TO THE ARBITRATOR, OR BY A HEARING IN–PERSON OR BY PHONE.

(3) THIS AGREEMENT DOESN’T ALLOW CLASS OR COLLECTIVE ARBITRATIONS EVEN IF THE AAA OR BBB PROCEDURES OR RULES WOULD. NOT WITHSTANDING ANY OTHER PROVISION OF THIS AGREEMENT, THE ARBITRATOR MAY AWARD MONEY OR INJUNCTIVE RELIEF ONLY IN FAVOR OF THE INDIVIDUAL PARTY SEEKING RELIEF AND ONLY TO THE EXTENT NECESSARY TO PROVIDE RELIEF WARRANTED BY THAT PARTY’S INDIVIDUAL CLAIM. NO CLASS OR REPRESENTATIVE OR PRIVATE ATTORNEY GENERAL THEORIES OF LIABILITY OR PRAYERS FOR RELIEF MAY BE MAINTAINED IN ANY ARBITRATION HELD UNDER THIS AGREEMENT.

(4) IF EITHER OF US INTENDS TO SEEK ARBITRATION UNDER THIS AGREEMENT, THE PARTY SEEKING ARBITRATION MUST FIRST NOTIFY THE OTHER PARTY OF THE DISPUTE IN WRITING AT LEAST 30 DAYS IN ADVANCE OF INITIATING THE ARBITRATION. NOTICE TO VERIZON WIRELESS SHOULD BE SENT TO VERIZON WIRELESS DISPUTE RESOLUTION MANAGER, ONE VERIZON WAY, VC52N061, BASKING RIDGE, NJ 07920. THE NOTICE MUST DESCRIBE THE NATURE OF THE CLAIM AND THE RELIEF BEING SOUGHT. IF WE ARE UNABLE TO RESOLVE OUR DISPUTE WITHIN 30 DAYS, EITHER PARTY MAY THEN PROCEED TO FILE A CLAIM FOR ARBITRATION. WE’LL PAY ANY FILING FEE THAT THE AAA OR BBB CHARGES YOU FOR ARBITRATION OF THE DISPUTE. IF YOU PROVIDE US WITH SIGNED WRITTEN NOTICE THAT YOU CANNOT PAY THE FILING FEE, VERIZON WIRELESS WILL PAY THE FEE DIRECTLY TO THE AAA OR BBB. IF THAT ARBITRATION PROCEEDS, WE’LL ALSO PAY ANY ADMINISTRATIVE AND ARBITRATOR FEES CHARGED LATER, AS WELL AS FOR ANY APPEAL TO A PANEL OF THREE NEW ARBITRATORS (IF THE ARBITRATION AWARD IS APPEALABLE UNDER THIS AGREEMENT).

(5) WE ALSO OFFER CUSTOMERS THE OPTION OF PARTICIPATING IN A FREE INTERNAL MEDIATION PROGRAM. THIS PROGRAM IS ENTIRELY VOLUNTARY AND DOES NOT AFFECT EITHER PARTY’S RIGHTS IN ANY OTHER ASPECT OF THESE DISPUTE RESOLUTION PROCEDURES. IN OUR VOLUNTARY MEDIATION PROGRAM, WE WILL ASSIGN AN EMPLOYEE WHO’S NOT DIRECTLY INVOLVED IN THE DISPUTE TO HELP BOTH SIDES REACH AN AGREEMENT. THAT PERSON HAS ALL THE RIGHTS AND PROTECTIONS OF A MEDIATOR AND THE PROCESS HAS ALL OF THE PROTECTIONS ASSOCIATED WITH MEDIATION. FOR EXAMPLE, NOTHING SAID IN THE MEDIATION CAN BE USED LATER IN AN ARBITRATION OR LAWSUIT. IF YOU’D LIKE TO KNOW MORE, PLEASE CONTACT US AT VERIZONWIRELESS.COM OR THROUGH CUSTOMER SERVICE. IF YOU’D LIKE TO START THE MEDIATION PROCESS, PLEASE GO TO VERIZONWIRELESS.COM OR CALL CUSTOMER SERVICE FOR A NOTICE OF DISPUTE FORM TO FILL OUT, AND MAIL, FAX OR EMAIL IT TO US ACCORDING TO THE DIRECTIONS ON THE FORM.

