Dial Verizon For Amazingly Poor Customer Service

This is basically a rant. But, it is also a warning if you are thinking of switching your business to Verizon FIOS. If you’ve followed this Blog for any time you know about some of my trials with Verizon.

Last month, when I got my latest bill from Comcast for my Internet connection and TV, I was shocked to see that it had gone up about 40%. Apparently, I was on some plan for the past year that was a promotion to keep me from signing up for Verizon FIOS which is already right to my door.

Comcast, in their infinite wisdom, both raised my rates and dialed back my broadband speed and told me I would have to pay even more to get my normal speed back.

So, I took a deep breath and called Verizon two weeks ago. They offered me everything I had with Comcast, plus more premium channels, a DVR and my two phone lines all for much less than I was paying with Comcast without even taking into consideration my phone lines which were already with Verizon.

It seemed like a no-brainer. Of course, that’s not the end of the story.

Verizon came right away and switched everything to FIOS. The TV was better, the phones seemed the same as before – but the Internet was slooooow. Oh, and there was a little problem with one computer that is connected wireless and uses Vista as its operating system. It shows it receiving a perfect signal from the router but it only connects at a speed so slow the pages will not load. One email takes about 30 minutes to go once you hit send.

I called customer service. I’ve had to call them at least every day for the last two weeks. Of course you go through their automated calling tree every time you call which wastes enormous time. And, I never get to speak to the same person so they have to read the records and I have to answer the same questions – every time.

There are basically two problems. I am paying for 20/20 speed and I’m only getting 20/10. The 10 is the upload speed. Verizon has sent out technicians now three times. Of course, they were three different people who all work out of the same office. And, each time I had to explain things all over again. The last tech came Thursday. He said it must be a problem in the “main office.” The “main office” says it is not their problem which is why they keep sending a tech. He promised to come back the next day to switch out a main box and bring a Vista/FIOS guru for the wireless network problem.

I waited until 3:30 yesterday and then I called customer service again. Same story. Same phone tree. Same questions only this person seemed to have a problem with understanding very basic technical terms. He kept me on the line for two hours. Yep, 120 minutes. About half of the time was spent on hold while he talked to technical. At least that’s what he told me. The other half was spent waiting for him to get a supervisor to approve escalating the problem.

I asked him, “Wouldn’t you think that after 14 days of the same two problems, three in-home visits, a new router I had to install for them, and myriad other problems that the issue would have already been escalated?” He then put me on hold again to look for the supervisor. He said there are lots of customer service people in the room but not enough supervisors.

When he finally came back on the line I told him I had to go because I had to pick up a family member. He still had not found a supervisor to authorize the escalation. Then he finally said the stupidest thing I had heard so far.

He said, “I’ll leave this ticket open (I assume he means my call) so that when you call back in they will see it and can then see if they can get it escalated.” I said, Why do I have to be on the phone to get it escalated? Why can’t you just take care of this and leave me a message or send me an email to the address you ask for every time I call?”

He said he would try but if I didn’t hear back from anyone in 24 hours I probably should call back.

Amazing! Do you have any idea the thousands of dollars Verizon wastes on poor service? It will take them years to recoup what they are spending on this and I still have the same two problems I had two weeks ago.

Meanwhile, Comcast (of course) sent me a letter offering me everything I had before plus more for less than half of what they wanted to charge me. I have a 30 money back guarantee with Verizon and I’m probably going to take advantage of it despite the hassles of switching back.

They will have wasted all the time and money they put into marketing to me and in getting me to be a customer. They will have lost a lifetime customer because I will also switch the phone. This is all about arrogance and a belief that good service is an expense and not an investment.

You might want to read Seth Godin’s blog today. There’s a new company out there called Fonolo that has developed a web based service that will let you deep dial into a company’s phone menu so you won’t have to go through the phone tree and Push 1 for English anymore.

Of course, that doesn’t mean companies like Verizon will ever “get it” and start treating customers like an asset instead of an expense.

3 thoughts on “Dial Verizon For Amazingly Poor Customer Service”

  1. Thanks for posting this Verizon/Comcast experience. I’m still appalled at the way ISP’s treat customers, and Verizon was one I considered switching to as I anticipate upgrading my whole computer system and internet connection. I don’t look forward to arguing to cut off my old ISP (Earthlink, which has also not been stellar in service) and shopping for a new one. Any thoughts about the customer service rep who barely speaks English and pretends to be helping you, then the employee on the cancel service line who speaks perfect English and whose job obviously is dissuading you from leaving? The ISP’s act like we don’t have any choice — but we do.

  2. Too many companies treat their service department as an expense. I’ve sat in meetings with senior management and have heard them say it. We do have a choice – more and more every day as the world becomes smaller and flatter.

  3. Fonolo’s technology is interesting, but I reckon it will be a major mobile company that ends up dominating the Deep Dialing business. My site will be tracking this technology – I for one am glad to eliminate those annoying phone trees!

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