I switched to Verizon in December of last year, and I was excited to finally make the switch from Sprint/T-Mobile. I got the iPhone 12 Pro Max, and everything seemed great until around late April, early May this year. I started noticing add ons on my bill, things I did not use nor did I add myself. I always paid my bill via the Verizon app, and never needed to talk to customer service fo anything before this. I followed the Verizon reps advice and did a troubleshoot with tech support, and thought that would do the trick. A few days later, I have no service, and I wasn't getting any of my calls or texts messages, and no one could hear me at all. I would call customer service, and the call would disconnect. The call would go in and out while I was talking to a rep, and they would say they could not hear me and hang up and have to call again. I really wanted to discuss my service issues, as well as my bill. My bill went from $140 one month, to $130 the next, to $150 the following month. All I wanted to do was get this issue resolved, but I couldn't even get through to a rep.
When I say it took me about a week to get through to a rep that was able to seemingly resolve my issues, I am not kidding. So it's mid May, and I start having major issues with my iPhone. I am locked out of my iCloud, my Gmail, my bank app...and I reach out to Apple Support, and we run the diagnostics and we erase and reset the device three times, and I was still having issues. They advise I reach out to my wireless provider so I do. I got through to a rep easier than the last time, and I was able to explain the situation to them. They said I should probably reset my network settings, we did that, and then they said they would be monitoring my line, and would have a rep call me in two weeks to see how if my service ha improved, and I said "alright." The issues did not go away, they actually got worse because I was not getting any calls, even on Wi-fi, and my outgoing calls were unclear, and no one could hear me. I tried getting through to Verizon customer service and I was unable to connect. I would reach the automated system, and it would not transfer me to an agent. I would have to hang up, and call again, or I would get hung up on because the AI system didn't seem to be able to know how to help me? Very weird. I would call again, and I would enter my pin when asked, and then the calls would disconnect. I tried reaching out to Apple Support again, did another erase and reset, and hoped for the best. Then around June 8th or 9th, my iPhone decided to lock me out of the actual device, and I was unable to get back into my iCloud. Apple had mentioned this before, and we had actually done this the last time I called them, so I was able to do do the reboot with no problem. The device was restored, but I had to make a new iCloud account. For some reason, my phone number was not registering, and I decided to change my number on the Verizon website. Once that was complete, I was able to get back into my phone, set everything up and I figured the issues were behind me. I was wrong.
I still had issues with my calls, and texts, and talking to an agent on the Verizon app is impossible. The agent asked for my phone number three times, does not answer or even respond to anything I told them was the problem, and then the chat box times out and it goes back to a "Hi, how can I help you today? Please sign in." I would have to say dealing with something as stressful as terrible service, compromised network and device issues, that is not something that helps the situation at all. After spending another 3 hours waiting for one Verizon rep to put me on hold, transfer me to Tier 2, and then get disconnected again, I decided to go into a Verizon store and get this figured out. The rep didn't understand my issue, and offered to sell me a new SIM card. I agree, because that makes sense, especially after switching phone numbers. I walk out of the store, confused but hopeful.
Not even a day later, I start getting random codes sent to my device asking for me to to reset my password, and numbers calling from New York, and Texas, and then I wake up locked out of my iCloud again, and no service. At that point, I had to figure out how to find a solution for this, because this was probably the worst thing I have ever had to go through as a consumer, and it was beyond terrifying. This was the kind of thing you would see a segment on Night-line, or 20/20 about, or something, not something that was actually happening to me. But it was.
I had spent a lot of my free time outside of work and Netflix watching doing some research everyday, looking up all possible fixes to this bizarre ordeal I had been enduring for more than a month, and all signs led to either my phone was hacked, or my phone's SIM card had been cloned and activated by some nefarious character, and also hacked. I decide to go to the Verizon store, I explain the situation, and I tell the rep I would like to replace my device, pay the early upgrade fee, and just move on with my life. He asks if I had insurance, and I said I had Verizon Protect, and so he suggested I just pay the deductible and get a new device that way. But, but we come to find out the insurance had been removed online, through the website not the app. I had not done that, so it was clear my account was hacked, and the random add ons, charges and removal of insurance were done by some prankster, playing a very cruel joke on me.
My only option was to do an early device upgrade, so I pay the early upgrade fee, pay another $200 for the same iPhone 12 Pro Max, just in a different color, and I actually feel I was finally done with this mess. Again, I was wrong.
