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Verizon shows a complete lack of customer service to the elderly who are ill!

Posted Wed August 30, 2006 12:00 pm, by Pam S. written to Verizon Local Telephone (and FIOS)

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My 91 year old neighbor lost phone service yesterday afternoon. I called verizon repair and was told someone would be out today to fix the phone. This women has just returned from an extended hospital stay and is in a serious state. She needs to have a phone to dial her doctors, visitng nurse, pharmacy as well as an ambulance in the case of emergency. And this has been necessary twice in the past weeks. Verizon never called to say they would not be keeping the appointment. Her daughter called and was told they would be out on Friday! Today is Wednesday, this women is having panic attacks with the idea of not having a phone. This is no way to treat a lifelong customer who has medical conditions. It is even more shocking that the company is aware of the medical condition is so whatever, we can only do so much!

I would like the phone service restored to this house hold immediately. It is not acceptable for a person in this condition to be without a phone for 24 hours. If Verizon can not complete this repair they should at least provide a free wireless phone with pre-paid minutes to provide comfort to this person! I want to know that Verizon cares for their elderly cusotmers and values their lives.


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by lovescats Posted Sun September 3, 2006 @ 2:49 AM

You are very kind to want to help your neighbor. I was in a situation
where the first cable guy who came out to hook up my phone botched the
job. They had to send out another installer. Because I didn't want to
miss more work staying home waiting for the second installer I made
the appointment for the next Saturday which was a week away.
In the meantime I used my cell phone. It was a life save because I had
just moved to a new apartment and had to make lots of calls to
co-ordinate with various providers not to mention friends and family.
I urge you to suggest to the elderly woman's daughter to get her a
cell phone. That way she will have a back up in situations like the
one you describe and also if her land line ever goes out of commission
she will not lose touch with the outside world.

Reply

by eydie Posted Fri September 1, 2006 @ 10:52 PM

it's nice of you to be concerned but they won't discuss this with you.
It has to be a family member or an agency speaking on her behalf.

Reply

by LibbyA Posted Thu August 31, 2006 @ 2:50 PM

First, every one who wrote that Verizon can't discuss this with you is
correct, it's against the law for any phone company to discuss an
account with anyone not authorized on it. It's admirable that you are
trying to help, if it's possible, have your neighbor call in with you
there and authorize you to discuss this matter.
Second, the state's PUC can (and will) get involved in this and help
this customer get her phone service back on quickly. Again, though,
you have to be authorized to file a complaint.
Third, there's also an emergency medical need for a phone that ALL
phone companies honor (she can contact her doctor for this) that
should help also.
I work for the 4th largest phone compnay in the United States, and was
a manager in an inbound collection call center for six years and I do
know how frustrating it can be dealing with any utility company.
Please understand there are many many laws that govern public
utilities that the average consumer doesn't know.
Hope this helps, the PUC (public utilities commssion) can be found in
the white pages under state government.
Goodluck.

Reply


by MA Loper Posted Thu August 31, 2006 @ 1:30 PM

You can double check this with LadyMac if you'd like, but I am pretty
sure that with just about all personal accounts these days, even
public utilities like phone service, any Joe Schmoe off the street
cannot call on behalf of another person.

Companies don't want to be liable for providing private or potentially
sensitive information to people who are no authorized to have
knowledge of that info.

For those of you claiming to have gotten away with it recently, then
shame on whatever company permitted you to do it. They are violating
their customer's privacy.

Have her daughter, who as ticky pointed out, probably has a POA on her
mother, contact them. Have her start no lower than the supervisors
and not to back own until she gets help. But sadly, the
responsibility to get this done does not and should not rest with you.
You aren't even a relative.

You sending a letter via PFB, while thoughtful on your part, will not
get you the timely response that you need in this instance.

And while I'm at it, the demand for the free wireless with pre-paid
minutes in lieu of immediate service was tacky.

Reply


You are 100% correct by LadyMac Thu August 31, 2006 @ 1:43 PM


Privacy?? by Harleycat Thu August 31, 2006 @ 4:38 PM


The OP already said by tickytack Fri September 1, 2006 @ 8:52 AM


You're admitting. . . by MA Loper Fri September 1, 2006 @ 10:03 AM


You Know.. by Harleycat Fri September 1, 2006 @ 12:11 PM


Aha by tickytack Fri September 1, 2006 @ 1:09 PM


Sorry for the confusion by Harleycat Fri September 1, 2006 @ 2:13 PM


Gotcha. by tickytack Fri September 1, 2006 @ 3:01 PM


Out of Curiosity by Harleycat Fri September 1, 2006 @ 3:20 PM


That is scary by tickytack Fri September 1, 2006 @ 3:34 PM


No by Harleycat Fri September 1, 2006 @ 3:48 PM


Re by Brennie Sat September 2, 2006 @ 6:03 PM

by RedheadWGlasses Posted Thu August 31, 2006 @ 1:19 PM


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by tickytack Posted Thu August 31, 2006 @ 12:37 PM

While it is very sweet that you are concerned about your neighbor's
well being, I sincerely doubt Verizon is going to listen to you. I
would imagine you would need to have power of attorney for your
neighbor in order to be able to authorize any service on her phone.

As others have pointed out, Verizon Wireless is not Verizon, so giving
her a free phone is not an option. Have you considered buying a
simple prepaid TracFone? That may be an option.

Hopefully, her daughter will have better luck.

Reply


It Doesn't Matter by Harleycat Thu August 31, 2006 @ 1:10 PM


Look at LadyMac's post above by tickytack Thu August 31, 2006 @ 2:44 PM


You're not.. by Harleycat Thu August 31, 2006 @ 4:31 PM


Yes, but by tickytack Fri September 1, 2006 @ 8:54 AM


by Harleycat Posted Thu August 31, 2006 @ 8:41 AM

Call the "Special Needs" number for customer's with disabilities. You
can find it on the website. If they can't help you, tell them that
you will be making a "presidential complaint". You may have to do
some digging to find the "presidential complaint" line.

