Yesterday, I updated my iPhone 13 to iOS 16.2. Today, I went to log onto a website that required two-part verification, and I didn’t get the text message. I looked closely at the phone, and in place of where the bars should be, there was “SOS”. I did some web research and found that’s what Apple shows you when there’s no cellular service except for emergency service. I went through all the troubleshooting steps I found on the web. No joy.
I went to the Verizon website, and started a support chat session, first with a bot, who directed me to do all the stuff I’d already done. Next stop was an agent, who told me that it was network congestion, and I could fix it by upgrading to a premium plan. I poured cold water on that idea, pointing out that my wife’s phone was working fine, and she was on the same plan. We talked for a while and he asked me to do some of the stuff I’d already done. Then there was no answer for a while. A few minutes later, a new tech came on the chat line and started asking the same questions and telling me to do the same stuff. I asked what happened to the old tech. “Shift change” was the answer.
Finally, I got sent to a tech who seemed to know something. He said they’d seem this issue a lot recently, and said the fix was to change from a physical SIM card to eSIM. He asked me to take out my SIM card again, and this time leave it out. Then he said the only way they could verify that I was me was by sending a text message to my wife’s phone and having her respond that it was OK to mess with my iPhone. By that time she had already left the house.
Then Verizon timed out the session.
I went back the the web site and started over. Miracle of miracles, I got hooked up with the same tech. I asked if there was any other way to verify my identity. He said that there wasn’t. I called my wife and left voicemail messages. I texted her (Apple to Apple text messaging still worked). But she never responded.
I asked for a case number, but never got one. Then the session times out again. This time when I started over it asked if I was still working on the same issue and offered to reinstate my chat session.
I said yes.
Then I got a 404 error from the Verizon website.
I tried again. Same thing.
I now can’t access any web sites that require two part verification. I’ll try again with Verizon tomorrow, but I’ll be competing with all the folks who got new cellphones for Christmas.
This is terrible customer service. And it’s a good reason to reconsider using your cellphone for two-part verification.
Total time working on this issue so far: 3 hours.
The next day, I tried again. After repeated failures to do so, I finally got back to my chat conversation with a new tech. They were initially confident that they could fix the problem, but son I saw this:
I have tried to activate your device but it unfortunately getting me an error that “User has reached maximum number of attempts and cannot continue this transaction for 24 hours with a representative. User can attempt to complete the transaction through My Verizon Online.”
I said that I thought I needed to have this done by a tech, and I couldn’t do it myself online. Then I got this:
I apologize for the inconvenience. I suggest you to come again for activation after 24 hours, or if you want to fix it now so I will connect you to our advance technical team so they will be able to activate the device for you.
I spent 45 minutes waiting for the new tech to join the chat. Every so often I’d type a message to keep the window from timing out. After 45 minutes, I got a message saying “not delivered”.
I opened another chat window and waited 15 minutes for an agent. None appeared. So I requested email support. The web page said I should hear back in less than an hour, but, aside from the acknowledgement email, after seven hours I’ve heard nothing. I’m going to bed now, and hope there will be something in the morning.
It’s been more than 20 hours since I submitted my request for email support to Verizon, who promised a response within an hour. I have received no response. Attempts to retrun to my previous chat window were met with the same 404 error as before.
I tried chat support again. This time things went swimmingly. The tech changed my phone to use an eSIM and that fixed the problem. Took half an hour.
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