Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Verizon Minutes Used Firefox Extension Version 0.96

The new version now works with the latest verizon web site. I also eliminated the error pop-up when login failed thanks to suggestion from Mike.

You can download the new version here .

(for those interested, the change I made to fix the problem is to add the referer field to the login request. Apparently Verizon started to check that field on their side. )

note: it's discovered that this version doesn't work with firefox 2.0. i am still investigating a solution...


Blogger djnogg said...

Thanks Winston -- this works great! This is a very useful plugin for me -- I use it all the time. Please keep up the good work!

3/06/2007 10:15:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Still not working for me. Still getting "fail to login" after upgrade to .96

3/06/2007 10:40:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

not working for me either... .96

3/06/2007 10:41:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Doesn't work for me either. I get the same "failed to login" error after I upgraded to .96.

3/06/2007 10:42:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

doesn't work for me either.

keep up the good work.

3/06/2007 11:36:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

After I restarted firefox this worked to fix the failed login issue. Thanks for keeping us up to date. Too bad verizon seems to be changing things just to prevent this from working.

3/06/2007 11:37:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mine said it failed too. Then I actually logged onto the billing site. After that I clicked "check usage now" on the extension, and it connected. Thanks!

3/06/2007 11:43:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Winston. Seems like every time mine stops working you've already fixed it by the time I get here! :) This is a great plugin. Any possibility of an "auto-update" feature? Thanks again.

3/06/2007 12:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Previous poster said: Then I actually logged onto the billing site. After that I clicked "check usage now" on the extension, and it connected.

That is the only way I can get it to work as well. Thanks for a great little extension.

3/06/2007 12:23:00 PM  
Blogger Winston Huang said...

obviously having to log in manually means the extension is not working. for some reason i cannot reproduce any errors on my machine. anyone using firefox 1.5 and still have trouble with it? or anyone really gets it work?

3/06/2007 12:31:00 PM  
Blogger Tom G. said...

Winston, I'm using Firefox v and it is not working.

I have tried to restart Firefox, as wells as rebooting, but it still fails to login.

I know nothing about programing but if I can help you with testing or any other way, please let me know.

3/06/2007 12:40:00 PM  
Anonymous EMoney said...

I am running FireFox, I just installed .96 and restarted FireFox and it seems to be working fine at the moment.

3/06/2007 12:43:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Winston, I'm using on Win XP and just upgraded to .96, but I'm still unable to pull down my current minutes. I've restarted Firefox several times as well.

Thanks for your continued work on this. It's been such a lifesaver.

3/06/2007 12:52:00 PM  
Anonymous j. shore said...

Not working here on Firefox 2.0.2

Thank you for your upkeep on this extension - it really is a lifesaver!

3/06/2007 01:09:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I consider it more of a "wife-saver". Since i've found this i haven't had to murder her for overrages.

3/06/2007 01:27:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you rock! than you very much for your awesome software. it is too bad that verizon keeps trying to limit use of your program

3/06/2007 01:39:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

working on FF 1.07 btw

3/06/2007 01:42:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Still not working for me also... I have "failed to login" even after upgrading.

3/06/2007 01:42:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not working for me either -- Win XP FF Could it have anything to do with being behind a router? Love this plug-in -- hope the issue can be resolved.

3/06/2007 02:32:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for all the work and diligence, Winston!

When I first restarted Firefox ( after updating the plugin, it still said "Failed Connection." But like another user, I logged onto the billing sight, and then clicked "Check Minutes Now" and that fixed it for me. Now it's working perfectly!

Thanks again,

3/06/2007 02:33:00 PM  
Anonymous Jay Baldwin said...

Doesn't create its own authenticated session. It rely's on the user to do it manually. Probably means after the session expires, so will the extension's working-ness. Dunno. Firefox on Windows XP

3/06/2007 02:48:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The "failed to login" error is somehow related to the cookie named "dough" set by verizonwireless.com. When I go to billing site and login manually it appears. As long as I don't logout of the billing site and the cookies stays around, the extension works.
Hope that helps. Thanks for all your hard work!

3/06/2007 02:58:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I see what you mean about the cookie named "dough". As soon as it is deleted, the extension no longer works. Maybe have something to do with security.

3/06/2007 03:41:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I logged into Verizon and it had a question for me as to who was the main account holder's line. Once I selected that, it worked fine.

