[Telecom] Deceptive Flip Phone

A few weeks back, I visited a Verizon Wireless store to upgrade my pre-paid Samsung flip phone to regular service.

I had lost my pre-paid phone a few week prior while I was in Naha, Okinawa. I got a new prepaid flip phone from Walmart and transferred my account to that phone.

When I got to the Verizon Wireless store, they told me that I could not transfer that phone to regular service since it had been in service for less than six months.

I have several electronic devices and I use four port USB chargers to charge them. I am obviously not going to drag several proprietary chargers around with me everywhere I go.

They brought out an LG flip phone. It had a USB cable and a charger with an 'A' type jack in the charger. It seemed reasonable to expect that it would charge on my four port AC chargers and my three port mobile charger. So I said OK.

Upon getting home, I discovered that it would not charge on any of my multi-port chargers. Despite its appearance of USB compatibility, it was a proprietary charger.

I took it back to the Verizon Wirelesss store and told them that any phone that would not charge on a standard USB charger did not meet my needs.

They tried to charge me a restocking fee but after going back and forth a few days, they finally agreed to exchange the phone without a restocking fee since I also discovered a defect in the unit which I won't describe here.

They brought out a Samsung flip phone. They let me see if it would charge on my four port USB charger and my three port mobile charger. Both chargers worked just fine.

So I told them to go ahead and transfer my service to the Samsung flip phone. I've been happy with the Samsung.

The point being is the lesson I learned here: Do not assume that a device that appears to have a USB charger is not proprietary.

Personally, I think that LG was being deceptive when they manufactured that phone to appear that it could be charged from any USB charger. But that is just my opinion, of course.

If Verizon had not forced me to changed phones, we would not have had this exchange.

I have several Isound four port USB chargers and a three port mobile USB. I use them to charge my iPad and several lesser current devices at the same time. I did find out that the Isound (AC) unit cannot charge two iPads at the same time. But that is not a major concern since I only have one iPad anyway.

So as they say, 'Let the buyer beware!'.

Reply to
Fred Atkinson
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Could this be the result of the four vs. five USB wire issue? Back in the heydeys of Usenet Jim Navarro (sp? - from memory.. can't look it up from here) posted a Motorola FAQ, and one of the first Q&A (maybe the first) addressed a similar problem with them.

It seems that there are many USB cables (and who knows, possible the chargers and hubs) which only run four wires. The Motorola needed all five...

Reply to
danny burstein

'Tain't just LG playing such games. I have several older Motorola handsets, and several Motorola chargers for them, all sporting a certain style of USB port or plug ("mini-B", I believe), all plugs mating nicely into all ports. But only certain phones will accept a charge from any given charger, and only certain chargers will successfully charge any given phone.

I'm led to believe that Motorola has invented a gambit of using clever little resistors, pull-up or pull-down, perhaps in series with the hot charging pin, or perhaps shunting that pin to ground, so that a handset will be able to recognize "unauthorized" chargers and refuse their offerings, lest its battery be adversely affected (or so the story goes).

Which handsets? An original RAZR V3, a later (Cingular-branded) RAZR V3xx, a SLVR L2, and a Verizon-branded WinMo Moto Q9m.

Cheers, -- tlvp

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