You’ve heard the term “take this with a grain of salt.” Well boys and girls, for this one I want you to take your metaphorical salt shaker, unscrew the cap and dump it all on the latest morsel from the rumor mill. According to Computer World’s Richi Jennings, Verizon will begin taking pre-orders for the Samsung Galaxy Nexus starting tomorrow, November 29th, with the phone itself set to be released December 8th, finally allowing US consumers a taste of Ice Cream Sandwich. The information comes from that most reliable of sources… a Verizon customer service worker.

The story goes like this: Jennings’ anonymous tipster was so fed up with waiting on Verizon to release the Galaxy Nexus (a sentiment with which many of our readers can sympathize) that he hounded Verizon Customer Support for days, eventually receiving a direct call from a Verizon manager. She told the man the pre-order and release dates, and even had a local store hold a unit for him.

I’m not going to say that the story isn’t true. But I’ll remind our readers that customer service agents deal with hundreds of angry people every day, and one of the central tenants of the profession is to solve a problem as quickly as possible. If it can’t be solved, pass it along or simply deny a request – the key is to process as many people as you can. I’m not slamming customer support for any company – I wouldn’t want that job. But which do you think is more likely: that Verizon was so moved by the efforts of a single Nexus fan that they let him through the corporate firelwall and gave him information that’s been zealously guarded for months… or that they promised him a reserve phone and gave him a date that sounded good. Like “Tomorrow.”

The pre-orders may begin tomorrow – I’d certainly be happy and relieved if they did. But a placating message from a customer service agent does not a “confirmation” make. Something’s clearly gone wrong with the Galaxy Nexus launch, if internal leaks and ads are anything to go by, and it very well could be any day now. Keep a few hundred dollars in your checking account if you like, but I’d draw the line at holding your breath.

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