3/06/2007 04:46:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I logged in and did not get a question and still have a failed to login....

3/06/2007 07:56:00 PM  
Blogger Winston Huang said...

ok, i think i have found the problem -- in firefox 2.0, the referer header is ignored even though i explicitly set it. this is why it's working fine in firefox 1.5. more research is needed to figure out how to solve the problem in firefox 2.0. hopefully i can find some solution soon.

3/06/2007 08:45:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Read below if it's not working... Log onto your Verizon site manually, and then the extension should work. Did for me.

Thanks, Winston!

3/06/2007 09:10:00 PM  
Blogger Mike D said...

As someone above said, logging in to the actual billing site and then clicking "check usage now" will fix the "failed to login" problem.

What happened to the small "V" logo? The full "verizon" looks better, but it feels like an advertisement.

3/06/2007 09:11:00 PM  
Blogger Winston Huang said...


that doesn't really solve the problem. the usage data is retrieved the first time and cached. but the next time (after 30 minutes) when you refresh the usage data, it will fail again.

the logo can be configured by you now. you can choose a smaller or no logo at all.

3/06/2007 09:37:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

On my browser (Firefox & XP Professional SP2, it stops at "loading minutes used" until I log in to my Verizon account ... then it works fine till I reopen the browser. I love this utility and need help. Thanks

3/07/2007 09:46:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

not working for me either getting

Failed to login message.

3/07/2007 03:54:00 PM  
Blogger Ernie said...

I also get the "fail to login" message after upgrade, but if I visit the VZW site and login then check using the extension it matches up.

3/07/2007 04:31:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Thanks for the extension! I especially appreciate the usage estimation.


3/07/2007 06:41:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm running Firefox on SUSE Linux with version 0.96 and it doesn't work. So it's not an OS related problem.

Of course I have found a lot of flakyness with Firefox

But like the other poster, It looks like it might have to deal with cookies. Because the dough cookie doesn't form. but then following cookies don't appear when extension logs in: Lang, myaccount,JSIDAM,vzw.server,vzw.content, JRoute, JSessionID, cmRS, SSOSiteCookie. These are spread amongst: login.verizonwireless.com, verizonwireless.com, and wbillpay.verizonwireless.com

Hope this helps in narrowing down the problem.

3/07/2007 08:23:00 PM  
Blogger Winston Huang said...

i still think it's an issue with the referer header. the extension works on firefox 1.5. i even tried to remove all cookies before sending login request and it still works. but on firefox 2.0, it appears that the referer header is not set by xmlhttprequest. i am still researching a solution...

3/07/2007 08:42:00 PM  
Anonymous Grant said...

On my browser (Firefox & XP Professional SP2, it stops at "loading minutes used" until I log in to my Verizon account ... then it works fine till I reopen the browser. I love this utility and need help. Thanks

mine is the same way. in addition, i have a kubuntu 6.10 box also with FF and it doesn't work on that one either.

I LOVE this extension, its saved my ass sooooo many times. keep up the good work and i can't wait to see an update!

3/08/2007 01:27:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Also would not work for me until I first log into verizonwireless. Would be nice if you could fix that as this is a nifty extension.

3/08/2007 03:31:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Winston, fyi I have this same exact issue with Gspace where I must log into my gmail before it will work with the latest FF, might be the same problem for both extensions. Andy

3/08/2007 03:33:00 PM  
Blogger Antonio said...

It only works when I log in, and then it stops working again after a while. Great extension, but frustrating at times.

3/08/2007 06:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

right click on extension shows menu, but does not wait for click on any option. Directly opens a tab with the about menu selected (ubuntu FF

3/08/2007 09:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Version .96, still showing "failed to login". If I log into the billing page, it will then show the minutes used but when I reload FF, it fails again.

3/09/2007 06:43:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is great been using it for over a year...

after .96 installed I still get the "failed to login" message and not get the minutes updated unledd I actually logon to the site with the browser... Help please... thanks

3/09/2007 10:35:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Using Firefox and I am getting "failed to login" with version .96.

It actually burned me last month, it wouldn't log in and I went over my minutes by mistake. Guess I shouldn't be so lazy, and just check it myself.

