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dianahc

Verizon/FMCA Jetpack issues/worthless at RV Parks

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On ‎9‎/‎29‎/‎2018 at 9:05 AM, gemert said:

Depending on the jetpack that you have a lot of people get better results with a MIMO antenna than they do with a booster including me. 

https://www.amazon.com/Updated-Antenna-Aigital-Booster-Vodafone/dp/B078S9L6QR/ref=sr_1_13?ie=UTF8&qid=1546950191&sr=8-13&keywords=mimo+antenna

This is the one that I use, and works great.

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I've been using an antenna like that one for a couple of years now and it's worked great!  I found it in a thrift store and bought it on a whim.  It has increased the signal strength enough so it's never been a problem.  

I'm not on the FMCA plan but I've got one of the Verizon so called BS "unlimited" plans that throttle you down to 600kbps at 15Gb.  I've already blown through this month's allotment.  When I bought into Verizon, I was told unlimited meant 20Gb that I could bank up to 20Gb if I didn't use all of it in any month.  I only use the JetPack intermittently 9 months a year and depend on it over the 3 months we play snowbirds.  I've never had a plan change  after agreeing to it before Verizon.  It seems they'll change terms whenever they feel like it without any notification or admitting to it.

I do take advantage of a 15% discount for veterans and $10 discount for direct autopay to keep costs down as much as possible.  Between satellite TV, Internet connectivity for the house and cell phones, being connected sure takes a toll on our retirement income each month.

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Thank you for the information 

I also experienced the same problem with Versions “unlimited “ data plan.

you said you get a discount for being a veteran? I did not see that option when I signed up😩

Joe P

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Joe,

Welcome to the Forum.

Like all discounts you have to ask if they have one. Lots of places have them but just don't advertise them. I had AT&T for better than 25 years and just a couple of years ago I found out they give a 15% discount off to Veterans on their Basic Charge.

Thank you for your service.

Herman

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I found out the same, 2 months ago and I have had AT&T for as long as I've had my own phone, 1958.  Geeez!

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5 hours ago, jprot said:

Thank you for the information 

I also experienced the same problem with Versions “unlimited “ data plan.

you said you get a discount for being a veteran? I did not see that option when I signed up😩

Joe P

As I recall, I had to send a copy of my DD-214 for verification.

Try this link:  https://www.verizonwireless.com/discounts/military

https://www.verizonwireless.com/support/employee-discount-validation-faqs/

Start here:
https://www.verizonwireless.com/discount-program/?type=military#

Active military service members, veterans or first responders, here’s what you need to know.

 

For those who serve, we offer:

  • Discounts on Go, Beyond or Above Unlimited plans. One line on your account? Save $15. Two lines? Save $35. Three or more lines? Your best savings are $40 on your account access fee.*
  • or, a 15% discount off other eligible plan's monthly account service fee
  • as well as up to a 25% discount off select accessories when purchased online through My Verizon.
 

But first, you'll need to verify your service.

 
  • As an active military, you can provide one of the following documents: Military-issued email, Military paystub, Military enlistment DD Form 4 or SCRA Status Report.
  • Military veterans can provide one of the following documents: Your DD Form 214, Veteran's ID Card, Military Retiree Account Statement or VetRewards Card from Veterans Advantage.
  • First responders can provide one of the following documents: Paystub, pension stub, volunteer ID or Statement of volunteer service.
 

To register your existing account, click Existing Customers in the menu directly above and enter your Verizon mobile number in the My Verizon User ID or mobile number field to start.

 

*The line-based tiered discount for the Go, Beyond or Above Unlimited plans applies if the account was activated with, or plan changed to, one of these plans 6/28/18 or later. For military, Any Go or Beyond Unlimited plans activated prior to 6/28/18 will receive a flat $15 account level access fee discount or for first responders, the plan will not qualify for a discount. At any time the plan can be changed to the new Go, Beyond or Above Unlimited plan to receive the line-based tiered discount.


 

 

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In response to the original Topic Posting.

I am sorry the OP has had a problem with her Verizon Jetpack. 

(Quote from the OP. So, a few months ago, I told my tale of problems getting signed up with the new Verizon/FMCA $49/mo plan with free Jetpack (I had earlier gotten a small tablet as a hotspot, which I was promised could be swapped for the FMCA deal when it finally got put together, and it turned into a nightmare to switch). Having reliable and unlimited internet is very important to me because I am still working part time as an attorney, and I have to work while we're on the road.)

I am confused. Did she have a Verizon plan and changed to the FMCA plan or was it a completely new account since she never had Verizon before?

