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Verizon Fios / awful customer service, flaky internet reliability!

1 Columbia, MD, United States Review updated:

I've been a Verizon FIOS subscriber for 18 months now and I absolutely regret it (the only reason I've held out this long is that my only other option is Comcast, who provide an equally frustrating customer service experience).

Problem #1: The wireless internet router (Afctiontec brand) provided to me is a piece of garbage. Not just the one I was given but the actual brand. Verizon techs have had to replace it twice so far because once in a while it will completely stop working and they refuse to provide me with a different brand or model. Getting a new router was a chore in itself -- The last time, a phone rep told me he was getting a new one sent to my house and I could install it myself. I never received it, and subsequent calls landed me with other reps who had no way to track the package. Finally, over a week later, I finally got through to a rep who was smart enough to know that no one had sent the package because they are not allowed to do so. Then I had to wait several days for a tech to come over and install it himself and that took 3 HOURS.

Problem #2: If you're a FIOS customer calling the Verizon customer support center, you're screwed, especially if you don't subscribe to their phone service. Go ahead, call their #s. You'll end up in the billing dept but that dept can't handle FIOS customers. They'll transfer you to another dept and they'll transfer you again. Each person will ask for your phone #, get confused because your phone # isn't a Verizon Wireless phone. If you give them your account # they'll get confused because the Verizon FIOS account #s are in a different format so you have to hunt through your bill to find a separate account #. Once I had to follow up on a billing issue and no rep I talked to had access to that info, and I was told "you can't talk to that dept". Well then how can I follow up? (I couldn't, and luckily the problem was resolved in my next bill. But what if it wasn't? I would not have been able to do anything.)

Problem #3: Billing problems. One ongoing problem I'm having are inappropriate charges on my bill. I've talked to reps before about this: the first agreed they should be taken off but nothing was done. The next one also agreed, wasn't sure why it wasn't done yet, then tried to credit me but she credited me a negative amount, thereby CHARGING ME even more.

And to wrap up my post, I'm actually on the phone with Verizon right now trying to get a detailed billing statement so I can identify the line items I shouldn't have been charged for. I've been transferred 3 times and each dept tells me I need to be transferred somewhere else. One time I was transferred to a rep in the wrong state. I'm probably going to cancel my FIOS service after this. It's pretty much the same service as the other cable and satellite companies but I'm tired of having to spend 3 hours every 1-2 months on the phone with these clowns.

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Comments

  • Ch
      25th of Feb, 2008
    +1 Votes

    Verizon Fios sucks big time. Worst customer service experience in my whole life. They use bait and switch and hooked me with a gullable offer meaning something "FREE". I ordered the triple bundle with the "FREE" 19 inch Sharp TV on Nov/2007 it is now end of Feb/2008 and yet to recieve the free tv. I have called more than 75 times over the months with no result. They give me the same answer you have to wait 6-8 weeks after the install to get a confirmation letter and 3-6 weeks after that to recieve the tv. What they don' tell you is that once 30 days after the install have passed they lock you in a 2 year contract. But i gave up and called cablevision and told them my situation. They were more than helpfull ..They did not promise me a free tv but they promised to pay for my cancellation fees from verizon fios service canellation. .I haved cablevision triple service installed and i must say cablevision internet service is more faster and moe reliable than fios internet. Verizon needs to dump the ActionTec Router it is a piece of crap. And their Tv service menu needs work. The only thing Verizon is good for is phone service but not customer service.

  • Da
      23rd of Aug, 2008
    0 Votes

    By RICHARD MULLINS

    The Tampa Tribune

    Published: April 8, 2008

    Updated: 04/08/2008 09:49 am

    TAMPA - Anthony Girit has won thousands of dollars in Wal-Mart gift cards, digital cameras and other prizes for his performance since joining Verizon's downtown customer call center seven months ago.

    Last month he won $2, 140 in bonuses, he says, but none of those perks came from answering customers' questions or untangling their bills.

    "All that came from pushing customers to buy things, " Girit said. "I understand every company says, 'Let's make money.' But that's the job of a marketing department, not service. I'm supposed to be there to help them, the customer."

