I ordered a phone online from Verizon a week ago. It was difficult. At first they wouldn't accept my VISA debit card, as it did not have a billing address in the zip code that I was getting the phone in. After getting my bank to change it, Verizon again wouldn't accept it since I have crappy credit. So I had to go with a monthly pre-paid plan. Sure, whatever, I don't use that many minutes.
Today I got my phone. After searching around the material that came with the phone for a frustrating 10 minutes, I figured out I had to "activate" my phone, by calling a particular three-digit number. I did that, and it was completely automated (I found it amusing that the phone said "Commit Complete" after activation).
So I tried making a phone call, and got redirected to a payment menu so I could pay for my month of service. It asked me for a four-digit passcode, which I did not know. An even more frustrating 3 hours later, I still don't know it. I tried registering an account on their web site so I could pay, but that required I know my passcode ahead of time as well. Eventually I gave up and called tech support, and it was going extremely well: The lovely voice on the other end of the line asked for my new phone number and address, and said I could immediately get a new passcode. I told her some series of four numbers, and heard the keyboard on the other end of the phone rattling, followed by an uninspiring "uh". She went on to explain that the "System" was "Updating", and that I would have to call back again in an hour to get my passcode set.
So, I guess I'm waiting for their oracle database to unlock after running the weekly backup process, or something.