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Verizon's Visible customer calls, texts and data missing after 'upgrade'

Verizon's Visible customer calls, texts and data missing after 'upgrade'

Last week, Verizon's budget-focused carrier Visible announced some sweeping changes, introducing new plans that use an entirely different network infrastructure. The carrier told customers that if they choose to upgrade, they'll get better roaming coverage and latency as well as additional features if they jumped to the $45 per month Visible Plus plan.

Reviews from those who successfully upgraded or signed up seem to be largely positive - with most reports showing better speeds and noticeably better latency. (Though there are some who say they don't really see any difference between the old plan and the new plan.) But for many other customers, the switch is fraught with service and customer support issues.

One of the most common complaints among people on the Visible subreddit is the lack of service after the upgrade. Some say they had no service after signing up. (One user joked, "Luckily, between the referral bonus and the Chase credit card offer, I effectively paid $0 for that month of [Visible Plus] service, so I can safely say that I got what I paid for." More common, however, are reports of semi-functioning service. Many users report that they are able to text and make calls but cannot access data. Reports of having no calls or texts. Even a surprising number of people are saying they can send messages, make calls, and use data, but they don't receive incoming calls. are not receiving.

Verizon did not immediately provide comment to The Verge on the problems customers are facing.

Some people haven't gotten to the point where they will know if they have service issues, as they run into issues trying to activate their phone after popping in a new SIM card, which plan for Requires (or after downloading eSIM). One person said that Visible Support said that their phone could not be activated even after the problem was fixed.

This leads us to another common complaint: Many people say they had to spend hours talking to or waiting for visible support staff, sometimes to no avail. While a lot of people are saying they've had a great support experience, it looks like Visible struggled with constant communication during launch. The day the new plans were announced, someone posted a message from customer support suggesting that Visible was planning to force everyone on the new plans starting January 1, 2023. Other commenters said they were told the same thing. However, Visible denied that was the case, saying it plans to let people stay on the legacy Visible Unlimited plan as long as the underlying infrastructure remains available.

This may be where Visible's role as Verizon's budget carrier comes into play. Unlike customers of mainline carriers, Visible users cannot walk into a store and give their phone to a tech. Visible's support site says you may be able to talk to someone on the phone, but only after making contact via chat. It's relatively common for budget carriers to not have a physical location (renting retail space is expensive), but the result is people waiting for hours or days for help that would only take a minute or two.

In some ways, it's easy to see how this mess came to be. Verizon is not only changing the pricing structure of its plans and is calling it a day. Visible's announcement post states that the new plans use an entirely different "core network routing experience." According to Light Reading, the older Visible Unlimited plan included what's known as a cloud core, which routes traffic through various virtualized services. However, the new plans are part of Visible's network development, which connects users "how and where". It looks like the change makes Visible's network a lot more like Verizon's, giving users access to roaming, premium data (if they pay for it), and lower latency.

While concrete technical details are sparse, it's clear Visible is making some big changes here - the fact that you need a new SIM to switch and that every device that works on the old plan will work on the new one. . Those going towards home will not. And big changes usually (though not always) come with pitfalls for early adopters, especially with things as complex as cell networks. But hopefully Visible will figure things out soon or at least improve its support for those who run into issues.

Until that happens, as a visible customer, I'll stick with my $25 per month Legacy plan. Given that it's cheaper, currently still working perfectly fine, and comes with the same benefits as the new plans, it's not hard to decide.

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