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Verizon Wireless / customer service rude and unhelpful

1 Alexandria, VA, United States Review updated:

My fiancé and I both have separate Verizon Wireless cell phone accounts and wanted to put them onto one plan to save some money. We've both had our phone numbers for a long time and have different contract renewal dates and different area codes on the phones. Ideally, we both wanted to keep our cell numbers instead of changing them so I did what any logical person would do - I contacted customer service.

I decided to submit my question to them through their website so that I could get a response via email. It's easier for me to check when I have time and it has the added bonus of any response I'd get would be in writing. After a few days I get a weird phone call from a number the call id says is "unavailable" so I let it go to voicemail. Turns out it was Verizon Customer Service calling to confirm that my question had been answered via email and that I had no further questions. Problem being I had never received an email. I received a similar call the next day while at work and I couldn't answer. Still, no email.

First I double checked my spam filters to make sure I was not missing the email. After all, I should make sure the problem is on my end before casting blame. Once making sure the spam filters were not the problem I resubmitted my question, the same as before, adding two key things. First, that this was the second time I had to contact them via this form as they failed to answer me the first time. Second, that I stressed at the beginning and end of my message that I wanted to be contacted only by email and not by phone as it is difficult for me to answer my phone during the day. I don't know how much clearer a person can be.

No email came but I did notice a missed call from number "unavailable" one day during work. The voicemail was from, you guessed it, Verizon saying I could call the customer service number. I double checked my email and still no answer there. Now rather annoyed and really needing to know the answer to my question I called Verizon and tried to be nice to the guy who answered my call since I can only presume he had never set eyes on my account or questions before.

After first telling him on the recorded line that I was displeased that I had received no email answer from 2 queries and had been contacted by phone after explicitly saying I did not want to be contacted by phone I apologized for sounding short assuring him I knew he had nothing to do with that and moved on to my question.

He tells me that I do not need to wait for the renewal date on either contract and that we can both keep our current cell numbers in spite of having different area codes, one of which is not local. He also said, only slightly unrelated, that one can switch to Verizon and keep their current cell number regardless of area code and where you are. This is to my knowledge not the case. Two years ago when I switched to Verizon I had change my number because the area code did not match the region in which I was physically making the switch. Also, if you check Verizon's website it says that you cannot port a cell phone number outside the local area of service. Who am I to believe: the guy on the phone or the combination of experience and what Verizon has in writing on their webpage? Hmm...

So now I have my answer, but I'm not 100% sure I can believe it, and the guy starts pushing me to "update my phone every 90 days." I have no idea what he is talking about as he starts telling me that they recommend updating the phone every 90 days by dialing *228 so I stop listening to the instructions and reasonably ask, "Why do I need to do this?" He says, rather rudely, "Let me finish." Further frustrated I am not really hearing his instructions (because I'm annoyed again) and he then tells me it is to update the roaming areas. Ok...I have first of all never heard of updating my roaming area every 90 days but ok, fine, I'll play this game...why couldn't you have told me WHAT you wanted me to do BEFORE you irritated me by insisting on telling me HOW to do it first? Why should I listen to how to do something if I don't know what it is and the implication of "update your phone" sounds expensive and unnecessary?

Upset again I quickly got myself off the phone, hopeful that the call really was on a recorded line as they claim. I wish other cell companies had been reception where I lived because that is the ONLY thing keeping me with Verizon. I hate the sale calls and random sales text messages (especially the ones that come at 11pm on a week night - you don't know I don't have small children or an early bedtime.) I also can only hope my rude customer service rep wasn't a complete idiot and that my fiancé and I can both keep our numbers and switch our two individual plans to a family plan before the renewal date of our contracts without going through hell...

This is why I wanted a response in email, without having to talk to someone, that I could print and waive in someone's face when they told me otherwise...

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  • To
      23rd of Nov, 2008

    To whom it may concern,

    These are the conversations and results of deliberate misinformation over the past couple days.

