Sagacious Himself — brevity in circumlocution: never blague — suffering genius

January 29, 2013

VZW prepaid daily not a bargain if using recycled numbers

Filed under: BULLSHIT,verizon circumvention,verizon sucks — Sagacious Himself @ 6:48 pm

VZW prepaid daily seems like a good plan for CL or other cloak and dagger operations.¬† However “new” activations are issued heavily abused numbers from a small recycled pool ūüė¶

$2/day prepaid quickly loses value when DebtCollectorLucifer calls for Bob Smith from several different obviously spoofed numbers several times per day.

fortunately TXT is not billed until opened.¬† And much akin to TracFone some VZW non-sim prepaid phones offer better TXT windows if you’re not outright blocking TXT.¬† Combine with voip sms to sip/xmpp/fwd for less poor results.

mobile carrier really REALLY OUGHT to provide customers server side PBX finesse powers for TXT- and call filtration!

provide a better number with the GOTCHA that VZW policy prevents incoming calls during port-in process!!

If you need a phone and need inbound calling now you DON’T WANT VERIZON WIRELESS directly; you want a VZW MNVO like TracFone, StriaghtTalk, etc who allow incoming calls during port-in process

Himself 130129 Sagacious

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August 12, 2012

verizon wireless prepaid GOTCHAS with LNP

Filed under: BULLSHIT,How To,sigh,verizon sucks — Sagacious Himself @ 2:55 pm
Tags: , ,

If you’re planning to port-in a number to your verizon wireless prepaid (non-sim) device

  • do NOT activate it
  • FIRST initiate the port-in process
    • VZW will collect: MEIN, current MDN (uh oh catch 22), account password (uh oh catch 22),
  • ideally: wait for the port department to call you with competition notification
  • *22899 to [re]activate new VZW account profile to device

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OBSCENE VZW prepaid GOTCHA:

  • during the prepaid port-in you CANNOT receive calls on the handset
  • VZW cancels the current MDN and immediately assigns the port-in as MDN *prior* to port-in completion
  • VZW claims minutes cannot be transferred between devices
  • minutes on current MDN will be FOREVER LOST when MDN is cancelled

other MVNO of VZW do not have this ultra retarded policy: they want you to spend your incoming minutes.

  • Port-in to TracPhone (on verizon): keep existing number until *228 pushes port-in MDN.
  • Port-in to StraightTalk (on verizon): keep existing number [MDN] until *228 pushes port-in MDN.

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What should happen on prepaid should match VZW MNVO and VZW contract:

  • profile created with port-in MDN and pushed through activation (*228) AFTER port-in completes
  • allow one to receive calls at original MDN during port-in process
    • allows subscriber to forward all calls from port-in number to current number for a SEAMLESS transition from the perspective of callers
  • properly handle RDNIS information

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Attaching minutes the MDN is obviously FOOLISH.  The MIN would be better suited allowing a minute share between current- and would-be MDN.  There are other VZW tools available to help verizon customers spend money on verizon services during the port-in process.

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VZW agents additional DAILY prepaid silly claims (read as: FALSEhoods):

  • only charged for calls answered by- or initiated from handset
    • not charged for calls dumped into voicemail
    • not charged for calls answered by NoAnswer-Busy-Forwarding line
  • voicemail is deleted from account in 60 days if not setup

Himself be Sagacious

 

July 14, 2011

disposable phone testing: TracFone good, cheap TracFones bad. (prepaid phones)

Filed under: bargain,Hardwares,overview,verizon sucks — Sagacious Himself @ 3:15 pm

I carry more than two mobile phones for a variety of reasons.  Taking any of them to a potentially wet environment is less than desirable.

Disposable phones to the rescue?  Which pre-paid phones suck the least?

First choice to test: TracFone.

It was inexpensive (and very cheap).  No per day cost for the privilege of having the phone activated.  Minutes do not expire, but the phone activation does.  Buy more minutes before activation window expires or the phone self destructs (becomes unusable).   $15 for the phone itself: LG420G.  $20 for a 60 pre-paid minutes code.  Apparently there was a promotion at the time of phone purchase:  All minutes, and future purchase minutes, are doubled.  Searching the interweb I found a five digit promo code for an additional 60 minutes.

$35 bought: a chintzy phone, 180 minutes, five months of activation, and a phone number in the zip code I specified during phone activation.  The phone activation has a few gotchas.  It prompts early for a five digit promo code.   Since I was unaware that such existed I had not interweb searched for one.  No problem, the IVR indicates promo entry can be deferred to the end of the call.  Unfortunately the IVR provides no opportunity to enter the promo code later.  One need call TracFone support, 800.867.7183, and endure half an hour of near musak before being routed to a live body in Singapore.