The agent takes a long time setting my new device up, has me swipe my credit card a few times and after paying the early upgrade fee and only thinking that was what I was going pay, he says I also have to pay a $200 fee for taxes on the phone, in store, and that I probably didn't qualify for a discount on the device, even though I was eligible, and honestly made me think I should just stop the madness and cancel my entire service with Verizon. But I didn't, mostly because I couldn't, and also because I just wanted to get out of that store, and on with my life.
I was told to call 611, or customer service to make sure every thing was activated, and I could not get through. My device was not registering on the network, which they said was to be expected, and so I did not worry. I have no data service hours later, so I call Verizon and I get through to a rep, who troubleshoots my issue and then suggests I speak to Tier 2. Apparently, the phone line I had deactivated and switched numbers on, was still on, and not deactivated. What? Someone was able to use my phone number for I don't know how many days, but luckily Marshall, a Tier 2 rep was able to suggest I add my old number onto my new iPhone, because it had dual sim capabilities. I was paying a pro-rated fee when cancelling and getting a new device anyways, so it would just be on there for the last few days of my billing cycle and I would be able to confirm that that line was cancelled. The line did not get cancelled, and in fact my account had some changes made on it that I did not authorize, and my bill had several "add ons" added to my phone number, some were $0.00, and some were a few dollars, but still, what was going on? Since then, I have had to call Verizon to make sure they fixed the phone bill, found out there was a third number added to my account with no device attached to it, just a 224-number, and a $45 price tag for I have no clue, what. How does that even happen? I have been chatting with the only support agents because that is what is advised and that is the only way to reach anyone at Verizon, and they have assured me now 4, maybe 5 times that all will be resolved, the charges fixed and still to this day, nothing has been fixed. I decided to post in this forum because I've tried everything else. But after spending 25 minutes talking to an agent on the Verizon website, giving her the details, and her offering to get this resolved, she ends up ending the chat.
I would have to say this was the worst customer service experience I have ever experienced in retail, period. To offer no solutions to a consumer who pays almost $200 a month just for one device, who pays their bill on time, and honestly would have never complained over dropped calls here and there, or having LTE coverage 90 percent of time in Chicago, when he was using a device made for 5G wide band, and paying for it too. But this was too much. My account was compromised, my information and data. My wireless service did nothing, in the store, over the phone, or on their app. And the issues just got worse, and worse, and nothing has been resolved.
I am asking for Verizon to take ownership of this issue, and find out why this happened. I would say you should start with the Verizon app. It's clearly not safe, and to have that be the first choice in talking to an agent, or paying our phone bill, it needs to be looked into. The network, while the best in wireless once upon a "can you hear me now?," is super slow. I know, I know, 5G is just unfolding, but you charge your customers more, for better service. I had no problem paying that, and none of my friends do either, because the network was amazing. It is not. Add that to terrible customer service, reps at stores who do not know what they are selling and issues that do not get resolved that are not of my doing, all I really can hope for is for someone to get back to me about this, find a solution for this wireless mess. Verizon, can you hear me now?
Hello, itsjavierb. It does worry us to hear of the problems you've had with your phone and bill. I do understand your concern with security after what you've experienced, and we will make sure to help. We have sent out a Private Nolte to better assist. Thank you. DavidR_VZW
Thanks for the reply, it just seems to be really strange to me that this sort of thing happened and is happening with people's accounts. It is one thing to have a device stolen from you and then a user can attempt to gain access into your phone, social media profiles, bank statements, etc...but they actually did, and it means that there is so much at risk with this sort of exploit. I think it all started when I started using the Verizon app. It was very glitchy and it makes you enter your password, and then again and then it sends your device a text with the IP address of the device, and it makes no sense because the app is on the phone, which is the device that is on my account so to have to go through all those "login" screens and "verification" in the end, turns out to be a very bad thing. I just do not know what can actually be done, perhaps to turn the situation around.
For more than a month, I dealt with security issues, locked accounts and compromised information and data and it caused major issues in my life. It all comes down to your mobile number and your wireless provider; and if that is breached everything else can be as well. My bill is always paid before it's due, it was always under $140, and after this all happened, it is not up to $200 a month for some reason, (even after the Verizon agents adjusted two of the issues that were on my bill), but I had to pay over $300, plus the $140 at the store for the device, I would have done it online and not had to pay that, so overall, almost $500 for this, just to do a device upgrade, for the same exact device, and a higher bill? I just don't get it.
Anyways, I am going to look into this further, because it is not a good thing to have gone though, and I hope you can reach out and possibly help me feel better about the whole thing, as well as reassure me that it will be looked into not just on my account, but to make sure this sort of thing does not happen to other people. It is so scary!
A Verizon customer (for now),