I have used my Verizon Jetpack all over the country for several year and never once had an issue with reception. I also have many friends with the same unit and none of them have had any issues with connecting. (I must clarify I have not been to California) 

Did the OP go to a Verizon store and have her unit checked out to see if it could have been a defective unit. With electronics there can be a problem with one out of a thousand and most companies are glad to help any customer to resolve a problem, but it's hard to diagnose an electronic issue over the phone. It is best to go to the store and talk with a human face to face. That always get better result than a phone call and most likely take a lot less time. 

I myself like my Jetpack.

Please let us know if your issues were resolved.

Herman

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On 3/28/2018 at 11:55 PM, dianahc said:

Does WeBoost just boost cell signal, or does it also boost internet data signal? My husband and I have had a disagreement about this.

The weboost sometime will hurt your data signal.  The jetpack needs to be right next to the indoor antenna and `30ft away from the outdoor antenna.  In areas with good signal (based on cell phone) turn the weboost off as it does not have MIMO technology and will slow your data down.  I had the same issue, I would always turn on my booster and wounder why my data (based on speedtest app) was better on my cell than the hotspot connected my surface.  Turned the booster off and data was same as my phone.  The MIMO antenna list in the reply's works good too.

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3 hours ago, orion7144 said:

The weboost sometime will hurt your data signal.  The jetpack needs to be right next to the indoor antenna and `30ft away from the outdoor antenna.  In areas with good signal (based on cell phone) turn the weboost off as it does not have MIMO technology and will slow your data down.  I had the same issue, I would always turn on my booster and wounder why my data (based on speedtest app) was better on my cell than the hotspot connected my surface.  Turned the booster off and data was same as my phone.  The MIMO antenna list in the reply's works good too.

I have argued that many times when you have a strong signal the WeBoost will decrease your throughput.  When the WeBoost comes in handy is a weak and unreliable signal.  MIMO uses multi-channels to and the WeBoost uses a single channel.  I agree with the statement above.

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Signed up last month for the FMCA plan.  Verizon personnel were helpful but uneducated on the plan but we got it done.  The jetpack is working fine but after 25GB of data it is throttled back to unusable speeds.  Essentially I am paying $50/month for 25GB of data which I am ok with.

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At $2 per GB's, you should be...when mine throttle back, I use my phone or pad and stay on wifi at full speed.  Unlimited on each device. :) $51.04 pre paid for all three! :wub:

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On 3/28/2018 at 7:17 PM, dianahc said:

So, a few months ago, I told my tale of problems getting signed up with the new Verizon/FMCA $49/mo plan with free Jetpack (I had earlier gotten a small tablet as a hotspot, which I was promised could be swapped for the FMCA deal when it finally got put together, and it turned into a nightmare to switch). Having reliable and unlimited internet is very important to me because I am still working part time as an attorney, and I have to work while we're on the road.

I have now been on three RV trips in our new-to-us RV (YAY! We're now proud owners of a 2007 Holiday Rambler Ambassador 40PDQ, and we upgraded our Jeep toad to a 2007 too!). We moved our WeBoost 4G-X to the new coach too. I have had the following experience with the Jetpack and Verizon:

  • It did NOT work in the RV park in Apache Junction AZ where I took it on the first trip, but I didn't mess with it much - we were only there for two nights taking driving lessons on the new rig, and I didn't have to do any work.
  • It works fine while we're on the road. While driving the 700 miles from the Phoenix area to south of Gilroy CA, I only really lost the signal in the Tehachapi mountains for about 5-10 minutes.
  • HOWEVER, on our next trip, which was nearly a month long, when we got to Betabel RV Park about 7 miles south of Gilroy (the south end of Silicon Valley) and right off of US101, the damned thing didn't work worth CRAP. I couldn't stay connected; could barely open Facebook, never mind opening and staying connected to my secure work VPN or streaming a video from Netflix. I was there for 2-1/2 weeks, with a big opinion to write, and I ended up having to drive up to my daughter's house to use her internet to get most of it done. 
  • HOURS were spent on the phone with Verizon, and all I got was lame excuses about "poor line of sight" access to the cell tower, "terrain, and congestion," and similar excuses. However, the connection DID work occasionally - sorta - the first three days, and it was a little more stable at after midnight or so. First clue.
  • When we left Gilroy/San Juan Bautista, we went to Las Vegas for a few days, staying at a BIG RV resort (Oasis) near the airport and right next to I-5, with no mountains or even hills around us - and had the same damned problem - the Jetpack was essentially WORTHLESS in the park.
  • When I got home, I complained bitterly to Verizon, and after repeatedly denying it could be the Jetback, they finally agreed to swap it out for a new one. Don't even ask how horrible that transaction turned out to be and how many more hours were wasted on the phone with them, as well as having to drive to the Verizon store where they didn't know anything about my being supposed to swap out the Jetpack.
  • Note - the Jetpack doesn't work worth crap in my home in Goodyear AZ either - in the middle of a large community. Varies between 1-2 bars, and drops my VPN connection constantly, when I have tested it at home. I use my home internet when home, of course.
  • Two weeks ago, we went on a 1 week trip to Distant Drums RV Resort in Camp Verde AZ - right next to I-17. The Verizon internet connection was WORTHLESS.
  • I complained again, and this time they sent me a new SIM card. I replaced it today, and still only got one bar at home.
  • I called Verizon again, and again spent a long time on the phone with tech support.
  • Basically, their conclusion is that there are too many Verizon users in the RV parks competing for the same bandwidth.