Now the worse-bad:

  • ¬†lag. horrible audio lag for each call party.¬† Sometimes as poor as long as four seconds of lag
  • ¬†audio drops.¬† With full signal audio drops: 30% or more of the conversation is lost to the ether.¬† The lower the signal strength the more audio is dropped
  • ¬†echo.¬† horrible echo.¬†¬† I did not expect fantastic audio fidelity from a $15 obviously refurbished phone.¬† However, a high quality blue tooth headset offers no improvement.¬† sound uptake, DAC, DSP, codec, signal transmission..¬† the latter three are apparently hugely problematic even with BT audio.
  • audio fidelity poor.¬† very very poor… even with high quality BT
  • ¬†most SMS falls in a hole never to be seen

The phone would be great for 419 scambating as the phone delightfully  mangles audio and would frustrate scammers.  While I would almost be pleased if this phone were to get wet on a trip and die the audio-suck issues render it useless for using other than a pager.

The less than good:

  • SMS sending uses at least 0.5 minutes of air time.¬† More minute fractions for longer SMS
  • TracFone will not accept SIM from another SIM provider
  • BT profile has been verizon’d
  • BT audio device must be manually accepted each time powered
  • TracFone support claims one is charged for outgoing ringing
  • charged for incoming ringing WHEN phone rings for more than five minutes

The decent-good:

  • no id required to purchase
  • no credit card required
  • no volunteering of personal information required
  • zip code used to assign phone number
  • number can be ported out to ITSP for PBX joy
  • short SMS can be viewed at no charge with the inbox preview feature
  • no charge to *receive* SMS.¬† only charged to view or send SMS
  • not charged for outgoing ringing per se

the extremely-bad

  • when voicemail is removed the system, much like verizon, soonventually applies INANE defaults
  • inbound calls are routed to a “mobile user unavailable” error and disconnected after 25 seconds
  • this error should only apply when the TracFone is not powered
  • activation zipcode assigns both phone number AND provider.
  • For least pain do not use zip code to shop for an area code

Why remove voicemail?  Prior experience with pre-paid phones is that voicemail is used to extort additional payment.  Also I prefer the PBX features of asterisk to lametard mobile voicemail.  I provide people with my own DID and route to the disposable phone.  My PBX captures voicemail, filters call

the extremely-good

  • Customer Service agents at TracFone, very much unlike AT&T/verizon, care about helping users,
  • Customer Service agents at TracFone are infinitely patient, polite, and kind, and have better training than most every non-business agent at other carriers,
  • Time spent with CS is credited back to the TracFone balance

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IMPORTANT: buy the mobile flavor for the area in which you will be calling/called… CDMA or GSM.¬† Got SIM? you have GSM.¬† The 4th and 5th digit of SIM serial indicates carrier: 12 for tmobile, 14 for att.¬† Use zip code to ensure CDMA, or AT&T.¬† It’s far too easy to inflict tmobile or cingular on yourself. Zip code prompt during activation is for number selection.

Use zipcodemap.net and tracfone availability to find desirable carrier and engineer tracfone to ship the correct SIM, or force them to display CDMA handsets.  Ship where ever else you like.  Do not rely on TrafFone to select the best mobile flavor for where you live; tracfone will default to the least cost technology where you live.

For least cost: best audio quality & best signal with AT&T use the motorola W376g [pdf]

IF you want a phone to perform other than calling features you really want an internet capable PDA aka “smart” “phone”.¬† SMS is gay.

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May 1, 2011

verizon wireless “cramming”: arbitrarily applied private address space policy

Filed under: fraudulent enticement,Righteous Rage,verizon sucks — Sagacious Himself @ 11:32 am

Forcing customers to accept charges for services not provided but for which they are billed is termed “cramming” in the telecommunications industry.

I pay for unlimited 3G data.  I receive something other than 3G as defined by my contract.  Verizon wireless proffers 3G as voip capable.  As demonstrated this private address space savaged network configuration is at best voip-hostile.

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April 30, 2011

verizon wireless issuing private ip addresses to 3g customer, NAT joy, MIA packets and gross ineptitude … fraudulent enticement

fraudulent enticement” : is the phrase for those pitching class action suits to such law firms.

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Part 2, draft 1

verizon staff, even senior tech staff [not network], cannot seem to understand that “private:public” is ONE distinction of ip addresses and that “dynamic:static” is another distinction.¬† Several people now have approached verizon wireless with the problem that their handset, the phone itself, is receiving a private ip address instead as before a public ip address (internet ip address, or public routable, or insert colloquialism here) on the 3g ppp0 interface.¬† The joy for “smart” phone users is Port Restricted Cone NAT.¬† It is a great way to break voip and vpn functionality of the device.¬† NAT per se is not the issue; user non-configurable “feature” is the problem.¬† Additional complexity is introduced by VZW denying addressing scheme.