    Once, he said, he was disciplined for not selling broadband Internet service to someone with no computer. Managers try to keep customer calls short, he said, listen in on calls and send pop-up messages onto his computer screen such as "Why aren't you selling them? Get off the phone."

    Customers may be calling Verizon for help, but Girit and more than a dozen other Verizon employees interviewed describe conflicting pressures at work. On one side, customers call to have problems fixed. On the other side, managers can discipline employees who can't quickly transform those calls into sales.

    Pressure from both sources seems to rise monthly, they said, as do sales "threshold" quotas employees must meet to receive bonuses and avoid discipline.

    This kind of pressure is becoming more common, say call center experts, especially in markets such as telecommunications and banking, two industries that have recently deregulated and can cross-promote more services.

    Verizon executives said they aim to fix customer problems first with each call, then sell new products, and they do compensate workers for selling well.

    "Customer service means a tremendous amount to me, personally, " said Suri Surinder, Verizon's regional president. "One of my first jobs was as a taxi driver in New York City, so I learned service from the ground up."

    In such a competitive environment, any company must meet profit goals and shareholder expectations, Surinder said.

    The risk, customer service experts say, is the fate of Verizon's massive investment across the Tampa Bay region. Verizon will spend $1 billion in this area by the time it completes a state-of-the-art FiOS fiber-optic network.

    Tampa and Dallas suburb Keller, Texas, are the first cities in the nation to receive FiOS from Verizon, so many eyes in the telecommunications world watch what happens here.

    Verizon has won top marks from organizations, such as Consumer Reports, for its technology and service. That goodwill with customers can flourish or evaporate quickly, say service experts, and it can hinge on a company's ability to fix customer problems well enough to prompt a recommendation to a friend.

    Prizes Only For 'Great Sales'

    In its call centers, where Verizon fields customer issues of any sort, Verizon is clear about the rewards for selling well. It has handed out dozens of gift cards and has online catalogs where employees can redeem reward points for prizes like fondue makers. Verizon often has daily contests to see who can sell the most DSL lines in an hour. This year, a top prize is a trip to the Atlantis resort in the Bahamas.

    Dawn Livingston, a shop steward with the IBEW local union at Verizon, said she has won trips, including one to the Mall of America near Minneapolis. "It was very cool, " she said. "Verizon got us a hotel room right there so we could drop off our shopping bags and rest."

    "But that stuff is only for people who get great sales, " not for fixing customer problems, she said. "I could have 15 customers in a row say 'She's doing a great job, ' and not get a trip anywhere."

    The company is also clear about disciplining workers who don't sell enough.

    For example, employees said customer calls are timed and count toward an employee's average call handling time, regardless of the customer's issues. Employees said they need to average no more than 11 minutes with a customer. Managers dispatch "coaches" to stand behind poor-selling workers and issue disciplinary "Work Sheets."

    Girit said managers disciplined him 13 times in 7 months for not trying to sell a long list of Verizon products.

    "I once got written up for not trying to sell TV to an 80-something-year-old woman who called to change her phone number, " Girit said. "And she was in a nursing home, moving from one room to another, and couldn't even get our TV. I'm not going to offer something like that."

    Even more frustrating, he said, is that he can't get his own Verizon bill fixed. "I'm a FiOS customer myself, and I have to call every month because the bill is wrong. I'm on the phone with these people for an hour every time I call - and I am 'these people.'"

    Frank Leonetti, an 8-month employee at Verizon, said that "even if people are calling, trying to lower their bills, I get in trouble for not trying to sell them more things and make their bill higher. People call me crying with problems they couldn't get fixed in six, seven months. ... Then managers will sit down next to you, plug into your line to listen, and say, 'Why aren't you offering them this, that?'"

    Kevin Bailey, a two-year call center employee, said, "Even if people call with a $1, 500 messed-up bill trying to cancel, I have to try selling them more things. If I don't, I can get fired."

