Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Verizon stumbles in router upgrade offer

Verizon's offer to upgrade customers' routers for free quickly turned sour this week when heavy demand crashed the web page handling the orders.

Verizon sent an email Tuesday to Internet customers who use routers that still use an older security protocol known as Wired Equivalent Privacy, or WEP.

The email (see full text below) offered to replace the older routers, at no charge, with new ones using the more advanced Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA2) encryption. Customers were directed to the web page to order the new router.

But customers who followed the Verizon instructions could not reach the correct page, getting a "Server not found" message instead. Customers who contacted Verizon's customer service were further frustrated.

I spent 36 minutes in online chat with two baffled Verizon representatives who didn't even know about the router email. When I offered to forward the email to them, they refused to provide an address and asked me to fax yes, fax the email to them. Ultimately, one of them incorrectly told me I needed to be using a computer connected to my home router for the link to work.

Later, a Verizon phone representative said that the ordering page had crashed from heavy demand. He was able to submit my router order for me.

Here's the full Verizon email:

Important Information Regarding Your Wireless Network Security

 Dear Valued Verizon Customer,

Internet Security is always a top priority at Verizon. That’s why we want to make sure we do all we can to keep your personal information secure.  Our wireless routers have security settings that are available to help protect your home wireless network.   We strongly recommend that you upgrade your security settings from WEP encryption.  As your router is not enabled for W-Fi Protected Access (WPA2) encryption, which is the highest level of security available, we will provide a WPA2 compatible router to you at no additional cost. To order a no-cost replacement router, please go to  

If you prefer to keep your current router, please upgrade to WPA encryption, which will provide a higher level of protection than WEP encryption.  As you upgrade your security settings, you should also establish a strong, unique encryption/key password.    If you have not previously upgraded your router’s security settings, you may do so by using our In-Home Agent tool or by using the instructions provided at

  • While we strongly recommend that you upgrade to WPA2 Encryption, if you prefer to use less-secure WEP encryption, it is critical that you create a strong, unique WEP encryption key/password and change it regularlyInstructions for changing your WEP encryption key are available at
  • Please do not use the WEP encryption key that is printed on the label of your router.
  • Instructions for creating a strong, unique password are available at
We urge you to take a moment to update your wireless router’s security and password settings.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.


Your Verizon Team

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