Verizon Customer Service, General Mismanagement, Speculation on Causation, Looking for Added Value, Not Sunk Cost.


*although this post was only 18,700 something characters, I wasn't able to post because it "exceeded 20k" The lies are astounding. I am sure i triggered some keyword. To read the full story- click this link:


Listen folks,

I simply have to preface this by saying I am not a bad guy. I am not an internet troll. I'm not a complainer. Today's experience simply shocked me and I know I probably wont get a resolution, but I feel like I need some validation here, also I need to understand how the back end of this works and what system failed today. The customer service reps who took my chat were perfectly fine people. Their hands are tied as far as access goes- my one complaint is about their reluctance to escalate my ticket- and I think that is a culture/training issue- not theirs. 

Here are the facts:

  • My VZ bill is in arrears. I've been having a tough time financially lately, and I am often late with my VZ payments. Usually I schedule a payment and it always gets sorted out. I've been a customer for more than 15 years.
  • Today is Easter Sunday and I spent 4 hours at least on this issue and ALL DAY without service
  • I am in the position of having to take care of a sick person who depends on my care and depends on being in touch with me. I take extra care- even in this tough financial time- to make sure my phone is working and on my person.
  • VZWs Financial Services Department is closed on weekends... Sales is always open, but thats a chat for another day. 
  • Here's what happened:  YOU GUYS WONT BELIEVE THIS

Yesterday, I got a notification that my phone service was past due and I needed to pay. I had a lot going on and was with said sick relative so I ignored it until I tried to make a call and was forwarded to financial services. I hung up and scheduled a payment online and called financial services- who restored my service. Not once did they say anything like "Sir, this scheduled payment is insufficient to maintain your service. It is going to be shut off again tomorrow." They just restored service and that was that. My phone service worked perfectly all night. 



I tried to make a call around 2PM today and was redirected to financial services. I did not receive the usual text notification. I selected one of the chat options and was sent to Facebook Messenger to chat with someone who said they couldn't help- No biggie.

I then chatted with a customer service rep- via the Verizon website- I told them the problem. They said they would look into it. Several minutes go by. Apparently there was nothing that could be done with that level of access- they poked around their end and exhausted everything they could think of, then this exchange happened:

###(Copied from Chat Log)
#Verizon Agent
Hi there just checking in, are we still connected?
Thank you. It would be so great if you could. I dont understand what I am supposed to do. I had my service reconnected last night and everything worked perfectly, then the office closes and I can not use my service
Yes. I am here.
Are you still there?
Verizon Agent
Thank you so much. I do understand how your services means to you. So here's what happened, I did try to use all the possible overrides we could however it's no longer allowing me to undo the suspension, since at the moment the only department that can undo the suspension. My apologies. I do appreciate your understanding on this as well.
Can we escalate this to a supervisor who might have more authority?
Thank you for looking into that. I really appreciate it
Verizon Agent
I understand. To be honest I did asked help from my sup to reinstate it, and yet we both fail with our override due to Financial team restriction placed under the account, My apologies again.
Verizon Agent
That's also one of the reasons why it took some time for us to get back to you for we both did try. I really appreciate you understanding me.
The financial team restored my service yesterday
And no changes have been made since that I know of- unless a policy change happened Saturday night. Can we please escalate this to a higher supervisor?
In many ways this is an emergency. There is a reason I had all this sorted yesterday. I am the caretaker for a family member who depends on staying in constant communication with me. This is a mistake or a failure to communicate by verizon
Verizon Agent
I understand. What happened was that the account restriction was lifted yesterday and you set up a future dated payment on the account, this suspension was reverted back this morning on the account. I can also see the team tried to call back before suspending with the notes on the account. Around 14:58. My sincere apologies but really we don't have a way anymore to lift the suspension, we do have just limited access to your account and we already tried all the work we could do. My apologies.
I simply could not believe that a huge corporation- employing the best that money could buy- would do something so half-cocked like restoring my phone service and not telling me it was only for 12 hours- then shutting it off during a holiday weekend and there literally being allegedly ZERO staff from financial services, and NO ability for that tech to restore service. Also- I didn't miss a call at 14:58- I dialed out and tried to connect to financial services but THE CALL WAS DROPPED. Which really doesn't happen a bunch but I think is funny since we are talking about one big mess here and VZ had a great advertising campaign about calls dropped for a while. 
So basically- VZW rep did not have access to solve the problem- which I believe
His supervisor ALSO could not help- and "to be honest, that's what took so long" - Not sure I believe that.
At this point I am invested in this conversation and I can tell this person really doesn't want to send my ticket up the chain, so I decided I am going to push this a little more- Also- I have work early in the morning and if this situation is any indicator of what a problem that's going to be for me, I need to get this solved today. Now. Which is exactly why I called yesterday... I felt like VZ did not value my time.
Then the outright lie- or mistake- or whatever about the call from VZW to warn me of impending cancellation at 14:58- which was actually the second outgoing call I made to CONFIRM the first call out about 10 minutes earlier that forwarded me to financial services. 
At this point I am not going to sit there and suffer through this person lying to me or whatever it is they are doing- I am going to set the record straight. I did due diligence- I believed I had corrected the issue- VZW suspended my account on a holiday WITHOUT NOTICE and, according to their representative and allegedly his supervisor, It would be impossible to restore my service. 
I would like to bring to everyone's attention that at this point, NO ONE had suggested or indicated that they could restore my service IF i paid a the past due amount- Not that it would have mattered- Everyone- myself included operated under the assumption that was not possible. 
So I pressed on with some Questions. This is also where I stop copying and pasting the chat logs. 
What time did VZ call me?  kind of questions. They responded with more clarity and said there was nothing more he could do. Then I think I asked for another supervisor and they closed the chat.
I don't like to use the phrase "acting like a Karen." but it's the best way to explain what I was actively trying to avoid with my interactions with the customer service reps. Even though this situation was frustrating, I realize that there is an actual human being- somewhere in the world- who is on the other end of this conversation who is working at the very bottom rungs of a company that employs over 130k people and is working within their authority.
Nonetheless, I was pretty frustrated with that situation and with the avoidance to escalate my ticket. I was not getting the help I needed, and the person on the other end simply would not do it. They never said- our policy is not to escalate this kind of request or anything like that. This is not honest communication and if it's not the policy of Verizon, it is a culture they have allowed to flourish, whereby call techs are discouraged from escalating tickets to their immediate supervisors- I would love to know what that looks like on the back end- I've heard some things about certain employees taking certain calls and others being left with the most difficult customers, but I don't know the truth there. 
So I initiate another chat. At this point over an hour has been wasted. I really wish I had this one because it gets even more ridiculous: 
Basically- I start chatting with someone and I ask if they can read the chat transcript from the last person I spoke to and pick up where they left off. They said they could- This is how I know VZW call techs have access to them- why wouldn't they? They read the thing and gets back to me saying they are going to look into it and try some workarounds. I'm feeling positive. So I wait.
They say basically the same thing as the last person- so I thank them and ask if we can send the ticket to a supervisor. I express a lot more frustration with the situation- very politely- Making sure I am being understood totally. 
"I'm sorry, theres nothing I can do... " for a few minutes  I ask to speak to a supervisor again. 
"I'm confirming this call with a supervisor now." 
Then something that COULD BE a coincidence happens- but I felt it was very strange. My VZ account logs me out- even though I've been active in this chat window (at this point for hours... on Easter Sunday...) Upon logging in- I'm asked for the answer to my secret question- instead of the standard two-factor authorization. Very creepy, but it could be a coincidence. I love to know the truth- because I am very curious if they have some option to make me authenticate in that way. 
Anyway the rep gets back to me with an absolute runaround. First, they tell me to call the number for Verizon and ask to speak to "leadership." I clarify asking what "leadership" is... is it a department or what? I eventually determined it's internal speak for "anyone above the bottom rung or two in rank. I certainly don't expect to pick up the phone and get the CFO, but I'm hopeful this will work. I try it. Guess what- Forwarded to financial services after entering my phone number- which forwards me to the "office hours" greeting. 
I absolutely realize this entire time that I can't pay the bill at the moment, but I made an arrangement and I felt it should be honored and I certainly felt that if I could not speak to financial services, and I presented an urgent need for service that day, then I should have been granted some small(one day) extension before action was taken. Again- I did due diligence- if they knew it would knock off the next day when they were closed, then I would expect a company like verizon- employing 130k people and having $93 billion in sales to have the best paid, most diligent, and attentive staff from top to bottom. Whoever designed the system would have thought of this contingency and the person I spoke to the day prior would have let me know what I was doing was insufficient.  I felt like they had zero value for my time-especially since I could not pay- regardless of how long I have been a customer. 
The show continues. I tell them they sent me on a wild goose chase after he assured me I would speak to someone at that number "immediately." This is insane- I remind him that I am waiting on the supervisor. She is in a meeting... not sure if I believe that- but there is a pattern here and it's very troubling as far as the big picture goes.
So then he adds insult to injury. He says:  "I'd suggest you call first thing in the morning." 
WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO CALL ON? MY PHONE IS LITERALLY DISCONNECTED? I guess I could try calling anywhere and would be forwarded to financial services- but sheesh.
So then comes the question- NOT last night on the phone with financial services- NOT earlier with the first person- Not this guy until now- It's got to be 5:00 and I have been chained to my computer on a chat box for 3 hours.... "Can you afford to pay the past due amount?" 
The answer is no- I really cant- which is really kind of pathetic, I know- but I work at a community center for disadvantaged people, my side gig has been impacted by COVID, and times are tough, but I make it work. Sometimes in these kinds of situations, I can maneuver to borrow some money to get what I need- but not on Easter- and not without a working phone. 
I don't know about you, but I have had a 5 dollar burger and I have had a 30 dollar burger. I fully expect that 30 dollar burger to blow my mind. Today I feel that Verizon is a 30 dollar burger that someone bought from McDonald and put on a nice plate. Let there be no mistake- they are publicly traded, responsible to shareholders, and are absolutely doing the bare minimum in departments that don't make them money. Their employees on the bottom rungs are working in a culture where they are probably reviewed based on metrics like successful outcomes, calls escalated, and refunds/rebates paid out, on a spreadsheet where losing as little money as possible is the utmost concern. 
I have been so loyal in my small way to them. I tell everyone it's the best service. You can go anywhere with the phones and they work. But this experience today was nasty and If I'd rather pay $40 to get treated like that than the crazy amount I am paying. 
Am I wrong? What would you do? I think I hit this nail right on the head- and I sort of enjoyed the intellectual exercise. Over and out... 
* I didn't proof read this long thing because I figured enough time had been wasted- my name is not visible to the public, and I am a decent writer, so I am sure whatever I did is minor.