So there you go - they are selling us equipment and "access" to a fixed amount of bandwidth. The more RVers who use Verizon in your RV park (or neighbors at home), the worse (i.e., essentially USELESS) your signal will be.

I'm livid, and disappointed, and feel cheated.

And I'm copying this post and emailing it to the senior people at Verizon and FMCA that I worked with at the beginning of this miserable odyssey.

Your problem isn't the device, or the carrier, it is how 4G/LTE works.   As the network becomes more congested, you have more contention for the data.  When you are sitting in a large RV park, where every rig has a few devices in it (and many on Verizon), plus the surrounding population, your network performance will degrade if there isn't enough carrier antennas in the area.    When on the highway, you don't have the problem, even though the antennas are further apart it is also sparsely populated. 

The 3G technology worked a little differently, and was not as subject to this issue.  You will also notice with 4G that your "bars" on your phone will go down (with network contention), even if you are standing in a parking lot and can see one of the camouflaged cell towers a few hundred yards from you.   The "bars" are a combination of signal strength, plus available capacity. 

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It's more expensive, but the Unlimitedville.com service offers a Verizon carrier option, and comes with the MOFI 4500 device... far better than the little jetpacks (commercial grade).. and the service won't throttle back either, it's designed for home-use. 

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I had the same problem with Sprint's hotspot in Florida City.  I worked with the CEO's office for several weeks and got absolutely no where.  My old 300 baud modem was faster than the throughput I was getting there.  I was within a mile of 3 towers.  I drove to the base of all three but service never improved. 

On the other hand, while parked a mile off AZ 95 two miles south of Quartzsite during RV Week when estimates of 100,000 or more RVs are spread out in the desert, I had adequate (not great) service with both Sprint and Verizon.  I would connect to the PC in my church's office over TeamViewer and while slow, it worked.  With the crowd around me, I felt fortunate.

I can't say I thrilled with the service I receive from Verizon either though.  I've got what was supposed to unlimited data that's throttled after about 10 days use each month.  The original plan I signed up for allowed me to bank 20Gb of high speed data but Verizon changed those terms without so much as a hint they did so.  In between Sprint and Verizon, I tried T-Mobile for a little over 6 months but I couldn't deal with the dead spots I kept running into.  I really expected much better service from Verizon after listening to all the talk around the campfire but that hasn't been my experience.  I haven't tried AT&T in the last 19 years but back then, CDMA was the standard for cell phones. 

Soon, they'll all be bragging about their 5G service.  Don't believe a word they say and avoid their early implementations for a couple of years at least.

Is there anyone out there that's completely happy with their cell phone and data service and the price they're paying?  I'd like to hear from them.

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I have AT&T for iPhone, have no complaint's!  I also  have the 4G Verizon Jet Pack, also no complaint's!  However, I retired in 1985, before Al Gore invented the internet, I guess my expectations and needs, is lower than a worker bee!  

If I was working as an Attorney, I would get a International phone ($750- $3,000 a month) since the signal is via satellite, not towers, and write it off on IRS!  You could be in your coach anywhere! :)

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On ‎4‎/‎3‎/‎2019 at 11:28 AM, scojohnson71 said:

It's more expensive, but the Unlimitedville.com service offers a Verizon carrier option, and comes with the MOFI 4500 device... far better than the little jetpacks (commercial grade).. and the service won't throttle back either, it's designed for home-use. 

Wow, it is more expensive, depending on how and how much wireless internet you need, it uses four different wireless carriers which may be good, but I don't think that I can afford it unless I go commercial at some time.:wub:

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