To Verizon President: You Need To Work On Customer Service

Monday, November 23, 2009, AM | Leave Comment

As far as we are concerned, Mr. Verizon President, your customer service stinks. You need to work on it. You guys don’t have the foggiest idea what customer service is, let alone provide at least some decent service to its customers. Verizon has become such a big company that it now is at par with the-before-1984 AT&T when the U.S. Congress broke it up. Verizon acts like a monopoly now. There is no customer service. Period. Instead not only is Verizon arrogant in its attitude but it is entirely ignorant as well in the field of customer service.

Going back almost two years

Two years ago, we moved to Tysons Corner, just outside of Washington DC, about 10 miles in Northern Virginia. Because in New Hampshire we were satisfied with Verizon services, so in Tysons Corner, we naturally called Verizon to provide us with Home phone, Internet and TV services.

I didn’t know they had FIOS back there. The technician came inside the apartment and installed the old POTS (Plain Old Telephone System.) And the reason he installed the old system was that he was so ignorant of FIOS, he said he never heard of it and that Verizon in this area still uses POTS. The phone system worked for half a day but the next morning it was disconnected.

When we called Verizon on our cell phone, we were told Verizon did not support POTS. To install FIOS, they gave us three weeks time. So we waited for three weeks and when they installed their equipment, the TV was not working.

They worked on it for three more weeks, but they had no success. We then called COX Communications and they came in and within half-an-hour, our home phone, TV and Internet services were up and running.

Back to the new age

When we moved back to Massachusetts, my son said we would try Verizon for home phone, Internet, and TV subscription. The deal was a one-year contract for $100 a month. The contract expires on April 1, 2010. Verizon said, they will give us service in Mass when we pay for the services that they did not provide in Tysons corner.

So we had to pay close to $150 for the non-existent services in Tysons corner in order to be able to have new services in Mass. State. Verizon threatened us it would send the charges to a collection agency and if we didn’t pay, eventually they would send the report to one of the three credit companies. So we paid $150 to Verizon for no service at all.

We have FIOS now (Fiber Optic Services). If you have phone on FIOS as well and the power goes out, your phone says “Hey, I cannot work without power. I mean give me a break.” With the old copper line, the phone was always in service with the power out. Did you notice that when you know your phone is working and you are living alone, you don’t feel alone? Virtually, the whole world is with you.

You can call family and friends. You get that feeling that you are not alone. Not with FIOS. The power is out. There is darkness all around you. You pick up the phone to talk to someone to ease the pain of loneliness, and the phone says in its small window: “Cannot connect.” What the hell?

On Wednesday Nov 18

I was surfing the Internet looking for a topic to write about. All of a sudden, the Internet stopped working. My home page is Google. If there is a problem with any other website, I call up the services of good old Google. When Google is up, I say the Internet is up and running – the world with all its misery and wars and suicide bombing is up and running.

I use Firefox browser. I can never get used to Internet Explorer or another browser. So in FF, I clicked Home icon, and it started to look for Google.com. Say what? When that happens, I ask my son to reset the router and in about two minutes Google is up again. For me Google is Internet.

So the browser – I assume it’s the browser not knowing much about the details of how everything works on the Internet – kept looking for Google. I tried it again and the same thing hit me. I asked my son to call Verizon and tell them “Verizon, we have a problem.”

Our home phone, Internet and TV all three stopped working. My son used his cell phone to talk to Verizon tech support. That was before 10:30 in the morning. “Someone would be at your house between 11:00 AM and 08:00 PM. You better be at home,” a voice on the other side spoke. I gave my son ride to his college at noon and when we came back from college, it was after 2:00 PM.

The guy from Verizon was sitting in his truck waiting for us. I was impressed. “Hey, such good service.” He came inside the house, looked at the Verizon panel on the wall, hit some switches and declared: “Verizon inside the house is OK. The problem is outside on the pole.”

He climbed up or rather sat in that bucket of his, looked at the problem for like 5 minutes, came down, and declared “I am not the right kind of technician. I am going back to the office to send you good help.” And he said you would see someone – the good technician – in your driveway in less than 30 minutes.

