Where we are staying at the village of Gökçe, Turkey.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? The village of Gökçe near Akyaka, Turkey.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Not sure yet!

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Not happy with Verizon

We had loosely planned on making it into Utah in time for the long weekend here in the United States, but it just didn't work out that way.

We got up and did some driving right away and ended up in the town of Bloomfield, New Mexico where we had breakfast and did some computer work.

My Verizon hotspot has not been very consistent. Quite a few times over the past month it has shown good connection with 2-3 bars of service and yet it has been excruciatingly slow. Certainly not what I would call 4G speeds despite what should be a decent connection.

Using my Mexican SIM card in the phone as a hotspot with a T-Mobile connection has been consistently good... when it actually has a connection.

So the $70 USD ($98 CAD) plus tax Verizon package was going to expire yesterday and I'm not sure that I got $70 worth of value from the previous month. Plus, they don't make it easy for a Canadian to renew the package because their system won't accept a credit card with a Canadian billing address. Which is kind of dumb considering how may Canadians visit the U.S. (normally!).

Anyhow, we finished up in Bloomfield and drove to a gas station in Farmington that has a free dump station. Across the road happened to be a Verizon store.

Used the dump station and topped up the fuel at $2.00 USD per gallon ($0.74 CAD per liter) not because we needed to, but because it is likely the cheapest fuel we will see for a while. It definitely gets more expensive the further north we get.

Then, I parked in an empty lot and walked over to the Verizon store. With my face bandana on, I went to walk in the store and was told right away that they are doing "curbside" service only. It took quite a while because they were servicing other people in cars, but eventually a girl came out to help me. Long story short, she also could not use my Canadian credit card. She could not answer how the girl in Texas was able to do it. Not her fault, but it's a totally ridiculous system, and I have now given up on Verizon. I have used my Canadian credit card to recharge cellular all over the world with various companies. Next time I see an AT&T store I am stopping in. Besides, you can now get AT&T data packages that work in Canada and Mexico providing you sign up with an American address while in the states.

We had wasted well over an hour with this Verizon thing and it was almost lunch time. We decided to head to a possible overnight spot north of Farmington and have lunch there.






Scenery approaching Bloomfield from the east.

The area north of Farmington was listed as a Wildlife Management Area, but it seems to blend into BLM land. The trails and roadways are obviously used by dirt bikers and ATVers though so I'm not sure how the wildlife management comes into play.


Yep, this will do for a night, maybe two.

We went for a walk up the hill.

Looking down on Sherman.

looking north towards Colorado.

The most photographed RV on the internet?

Slept like a rock, quiet as can be. But as I write this, the dirt bikers have already shown up. We'll see... we might or might not stay another night.

Yesterday's drive, 71.5 miles (115 kms).

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And in Canada...



27 comments:

  1. I think you'd find quieter places to boondock further on, particularly Utah, but cell service is going to be difficult.

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  2. Verizon "Authorized" stores are owned by independent folks, and their merchant accounts are most often restricted to US credit cards only as there is a lot of credit card fraud, plus merchant account holders have to endure a higher price per transaction if they accept out of country credit cards. It's not cheap for a US business to accept Canada credit cards. We run into the same problem when we traveled through Canada years ago. They wouldn't take US cards. As travelers we think it's insane crazy, as a business owner, I believe it to be fair otherwise we would go in the RED. Verizon service is best in USA, the trouble actually comes from the equipment being used. If it is older technology, it will work slower... again, learned from experience.

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    Replies
    1. Yes, you could be right. But I have had no problem using my Canadian credit card ANYWHERE in the world, so I still think it's odd that I can't use it with Verizon online. The "Authorized" store in Texas that originally activated it had no problem accepting my card through their terminal. The girl yesterday said she couldn't figure out how to get the payment allocated properly if she did it that way. Neither could her manager or the other 3 people in the store. But, she would have taken cash if I had it!

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  3. Replies
    1. I've read and seen that it's pretty spectacular. Plus you should be close!

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    2. We have driven though Shiprock numerous times over the last 30 years going to/from and through Utah. The land around Shiprock is all native american reservation land. We have never seen anything to stop and spend a night or two for. Website link with info about what there is to see would be very helpful to find out what to see and do there.

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    3. https://www.discovernavajo.com/shiprock-pinnacle.aspx

      There's a amazing picture of it on the cover of a recent AAA magazine.

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    4. https://www.americansouthwest.net/new_mexico/shiprock/index.html

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    5. We will be driving through Shiprock and we should be able to see it from a distance but I don't think we are going to make the side trip down to it. Plus, we are sure even if the area would be open. A lot of the Indian land has been closed to anyone other than locals due to COVID-19 and in this part of New Mexico, they have been hit fairly hard.

      Al and Sharon, I don't believe you are allowed to boondock on Indian land without prior permission/permit. We aren't sure about Shiprock but we know for sure in other places that that is the case.

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    6. I found this so you can get a good look see.
      "The rock can be seen from along highway 64, but much better by driving 7 miles south on US 491 then 6 miles west along BIA-13, the Red Rock Highway."

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    7. Yep, we definitely saw it as we were driving along the US-64 highway, it is very hard to miss. It is pretty impressive to see and very much different from the other mountains in the area but we found that there was no need to go any closer. :-)

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  4. You do not want to switch to AT&T in the US intermountain west. Perhaps the problem with Verizon and Canadian CCs is simply the postal code? Maybe try the "gas station trick" of entering just the digits and adding 00. For example, L7E0M1 becomes zip code 70100.

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    Replies
    1. Okay, thanks Doug. Yeah, we tried the gas station zip code trick... didn't work!

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  5. When we were RV'ing we had both Verizon and AT&T, so if one didn't work, the other usually did. And we had a Wilson LTE booster, which really helped us quite a bit. You are getting into pretty remote country, so cell service will be spotty. Thanks for all the great adventures!

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    Replies
    1. We also have a Wilson booster, now known as WeBoost. Yes, I understand the benefit of having multiple sources of cell access.

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  6. The bar thing has always been a bone of contention. I can have five bars and the signal stinks or I can have one bar and it's flying like nobody's business.

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    Replies
    1. I have read that the device manufacturer sets the number of bars, not the cell service provider.

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  7. Replies
    1. Nope. The system still asks for billing address and it won't let you input s Canadian province, even before you get to the Zip Code part.

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  8. We had more then our share of Headaches with Verizon continually changing their rules and they were supposed to work in Canada. NOT! Even with Unlimited data they Slow you down after Fifteen Gig that seems to mysteriously disappear overnight.
    We've heard that BELL has a deal for working in the US but I'm not sure of the cost.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

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    Replies
    1. I would never buy a Canadian plan... most expensive in the world.

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  9. As a Canadian I have a bank account with a U.S. Bank and an American address for when there is trouble paying with a Canadian CC and address. Good luck with [email protected] That is one company that won't take my Canadian CC even though I had a U.S. Address. Looking forward to seeing how you make out.

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    Replies
    1. We don't normally spend enough time in the U.S. to make the effort worth it. This is an anomaly. Now that I've done some research, I don't think AT&T will work either. I think we'll stick with our Mexican SIM card!

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  10. I wonder if a Visa Gift Card would work? Buy that with your Canadian CC then use the GC to pay Verizon... but if they require a US address that probably wouldn't help. Jennifer

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    Replies
    1. That might possibly work, not sure if they would require an address on a Visa Gift Card though. The only other way around all this would to simply just buy a prepaid Verizon card at a Walmart or something, although Kevin is just fed up with them right now and would prefer to just scrap them altogether!

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