    NOVEMBER 21st, 2008

    Yesterday 11/21/2008 @ 7:51 am PST (16 minute call) I called Verizon to see about getting a new phone. My current phone battery keeps dying. Was on hold for quite a long time. While on hold I heard an advertisement for a new blackberry phone, I decided I would like to return my $400.00 phone for a cheaper but supposedly better blackberry storm.

    Finally when customer service answered they told me I had 30 days from the date or service to replace my phone if I was dissatisfied for any reason (This was called a Worry Free Guarantee). But that the phone I received from verizon was at no charge. So they really could not do anything for me, was told to call qwest merge dept for further instruction and they would be able to trade the phone out for me.

    Called qwest merge 11/21/2008 @ 8:08 am (45 minutes includes transfer to Blaine), Qwest told me no account info since merge, but they would transfer me to Verizon customer service, was told by Qwest merge manager that as soon as someone answers to ask for a Manager.

    Transferred to Verizon, asked for a Manager, was told by Blaine (which I later found out was his name and only name, he would not give me any other information about himself other then he worked in call center and they would know who he was)

    Blain tells me he is a manger (by the way was pretty rude as well, hopefully the call was recorded so he can reprimanded for his poor tone and manner towards me)

    I tell him my story: can’t replace my phone because of zero value on Verizon system, even though I had just spent $399 with Qwest a few months ago to buy this phone. He basically tells me tough luck, cant trade for a different phone except for a free phone. I ask him what phones are free. He tells me there are a few phones offered but non compare to any current phone. I tell him my phone was free, he then puts me on hold and comes back to tell me “oh yeah, that’s right, your phone (VERIZON XV6800) was a free phone but since the blackberry was brand new it would cost me $250.00 then id receive a $50.00 rebate.

    I ask him why if my current phones retail price is so much higher why would it be free but the blackberry not be free to me in this case.

    The he proceeds to tell me I didn’t need to get a new phone, if I could find my old phone with qwest, I could use it and just return this phone back to verizon. I doubled check with him, he again told me the new system allowed the use of old phones.

    Finally after going nowhere with Blaine he suggests he send me a new replacement of my current phone to see if this solves the battery problem (my initial complaint). He tells me he is going to disconnect my current phone then and overnight me a new phone. I tell him no, he can’t do that because I run a business out of my house and my phone is a necessity. He agrees and tells me my new phone will be here tomorrow (Saturday Nov. 22nd) via fed ex overnight. When I get my new phone I need to call and deactivate my old phone and activate my new one.

    I remind his that if the new phone has the same problems what am I supposed to do since my 30 day worry free will be expiring on Sunday the 23rd of November. He tells me not to worry that my new phone will have an additional 30 day worry free on it and I can return it if I am dissatisfied as well.

    We end the call with the expectation of me getting a new phone the following day (Saturday the 22 nd or November 2008.

    I thought about it and decided to call qwest back 11/21/08 @ 8:58 (16 minute call) to see if they could verify Blaine as a manger and double check all the info he told me. They could not really help and suggested I call verizon back to verify Blaine’s story.

    I dial 611 again from my cell phone 11/21/08 @ 9:17 am for a 36 minute call. I speak to a representative that tells me Blaine is NOT a manager, and that by no means could I use my old qwest call phone on the verizon network. She goes over my account and tells me the new blackberry is far less superior to the phone I currently have and it would be a mistake to even consider changing. I tell her my situation about the battery life, she suggest and gives me info on local verizon service locations that can test my phone to see if it is the phone or if it is the battery, or maybe if it is nothing on the new phone at all and problem solved. Just a defect on my current phone.

    We end the call, she tells me she will note the account and get word to Blaine’s manager about the complaint.

    NOVEMBER 22nd 2008

    Today 11/22/08 no new phone fed ex…….
    Then about 6pm, tonight I receive an email from a client telling me he called and left a voicemail telling me he was here to view a motor home (I run a wholesale business selling very expensive motor home to people from all over the united states) I was foolish enough to believe that by using my cell phone (that I have never really had a service problem with in the past other then the battery dying) I would get my calls and earn my income.

