I have been a Verizon Wireless and Verizon Fios customer for nine years. Last year I had cancer in 60 % of my body and had to endure chemotherapy as well as a host of other procedures, and although it was not the best moment in my life, I conquered by the grace of God. I make mention of this experience for you to get a clear picture of the dread I have in calling Verizon for any type of assistance. I have never been more apprehensive about doing anything in my life besides engaging with Verizon Customer Service. It has now become painful. I have to prepare myself days before for the task and ask for patience several times throughout the process. This month I had the unfortunate pleasure of interacting with Verizon Wireless Customer Support. Normally before getting to speak with someone I am disconnected several times. I have learned not to hold the phone in my hand so I am sure the disconnection it not from anything I have done on my end. Sometimes the phone disconnects right when a representative is about to pick up or the call the drops while we are speaking and they do not reach out to reconnect, so I have developed a protocol at the beginning of the call to ask them to call me back if we are disconnected and I verify my telephone number with the representative.
The first of many disturbing phone calls began on June 30th. I reached out to get assistance with my phone that seemed to be losing information daily. After sharing the reason for my call I was met with several solutions. The first representative I encountered on that day insisted I should go ahead and upgrade my phone without engaging in any troubleshooting. When I asked if that was the only option, he quickly offloaded me to the next representative. The next representative was a sweet, kind woman who engaged in troubleshooting with me for at least an hour, if not longer. She mentioned a home service plan that would cover any electrical devices within my home for only $25.00 a month. That sounded great! Who would not jump at that opportunity, so I asked her to sign me up. She even told me that if we did not resolve the phone issues that I could use the new plan to replace or repair my phone. None of the troubleshooting techniques were feasible, therefore, I was referred to Apple Support (this took place on June 30th and July 1st from sun up to sun down), which became another journey. However, I eventually decided to call Verizon on day three, July 2nd, and take them up on the offer to have the phone repaired with the Home Repair Service, that I was offered on June 30th. To my surprise, phones, or live devices, as the representative called them, were not covered. Of course, that was not mentioned at the time of sign up. As I proceed with the rest of the experience and you will notice a pattern. The pattern speaks to the incompetence of the company and their insistence on selling rather than assisting. Please invest in training rather than up-selling.
Continuing, I had to utilize another alternative to resolve my phone issue. While I had a representative on the phone I decided to use this great $25.00 plan to cover another one of my other Verizon purchased devices, since it was not a live device. Again, I tried to use the service to repair the keyboard on my iPad. Here is where things get frustrating, but typical for Verizon. The representative for the Home Repair plan informed me that I could not use the service until 30 days had passed and since I called about the keyboard on the iPad before the 30 days it could not be covered because it was considered a preexisting condition, in layman terms. The representative explained that because my issue with the device occurred before the 30 days it would not be covered. This is a detail you did not hear me mention previously because it was never communicated to me. The only thing mentioned to me about the plan was all the devices it would cover, and since I was offered to use the plan to recover my phone I assumed it was effective immediately. Oddly enough so did the representative, perhaps that is why she mentioned I could use it several times to replace my phone. Please again, invest in training rather than up-selling.
I signed up for a service that was delivered as a simple dream, which left out quite a bit of detail. That seems to be the way Verizon conducts business. You could speak to several representatives within a day and get a different story or scenario each time. I cannot say this is my first experience with getting several stories or scenarios from different representatives. This is a standard-issue at Verizon since I have been a member. My question is what incentive do representatives get to up-sell or training are they receiving on the products you have them promoting. The question remains, how is it that I spoke to several representatives in the space of 3 days, and all of their stories were different and uninformed? Wouldn’t a better practice be to educate rather than to turn them into salespeople? This experience has diminished my trust in this company.
Please do not take this letter at face value I welcome you to listen to the recorded calls of my experience. My phone had to be reset several times or I would give you exact times. You can look into those dates from my mobile number and notes within the system. I asked every representative to notate my account. The calls will deliver an accurate picture of the damage that is caused when employees are given incentives to sell rather than truthfully and knowledgeably assist customers. Perhaps a better tactic would be to focus on morals rather than sales.
Today, July 23, 2020, may have been the straw that broke the camels back. For the third day in a row, I have been waiting on a replacement device because the device I sent out to Verizon Repair Center came back damaged. The SIM card will not stay in the device. When I removed the SIM card to prepare it for shipping it was fine. It came back to me on July 20th, malfunctioning after the battery and motherboard were replaced. When I received the damaged device I called right away and I was assured a replacement device would be sent out the next day. After calling every day since the damaged device was returned to me, I was promised by supervisory staff a replacement tablet would be sent out the next day. To date, the replacement tablet has not arrived. I called the third day and again was assured that the empty box I received earlier in the day was for the damaged device. The supervisor I spoke with assured me that I would receive the replacement device within the day.
On this call, I explained to the supervisor that I would like to sever ties with Verizon. I would like to take all of my upgradable devices and nine years of service elsewhere. I asked for the price to part ways with Verizon and she gave me an amount. Then she asked, what could be done to get me to stay with Verizon. I explained that I would like the same service that I pay for monthly and I would like my concerns to be escalated, not just sitting dormant in a computer for the next representative to view if I call in with another problem, which seems to be typical. She then explained that she will take my concerns and use them to provide better service to customers in the future. What!?!?! Is that what this company does with customer concerns? They just sit in a cue or an account and wait to be viewed by the next representative. Unbelievable and disappointing at the same time. I finally realize why I have received less than stellar service.
As stated at the beginning of this letter, last year I was diagnosed with cancer. I was out of work and waiting for disability payments. I was contacted by Verizon several times for payment. I explained my condition and the communications never stopped. Everyone was so sorry to hear about my condition, but they wanted the payment. If I had to pay you on my death bed, why don’t you have to provide me with proper service? A partial payment was unacceptable, so why can you partially provide me with service and expect me to accept that. I appreciate that you train staff and supervisors to sympathize, but actions speak louder than words.
Day four of my journey with Verizon to replace the damaged tablet they sent me. I was finally told by a supervisor, by the name of Brett on July 24, 2020, you will not be receiving a replacement device. He informed me that I need to send the device back for repair and they will address the issue and send it back to me (like I trust them to do that). After expressing my frustrations Brett agreed to remove the $20.00 monthly fee for not being able to use the tablet. I tried to appease me and de-escalate the situation and eventually asked me if I was looking for monetary compensation. How insulting? How about just sending the replacement tablet and a little honesty? Let us start with, send this issue to upper management so they can work on actually resolving an issue within on phone call on the same day rather than a four day period. Brett also promised to call me back within an hour to see what else he could do. I spoke to him at 10:00 am, as I type this it is 5:00 pm. Again, no follow-up or accuracy. I guess you do pride yourself on that as a company.
Again, I have asked each representative to thoroughly document my account. Play these conversations back and I would like to hear your feedback on if this experience has been satisfactory.