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Verizon Frustration (long)
Old 12-21-2009, 06:29 PM   #1
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Verizon Frustration (long)

Hi folks,

I just spent an entire vacation day as a prisoner in my home, waiting for a Verizon Fios installation that never happened. The appointment was "between 8 and 12" on 21 December. Verizon confirmed the appointment by e-mail and I arranged to take the day off from work.

Since we had a lot of snow on Saturday, I expected some delay (although roads in my county were clear by Sunday morning). Around 0930 I called Verizon for a status, and was told to wait about an hour since the job was taking longer than expected. At 1230 I again called for status and was again told to wait about an hour. Then the technician himself called, saying the job was taking longer than expected, but that he still expected to get to my job, and he would call me back in about an hour. He never called.

My third call to Verizon, at 3:30 p.m., lasted 45 minutes, as I was being shunted around to various departments. (I asked twice to speak to a supervisor, and was told that a supervisor wouldn't be able to help me). At the end, I was informed that my technician had gone home for the day because it was getting dark. My new appointment would be Tuesday, 29 December, "first appointment of the day, between 8 and 8:30 a.m.."

As I pointed out, I gave Verizon 3 different opportunities to postpone my appointment (thus freeing me up for the rest of the day), and they just kept me hanging on. In the end, I was told that no one had done anything wrong; it was all due to "the snow."

The final insult: Around 5:30 p.m., we got a call from a Verizon voice-bot to confirm our appointment, for Tuesday, 29 December...between 1 and 5 p.m. I couldn't confirm the appointment, because it was different from what I'd been told earlier. And, I couldn't talk to the voice-bot, who only understood "yes" and "no."

Folks, do you have any suggestions for getting any degree of satisfaction from Verizon? I dread the thought of starting all over with them tomorrow. It seems they cannot be trusted to get anything right. I have used up a day of my life with them already. I cannot speak to the same person twice, no one will give me his or her last name,and there seems to be no higher-up to appeal to.

Frustratedly,

Amethyst
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Old 12-21-2009, 06:33 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amethyst View Post
The appointment was "between 8 and 12" on 28 December.
I think I see where the problem might have originated...
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Old 12-21-2009, 06:35 PM   #3
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Mis-typed the date. Corrected it via edit. Guess I am even more frustrated than I thought.
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Old 12-21-2009, 06:40 PM   #4
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Accept the appointment on the 29th, tell Verizon to have the install guy wait on your front porch and some time between the hours of 1 and 5 you'll let him in.
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Old 12-21-2009, 06:41 PM   #5
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Here is Verizon's e-mail confirming the 8-12 time period on the 29th, whereas the voice-bot said it would be 1 to 5:

Dear ....:

We can't wait to bring you blazing-fast FiOS Internet and an overall experience that will blow you away! This e-mail confirms your revised installation appointment for Verizon FiOS Internet Service.
  • Scheduled Installation Date - 12-29-2009
  • Scheduled Appointment Time - 08:00-12:00(Hrs)EST
  • Product Package - Verizon FiOS Internet Service
  • Verizon FiOS Internet Service Order Number - MD00042313011
Don't forget to visit What's Next to learn everything you need to know to have a successful FiOS installation! We look forward to revolutionizing your home with Verizon FiOS.
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Old 12-21-2009, 06:57 PM   #6
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Amethyst, sorry about your day. Can you engage the salesman that sold you this package? Do you have any friends or family that work for Verizon that can get you to a real person with a last name? It can be very difficult to engage some of these companies. Despite the apparent futility and sometimes deprivation of products and services I might enjoy I have found some satisfaction in personal boycotts so far 25 years w/o Sears and 9 years w/o AT&T (I'm almost satisfied on the last one). Good luck.
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Old 12-21-2009, 10:58 PM   #7
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I hate to say it, but we recently had an insurance problem and I probably talked to people every three or four days for three or four weeks, got nowhere, they insisted there was no supervisor I could talk to, no way to do a three way call, etc., etc., same story over and over and over. Finally I caved in and had Mr. BWE call; they gave him the same song and dance, but he immediately went ballistic about it, and within minutes he had a supervisor talking to him, had a three way call, had the problem solved.

