Verizonbait, switch, and gouge

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Last month my wife and I made a considerable upgrade and set of purchases which included Verizon wireless phones. The Verizon salesman offered us a "great package deal" which involved switching our landline phone and internet service over to them from Time Warner, since they were "partners" now. However this arrangement turned out to be a disaster. I should point out first that this was not a "renegade" salesman; every step he took with us was done in conjunction with a supervisor. The internet system he sold us was wireless and ran on a small device called a "Jet Pack"which was supposed to be portable and allow us to take our service anywhere. We discovered we had trouble because when we took it with us traveling, it ceased functioning; I took it to a Verizon store in South Carolina, where I was at the time, and when they examined it they told me I already had about 200 dollars in overage fees on it (in less than two weeks!); was I aware of this? No, I certainly wasn't. There were no alerts, or emails or anything else. I would have gotten one whopper of a first bill when it finally arrived. The woman I spoke to about this was clearly embarrassed and said they should not have sold me this, because it has a 5-gig limit and is not intended for home use; it's for people to take traveling who need to stay connected, but it is in no way for people who do any kind of normal internet activity. The only thing our salesman had asked us was if we liked to stream a lot of HD movies, or did a lot of gaming, or something like that. No, we said. Then the 5-gig machine (which I did not understand) should be just fine. This woman pointed out to us (we had no idea) that watching an hour or two total of Youtube videos would eat up our entire month's usage. I said this is insane! Everyone watches Youtube. Is this system only useful for email and nothing else? Basically. When we returned home to Ohio, we did not attempt to deal with the original sales people, but instead went to a different Verizon store and asked for help. One of the people I spoke to at this store said Verizon used to offer unlimited use (which is what we had with Time-Warner, and Embarq before that) but that customers "abused" it, whatever that means. I said that if there is a demand for it, why don't they supply it for a price like everyone else does? She had no answer for this of course. This sounds like the bad old days of dialup, nickel and diming us for every second we use. People will always pay for a service if it's worth it; we did. Now we had a "great package deal" from Verizon that eliminated it altogether and cost us a fortune. Everyone we talked to at Verizon about this was blunt and unmoved: "If you signed the agreement, you pay. It's a legal document. Go ahead and take us to court and try to prove that the salesman didn't explain it to you clearly. Your stupidity is not our problem." One of the managers at this store did succeed in persuading Verizon to waive the 175-dollar fee for getting rid of the Jet Pack. But this was about a third of what we spent in various fees and overage charges, all of which we still have to pay, and we still have to deal with Verizon, including our landline phone, which is not satisfactory either, but is another story. We are back to Time Warner for our internet. My advice to any of you is this: don't deal with Verizon if there is any other alternative. These people are crooks. It was very clear to us that their management has devised this as a new business model: trick people into signing up and use the law to leverage them into paying all the fees and fines. Since this happened, I have spoken to several other families in my area who have had the exact same thing happen to them, and none of them even got the 175-dollar fee waived. They all paid through the nose. Verizon is big enough and powerful enough that they can afford to be cynical and take advantage of customers. BUYER BEWARE. If you must deal with these people, be sure that you know and understand their products, services, and the technology better than they do. If you are middle-aged or older and have a life outside the IT field, this will be difficult. But it is imperative that you do so, because they are systematically preying upon people like this.
Jeremy Peter Zank

Jun 21, 2013
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  • Sl
      Jun 21, 2013

    I hate Verizon customer service and it is ridiculous and the most rude, uniformed, and uncaring customer service on the planet! Everyone is nice to you until you are caught into a contract, and then you might as well not exist. I had insurance on my phone, and when it broke after only a few months of use, I waited a half an hour at the nearby Verizon store for someone to help me. In the store their were several employees, but most were engaged in gossiping or flirting. I sat and listened to their latest date, sex life, and other inappropriate conversations. I went up to the desk and asked when someone could help me, I was told that when my number came up one if the employees would help me. I asked why was it taking so long when clearly there was several employees hanging around doing nothing. He rudely told me wait for my number. A half an hour later, of waiting and watching the most unprofessional, lazy staff ever, I was called. Basically, I was told that Verizon would not replace my phone and I had to wait another six month for a upgrade! I was free to purchase a expensive phone out of pocket! I had just paid for one and it broke! So basically, I had it with Verizon and changed my plan to Metro PCS. Though Metro PCS does not have quality customer service, at least my bill for my children and myself is a lot less than on Verizon and the phones are offered at a reasonable rate! If my phone breaks, I can buy a phone for under two hundred and it will not break two months later! Not to mention the outrageous prices for service! Now, my entire family is covered for two hundred dollars for five phones! I can pay my bill on line or over the phone. Verizon, was much more expensive and it had outrageous data plans. No wonder companies like Metro PCS have gotten popular! Who wants to pay high prices, receive poor customer service, and have lazy customer service reps that refuse to help you after they roped you into a contract! For the price Verizon wants for its service, you should expect excellent customer service! I saw one of their commercials claiming they have been awarded the best customer service! What a lie that is!

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