    Complaints Are Few, Surinder Says

    Verizon workers and customers picketed many of the company's locations across the area Monday, claiming Verizon is putting excessive pressure on call center workers to sell products, rather than fix customer problems.

    Surinder acknowledges that sales quotas, or "thresholds, " have been rising recently, and ultimately, "this is a business and we have to deliver growth in earnings per share."

    Surinder said he feels bad that any customer would have a poor experience, but he said the vast majority of customers are satisfied.

    Verizon has received just 50 complaints to a FiOS problem hot line, Surinder said, and 69 billing complaints in January and February. That's out of several hundred thousand new FiOS customers. Out of 100, 000 monthly customer calls, about 80 percent are resolved in that first call, he said.

    During the same time period, 66 people filed complaints with Florida's attorney general, according to state data.

    Some of the customer frustration, Surinder said, is a result of not using Verizon's computer systems properly. About 50 percent now hit "0, " rather than enter a "phone tree" that routes calls to workers with the right skills, Surinder said. Hitting "0" puts the call into circulation for any worker.

    Verizon Adding Call Center Workers

    To improve service in Tampa, the company is adding 78 call center workers to its ranks of 460, extending weekday hours and adding hours on Saturdays, and live screeners who answer calls early and direct them to experts. A new system will call customers back, rather than keep them on hold.

    Verizon also is rolling out new "Personal Account Managers, " a designated advocate that FiOS customers can call directly to get help.

    Recently, Verizon has been dealing with customer complaints such as too-elusive discounts, shortages of HDTV set-top boxes and the free televisions the company offered as an incentive to enroll. Also, the time Verizon is taking to fix traditional copper phone lines has lengthened.

    Those problems illustrate the risk to Verizon, said Christine Kozlosky, vice president of The Ascent Group, a management consulting firm in Kite, Ga., that studies customer service.

    Traditional phone companies used to separate sales and service; now more companies merge them, she said.

    Companies need to monitor things like average customer call time to identify any employees who may need more training, she said. But it's a delicate balance, she said, that each employee should judge on each call - fixing a customer's problem, then selling new products if appropriate.

    "There are many areas, like Tampa, that have companies moving in to markets with a lot of competition, " she said. "They may be trying to blend service and sales and economize, but people who don't like that are going to go someplace else, another cable or telephone provider."

    Reporter Richard Mullins can be reached at (813) 259-7919 or rmullins@tampatrib.com.

  • Pe
      2nd of Dec, 2008
    +1 Votes

    Verizon FIOS customer services SUCKS! It was a big mistake to get suckered into changing from my reliable COMCAST service. I have been without phone service for over a week - and have had 3 tech visits who say that there is "something in the office that needs to be turned on" for my service to work. So I say - TURN IT ON!!! I had to call Verizon's executive office to get some support. The person I spoke to was very nice - but let's see if she can get me my phone service back!

  • Sh
      19th of Mar, 2009
    0 Votes

    I agree. I would encourage everyone not to go with Verizon. They misinformed me when they offered to bundle up my services and now I am on the hook for the next 6 months. The day my contract expires, I am moving on. I am spending close to $180 with them monthly on Fios, phone and Internet and they will not see another penny from me after Nov of 09.

    Verzon sucks!!!

  • Sh
      19th of Mar, 2009
    0 Votes

    I will take Verizon to small claims court to teach them a lesson on what not to do their customers.

    People do not switch to Verizon in my opinion or you will be sorry.

  • Ni
      24th of Mar, 2009
    0 Votes

    I sent this to Verizon, I'm sure nothing will come of it.

    I have been waiting since March 19 for internet. I've called several times and spoke to the following agents: 59179, 59176, Barry (you) and today, 992097. Half the time I get hung up on before even talking to a live person. Agent 992097 was extremely rude, not answering my questions and eventually yelling at me and HUNG UP ON ME. All I was asking for was an estimated time of arrival since our appt is 8am-12pm today and it is now 12:03 pm. She proceeded with nonsense that my appointment is 7 pm and that she could not fwd me to anyone nor can she help me. It sounds like she's in the Philippines, based on the tagalog I heard and understood in the background. I am livid because she was just flat out rude and made my entire internet situation worse. My next step is the better business bureau if this does not get solved ASAP.