So can Mr. Amethyst call Verizon about the inconvenience Verizon's already caused and the importance of Verizon's installer keeping this appointment?
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Old 12-21-2009, 11:42 PM   #8
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And why would you want to do business with these people after all this?
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Old 12-22-2009, 12:46 AM   #9
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Time for a call to corp. HQ in New York 212 395-1000 . Ask for the office of Mr. Seidenberg (The C.E.O) . Be a very polite , and a very time consuming pain in the A$$ to the assistant that you talk to . Don't ask to talk to the CEO , just tell whoever you talk to that customer service gave you the number for corporate HQ to get the problem solved,

Verizon charges about $ 90 hr. for a time and material visit to fix a problem if it is found to be due to customer equipment or wiring. I think your time wasted because Verizon can't seem to manage thier crews properly is worth at least as much. Corporate office flunkies at Verizon HQ are also costly. Waste as much time as you can.

Be sure to ask them how to file a complaint with the public utilities commision ( in your state ) . They really hate any P.U.C. complaints , because it becomes a perminent public record .
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Old 12-22-2009, 07:12 AM   #10
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I have read of people who sued in civil court for the cost of lost income/vacation days for repair/installation people who are no-shows. If it's worth the time and effort for you you'll probably win the case.

Other than bad mouthing them on the Internet and refusing to do further business with them that's about the extent of your recourse.
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Old 12-22-2009, 11:10 AM   #11
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I had a somewhat similar thing happen a several years ago when I was switching internet providers. The one that I had, was dropping their DSL service in my area, so I needed a new provider...soon.

I contacted the local cable provider that also provides high speed internet, and got things all arranged for a certain day and time. They contacted me that day, and said they were rescheduling me for the next day. I was a bit miffed, but finally said OK. The next day comes, and no one shows up! So I called them, and they said there was a scheduling problem, and they couldn't get here until late the next week.

I figured if that was the way they treated people who they were trying to snag as customers, I could only imagine the BS they dished out to the ones they already had in their clutches. So I told the CS rep to cancel my order, and that I would go elsewhere. She got rather snotty about it, and started giving me some cr*p...so I quit being polite, and launched on her. She finally mumbled something, then said the order was canceled......I told her to have a wonderful day, and she hung up on me!

As I get older, I'm far less BS-tolerant, and have no problem taking my business elsewhere at the first sign of BS.
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Old 12-22-2009, 11:19 AM   #12
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Things are apt to get worse, they are laying off more and more experienced people, even laying off contract workers who were former employees. They lay off so many that service will suffer, but they don't really care.
That being said I have the FIOS triple play for the past two years with no problems.
Where all the cable companies really get you is that it is difficult to purchase a cable box as opposed to rent one. Also why don't tv's have a built in tuner that will get all
of the channels, I know you can get a cable card cheaper perhaps will look into that.

I will say something good about Comcast, I have a rental property at the Jersey shore, from Dec-April they will give me a winter/seasonal rate of only $6 a month, which is great.
I think they do this to avoid disconnects/re-connects on rental properties.

Old Mike
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Old 12-22-2009, 11:28 AM   #13
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We have Verizon cell phones and their service is wonderful.
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Old 12-22-2009, 12:34 PM   #14
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We have Verizon cell phones and their service is wonderful.
When you say that, do you mean that their "customer service" is wonderful, or their "service" is wonderful? As in, you have had problems and they fixed them efficiently and politely?

It's great to never have a problem, but I feel better knowing that when the inevitable problem occurs, the company actually has a history of resolving the issue to my satisfaction. Then I'm not so worried when/if the next problem occurs.

Mistakes happen, I try not to get upset about a mistake. But I do get upset when it is a hassle for *me* to fix their mistake, or they blame everyone else, or just can't seem to fix it.

It's my understanding that the Customer Service of the cell phone operators gets really bad reviews in reports, so maybe your experience is unique.

