Verizon Recap

I briefly talked about my terrible experience with Verizon the other day. The experience was definitely terrible. Even though, the issue has been “resolved”, I am still left with a fairly bad taste in my mouth about Verizon.

The problem.
I had been having problems with my cellphone. The bottom of the touchscreen kept breaking. I still have no idea why it happened. Sometimes, it’d work, but sure enough, it’d stop working again. I called Verizon once and got a replacement phone. A week or so later, the same problem started happening again. I had not installed any programs on my phone, so I knew it was either hardware related or an issue to do with Windows Mobile. I called Verizon once again. Here is a summary of the experience:

  1. I call the number for technical support. After about 10 minutes on hold, the phone system says I have to hang up and call back.
  2. I call back and am transferred to a lady. She informs me I need data support. I wait on hold for 5 minutes and am again disconnected.
  3. I call back once again and am connected to another representative. I explain my issue and he connects me to data support. He said he would wait on hold with me, but didn’t appear to when I asked a question a few minutes later.
  4. After 25 minutes in your hold queue, I am connected to a representative. He explains I need to be transferred again. I ask for the call to be elevated.
  5. I speak to a supervisor. He tells me I can get a new phone overnighted. I asked if it would be possible to switch to another phone. He explains I would have to go to the Verizon store, pay the difference in the two phones, and extend my contract. He explains that if I have another issue with my newest phone, I can send it to Verizon and they will send me a new phone (as opposed to a refurbished one). That would be a total of three phones. He isn’t very helpful and I seem to have no other choices.
  6. I am connected back to the representative and give him the details to send me the new phone. I am given a confirmation number and the phone is overnighted.

Total time from when I first decide to call Verizon to resolution (in Verizon’s terms) is over an hour and a half. The experience was completely unsatisfactory. I then wrote a letter and sent an email to Verizon explaining my problem and my general opinion about their company.

The resolution:
The next day, a lady from the company’s executive offices (read: frustrated customer department) calls. She asks for some more details, apologizes about the inconveniences, and all of that. The apology wasn’t the most sincere one I’ve ever heard, but I am pretty sure she was genuinely trying to help me and resolve the issues.

I explain that I’d like to get another phone. I tell her which model I’m interested in (it costs about 40% more than my previous model) and she tells me that she’ll look up my account and see. An hour or so later, she calls me back and says that I can pay the difference and they’ll overnight the new phone. I don’t have to extend my service contract.

Throughout the entire process, the lady was good about returning calls and following up. She answered my questions, ensured that I would get my car charger replaced (which I did), and so on.

A few things I didn’t like and where I think Verizon could improve:

  • I had to pay the shipping to send my phone to her.
  • The 10 day window is kind of small, especially when you have to send things yourself. Many companies use 30 days.
  • She said they couldn’t replace the phone with a new one because it was what the manufacuter warranty provided. That’s true, but it is a classic not our fault, but it is our problem situation.
  • They shouldn’t make it so you have to go through 3-4 phones in order to change. That has to cost Verizon a lot in technical support and shipping.
  • I haven’t gotten a satisfaction survey yet. Let’s see if I do.

On Wednesday (I believe), I called Verizon to ask a quesiton about my bill and then later, to activate my phone. Both times, the employee were friendly and helpful. I also got a call from the lady in the executive offices about my billing question, which was impressive. She must have been watching it to ensure I didn’t have any problems.

Oh: the new phone is working fine. So far, so good.