Verizon Hasn’t Learned The Lesson Of Rickel Home Centers

As an iPhone user let me tell you simultaneous data and voice is everything the iPhone is about.

I was thinking of Rickel Home Centers this afternoon. Remember Rickel?

Rickel helps you do it better
Do it beter with Rickel!

Before the advent of big box stores Rickel was a chain of moderately large hardware stores. As Home Depot began to encroach on its territory Rickel rolled out a commercial where they made fun of Home Depot’s greatest strength–its size!

Home Depot stores were too large they implied. You’ll be confused… slowed down… need to bring provisions.

How’d that work for you Rickel? Oops.

I thought of that because of a Wall Street Journal quote from a Verizon spokesman. It was pointed out even with iPhones Verizon’s CDMA network (CDMA is Verizon’s cellphone transmission protocol) doesn’t allow for simultaneous voice and data from the same device. You can’t talk and use data at the same time.

Verizon Wireless is working on providing that capability, said Verizon executive Brian Higgins. He wouldn’t say when it will be ready, but played down the need for handling voice and data at the same time.

“I think there are fringe cases where something like that could be important,” Mr. Higgins said. “For a vast majority of customers, I don’t think it’s a terribly important use case.”

Obviously Brian never heard the “Home Depot is too big” Rickel ads.

As an iPhone user let me tell you simultaneous data and voice is everything the iPhone is about. For new iPhone users this might not be a big deal, but anyone whose already using an iPhone and is thinking of switching this could be a deal breaker.

8 thoughts on “Verizon Hasn’t Learned The Lesson Of Rickel Home Centers”

  1. you need to please explain this in simpler terms – seriously. I’m debating on what kind of phone to get – iphone or droid. what am i missing with this?

    1. Inherent in CDMA is the inability to use voice and data at the same time. That’s among the most valuable features my iPhone has and iPhones on Verizon won’t have.

  2. Thanks Geoff, now that old Rickel song is STUCK IN MY HEAD!

    At least Thrifty’s didn’t have a song.

    Oh no, but Levitz did! Now THAT is stuck in my head.

  3. Whoa…I worked for Rickel from 86-88 and the Home Depot from 90-01. Rickel self destructed as did many of the little guys (Pergament, Lloyd’s, Builder’s Square and Grossman’s to name a few). Home Depot was mammoth in the ’90’s. Bernie and Arthur knew what they were doing.

  4. Yeah, as I recall Verizon’ president or CEO once said something to the effect “Why do they want it to work inside their house? That’s unrealistic expectations.”

    It’s only the FUNDAMENTAL reason I no longer use Verizon–their network only worked outside, on the front sidewalk, if I positioned the phone just right–and it wasn’t raining. Maybe!

    I got sick of the constant dropped calls inside the house…so bye-bye Verizon, and right back to the evil AT&T again. Yeah, it’s an iPhone–and it does data and voice at the same time–you bet your sweet bippy that little feature is super important to me.

    Clueless corporate stuff like this will just lose customers…and I don’t plan to buy an expensive but crippled phone just to use Verizon.

    Last time someone was trying to sell me a new phone and carrier, he asked, “What do you think of your current carrier?”

    My reply was, “They suck, of course…” When he tried to push his carrier, I continued, “They ALL suck in some manner, and since this is a company phone, and they pay for it, it’s free. Can you beat that deal?” He was strangly disappointed. Of course, at that time, the phone was from Verizon–coincidence I think not.

    Shortly after that my company and I both went over to ATT bcause it worked more places…I’ll take the ATT attitude, becuse it works where I work and live–indoors!

    Felony dumb…

  5. I wouldn’t buy anything from Verizon. I worked there and their heads were mostly up their rear ends and the equipment was held together with duct tape and a prayer.

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