Blog

Verizon Wireless Customer Service – More like customer dis-service

Now normally I am not a huge fan about blog complaints about companies, I would rather write informational content and I believe in second chances. Having helped companies on the other end of the spectrum (dealing with reputation management), I don’t want to potentially abuse any potential power/influence through a blog post.

However, Verizon Wireless has disgusted me with in a matter of 4 days of getting their service.

Day 1

Bought the LG Voyager, came with a kit of equipment (holster, bluetooth, car charger), purchased the most expensive plan at unlimited data, txt, minutes, etc…

Day 2

Went to call customer service to port my old phone number over to the new phone. Can’t find the customer service number anywhere. It is not in the phone, or in any of the books that come with it. I had to call the billing phone number and get transferred.

Representative asks me a few questions regarding my information for the porting process. Tells me she needs to transfer me to the “porting center” to complete the process. Transfer is messed up and I get kicked back to the main menu. Upon getting a hold of a new representative and explaining the situation, she says my port went through and that with in 2 hours or 2 days the phone will stop being able to make out going calls and all I need to do is hit *228 to activate it. Fair enough….

Day 3 / Day 4

Number doesn’t transfer over, no big deal…

Day 5

Decided that the Voyager was not for me. Not great with e-mail, no real good applications to read books, RSS feeds, etc… Plus it keeps telling me that my applications have “expired” and that I need to pay to reobtain them? (My e-mail has expired?)

No problem, the Verizon sales person told me I could change the phone with in 15 days if I don’t like it. Great!

Head to the mall to replace it, wait 20 minutes in line because there are three people before me that need help and one sales rep. Great staffing…

Rep tells me they are out of blackberry curve phones and to visit a new location, fair enough.

Drive down to the new location where there are three sales reps and three people ahead of me that need help. I wait 30 minutes while they take their time helping customers, spending long periods of time in the back room “transferring numbers” while I and the long line behind me wait to actually get help.

The customer behind me comments “I hate coming in here, I always end up waiting 30 minutes. Sometimes I come in here and people are just standing around not helping customers.”

A customer at the front desk being helped mentions “I was in here the other day and they were helping new customers over existing customers.”

When I finally get my chance to go up, I explain my situation. I am told right off the bat that there will be a $20 activation fee for switching phones… great, was never told that– but whatever.

While looking at the receipt she notices that the phone clip that was part of my original package was actually rung up as phone case and she can’t return it. I will have to exchange it back at the original Verizon station. Great…

Additionally I am told that I can only switch the phones once, am I sure that I want this phone? Well after 45 minutes worth of waiting I hardly want to spend more time nit picking over phones and asking questions, especially with 4-5 frustrated people in line behind me, one of which only wants to pay her bill. So I agree that it is indeed the phone I want.

The rep starts trying to switch the phone over, pauses while staring at the computer and says “Why are you doing this to me?”

Turns out that because my phone number was never switched over, it has a future dated order and she can’t switch the phones.

To try and fix the situation she calls up the customer service phone porting number. The representative who answers the phone asks her a few questions, before she puts the headset down, puts it on speakerphone and says “The phone is hurting my ear.” At this point we are trying to hear and talk to the phone-rep while two other in store sales reps are asking and talking to the other customers in line. Great…

The rep informs us that I was never put through the “port confirmation” process. After I go through this process I will get a text message with in 2 hours to 1 day that will confirm the port has completed. So much for the information I was told on day 2 regarding the phone not making calls and activating it.

I ask why I was never put through the confirmation process or why I was told conflicting information she simply reads off why I need to go through the port confirmation process again.

After going through the port confirmation process the rep comes back on and asks me for the password for the previous carrier account… a password I don’t have with me. With out that password we can not port the number, I can not switch phones. At this point it would be an hour wasted.

Keep in mind it has been clearly explained several times at this point that the reason we are calling is so that I can exchange the phone. I have to bring up and ask if I can simply cancel the port. This of course sends the phone rep into a whole speech about how I could get a new temporary number, and port the number later.

The in store representative has to ask why I can’t just keep my existing temporary number and port it over later, to which the phone rep again goes off and talks about how I can cancel the existing temporary number and get a new one.

Meanwhile I hear a customer next to me get asked if they would like to consider upgrading their minutes when their service is up next week, to which the customer responds “I am NOT going back with Verizon.”

We finally sort out that I CAN in fact keep my existing temporary number and just cancel the port. The in store representative hangs up on the phone rep before she can finish her “end of call speech” about what we did and what I can do if I have any more questions.

At this point it had been over an hour and the store was closing, I was the last customer in the store. They lock up, and my representative worked on setting up and activating my blackberry.

While waiting for the activation my representative pauses to try and smash an ant on the wall with a stapler. She comments “God I can’t wait for Orkin to come next week.” One of her co-workers says something, and she responds “I think they are coming out of the bathroom.”

Another co-worker answers the phone, sounds like her boyfriend. She says “I am still at work” and hangs up. The rest of the workers begin joking around about significant others who call at work, and other personal life related gossip.

Finally I am given the activated phone, a mere hour and twenty minutes later.

More food for thought, last Friday Nicole whole is also on Verizon went to have her phone numbers transfered from her old phone to her new phone… They accidentally erased all of her numbers on her old phone. Their consolation? Waved the $15 transfer fee… wow.

Even more food for thought… I went to Jimmy Johns for dinner next door after Verizon Wireless, they had me paid, my sandwich made, and me out the door in less than three minutes.

It is unfortunate that the state of the wireless industry is at this level. If you talk to anyone with any service they are not completely happy. Additionally in talking to other marketing professionals I have learned that all of the phone companies are competing to switch customers over from each other, there is NO focus on retaining existing customers.

This means that all they care about is getting you to sign that two year contract, who cares if you are happy after that. Who is going to spend the cancellation fees?

I plan on contacting Verizon customer service and telling them my story, I will post any updates here. Has anyone else had good / bad experience with Verizon, or any other wireless carrier?

Update

Verizon, in it’s efforts to continue to want to keep their customers dissatisfied has again treated me horribly. Upon calling again to get my number ported over, I am given conflicting information again from the Verizon representative. They now state that it will take 72 hours, and they are going to mail me a consent form. Uhh ok… upon questioning this situation I am transfered over to 3 different people, all who ask how I need help and forward me on to the next person.

When I get someone who seems to be able to help, he tells me that I can confirm over the phone. I go through the steps to confirm, and again I am not asked for a pass code. This representative states I don’t need it and that I will get a text message with in 1 hour to 1 day.

Alright, fair enough. I have had enough of this, and call to speak with a manager.

The first customer support representative I am connected to interupts me half way through me explaining why I want to speak with a manager laced with attitude asking “Sir, you have only had the service for 5 days, you haven’t even recieved a bill, what problems could you possibly have?”

I explain… and she puts me on hold to talk with another manager. I am placed on hold for 15 minutes, where manager “Justin” comes on the line where his tone pretty much sums up that he couldn’t care less. I explain the situation and he tells me “I am sorry, we can offer you a $35 credit to your account and forward a complaint to the store.”

Um, $35 at this point is an insult. I have wasted ten times that in billable hours. How does a complaint to the store help me at all?

I explain this, and he says “I can’t do anything but offer you a $35 credit.” Despite telling him that I am extremely dissatisfied with the service, and am prepared to tell anyone NOT to go with Verizon in addition to the fact that I just signed up for a $3,600 contract over two years, he failed to make any effort to change my opinion.

This means either A) Manager Justin is not fit to be a manager, or B) Verizon doesn’t give their managers enough power to actually correct issues that have caused great customer dissatisfaction.