Can You Hear Me Now, Verizon?
Posted Thu October 23, 2008 12:00 pm, by Greg B. written to Verizon Wireless (Cell Phones)
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On Sept. 30th, I went online and added a 1500 text message plan to my son's line which is part of my family share plan.
Earlier tonight, I got an email that my bill for the current period ending October 19 was ready. I went and reviewed it and discovered that not only had the 1500 message plan been added to my son's line but it had then been removed on Oct. 11th and a 500 message plan substituted. In addition, on the same day a 250 message plan was added to my line which previously had no text message plan. I did not make these changes.
I immediately called customer service. I was told the Oct. 11th change was made in person at a Verizon store at Bellevue Square shopping mall in Bellevue, Washington which is about 25 miles from where I live. I informed the csr that I have not been to Bellevue Square in several years and I most certainly did not go there on Oct. 11th to make these changes, either on my son's plan or my plan.
He asked what I wanted to do and I told him I wanted those plans removed and the original 1500 message plan reinstated on my son's account. He agreed to do so. So far so good.
I then asked how in the world this could happen. He said there were only two possibilities - either someone known to me did it or the salesperson made a data error when processing someone else's order and put my number in by mistake.
I am the only person authorized to make changes on my account and I assured him I didn't make these changes. He then repeated that it must have been a data error. He refused to consider the possibility that an unauthorized person accessed my account on purpose.
I told him that I could maybe kinda understand making a number transposition on my son's account but how was it possible that they did the same on mine? In other words, plans were added/changed on TWO separate numbers. That stopped him for a moment and then he said that it could happen if someone said I want to change the plans for my primary line and secondary number.
I was already annoyed. At this point I became furious. I asked if he wanted me to believe that a salesman would make these kinds of changes to two separate lines and not verify that a plan was being added to xxx-xxx-xxxx and being changed on xxx-xxx-xxxx so as to ensure they were being applied to the correct number. I told him I wanted someone to give me an explanation how this could happen and he repeated that he already gave me an explanation.
Then he informed me that two letters and two text messages had been sent on Oct. 12th notifying me of the changes which they do to make sure customers know about changes to their plan in case there is a mistake. Therefore he said, I knew about this before tonight. I could literally hear the smug enter his voice.
It soon left when I told him I received no such letters or text messages. I then looked up my text messages on my phone even as he did on his end and, guess what? Not only did I have no record of a notification text message but he didn't either. He couldn't explain that. I asked what address the physical letters were sent to and he then informed me he couldn't tell me for security purposes. Wow...he's not worried about an unauthorized user messing with my account but he can't tell me, the authorized user on the account, what address my important Verizon mail is being sent to? I gave him my address and he confirmed that was the one they had for my account and he didn't know why I hadn't received the letters but they were sent. He asked if there was anything else he could do for me and I said no. He gave me your standard line about "thanks for being the best part of our day" and hung up.
Yeah, I sure did feel like I was the best part of Verizon Wireless's day by the time we got done. I was even more disturbed at the end than I was at the beginning especially since your people apparently don't consider the possibility someone's messing around with a customer's account and you're sending letters to God knows where that never reach me.
After doing some research on my online account, I finally figured out why I didn't receive the physical letters - you have them stored in a document section on my account and when I found them online, I realized you sent them to my old address that I haven't lived at in a year and a half even though your CSR confirmed that my account supposedly has my current address.
I suddenly realized tonight that you hold your customers hostage and, to be frank, as one of your hostages, I don't like it one bit. I've always understood the purpose of ETFs and I even recently willingly paid one on my account for unrelated reasons. Yet, it has become clear, as a result of your ETFs, I am now trapped into keeping a service I don't wish to have. Not only was there unauthorized access to my account but your "security" system completely broke down; neither of which makes me feel very comfortable with the way your company treats my account. Even worse, according to your CSR, no one was going to call me back to explain what happened after investigating unless I "insisted on it" and even then they probably wouldn't tell me much of anything. I no longer trust you to keep my information secure and I don't wish to do business with a company I can't trust.
Yet, I can't just return my equipment and exercise my right to choose a new provider; at least not without paying a hefty penalty. Therefore, your employees can make unauthorized changes to my account and screw up the notifications and all I can do is complain, pray that no one is doing anything truly sinister with my account and watch my account even closer than I already do. I've often poohed poohed folks who get upset with the supposed poor service they receive from cell phone companies however I'm really starting to understand why you all are historically rated at the bottom of the heap when it comes to customer service.
I'm sorry to say, between this and a previous issue I had in August, you have managed to turn a former Verizon evangelist into someone who can't wait to get out of his contract. And let me tell you, it doesn't feel very good.
I just spoke with another Verizon CSR to ensure that my mailing address was corrected. Before doing so, I did some further checking and found out that the text alert for account changes was not activated for my account either - that, again, was not something I had done but that does explain why I never received a text message about the account changes.
And, to top it all off, as I explained to the latest CSR, the rep I talked to last night had every ability to investigate why I didnt get a physical letter and a text message yet he didn't. Instead...he chose to just tell me "he didn't know why". If I wasnt proficient at doing research and discovered, on my own, the errors associated with my account, none of this would have been changed and I would have remained an unwitting sitting duck. If that isn't horrific customer service, I don't know what is.
At one point during my latest conversation with a Verizon CSR, she said, "Well, the rep last night DID correct the message plan error, didn't he?" I then realized all of this was for nothing. I simply replied, "Of course, how silly of me...instead of being upset, I should be thanking you. My bad." And then I finished the call and hung up.
As if this comedy of errors could get any worse, the rep also informed me that, according to her screen, I wasnt even set up with an online account even though Ive had one for a couple of years now, have paid all my bills online, referred to my online account constantly during my conversation last night and today AND do not get charged for their "My Backup Assistant" which is free ONLY if you have an online account. Unbelievable.
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