Managed to get a verizon and a Sprint pcmcia adapter to try out the companies wireless internet access via a trial period that the companies had given us. The initial experiences were vastly in favour of the sprint setup as the card needed installing in the slot, the software installed and the GO button clicking on the software to connect to the internet. The verizon card on the other hand needed installing, various usernames and phone numbers entered (no passwords though) and then clicking on one of their two accounts that were created in their applet. At this point the software failed due to username and passwords were not correct – but there had been no questions for the username and password in the installation process and no options within the software to provide this information (even if we knew what to put in). As it turned out, we needed to ring verizon to activate the card before use – not a very good out of the box experience if you have to ring the support line (for a long time) to get the line activated with no instructions to say that you need to do this. The other downside to this process is that you need access to a phone besides the phone card that has just been purchased – which may not be available.
Having said all that, it seems that once the verizon card was setup correctly the performance on the network was a lot better than the Sprint, but I’ve not had the laptop in my hand to quantify this.
Speaking about Out Of The Box experiences, our new vacuum cleaner had a HUGE red warning sign as the box was opened that said “Stop – Do NOT return to the store” (as did the old cleaner) – this seems to imply that they are expecting a lot of faulty returns as the shops will take the items back no questions asked, whereas the vendor will make you jump through hoops (and make you pay for return shipping).