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Old 12-22-2009, 01:24 PM   #15
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Sorry about the bad service. I w*rked at VZ for many a year, and had plenty of bad customer service myself. Usually once you get the person in the house, they do a good job and are decent to work with. It's getting them there on time, or even on day that is the problem. And I know your frustration with having to work the phones. But I can guarantee you that the only thing harder to do than get decent service as a customer is to get decent service as an employee. It once took me 3 months to get a phone at my desk when I moved offices. I ended up stringing about 200 feet of cat5 cable from my old cube through the ceiling and dropping it down into my new cube until the guy showed up to do it right. It wasn't a technical problem, it was political. So they are still treating you better than they treated us. Once you finally get the FiOS set up, I'm suspecting you'll be pretty satisfied with it. Atcually, I think Lakewood's ideas are good ones. Give Ivan a call and see what happens.

It's really sad, but customer service in this country has become almost non-existant. I've had nightmares just in the last few months with Mediacom (my cable and internet provider), Dominion VA Power, and just this past week had an incredibly bad experience with Morgan Stanley. Even Vanguard, which is one of the better ones, is only OK. With MS I couldn't even threaten to move my business, because I was closing my account already. I did tell them I'd recommend against anyone ever using them for anything, so take note, everybody. I'm following through.
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Old 12-22-2009, 02:12 PM   #16
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As I get older, I find that going ballistic when dissatisfied with something can be very cathartic. As long as you know inside that it's all a game and don't have a stroke. My DW has learned the signs when I've had it with some sanctimonious sales person. She just goes to another part of the store and waits until it's over. I especially love places that have signs saying "Customer Satisfaction is Our Most Important Product," or something like that and then they proceed to bust your chops about everything.

We have Comcast for cable and internet. Their customer service is terrible, the internet is slow and their prices are high. Other than that, they are great. Our friends who have Verizon say the same thing about their service. Given that those two are our only choices, I find I have more leverage with Comcast when I wave the "old customer - I'm going to Verizon" flag than any other ploy.

I'm really a lot of fun car shopping. I think I've been banned at several local dealers.
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Old 12-22-2009, 02:22 PM   #17
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We have Verizon cell phones and their service is wonderful.
We too have had great wireless service from Verizon for the last 5 years. When the rare issue arises, it is quickly handled by competent customer service reps who always seem to be "locals." I have been quite impressed with them.

My discussion about leaving them for Straight Talk is solely based on reducing my monthly cost by 25%.
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Old 12-23-2009, 03:31 PM   #18
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I suppose we could save some money switching away from Verizon wireless but most of the people we call are also Verison wireless customers who have the "friends and family" type of program so as a group we save. The other factor is that the average of our household ages is 70 -change isn't easy for us old folks, and the wireless Customer Service reps are fantastic. When my mother died and my minutes skyrocketed I called them about changing my plan. The CS looked at my usage and said, "You have been a good customer for many years. I am adding XXX minutes to your account that won't expire, you don't need to change your program for that reason. Sorry for your loss."

It would take a major issue for us to change cell providers.

Land-line and cell operations are separate. It is so easy to change cell providers so maybe that is where they invest in customer service. The other business issue is that land-line is probably more capital intensive and price regulated... the margins may be lower.
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Old 12-23-2009, 04:04 PM   #19
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Brat, my cell phone is Verizon and I have always been very happy with them as well. I love the fact that there is a Verizon store on almost every corner, so that I can talk to a real human being about any problem I might be having. Luckily most of my problems so far have been very small.

What I like about Verizon is that (at least around here), my calls are never "dropped" and I never have a problem getting calls through even out in the country. Frank has Sprint, and it is more problematic in remote areas sometimes.

I hope I get a CS rep as nice as the one you got, when I move north. Right now I have an old discontinued regional plan that is cheaper than any of their nationwide plans. When I move to Missouri I will want to change to a nationwide plan. I am thinking they will want me to sign a new contract in order to change plans, which I would really rather not do.
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Old 12-23-2009, 04:16 PM   #20
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There is so much competition for cell phone service that I too have found those customer service folks to be very accommodating. And of course installation appointments are not an issue.

Amethyst's Verizon FIOS is I believe fiber optic service for tv and maybe Internet? Not too much competition there and they all involve installation appointments anyway. No doubt one day all services will be wireless and beamed into our homes so missed installation appointments will be a thing of the past, but until then....

I still have a 24" tall full spool of cable that a subcontracting Comcast installer left at our house several years ago--just left it on our deck, and our follow up calls were ignored.
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