I am currently in either a horrible nightmare or going through one of the most infuriating customer service experiences of my life. I have had Verizon for as long as I can remember. I have always paid my bill. I have stayed with Verizon, even when there were better deals elsewhere.
On July 19, 2022 I went to the Verizon Store in Nashua, NH (Location Code E247001) to upgrade my Apple iPhone 13 mini to the 13 Pro. I had to pay $122 to pay off the first phone in order to get the new one. Immediately after swiping my debit card, the store associate told me “Our systems just went down so I’m not able to get you the new phone. I’ll do a refund and your account will remain as it was. Once our systems are fixed you can order a new phone here or on our website.” Fair enough, I thought. This is the first incompetent Verizon employee I encountered.
I waited the three days and never received the refund. I called Verizon and at first they couldn’t locate my transaction from earlier in the week. I had to get the Order Number from my receipt for the cancellation, which miraculously helped the associate find the information since apparently Verizon isn’t in the habit of logging any customer interactions (which would happen many more times in the following weeks). The associate first said that what I was saying never happened. Then they told me “I see here your payment was declined for the $122,” even though I had a receipt, the charge was on my debit card, and it was showing on the My Verizon application. After some discussion the associate now said they saw what happened, and they would fix it for me. What you learn dealing with these associates is that they never do what they say they will, and that they have no idea how their own company works. He said he would create a “ticket” for escalation and that the money would be on my debit card shortly. He also said my bill would be fixed “at the start of the new billing cycle”(August 1). That is fine, I said, and went about waiting for my refund and for my bill to be corrected on August 1 (this was on July 22nd).
After another three days without a refund, I called back. I was met with my third incompetent customer service representative. This representative initially also couldn’t find the details of my transaction at first, finding it only after having me explain a few times. The fact that every associate has this issue is frightening, as it shows that it wasn’t just one (or two or three or by the end of this story about eight or nine) employee without the ability to do their job. It is all of them. After looking more and more, eventually this person found it as well. They also said that my refund should have already been returned to me. Since it wasn’t, they also gave me the story about an escalation, a ticket, and whatever else they are taught to say to customers when they don’t actually know or care to help you. It wasn’t August 1st yet, and the associate I spoke with before this told me that they would be “following up with my on August 1,” in the morning to verify I had received my refund and my bill was corrected then so I let the refund slide for another week.
When August 1st came, I would be lying if I said I thought I would actually ever get a call back from this person named “Jonathan” (undoubtedly working in an outsourced facility outside of the USA). The day came and there was no call. Even worse there was no change to correct my bill and no refund. In fact, now my bill changed to say that I had a new device. The new device, which is a phone I have actually had for almost a year, now said I was on Payment #1 of 36 of a new financing agreement. It still said the iPhone 13 Mini was my phone, only now the system shows that this is a new phone because obviously the associate at the Verizon Store never fixed the original transaction. In addition to now being told I have to pay $999 for a phone that is $699 and has already paid off, the credit I had for trading in my previous iPhone was now missing from my account. My bill went from $160-170 to over $329. Knowing how ineffective the phone associates were I thought I would try the Contact Verizon feature in the My Verizon app. This was where I received the worst service. I have talked to at least 5 people through the app, all of whom have not helped me. Two just stopped answering me after saying they were either looking to my account or investigating the matter. One associate repeatedly asked me questions I had answered in the text immediately before. Finally, an associate said she had to cancel the agreement for the iPhone 13 Pro, which naturally had not been done yet (14 days after going to the Verizon store for the first time) or ever even mentioned to me by one of the many other associates to this point. I should mention that every associate in the chat also had a problem finding out about the initial purchase, much like the phone associates, so I have had to tell the same story around 8 or 9 times. Even though multiple associates claim to have made “escalations,” or “tickets” and given me some imaginary ticket numbers with no purpose when I call or chat a few days later the new associate has no idea what I’m talking about. The associate went on the cancel some agreement for the phone that I never received but said “Once the iPhone 13 Pro is received by the warehouse you will get your refund and your bill will return to normal.” That would be fine, but of course I don’t have any iPhone 13 Pro to return to the warehouse. This employee talked with me for well over an hour, maybe two, and literally had not paid attention to anything I said and was now telling me to bring a phone I don’t have to a warehouse somewhere. After I said I never got any new phone again I was told, “I completely understand. Do you have the iPhone 13 Pro with you? You mentioned that you never receive it.” The person literally asked me the same question, answered it in their follow up question, and then asked it again. They literally asked if I had the iPhone with me and in the same sentence said I mentioned I never received it (SO HOW COULD I HAVE IT WITH ME TO RETURN SOMEPLACE?!?)
After the associate decided to stop playing games with me for fun they decided to conclude our multiple hour chat by saying, “You should go into the original store you made the purchase to get your refund and cancel the order for your iPhone 13 Pro.” This is because literally every associate I have spoken with at Verizon can not do their job.
Obviously, the next day I had no refund and my bill was still the same but now it was showing my iPhone 13 mini was paid off and I could upgrade. I went to give it a try thinking I could trade this phone and get the new one like I wanted to do in the first place over two weeks before. It let me price out my phone as a trade-in and I entered the iPhone 13 Pro into my cart and I went to complete the transaction. It asked me to enter my IMEI Number, which I did. After entering the number, the app said “There is no iPhone 13 Mini to trade belonging to your account.” I am literally writing this message from it. I tried the chat again, thinking this would be easier to fix since I was not asking for assistance with a bill or refund and maybe I’d get lucky and find one Verizon associate that complete what appears to be a routine task. Of course the first representative I talked to disconnected after asking 5 questions and the second told me they were looking into it and would be back in a second. They didn’t respond for an hour and the app closed the chat.
I know nobody will read this. I know Verizon has millions of customers. I’ve spent thousands with Verizon in my life, and I’ve never once complained. I honestly don’t know who to ask for help, as every available option has failed me multiple times. I just want my account to be as it should be before somebody went in and incorrectly altered it to cost me over double the cost and make it so I needed to pay $999.99 for a $699.99 phone that I already paid off once already! It feels like the customer service team is purposefully being useless, as evidenced by asking the same question 3 or 4 times in a row when they already have the answer. I have done nothing wrong to deserve this but be a loyal customer for many years. I am going now to report Verizon to the Better Business Bureau, who can hopefully have more luck than me getting a single individual that can perform one of the three things they are paid to do all day. I am beyond frustrated and incredibly angry with Verizon for not only being useless but by causing a problem for me and purposefully trying to anger customers more when they don’t have the ability or desire to help. If this company cared about its customers I would be getting contacted after something like this, but if they cared about paying customers at all I probably wouldn’t be in this situation, would I?