3/10/2007 06:09:00 PM  
Blogger Falco98 said...

to the anonymous guy who went over his minutes last month: just to let you know, verizon allows you to upgrade your minutes plan retroactively if you go over your minutes in any given month. you should usually do it before your billing cycle ends, but if you call them and you're nice, they'll sometimes re-work your bill for you even after the fact.

3/10/2007 09:10:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm having the same problem as others. Only works if I manually log in 1st.

I'm curious if any of the security changes introduced could be the root cause? I'm not really sure myself.

3/12/2007 01:20:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

First off a thx to you for taking the time to make this cool little add-on. Anywhoo I just updated to .96 this am ( runing Firefox and I'm getting the same thing "login failed". Like mentioned already many time if I login into the account at VZW and click "check usage now" it will bring up the info.

3/12/2007 05:17:00 PM  
Blogger Kim said...

Is it possible to downgrade to the version of Firefox that worked? I would be willing to do that to have this tool working again.

3/12/2007 11:23:00 PM  
Blogger Winston Huang said...

i am using and the extension works fine.

in the meantime, i am still looking into this issue. it may take a while...

3/12/2007 11:57:00 PM  
Blogger CampMaster Tom said...

I think it was something in the FF update. Since the FF update, .95 and .96 of the VZW plugin created issues for me with pop-up (allowable ones) windows, where I was unable to resize them, no scroll bars etc..

I disabled all my add-on's and the problem went away, so I slowly enabled each add-in/plugin, one by one. The problem showed up with the VZW plugin, both .95 and .96 (Still have the can't log-in in issue)

Hopefully this may add some insight?


3/13/2007 01:20:00 AM  
Anonymous UNCBlue said...

I can go to the Verizon Wireless Website and logon to my account and then click on the plugin and choose "Check Usage Now" and it displays the minuets. When I logout of the Verizon Wireless Website and try to "Check Usage Now" it says "failed to login".
Sounds like an authentication issue.

I am running Firefox and the .96 verizon plugin. Hope that helps.

3/13/2007 12:30:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Winston... Your efforts are greatly appreciated...

3/15/2007 08:23:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How's the hunt for the solution coming along?

3/16/2007 08:22:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since Verizon keeps breaking things on you, it would be good if, when the program can't load the minutes, it doesn't take up half the statusbar saying how it is trying to load the minute count. Perhaps just switch
to the checkmark and a red "!" and if people mouse over they can read the error condition, and even offer a link to this blog to look for an update?

3/16/2007 11:11:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does this only work with regular verizon accounts or is it possible to use it with the verizon easy pay - prepay plan as well?

3/17/2007 05:58:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i set your extension to check every 4 hours to lower the load on vzw servers so they stop trying to block this extension. in doing so the one thing i wish is that the last time it was able to get data was listed in the bubble. it would also be nice to know, when it fails to get updated info at a scheduled time perhaps a dot or something similar between the logo and the minutes.

3/21/2007 02:26:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Any updates on a fix?

3/21/2007 07:52:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok...so what is happening that none of can login properly? Is it Verizon who is changing their site just to mess us up each time you come out with an update???

I can get the plug-in to work if I go to the Verizon Billing site first and then manually log in and then have the plug-in "Check Usage".

3/21/2007 08:01:00 PM  
Anonymous djxspike said...

I'm running v2.0.0.3 and if i log into the Verizon site first... the plug-in works...

3/21/2007 09:13:00 PM  
Blogger Winston Huang said...

i believe verizon changed its server code to check for the "referer" header for each login request. and in firefox 2.0, the XMLHttpRequest i used to send the login request doesn't support the referer header anymore. i have been trying to figure out a work-around without any success so far. if anyone has any suggestions, please let me know.

3/21/2007 09:39:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are correct.

"verizon changed its server code to check for the "referer" header for each login request"

3/21/2007 11:42:00 PM  
Anonymous grant said...

can't you just fake the referer to say that its coming from vzw?

3/22/2007 02:11:00 AM  
Blogger Winston Huang said...

of course, that's what i did in the extension: (in fact, with XMLHttpRequest, there is no implicit referer field anyway).

httpReq.setRequestHeader('Referer', 'http://www.verizonwireless.com/b2c/index.html');

the problem is that it only works in firefox 1.5. in firefox 2.0, the header is not set for the referer field. it could be part of some security fix. i have posted questions on mozilla's developer forum. but haven't got any response so far.

3/22/2007 08:55:00 AM  

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