Verizon: A Study in Customer Service (It’s Bad)

Photo courtesy of rememberwhatgodhasdone
100_5800 Verizon Truck, courtesy of rememberwhatgodhasdone

I’m sure many people are wondering where the heck I am these days. I’ve been unavailable by phone and severely limited in my online time since our ‘big move’ two weeks back.

Well, settle back, kids. I’ve got a story for you. In fact, I’ll let you read the letter I sent to the CEO of Verizon this Friday past – it sums it up pretty well.

Mr. Seidenberg:

I am an unhappy Verizon customer.

I’ve been with Verizon since 1994, when I stepped out on my own after college. I’ve not had many problems that couldn’t be resolved amicably with Verizon, until this past year. I am writing you with this story soley because of my past happy history with my Verizon service.

My other issue is now water under the bridge, so I see no real reason to rehash it. It was resolved to my satisfaction, albeit took six months to do so.

No, my current problem is one that is taking too long to resolve and I am running out of patience. I do not wish to discontinue my Verizon service, but I may be forced to look at other options if nothing can be done.

I recently moved to a new home from a rental apartment in the northern VA area. I made arrangements about three weeks in advance for my phone and DSL service to be transferred to our new address; sadly, I could not retain my old phone number.

On Friday, Sept 19th, my apartment service was disconnected – as requested – and transferred to our new residence. However, though I could dial my new number, it was not ringing at my residence. I waited until midday on Saturday, Sept 20, before calling Tech support. I could not reach your Customer Service department at that time, as they are not open on the weekend.

I was connected first to the DSL tech support – which I did not need at the moment, as I did not have a dial tone, but it was the only service I could get a ‘live’ person. He directed me to the proper number to call – Repair Services – and I called them. I was not at my residence at the time but calling from my apartment from my cell phone, as I was supervising our physical move.

The woman was nice and instructed me to check the NID box on the side of the house; there was not much she could do otherwise until I checked that box. From her end, a line test concluded that a signal was being delivered.

When I arrived at my new home, I checked the NID box. There are three junction switches inside the box; apparently the previous owner had three lines. Only one was working; it was marked with her old phone number and “main” written near it. I know her phone worked recently, as we had called her on it to work out some details.

The first junction connection had a dial tone at the NID. I proceeded to call the number for Repair. I was told that there was nothing Verizon could do: there was a working signal and that the NID had a dial tone. I was responsible for it thereafter and if a technician was sent out, I would be paying for it.

You can understand my frustration at this point. I have a NID box with a nest of wires completely disconnected from the junction box. I was told at that time by the phone representative that a technician had already been to the residence to switch the lines and the signal was showing complete. While I thought this was odd – I was previously aware that switching was a computerized process – I naturally took what the rep said as fact.

I was not happy with the situation, so I requested talking to a supervisor. I was told a supervisor would call me back in a few hours.

She did, during dinner. I spoke with her for about 15 minutes. She re-iterated to me that the tech had done nothing wrong and that obviously, the disconnect was my problem to deal with. She could open a ticket for me and request a technician to ‘swap the junctions’ but that would be at my cost. She was unsympathetic to my concerns that I did not have service as I had requested. I acquiesced at this point and allowed her to open a ticket and schedule a technician. The first available slot was for Thursday, Sept 25, between 8 and 5.

Please understand that I work from home. My business relies on internet access, plus I use a pre-paid cell phone. Making alternative arrangements for those four days was difficult, but done. I also arranged for my wife to be home during Thursday, in case the technician had questions.

No technician visited my home on Thursday between 8 and 5. I did not receive a call from your Dispatch office. I called the Repair Service number again to find out what was going on and was told that it would be pushed to Friday, Sept 26, between 8 and 7. I did not find this acceptable, as I had made arrangements for Thursday and could not drop everything for Friday. During this time, your Dispatch office apparently called my cell phone (after 5 pm), presumably to tell me the service was being delayed.

At this point, I requested to speak to a supervisor. This person informed me, after I gave the rundown of events, that there was no record of a tech visit to switch my lines. That the switch was done electronically (as I originally had understood it) and that Verizon’s responsibility ended with the signal getting to the NID. While I understand this policy, at this time I had been on hold / on the phone for over 30 minutes in a light rainstorm, outside, with a nest of wires disconnected inside the NID, and knowing full well that there was an operable phone service at the residence right before I took up residence.

She also informed me that I should not be talking to Repair, nor should I have a ticket open, as a technician would only look at the box, see that a signal was being received, and leave, with my problem still unresolved. I was told I needed to call Customer Service and kept me on hold until she could connect me to a representative.

Your CS rep (Justin) informed me that the earliest I could get a technician to connect my lines would be October 6. He also informed me I would be charged for the service. I asked if I could have priority consideration, considering everything I had been through so far and that I was in need of my service to conduct my business. He informed me a request would be made to Dispatch to move my appointment up and would be notified within 24 hours to that effect.

As of now, 23 hours later (Friday, 9-26), I have received no such call.

Mr. Seidenberg, you can see I have been run around with false / inaccurate statements regarding my service. All I want is for my phone to be connected to my house and proper DSL service restored. Considering what I have had to deal with during this entire process, I would request that I not be charged for such service.

I am deeply disappointed in Verizon’s performance with this issue. Coupled with the problems and runaround I had a few months ago regarding a completely different issue, I do not hold Verizon in high esteem and would not recommend them to friends. Please, Mr. Seidenberg, show me that Verizon still cares about its customers.

Thank you for your time and consideration. Please note that because I do not have internet or phone service at this time, I will be unable to answer any email until Monday, when I return to a temporary office and wifi access. In the meantime, I can be reached on my cell phone at [REDACTED].


Ben H. Rome

Weekend Update: Late Friday evening, I received a call from Mr. Seidenberg’s office. A tech visit was set up for Saturday morning; low and behold, a guy actually showed up and reconnected me. At this time, he discovered that apparently Cox, who also services cable in the area and was the previous owner’s cable and internet provider, had disconnected her service by cutting ALL her cables. Including her phone lines – which was a Verizon account.

So I have phone service.

Sunday, I called about my still-nonfunctioning DSL. I was told by a tech support person that DSL is not available in my area. After I had been repeatedly told when I set up the service that I indeed DID have DSL connectivity. (This decision was what motivated me to renew my DirecTV service, rather than moving to FIOS, which is Verizon’s big toy right now.)

The situation is still in flux. I’m awaiting a further call from their “Client Customer Complaint Department” to resolve the issue.

Let’s just say… I’m still not a happy Verizon customer.

More later, so stay tuned.

3 thoughts on “Verizon: A Study in Customer Service (It’s Bad)

  1. This just makes me even more determined to NOT get service through Verizon. I just hope things turn out satisfactory for ya.

    Can you hear me now Verizon?!

  2. I’ve had minor issues with Verizon in the past, but nothing like what you’ve run into.
    Then again, if I get too aggravated, I can always walk a block down to the local repair center, and personally collar a technician to fix my stuff.
    I had to do that when I moved into the house, and I’m not afraid to do it again.

    Good Luck.

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