(6) WE MAY, BUT ARE NOT OBLIGATED TO, MAKE A WRITTEN SETTLEMENT OFFER ANYTIME BEFORE ARBITRATION BEGINS. THE AMOUNT OR TERMS OF ANY SETTLEMENT OFFER MAY NOT BE DISCLOSED TO THE ARBITRATOR UNTIL AFTER THE ARBITRATOR ISSUES AN AWARD ON THE CLAIM. IF YOU DON’T ACCEPT THE OFFER AND THE ARBITRATOR AWARDS YOU AN AMOUNT OF MONEY THAT’S MORE THAN OUR OFFER BUT LESS THAN $5000, OR IF WE DON’T MAKE YOU AN OFFER, AND THE ARBITRATOR AWARDS YOU ANY AMOUNT OF MONEY BUT LESS THAN $5000, THEN WE AGREE TO PAY YOU $5000 INSTEAD OF THE AMOUNT AWARDED. IN THAT CASE WE ALSO AGREE TO PAY ANY REASONABLE ATTORNEYS’ FEES AND EXPENSES, REGARDLESS OF WHETHER THE LAW REQUIRES IT FOR YOUR CASE. IF THE ARBITRATOR AWARDS YOU MORE THAN $5000, THEN WE WILL PAY YOU THAT AMOUNT.

(7) AN ARBITRATION AWARD AND ANY JUDGMENT CONFIRMING IT APPLY ONLY TO THAT SPECIFIC CASE; IT CAN’T BE USED IN ANY OTHER CASE EXCEPT TO ENFORCE THE AWARD ITSELF.

(8) IF FOR SOME REASON THE PROHIBITION ON CLASS ARBITRATIONS SET FORTH IN SUBSECTION (3) CANNOT BE ENFORCED, THEN THE AGREEMENT TO ARBITRATE WILL NOT APPLY.

(9) IF FOR ANY REASON A CLAIM PROCEEDS IN COURT RATHER THAN THROUGH ARBITRATION, YOU AND VERIZON WIRELESS AGREE THAT THERE WILL NOT BE A JURY TRIAL. YOU AND VERIZON WIRELESS UNCONDITIONALLY WAIVE ANY RIGHT TO TRIAL BY JURY IN ANY ACTION, PROCEEDING OR COUNTERCLAIM ARISING OUT OF OR RELATING TO THIS AGREEMENT IN ANY WAY. IN THE EVENT OF LITIGATION, THIS PARAGRAPH MAY BE FILED TO SHOW A WRITTEN CONSENT TO A TRIAL BY THE COURT.

About this Agreement

If we don’t enforce our rights under this agreement in one instance, that doesn’t mean we won’t or can’t enforce those rights in any other instance. You cannot assign this agreement or any of your rights or duties under it without our permission. However, we may assign this agreement or any debt you owe us without notifying you. If you’re a Postpay customer, please note that many notices we send to you will show up as messages on your monthly bill. If you have online billing, those notices will be deemed received by you when your online bill is available for viewing. If you get a paper bill, those notices will be deemed received by you three days after we mail the bill to you. If we send other notices to you, they will be considered received immediately if we send them to your wireless device, or to any email or fax number you’ve given us, or after three days if we mail them to your billing address. If you need to send notices to us, please send them to the customer service address on your latest bill.

If you’re a Prepaid customer and we send notices to you, they will be considered received immediately if we send them to your wireless device or to any email or fax number you’ve given us, or if we post them as a pre-call notification on your Service, or after three days if we mail them to the most current address we have for you. If you need to send notices to us, please send them to the Customer Service Prepaid address atverizonwireless.com/contactus

If any part of this agreement, including anything regarding the arbitration process (except for the prohibition on class arbitrations as explained in part 8 of the dispute resolution section above), is ruled invalid, that part may be removed from this agreement.

This agreement and the documents it incorporates form the entire agreement between us. You can’t rely on any other documents, or on what’s said by any sales or customer service representatives, and you have no other rights regarding Service or this agreement. This agreement isn’t for the benefit of any third party except our parent companies, affiliates, subsidiaries, agents, and predecessors and successors in interest. Except where we’ve agreed otherwise elsewhere in this agreement, this agreement and any disputes covered by it are governed by federal law and the laws of the state encompassing the area code of your wireless phone number when you accepted this agreement, without regard to the conflicts of laws and rules of that state.

Additional Disclosures
We are implementing optimization and transcoding technologies in our network to transmit data files in a more efficient manner to allow available network capacity to benefit the greatest number of users. These techniques include caching less data, using less capacity, and sizing the video more appropriately for the device. The optimization process is agnostic tothe content itself and to the website that provides it. While we invest much effort to avoid changing text, image, and video files in the compression process and while any change to the file is likely to be indiscernible, the optimization process may minimally impact the appearance of the file as displayed on your device. For a further, more detailed explanation of these techniques, please visit http://www.verizonwireless.com/vzwoptimization

Verizon Wireless strives to provide customers the best experience when using our network, a shared resource among tens of millions of customers. To help achieve this, if you use an extraordinary amount of data and fall within the top 5% of Verizon Wireless data users we may reduce your data throughput speeds periodically for the remainder of your then current andimmediately following billing cycle to ensure high quality network performance for other users at locations and times of peak demand. Our proactive management of the Verizon Wireless network is designed to ensure that the remaining 95% of data customers aren’t negatively affected by the inordinate data consumption of just a few users.

Last Updated: 02/19/12