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February 17, 2009

Verizon Customer Service EPIC FAIL

Back in October I heard about Verizon's "all in one" plan that includes cell phones, Fios TV, Fios internet and a Fios land line all on the same bill for a discounted rate. Awesome right? I thought so too and that my friends is where my saga begins (cue star wars them song) . . .


Episode 1: The Phantom Menace
As a part of the "all in 1" deal was a land line. I haven't had a land line in almost 5 years since for the most part, I used my cell phone exclusively without too many overages. However, because I was doing more and more consulting work and speaking with customers all over the US I started going over my minutes. I looked at vonage and a few other options but the land line would essentially be free if I got the "all in one" package so it seemed like a no brainer. . .

I got my order setup, got a new lower monthly rates rocking all the movie channels and got a date scheduled for a tech to come out to setup my land line. Before hanging up, the Verizon customer service representative asked me a question that I will never forget "is there anything else I can help you with" (cue empire battle ship) and like a fool I said "my Verizon cable box crapped out on me a couple weeks ago, can I get it replaced." "Not a problem sir, I'll put the request in now", they replied after running a few diagnostic test.

Fast Forward to 3 weeks later and my Verizon tech (who I scheduled 3 weeks prior and even got a confirmation call the night before) was a no show. After waiting 2 more hours, I then decided to call Verizon.

Verizon has no clue what the deal is. They go back and forth, putting me on hold and looking at my account, etc etc, and after about 2 hours finally figured out the problem.

Apparently, when I made a request for the replacement cable box, it locked up my new service order request because service order request take 48 hours to process where as replacement orders happen immediately. Verizon's system does not allow more then 1 order to go through at a time until all previous orders have been fulfilled so they where waiting for me to send back my cable box to complete the order. However, I never received the shipping information because my previous account was technically canceled and was being reprocessed under a new account that could not be completed because of my pending service order.

The Verizon rep then told me that they had an idea and I was put on hold for another 45 mins. The rep got back on the phone and told me everything should be resolved in the next couple days and scheduled a new appointment to get my land line installed. A few days later, a tech showed up and I was the proud new owner of a land line. . .

A few days go by and I have a 10am meeting that was going to run 2 hours so decided to dial in with my land line. But when I turned the phone on I didn't hear a dial tone. Tried a few more times and no dice. It worked a few days ago so thought that it must me something wrong with my phone so later that day went to Best Buy to pick up a new one. Got home and plugged it in to charge.

A couple hours later the phone rang. SCHWEET! The phone works problem solved! Answered it, wrong number, no biggie. Few minutes later phone rang again, another wrong number. Still didn't think much about it, then got like 5 more calls that day all asking for the same person. Still didn't think much about it, after all, I just got this number and I may have gotten someone else's old number. Just to verify I called myself and low and behold someone else answered! Now I'm thinking I probably wrote the number down wrong so I better call Verizon to get the right one. . .

Verizon rep answers, I tell them the situation and they say "no problem just let me look up your number", they punch in my telephone number and pull up someone else's information not mine. "Sir it looks like your number got assigned to someone else. I need to look up your account by address" They punch it in. rep: "Sir did you just move" me:"Nope been here for 3 years" rep:"Sir did anyone else live in your house prior" me:"Nope brand new house". . . Turns out they have someone else's info setup with MY address but with different services. NICE!

3 hours later and everything is resolved . . . again. The only fix is that I get assigned a new number and am told it should be working in the next couple hours. 8 hours go by and I still don't have a dial tone. . .

Call up Verizon. . . again . . . and this time was transferred to a tech. Teir 1, 2 then 3. After an hour of getting bounced around they determined that my phone line is "crossed" and requires a technician to come out . . . again . . . to resolve which will take 3 weeks. Not much I can do, so I agree and wait.

3 weeks later a tech comes up and tells me it shouldn't take more then 20 mins. . . 3 hours later and he's still not sure what the problem is and has been on the phone with someone from HQ to resolve. After jumping through some hoops they finally figure out what it was and someone on on the other end of his phone pushed some magic button and it all worked!

But WAIT! There's more. . .


Episode 2: Attack of the Clones
A month has gone by after my phone line incident and I've all but forgotten about the ordeal when all of a sudden everything is turned off: cell phones, land line, internet and TV. When I logged into the browser I'm prompted with a "There is a problem with you account please call Verizon" but with everything turned off I had to go next door to use my neighbors phone to call them.

I call up Verizon, explain to them the situation 3 times to 3 different reps in 3 different departments because each department shows my account as being in good standing. So I lose another 2 hours of department hoping and repeating myself trying to get this resolved.

I finally get transferred to someone who is able to do some digging and finds that for some reason I have duplicate accounts, 1 active 1 delinquent. I hear a great deal of mumbling and confusion and then am placed on hold for an hour while they figure it out.

The rep assures me that it is a problem with Verizon's system and says my tv will be back on shortly and the internet will be up by Monday. Sweet! I spent 5 hours on the phone with Verizon and the problem won't be resolved until Monday. . . Off to starbucks I go.


Episode 3: Revenge of the Sith
Another month goes by and everything seems to be buttery smooth but then my phone rings. . . I get an automated response: "There is a problem with your account please call us back so there is not a disruption in your service". Which is just a nice way of them saying your bill isn't paid and we are going to cut you off if you don't pay us.

I call Verizon back at the number they told me to use and get sent from department to department. . .again. After about 2 hours I finally get to the right department and we proceed with the same conversation / procedures for determining the exact same problem I had a month prior. Confusion and bewilderment ensues on Verizon's side and I'm told everything is resolved once again after another 2 hours.


Episode 3: Revenge of the Sith
Another month goes by and everything seems to be buttery smooth but then my phone rings. . . I get an automated response: "There is a problem with your account please call us back so there is not a disruption in your service". Which is just a nice way of them saying your bill isn't paid and we are going to cut you off if you don't pay us.

I call Verizon back at the number they told me to use and get sent from department to department. . .again. After about 2 hours I finally get to the right department and we proceed with the same conversation / procedures for determining the exact same problem I had a month prior. Confusion and bewilderment ensues on Verizon's side and I'm told everything is resolved once again after another 2 hours.


WAIT WAIT WAIT
Erik, you bone head!: you repeated Episode 3. Sadly no. I didn't. Verizon did. . . 3 times now.

Episode 3 has repeated now every month since December with no end in sight. The rep tells me they are really confused, my accounts are in the process of being merged but can't be merged and that I have multiple bills that are consolidated but are all separate and every month my services get shut off for a few hours and I have to spend 2-3 hours on the phone going over the same story again and again every month to have the exact same phone call I get every month.

I've asked to speak to someone higher up and keep getting transferred to the same people who want to help and do mean well but are unable to. It seems like they are powerless over what is happening and there seems to be a total lack of accountability on Verizon's part as they have tried to send me to collections for the duplicate bills and has failed to resolve the issue 4 months in a row.

At this point I'd love to change providers but honestly nothing can really compete with FIOS that I have seen offered in my area. However, I keep wasting time and losing money with Verizon's incompetence.

For those who don't know, I am a consultant and as such bill hourly. For every hour I can't bill because I'm on the phone with Verizon trying to fix a problems they have with my account in their system, is money I'm out of pocket on.

To date, I've spent over 25 hours on the matter and am strongly considering sending them an invoice for the income I've lost.

-erik

Posted by erikbianchi at February 17, 2009 11:14 PM

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