I hate to air my grievances on a public message board, but I am super frustrated with Verizon's customer service today, via chat. I have been a customer of Verizon for YEARS. I haven't been with any other providers. Today I looked at upgrading my phone to an iPhone SE. Everything was backordered, so I asked the chat representative if there were any in-store options nearby. He told me that the warehouses were backordered, which I expected. Then, as I went to check out, I noticed the big ol' upgrade fee on my balance due. After the initial price of the phone and then tax, I was frustrated to see ANOTHER fee on there. So, I asked my online chat representative why the fee was on there. And he told me it was to upgrade my phone on the account (obviously). I expressed my frustration to him about having to pay another fee on top of the already expensive phone and service to use the phone. He wrote back that he understood that, but the fee was actually discounted from the original price. This didn't make me feel better!
So, I told him that I was frustrated. I felt like the company was taking advantage of me and that I didn't think it cost the company that much money to upgrade my phone. I told him that I knew it wasn't his fault but that it poorly reflected on the company. He didn't write back for a long time (I actually thought he left). And when he did finally write back, he didn't tell me anything that made me feel better. He told me that everyone pays this fee, that it's been in place since 2012, and that it's required to keep the towers upgraded.
My frustrations are two-fold. First, really, it costs us all $40 every time we upgrade our phone? There are so many costs and fees associated with these phones. I don't fault Verizon for the price of the device - that's on Apple. But just so many of these costs feel unnecessary.
Second, and this is really why I'm writing, this guy had no idea about customer service. I could tell he was writing from a script. He sounded like the Verizon commercials on TV, telling me about peace of mind and all that. I didn't need that fee waived (it would have been nice, but it wasn't necessary). What I really wanted to hear was that my feedback was important and that it would be passed on to the right people - or even if he had given me a person I could direct that feedback to! He couldn't have cared less about my concerns. There was no compassion for the customer or any desire to help me solve this frustration.
I have had multiple experiences with online chat with other large companies (Amazon, Target, even Comcast), and I have never felt like this after expressing a concern. I have always been met with representatives who are interested in helping me. This was not that experience and I really expected more from Verizon.
Then, when I was filling out the feedback on the chat, the system logged me out mid-way through. I logged back in and tried to find some way to express my feedback to someone other than the customer service representatives, but there was absolutely no way to do this online. An email, a letter writing process, anything? I have a small child at home, so talking on the phone was just not an option. Please make it easier for folks to reach out and give feedback!
I HATE complainers and I really don't like leaving feedback like this, but I feel like in order to improve your company, you need to seriously take a look at the customer service skills of your team.
All companies charge upgrade fees.
If you don't want to pay one, don't get your account involved. This means to buy unlocked phones at retail and pop your existing sim card in.
If that isn't doable, the fee is $20 if you upgrade without a rep helping you. That's 83 cents a month over that 24 agreement which is nothing.
I appreciate you taking the time to write this out. We always value your feedback and I'm definitely sorry you left that chat with us feeling like we didn't. That is true for any customer, but especially true for someone who has been with us for years. We aren't always able to remove a fee if it is a normal charge and correct but we always appreciate hearing from our customers and we do listen when you take the time to let us know how you feel.
As for the fee itself, that has been in place for a long time and it is a standard fee in the wireless industry. There are costs in transferring the service between devices and maintaining a variety of tools that make that easier and this helps to cover them. We do work to provide customers with options though. Tigerstep in this thread mentioned one of them which is that if you upgrade online we do lower that to only $20.00 instead of $40.00, because this is cheaper for us as a company and we pass those savings onto you as our customer. We know most people don't like extra fees and we're always looking for options we can offer to help you save. We also have a Trade-In program which you can view at https://www.verizon.com/od/trade-in/#/ which can be a great way to help offset this cost. Does this help to address your concerns?
I'd also like to address your concern about having trouble reaching someone. Our goal is always to make that an easy process. I understand that with a young child calling can take too long but we have many options. Writing here is great and perfectly okay, but because this is mostly a customer to customer forum, it isn't always the quickest way to reach us. You can find all of our contact options at https://www.verizonwireless.com/support/contact-us/ . We don't have email because we find it is basically like chat only you wait longer on a response and we prefer to get back to you quicker. We do have a mailing address there if that is the way you want to go, but for a quicker response we also have options there to reach us through chat, Facebook Messenger, and Twitter. Does this help?