10.0.0.0/8 (255.0.0.0)

Not sure you and your mobile station are in this private address space wan facing boat?¬† IF android: Grab “STUN client” application, pick any functional STUN server from the drop down, and perform the test.¬† At the bottom of the results will be the name of your 3g interface, in my case ppp0, and the associated ip address, in my case 10.n.155.n

STUN client: appbrain: http://www.appbrain.com/app/stun-client/com.kodholken.stunclient¬† I can provide the apk if you have opted to disable google “features” by not adding a gmail address to your handset.

The comical troubleshooting one must initially endure is the assertion that if the web browser is working the data network is working perfectly.¬† Out of order packets don’t noticeably affect web browsers; out of order packets are very bad for voip.¬† Lost packets aren’t bad for TCP web browsers; Lost packets are very bad for UDP voip conversations.

“The [3g] ip address on the phone is ONLY for talking to our towers”

Oh really? **  Wait it gets better:

“[3g ip addresses are] not for talking to third party services on the internet”

yes, verizon really made that delightful claim.

“are you saying I’m stupid?” No, based on the call recording I heard this guy is clearly grossly ignorant and not suited to a network support department.

“If the data isn’t working it’s the third party software you’re using”

great!
‘software can control your side of the network? please walk me through how I access that manually’

‘if web pages are timing out is it the fault of the web browser?’¬† .. “no” .. distinction failure continues

Various analogies are drawn to soho nat…

“you have to understand your ip address is dynamic” ..

uh huh. what’s that to do with it now being private address space and the evil of network address translation whereas recently the 3g interface was _dynamically_ issued from a public address space?

Let’s compare the dhcp class of this handset with the dhcp class of another handset.¬† Awkward silence.¬† Even their unassailable network people don’t have access to this information.¬† Scary.

“you might need to create a new rule in your corporate firewall”

How does that effect my phone?¬† There is nothing I control between my handset and the tower.¬† I’m not even using a rooted phone with a software firewall with this issue.

We all commiserate there is little point pushing this issue up the food chain by voice with non-business class accounts… especially with the appalling terminology dearth and concept fail.

Stuck with a private ip address?  Too bad.  Suffer but please continue to pay us.

All silly suggestions to contact the manufacturer of the phone, or the developer of VoIP product x or y ought be ignored.¬† The manufacturer of a handset that speaks CDMA (or lte), for verizon wireless, will direct all questions pertaining to the network back to verizon.¬† The software is not relevant to this issue — it merely MANIFESTS (or indicates) that there is an issue, and if you are voip familiar you recognize quickly the flavor of NAT involved.

“Perhaps you should contact google”

Yeah, that’ll work out so well.¬† Sadly no longer employed by a multinational, multibillion dollar venture group I don’t wield that kind of power any more, so no thanks I’ll try bashing your head against the wall instead.¬† It’s nice to have memories of seeing microsoft, [phone co], and intel dance to make me happy.. I mean work to find a solution to a problem with stuff.

Expect VoIP to FAIL and FAIL BADLY.¬† There’s a reasonable chance of VPN pain in your near future.¬† But at least your browser works, right?

It may be a secret top down plan to sell static ip addresses as that has been repeatedly suggested as a ‘solution’.

Please share your verizon wireless fun [pain].¬† I have several phone conversations from several people in my allegedly small boat in WAV — VoIP allows call recording for claim consistency purposes.¬† Consider capturing all your CS phone calls; it’s easy with viatalk (roll your own asterisk people have a few buttons to mash).

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See post on “google port-OUT .. revisionist history” for voip/itsp recommendations.¬† Also consider PIAF vitelity endorsement.¬† Additionally try TLS nightlies of CSIPsimple.¬† Howardforums has luminaries worth consulting.