OK. Such good service from Verizon? WOW! I buried all those complaints in my mind that I had read about the Verizon non-existent service. The good technician didn’t show up so at 7:30 PM, I picked up my cell phone and called Verizon. My son had gone to work at that time. So the guy started all over again as if their computer had not recorded the previous conversation.

Anyway he said he is contacting the dispatch service. After a couple of minutes, he said the dispatch service has gone home and nothing can be done tonight. We will talk about it tomorrow. Can you believe he actually yawned? I said I have Verizon bill right in front of me. It says clearly 24/7 service.

I asked the guy “Can you tell me what it means?” He said “I don’t understand your question.” I said Verizon has put this message on my bill – 24/7 service. I said “Anybody can put up a quality of service message, but you have got to back it up. Otherwise, it don’t mean nothing until you are able to back it up with actual and real service to the customer satisfaction.”

On Thursday Nov 19

The next day on Thursday, we came back from college at 11:00 AM. I ran straight to the TV and nothing, zilch. The same for home phone and Internet. My son called again. Nobody at Verizon customer service was concerned about our problem. So my son restated the problem. The guy said: “Oh Ya! I see it here on the screen. You have a problem. Tell me about the problem again.”

So my son reiterated the problem and said it is now more than 24 hours and no technician has showed up yet. The tech support said “I promise you the problem would be fixed by 8:00 PM tonight,” he even stated it will be fixed, 100% guaranteed! How does a company 100% guarantee a service, and not follow through with it? – Thursday night.

At about 5:30 PM, we still had the problem, so I called Verizon and said no technician has showed up. He called the dispatch service or at least he gave the impression that he called and a few minutes later came back to me and said the dispatch service has gone home. Call us back tomorrow. I said but you told us that the problem will be fixed by 8:00 PM. How can you promise that when you know they go home at 5:00 in the evening?

I talked to the billing department

The billing department told me I had to pay $179 if I got out of the contract before it expired on April 1, 2010. I said I asked the question because Verizon is not willing to work on the problem or at least that’s the impression we were getting. She said when the service is up and running, she will consider us a new customer and Verizon will give us 3 months of premium channels for free. I said I feel lonely. I need my home phone. We had no contact with our daughter who is studying overseas.

On Friday Nov 20

The next morning – Friday – at about 7:30 I called again. Now I was so sick and tired of their non-existent customer service, that I told the tech support “You know what? It is highly immoral, unethical and more than anything un-American not to give customer service. Send someone to at least give us the impression that Verizon is working on the problem.”

When I said those three words, the tech support hung up immediately. She probably thought I was trying to scratch her moral and ethical upbringing. Well! Actually I was. Nothing from Verizon gave us the impression that anyone from the company was working or willing to work on the problem.

Finally, the technician showed up at 1:00 PM on Friday Nov 20

Climbed up the pole, did something, came inside the house, went to the Verizon panel, unplug and plug back in (probably resetting the connection) and the service was back up again.

The technician said it was a simple fix on the pole. He said the technician who came and looked at the system at the pole and inside the house on Wednesday could have fixed it. So the delay would have been 5 hours instead of the 51 hours that it took.

Moral of the story
Verizon showed us how arrogant they are. On top of that, the ignorance that they showed – the tech support on the phone and the technician out in the field – tell me that you, Mr. Verizon President, has to work on your customer service. You need to establish it on the existing system before you go out and buy other companies. You need to solidify your service on what you already own.

Not a single company has refused me its service because of my accent. Only Verizon did.

I moved to the United States back in 1971. I became a citizen in 1981. During this time, no one refused service to me because I had an accent – I still do. I was told by tech support that Verizon put me at the lowest priority level because of my accent. I had an undergraduate degree before I moved in 1971.

I went for my graduate degree in the States. On top of that, I got my MBA in 1990. I retired as a Staff Engineer. I have every right to get customer service support whether I have an accent or not. I am a customer, Mr. Verizon President. Period. I should be treated as a customer and not looked at because of what kind of accent I have.

We have had it with Verizon. I have started to look around who can best give us service for home phone, Internet and TV. At the top of my head, right now I can think of only COMCAST – the cable company.

P.S.
Verizon even went back on the promise that it would give us premium channels for free for 3 months.

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