    You made an arrangement to deliver my internet on March 19, you should be calling me to follow up that it now works. I should NOT be bending over backwards to try to get a technician to my home. Verizon's agents are dishonest and misleading!

  • Ge
      13th of Sep, 2010
    0 Votes

    I just switched from Time Warner Cable a week ago, worst mistake I made. I have called verizon customer service to get In Home Agent installed and have been transferred to billing by tech support. The billing agent tried her best to resolve a technical issue they should have handled in the first place. Transferred back to tech support and they couldn't even get their citrix software running right to fix my issue. I have called four times. With Time Warner I had one issue with 3 years of broadband service. I will be calling Verizon to pick up their stuff, Time Warner I might spend a little more but I guess you get what you pay for in terms of customer service.

  • Ca
      23rd of Oct, 2010
    0 Votes

    Today is the best day in my life. I just canceled Verizion phone and DSL. What a nightmare. It took 3 weeks from apportionment date to have someone to come out and activate my service. I was billed incorrectly several times, and when I call, I get the run around. They do not explain things. The last customer service representative I spoke with was very aggressive and he defended their miss ups and offered no help. I was only able to get explanation and have a decent conversation with his boss, but I decided to cancel afterword. Watch out for extra charges, I was charged $10.00 for some virus and data charge that I never requested when I set up the service, it was not even offered to me, but it showed up on my bill. RIPP OFF!

  • Jo
      25th of Mar, 2011
    0 Votes

    I just spend 50 minutes waiting for someone at verizon to answer the phone.
    I finally gave up. I'll try 1 more time, and then I'm canceling service.

  • Wi
      28th of Mar, 2011
    0 Votes

    My internet all the suddenly cut off, it took me almost entire day on the phone but still problem not solved yet. Verizon agent could not even located my account by full name, address, account number, and machine SN number. I don't know what to do without my internet, don't know what to do with Verizon Customer Service either. Are we in Third World Country. ??

  • Di
      17th of Jun, 2011
    0 Votes

    I agree. The Verizon Customer Service is by far the worst I have ever experienced. I recently had an incident where I had to call them and I cannot convey how frustrating that conversation was. Terrible, !

  • Ro
      7th of Jul, 2011
    0 Votes

    I was moving and contacted Verizon Fios a couple of weeks in advance to schedule to have my service moved. They gave me a date and a confirming email. I moved out of my house on the 30th of the month and Verizon then sends me an email on the first of the next month with a subject line text of "Confirming your Verizon FiOS Installation Appointment" . Then the email goes on to say "Get ready! In just 4 days days, we'll be visiting your address to upgrade your life to the amazing power of FiOS. We're scheduled to arrive on July 5, 2011 between the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.". The following line then asks me to click on a link to confirm that this date still works for me. I guess it didn't dawn on Verizon that once I left my old house I didn't have internet access to respond to this email. When I called to find out why no one showed up to do the install they said it was because I didn't confirm. When I asked them how I was suppose to confirm if they knew I didn't have internet access they responded that their records showed that they had also called. I asked them what number they called and sure enough its the phone number from the old house that they hadn't moved over yet even though I had given them my cell phone number as a contact. So I said "fine, let's just get someone out here to install my phone, internet and TV". They then proceeded to tell me that the next available appointment was a week away. That's a week with no phone, internet or TV and I am sure they would send me another email that I couldn't access to confirm. I told them that was unacceptable and they had to do better or I would cancel my service and guess what, without pausing the customer service rep said ok, I'll transfer you to the cancellation department. I hung up and called Cablevision and they said they could have someone at my house the next day and I saved $50 month on my bill. When I called back Verizon to cancel my service the customer service person said "if I can't get someone out to your house tomorrow would you reconsider?". My response was that eight people I spoke to at Verizon told me that was impossible to do and if she could get it done then the other 8 lied to me and I don't want to do business with a company that lies. Stay away from Verizon Fios! They couldn't care less about you as a customer!

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