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Verizon.Wireless.Private.Network_whitepaper_static.ip.address

* VoIP : udp sip
** Although it could be an unqualified¬† reference to pg 5 of VZW document b2b.vzw.com/assets/files/PrivateNetwork_WP.pdf [Verizon Wireless Private Network whitepaper] — section 3.1 grasps the public:private and dynamic:static distinctions. A static IP address is available without having a business account. Section 3.8: “static IP — verizon wireless hosted” as opposed to “static IP — verizon business hosted” makes further distinctions. Dynamic Mobile Network Routing exchanges tower-calls for voip calls.¬† Any claim by Verizon Wireless that a static IP address [on non-business account] would cost $500 reveals gross ineptitude by the agent.¬† It is obvious that the agent is phrase searching and landed on section 3.8 “verizon wireless private network setup fee”.¬† There are a number of circumventions to verizon wireless [tortial interference] ranging from irksome to vexatious.. but VZW provoked Proof of Concept circumvention necessity.
*** upselling:  CradlePoint CBA250, CadlePont CTR500, CadlePont PHS300 : opennetwork.verizonwireless.com/devicesShowcase.aspx

EDIT: 110701

addendum: verizon 5+ gb throttling easily circumvented without modifying system files.. hahaha delightfully simple change to system!  (requires SuperUser)

edit 2:

learn to speak verizonese:  CGN

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February 5, 2011

Verizon Wireless survey drones call from 505 999 5100 in response to ZERO likelihood of recommending to friends

Filed under: All Your Base,BULLSHIT,verizon sucks — Sagacious Himself @ 10:51 am

After rating them zero on a scale of zero to ten(best) on “how likely are you to refer verizon wireless to your friends” I qualified my in regards to their “3g” offering.

oh, you didn’t notice your “unlimited” “3g” drizzling about the speed of an analog modem? ¬†Verizon likes your kind: pay for service you never use or suffer hegemony.

Verizon Wireless lost a class action over use of the BlueTooth logo in the v710 phone and not actually supporting bluetooth profiles represented by that logo. ¬†I expect them to lose another over either claim of “unlimited” or “3g”. ¬†Much as with netflix I could not care less about verizon’s other customers. ¬†MY contract for service is with verizon. ¬†I grudgingly pay the thirty dollar monthly extortion and expect that.. surprisingly yes.

Up until now I haven’t bothered modifying the phone as I had done with every other handset. ¬†ÔĽŅAt the very least I couldn’t stand the word ‘verizon’ on the lcd.

But not-subtle throttling of bandwidth to the handset per se is unacceptable. ¬†Verizon has the audacity to want another $30/mo to use the handset as an AP, another $30/mo to use the handset as a tethered modem [+$60/mo], and yet another $30/mo to send/receive unlimited SMS [+$90/mo for the math impaired]. ¬†The SMS is the most galling as powering the phone uses more “data” than a “page” of SMS. ¬†SMS doesn’t use 3G… and is an infinitesimal impact on network resources. ¬†Thirty dollars? ¬†Are you high? ¬†Thanks, no, I’ll use xmpp; it’s as instant and preserves sender time stamp very much unlike sms queuing. ¬†Pix n Flix from an HD camera handset is very gay: all HD pixels are raped through the media server. ¬†It’s a brilliant plan:

safeguard the network from SMS and pix/flix messaging to force people to use “3G” resources and then punish them for using “3G” by throttling the connection to pre interweb non-circuit speeds

Tmobile renegade they are is offering unlimited data/sms/ap/tethering for $9/mo that would cost $120/mo for verizon wireless users. ¬†Hmmm. ¬†At home I have [symmetric] OC1 speeds. yay. ¬†I like the speed. ¬†My US Robotics Courier I-modem provided more bandwidth than my¬†allegedly¬†“3G” “smart” handset

Which custom ROM would make the DroidX happiest? ¬†Obviously it’s foolish to leave to phone in rooted state. ¬†Root+ROM will allow nuking of verizon bloatware and the other way to nuke adware –– although if the application developer is intellectually dishonest and morally impared to foist adware as freeware there’s no telling how else he may deem appropriate to abuse hardware to exploit users for his gain. Adblocking is a must have.. at least until there in non-dev non-root user control of application permissions. ¬†See AOSP bugs and star them (at least once):

http://code.google.com/p/android/issues/detail?id=6600
http://code.google.com/p/android/issues/detail?id=6266
http://code.google.com/p/android/issues/detail?id=10481
http://code.google.com/p/android/issues/detail?id=10340

See also: Extending android permission model

http://profsandhu.com/zhang/pub/apex.pdf

Here are some additional issues you should star (at least once):

reinstate reject call
http://code.google.com/p/android/issues/detail?id=54
cisco friendly ipsec vpn
http://code.google.com/p/android/issues/detail?id=3902

lack of wifi proxy
http://code.google.com/p/android/issues/detail?id=1273

screen off vs lock device
http://code.google.com/p/android/issues/detail?id=1089

email password insecure
http://code.google.com/p/android/issues/detail?id=10809

refund window too small
http://code.google.com/p/android/issues/detail?id=13116

SDcard encryption
http://code.google.com/p/android/issues/detail?id=11211

IPtables
http://code.google.com/p/android/issues/detail?id=4029
http://code.google.com/p/android/issues/detail?id=9586

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