Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Verizon Backup Assistant: Exporting Contacts to Microsoft Outlook

Verizon's Backup Assistance is a great tool for Verizon customers who are tired of losing their contacts stored only on their handsets and nowhere else. But unfortunately the developers of it didn't consult a decent UI developer so the user experience leaves a lot to be desired, not the least of which is they used Flex/Flash to develop it. Bad choice in my humble opinion nowadays with several other much better UI development tools. But oh well, at least it's available.

The very first thing I wanted to do with it was export all of my contacts stored on my phone (mainly phone#s) to Microsoft Outlook CSV format.

To do that I had to first get my contacts off my handset and onto Backup Assistant's online My Contacts site.

After loading the applet on my Verizon Moto-V9m phone, I did the backup just fine. That experience was relatively painless and I gotta give Verizon kudos for that.

At the end of the backup process my phone displayed the following website to view my backed-up contacts:

I went there, logged in using my VZW user ID/password, only to see a message declaring "We're working on enhancing your experience - Check back in 15 minutes." This message remained displayed on my contacts page for 3 DAYS! So apparently Verizon lives in an alternate universe where 15 minutes is stretched out to 3 days. LOL.

Nonetheless, after seeing my contacts "magically" (and finally) appear on Backup Assistant, I was very happy that they're at least backed up to some other place than just my little handset.

Next came exporting them to MS Outlook CVS format. I'm looking everywhere on how to do this and there isn't a single link or option that I can see which allows me to do this. I did immediately see the "Export to..." option under each contact and that was promising but damned I'll be if I was going to sit through exporting 160+ entries one-by-one.

So after much mucking around that site, several disconnects and being booted off, not to mention a lot of cursing I found where Verizon had HIDDEN the EXPORT ALL option. So I decided to write this up for others to see and not waste the time I did.

The default view for Backup Assistant is its "Card View".

This view has nothing on it even resembling a "Export All" option. You see "Import Contacts" on the right of it, but nothing obvious for exporting anything.

Well, that's what this how-to post was for. Follow the steps below to export all contacts:

...and finally you should see the export dialog box:

I certainly hope this little how-to helped somebody.