Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Down With Verizon: A Customer's Story

Many of you know that I am the owner of two brand new Motorola Droid 2 phones. Smart phones are something totally new to me, and before my hubby and I purchased them, I asked loads of questions in the Verizon Store.

Originially, we were only going to buy mine, even though Verizon was having a "buy one get one free" deal on the Droid's. I explained to the sales associate that one Unlimited Data Package at $30 was all I was willing to pay at the time. I couldn't justify adding the additional package to my bill - $60 was just too much.

With a great big smile, the sales associate informed me that the $30 Unlimited Data Package was the cost for the Primary line on the Family Plan. The two phone lines that were being upgraded were secondaries, and she told us that those Data Packages would only cost $20 each... so really, I would only be adding $40 to my overall Verizon bill, only $10 more than I originally anticipated.

Well, when she put it that way, I mean - I had assumed it was going to cost me $30 just for my phone, what was $10 more, right? So we went ahead and purchased the extra Droid, and had them both activated by Christmas time.

My son and I LOVE our new phones! We use them constantly and are incredibly attached to them. That's why this next part pisses me off so much:

Yesterday, I logged into to check my upcoming bill, and was shocked to see that I am being charged Data Packages that are pro-rated against $30 AND $30 Data Packages for a month in advance on both phone lines!!!

Certain that this was some sort of mistake, I call customer service. I explain what I see, and ask them to rectify the bill before I make my payment, only to find out that there was never any $20 option on an Unlimited Data Package, and that with any newly added feature to a phone, Verizon automatically charges one month in advance. So no dice - I have to pay what I see.

I am beginning to lose my cool at this point. I tell the woman from Customer Service that I would never have purchased the second phone if I hadn't been told, specifically, by the sales woman in the store that the secondary lines were only $20 each - and there had been NO mention of a month-in-advance charge. Customer Service basically tells me there is nothing they can do about it. I am stuck with the bill.

As a long term Verizon customer, I am growing increasingly more frustrated with the way they do business. What ever happened to "the customer is always right"? What ever happened to "customer loyality" and "in good faith"? Most companies I know will not allow a customer to hang up until that customer is 100% happy with their service. Most companies I know will throw you a bone as a peace offering, and knock off a portion of the first bill, to ensure you are content. Hell, most companies I know will charge you what you were promised and take the heat for the sales associate who quoted you the wrong price.

But Not Verizon! Their Customer Service team did not care that my family and I have chosen their products and service over their competitors for more than a decade. Their Customer Service team did not give a shit about the fact that I was misquoted and am now looking at a two year commitment to pay a bill THAT I WAS TALKED INTO BY ONE OF THEIR SALES ASSOCIATES that is much higher than originally promised! Their Customer Service team could care less that I was upset and unhappy with the way they do business. And believe me - I gave that poor girl a piece of my mind.

Verizon can kiss my "good word of mouth" goodbye. I will pay my cell phone bills, on time, and at the misquoted rates. I will continue to use our phones and take advantage of the unlimited internet and email access I am paying for. But I will never, ever, recommend their services or products to anyone, ever again. I will go out of my way to let people know that this is how Verizon treats their customers.

Customer Loyalty? Ha! They don't value that.

Customer Happiness? Ha! They don't believe in that.

Huge organizations, like Verizon, should never lose sight of the people who made them what they are - because we are also the people who can bring them to their knees.

If you have been wronged by Verizon - or had an interaction with them that left a bad taste in your mouth - please share it here. Perhaps by standing together, we can help them take Customer Service more seriously!!


  1. just tried to share this to my fb page and it wouldn't let me... said something like "this message contains info that has been flagged as abusive or spammy" Sorry! I tried! What a load of crap. :(

  2. Ugh, I seriously hate Verizon's customer service too. They always have to make things as difficult as humanly possible.

    The only reason I stay with them really is that my whole family has Verizon and nearly everyone I call has it, so I can get away with staying on my parents' family plan since we hardly use any minutes that aren't free VZ to VZ anyways. My cousin works for Verizon and I seriously never try to deal with their customer service people anymore, I end up just calling him to help me figure things out or fix problems. If it wasn't for him though, I don't know what I would do.

  3. Honestly, I haven't had a problem with my bill in particular, but I do know a lot of people that have. They've had problems with phone upgrades, bills being wrong and I know someone who actually had to exact same problem that you did - being charged more than what the sales person told them.

    Right now, I'm on a family plan with my parents. I don't want to stay that way forever, but I think that I'm going to start shopping around with other phone companies. The amount of problems that I have seen with Verizon have been to many and I know that I personally won't have the patience to deal with it if I did have a problem such as yours.

    Do you plan on cancelling your service when your contract ends?

  4. We do have a family plan and most people I call (within and outside of family members) have Verizon, so it is cheaper for me to stay with them in the long run. They also have the best service in my area - AT&T and the others are spotty at best.

    It just sucks being tied to a company that assumes you will not leave them, and have no where else to go - AND treat you that way.

    Thanks for the support. It's incredibly frustrating but nice to know I am not the only one.

  5. Sorry your phone company sucks.

  6. Did you get it at a Kiosk or a store?

    If I were you, I would go back to the store you got the phones from, and ask the people there to help you address it. You may get a better result if you talk to the manager and have him contact Customer Service. It would be even better if you could talk to the same sales person first and see if she still quotes you the same rate. It is possible that the rate she quoted you is real, but only good for new customers. But if you talk to the manager, he may be able to contact customer service and get you the better deal. I have run into that with T-mobile before.

    As a word of warning (from a voice of experience) avoid cell phone kiosks as if they were the plague. They may tell you that they can get you the same discounts and rates as the stores, but they often use dishonest tactics. In my case, a bait and switch contract. I read the contract thoroughly, then signed it. Then the sales person said, "Oh wait, there is a little mistake here" (it was something trivial), but he quickly went to his computer "corrected" it, and printed out another copy and had me sign it again. It turned out that the second contract he had me sign added a third line to my account, which I discovered the next day when I got a text message from T-Mobile on my phone telling me I was being charged a $35 activation fee for my new line. I called Customer Service immediately, and they said that they didn't have the power to do anything because I signed the contract with a third party. They told me that I had to go back to the kiosk and have them remove the line and charges. (She was actually very helpful.) I did go back to the Kiosk and confronted them, and they had the gall to tell me that they figured when I came back they could just delete the charge and everything would be fine. Then I started yelling very loudly (in the middle of the mall) about how they were crooks and that I was filing a complaint with the BBB and the State Attorney General. They kept trying to calm me down, but made sure I shouted every word of what they did, then I made them terminate my contract without any fees. They were all bright red in the face and everyone within hearing distance went out of their way to walk around them, and the customers they were talking to when I got there walked away. Bastards.

  7. It was a store in the mall. Not a kiosk. I have had issues with the kiosk before so I know to steer clear of them! Unforunately, the store we bought them in about 45 minutes from here so I don't know when I will be able to get back to it. Maybe I can call the store and give it a shot.

    I cannot believe they did that to you, what a crook! And good for you for standing your ground!

  8. Maybe Verizon's Customer Service have not yet studied on how they would be handling every problem that needs solution. They should give their employees seminars and strategies o providing quality services. By the way, thank you so much for sharing us your experience. I am hoping that Verizon could be able to read your article to be able to improve their services.


    Order taking service

  9. Haha Danielle, funny you should mention training, since I am a training specialist for a major off price retailer as my day job!