Unfortunately, what others said is true, Verizon Wireless and Verizon
are two different companies so they will not supply her with a cell
phone.

Reply


Only problem with that is... by tickytack Thu August 31, 2006 @ 12:40 PM
by SueandMikeW Posted Wed August 30, 2006 @ 11:20 PM

Um...where in this letter does the writer say anything about the phone
being shut off because the bill wasn't paid? In fact she specifically
said the phone line needed to be FIXED. They don't have to come out to
your home if your service was shut off due to not paying a bill. So
Gino's advice is pretty useless, except for the part about the prepaid
phone.

To the orginal poster, Verizon and Verizon Wireless are two different
companies so Verizon has no way of giving your neighbor a free cell
phone. I suggest you and her daughter purchase one for her. Please
keep us posted! :-)

Reply

by Gino Posted Thu August 31, 2006 @ 12:36 AM

I did state clearly "...and I don't even know if this is the case
or not. It's just from my own experience from which I speak and I
mean
no harm in my answer."

Reply

by dragonflygrrl Posted Thu August 31, 2006 @ 11:41 AM

Like he said, he didn't know for sure this was the case. I can tell
you from my own experience working in a phone store that lots of
people come in wondering why there phone "won't work," ask me to "fix
it," and then I find the phone is shut off for non-payment. So it is
perfectly possible that while all the probably very sweet old lady
knows is that the phone doesn't work, maybe the problem is something
as simple as that. It is also possible that the reason no one shared
that with the letter writer is that the letter writer is not an
authorized user on the account. I'm not saying that is definitely
what happened any more than Gino was, just that it is a possibility.
While I can see your point too, I don't think calling Gino's advice
"useless" was necessary. Gino's posts are almost always warm,
intelligent, and useful, this post included.

I also hope this gets resolved quickly, and would like to hear how it
comes out, if the letter writer wouldn't mind posting! :)

Reply


correction...I meant "their" not "there"... by dragonflygrrl Thu August 31, 2006 @ 11:42 AM

by LadyMac Posted Thu August 31, 2006 @ 11:53 AM

I agree with dragonflygrrl.

Besides, it's not unreasonable to think that, since the lady was in
the hospital for a prolonged period of time, that her family members
may have missed paying a bill for her.

I think Gino was just walking through the options for solutions,
starting with the most obvious and easiest to remedy: is the bill
paid in full? Makes sense to me.


Reply


Like you said... by Venice Thu August 31, 2006 @ 3:06 PM
by starla Posted Wed August 30, 2006 @ 11:02 PM

I agree with Gino. It's good that you are concerned for your neighbor.
However, you'd probably have better luck calling Verizon directly
until they come out. Also, you and the daughter should both contribute
to getting the lady a prepaid phone for her emergencies.

Reply


by Gino Posted Wed August 30, 2006 @ 9:29 PM

Pam,
First and foremost your neighbor is lucky to have someone careing as
you on her side. From personal experience I know that sometimes
exteuating circumstances can cause one to overlook paying a bill or
the whole family is in turmoil and somehow overlooks paying bills. Not
to say it's right or wrong, but verizon is a business and seriously,
as much as we'd like to believe they "care" or even "know" every
detail of every customer...and I don't even know if this is the case
or not. It's just from my own experience from which I speak and I mean
no harm in my answer.
I totally sympathise with this woman's situation. Perhaps getting on
the phone and contacting customer service and explaining the
circumstances. Saying she cannot wait till friday and if there's some
other way to get service restored sooner for her,,, making sure her
outstanding balances are put in order, and asking for a "favor"..they
may find a way to accomadate her sooner.
If not, perhaps a Tracphone, disposable cell phone that uses cards to
add minutes. They often have base models for 18.99 with a twenty
minute card included to start off with. It would give this woman some
sense of security knowing she can make emergency calls. Even adding
another 20 minute card or more for another 18-30 dollars just to hold
her over would be a better "get well" gift than a fruit basket or a
nightgown. At least she has SOME security.
I apologize if this suggestion offends you in any way, but it comes
from a good place. These phone companies plot out their routes their
own way and sometimes it seems uncareing but it's just the way the
world is today.
And she can keep it and have it recharged in case of another emergency
or just to carry with her for security.
Anyway, you are very nice to be so concerned for your neighbor and I
do admire you for at least caring and trying to help. Good Luck to
you!!

Reply

lack of customer service by mitchell friend Thu August 31, 2006 @ 5:40 AM


Usually I do... by Gino Thu August 31, 2006 @ 11:59 AM


Don't apologize to him, Gino by RedheadWGlasses Thu August 31, 2006 @ 1:22 PM


In a perfect world, yes RedheadWGlasses by Gino Thu August 31, 2006 @ 3:09 PM


You hit on something very important by Venice Thu August 31, 2006 @ 3:32 PM


Maybe I'm missing something by Leanne L Fri September 1, 2006 @ 11:34 AM


lol by Gino Fri September 1, 2006 @ 4:43 PM


sounds reasonable to me Venice....... by Gino Fri September 1, 2006 @ 4:42 PM


I thought your suggestions were good ones... by Venice Fri September 1, 2006 @ 5:04 PM


But you already did by Leanne L Fri September 1, 2006 @ 7:58 PM


They'll stop in awhile.... once people settle down... no problems N/T by Gino Fri September 1, 2006 @ 8:59 PM


Thanks Venice... just hope the lady gets some security... N/T by Gino Fri September 1, 2006 @ 8:58 PM




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