Poor policies and customer service

Hi there,

It is a real shame that this is the only way to leave feedback for telephone customer service representatives, but here goes. 

I have had a family plan with my folks for almost 18yr. I hadn't been using it (was using a work phone), so when I changed jobs I had to get a new phone and upgrade the family plan from an old 2GB data plan to unlimited. When I logged in I noticed there was a new $12 add-on charge, but we had no add-ons and there was no explanation of the charge. I called, and I was told this was a fee to offset Verizon's cost of running an old, grandfathered plan. This is absurd- there is no way this cost Verizon anything, it was merely a method to bully my parents into changing to an upgraded plan (which I was planning to do anyway, but this is so upsetting and horrible business, particularly in this economy). What a horrible company to bully its elderly customers during a poor economy (or ever) by tacking on charges with no explanation and hoping people will just not notice or not have the time to call to find out. Luckily, I had an excellent customer service rep (I forget her name, but of course got a link to a survey about her...never got one for the bad experiences I later had)- she was kind, patient and understanding and when my service was bad (I was driving during the call) she called me back to finish the issue. The $12 credit was added to he account.

The following day I tried to upgrade to an unlimited plan and saw  $35 per line "one time fee" (their words) to upgrade and then a random $35 credit for the old plan, totaling a $70 one time fee. Again, I called to find out what this is about- why would they charge me a fee to upgrade, no incentive there to upgrade, right? I first got Miguel. He was slow as molasses and every sentence I said, he had to stop me and say "Ok, give me one moment to look into that." At least he was kind. However, he asked to put me on hold, and I was on holy for just over 20 minutes and then he ended the call (call was on full service, so was definitely not me).  He did not call me back, so I had to call back and explain the whole situation again.

I called back and spoke to Bernie. Bernie was very kind and helpful, however he had no idea what this cost was and gave me three separate explanations for what it was. First he simply denied that it was there. I told him I was looking at the cost on my account, but he kept saying, “No, of course not. There is definitely no fee to upgrade, that would not make any sense for our customers!” I agree, Bernie, but I see the charge nonetheless. So he assured me when we were done there would be no charge. Then after over an hour, he was telling me my new monthly charge, and tried to quickly slip in that next month would be XX amount just this one because of fees ($70 more). I said, “See? I told you, you spent a long time trying to tell me no $70 extra charges and then try to slip that in at the last minute?” He then put me on a long hold and came back and said it wasn’t an upgrade fee, it was because we were changing mid-cycle (5 days into our cycle) and represented prorated cost of the first few days of the month on one plan and the rest of the month on another. I explained that I think he didn’t know what pro-rated meant, as it should not be a higher amount, and regardless I know it is not that because it’s listed as a one time fee online, not a prorated plan charge. He tells me he can’t credit it back. I asked to speak to a supervisor, and he agrees. Another long hold. He comes back (not a supervisor) and tells me, “Oh I apologize, the $70 is actually an advanced payment for the new plan.” Again, this does not make sense. I tell him we are arguing semantics and it does not matter to me what name they try to give it, I am not paying and if I cannot speak to a supervisor to get it removed, I will not upgrade and will switch to ATT (which I used through my work phone). I puts me on a 30 min hold, and I am furious, as our call has been over 2h and he is not letting me speak to a supervisor. He comes back (again, not a supervisor) and tells me his supervisor will credit the account $70. I agree to proceed. Midway through him explaining to me the upgrade and summarizing, he cuts the call and I noticed my phone has no cell service (I was sitting in the same place the entire call at my parents’ house- who also lost service to their phones at the same time). 

I call back on my sister’s phone (different plan, no service loss) and ask to Bernie again, explaining what happened and that we were finishing up a transaction. Alexia is not rude, but never responded to anything I would say, but would just start typing (I could hear in background). I kept having to say, “Hello, ma’am, are you there?” She was give a somewhat annoyed, mbut not frankly rude, “Yes ma’am, I am doing what you asked.” It became clear she was texting with Bernie, and she said to me, “He said the transaction was complete and your phone is upgraded. You just have to restart the device to get service back.” I explained that I had a few more questions for Bernie re: our conversation and could I please be transferred back to him. No response, more typing. She tells me, “He said there is nothing to discuss, everything is sorted.” At this point I am annoyed again. I ask if he is refusing to speak to me. She said, “Not in those words.” I demand to speak to a supervisor. I am transferred to Nicole, who introduces herself as a “tier 2 representative.” Although I had to explain the situation AGAIN, at least this time she understood me and was able to answer my questions in under 5 minutes. She was effective, efficient and kind and told me I would see the credit momentarily.

I logged out and back in and saw a $58 credit, not a $70 credit. It became clear to me that whomever tried to give a $70 credit saw the prior $12 credit and figured 12+58=70, not realizing the $12 credit was from a different inappropriate charge. So, exhausted and frustrated, I call back and ask to speak to Nicole. I’m told I by ASHLEY, the new rude representative, that I cannot be transferred because I have no authority to speak on behalf of this account. I tell her I have been on the phone for over 4 hours over the last two days and no one has said that, and I ask her to look again or transfer me to someone else. She said she can see I have no authority and thus cannot transfer me. I am at the end of my rope now, but she finally says after 10 min of this with all giggles (I’m not laughing), “Oh, oops! Yes, I see it now, it was really buried in there.” I do not join her in laughing and request again to be transferred. She says she cannot do that because “supervisors are very busy” and can she help me. I try to explain the entire thing to her, but she cannot see what I mean and in a progressively more irritated tone keeps telling me, “I cannot see any $70 charge or credit, so I hear what you are saying but I don’t see anything like that on your account.” Again I tell her it was not a $70 charge, but you have to do arithmetic to get that number. Finally I tell her I know this issue took a supervisor to sort out the first time so please can I speak to one. She says okay, and I get put on hold. She comes back and says, “I spoke to my supervisor who said that no additional credits will be provided.” That put me over the edge. I said,” I asked to speak to a supervisor, not for you to speak to one for me. You agreed, put me on hold, and then proceeded to not transfer me but to try to explain my situation to her, which you already admitted multiple times you do no understand. Of course she will say no, but I don’t need to hear no through you. I need to explain it in my own words directly. Transfer me please. This is unbelievable.” I get put on hold again. Ashley AGAIN comes back (not a supervisor) and tells me a supervisor will call me back within the hour. I said, “It’s 4:30, customer service will be closing soon and it’s Friday- so I can see how this is going. I do not want a call back, I want to be transferred. What number do I call if she does not call me back?” She will, I was told. I asked why I could not wait and had to get a call back, and Ashley told me, “Because she is too busy to talk to you right now.” This a) despite talking to Ashley ABOUT my account multiple times in the prior several minutes and b) despite the fact that customer service is their literal job. I reluctantly agree because I am just exhausted from these people. I ask the name of the person I should expect to be calling me back, and she says “Steph.” Of course, Steph (nor anyone from Verizon Wireless) never called me back. Worst company ever with HORRIBLE customer service representatives (most of them) who hang up on customers, often don’t understand issues presented (ie not knowing what he fee on my account was for – if you don’t know how are customers supposed to know? SHADY!), have minimal capability to solve issues refuse to let customers speak to someone who DOES have that power/capability, put people on hold for 30-40 minutes at a time without checking in (I suspect in the hope that people will just hang up), and who LIE. I will be closing my account and using AT&T- I have had good experience with them in using my work phone.