    Email says he called my today at 1:30 that he was here and ready to look at a $70, 000 motor home. They had driven several hours to view it and this was my opportunity (with the current economy time is of the essence, I need to be able to count on a cell phone provider that can offer the best service and best coverage) I needed to get back to them but they were already several hours away down the road looking at another motor home.

    Immediately I grab my cell phone 11/21/08 7:14pm PST and dial my voicemail to see if I had just missed the call. My phone tells me that is has been disconnected and is no longer in service.

    Then 11/21/2008 @ 7:16 pm PST (51 minute call) I call 611 to see what is going on. I am told by a rep that my phone had been disconnected and a new esn was assigned to my account for a new phone. At this point I am getting pretty angry, she instructs me on how to reactivate my current phone and tell me she is getting a supervisor to explain the situation to me.

    The supervisor gets on the phone, I tell her the entire story, she tells me she that due to an unexplainable “glitch” my phone was disconnected and the new phone was active. But the new phone was showing undelivered and at a local Fed Ex hub waiting for delivery on Monday November 24th. She then told me since I was a prior qwest customer that I did not get the 30 day worry free guarantee and I was literally stuck with the phone I was given. I proceeded to tell her that I potentially have now lost several thousand dollars in income because of a unexplained “glitch”, there was nothing she could do but tell me the person Blaine that I spoke to did misinform (lie) to me, and every other person I had spoken to had also misinformed me (lied) about the 30 day worry free.

    She told me if I needed to send back this new phone again that id have an option to buy a new phone a one year discounted rate.

    I ended the call by telling her I have been lied to, mislead, and now because of Verizon I have potentially lost over $5, 000 dollars in commission and my investors over $15, 000.

    This is my resolution. I feel I have a few different options.

    1) I accept what has happened and just realize that the phone I have coming is useless for more then 4 hours of battery life and go on about my life. (Doubtful)

    2) I file a complaint to the better business bureau, mail a physical letter to your complaints department, and cancel my service.

    3) Speak to my investors and file a Joint lawsuit for lost wages. With approximately $20, 000 on the line it really would make the most sense. Your company has no idea why this “glitch” has happened; your reps have lied to me and misinformed me time and time again with poor information. Either way you are in the wrong and I have detailed accounts of everything that was said to me and everything that has taken place.

    4) you can get me a new replacement phone of my choice (Reasonable since every other phone you offer is less in value) with an additional 30 day worry free guarantee in case the phone I choose turns out to not be as useful as my current phone. I’d also like a formal apology for my time and wages lost.

    My current phone bill is $195.00, if you average my phone bills out it is roughly $150 per month. Multiply this by 24 months for the duration of the contract (not including the past 3 years I have had qwest uninterrupted service) this equals $3, 600 roughly in service fees I will be paying you. Not to mention the countless people I will absolutely tell of my experience with Verizon. I know a few people cannot make a difference if a company survives or not, but I can assure you I will be able to sway the decisions of at least 2 people over the course of my life. Now you can add in an additional $7, 000 on top of the $3600 in service fees ill be paying and all as a result of a $200.00 contract rate cell phone your reps didn’t want to give me. And this is if our attorneys don’t decide to take you to court, and with investors entrusting me with over $900, 000 in inventory personally I really think a $70, 000 deal with $20, 000 in profit may just be worth it to file a lawsuit.

    Ill let you weight the options; your company was in the wrong from beginning to end.

    I only hope you choose the easiest and simplest way out, But I can assure you I am willing to go the distance with this and can prove every bit of what I have stated here, I am fully confident my company and investors will be successful with a lawsuit and recuperate some of the losses we have acquired as a result of your “unexplainable glitch”.

    Total of 160 minutes of calls almost 3 hours of customer service to get nowhere.

    Thank you for your time and I look forward to hearing from you very soon on this matter.

    If I am not fully satisfied with the outcome I will be posting this letter on every Blog, web site, and newspaper I can. I will also be sure to file complaints with the BBB, the FCC, and the District Attorneys office.


    In a nutshell, not really helped, but have now lost out on possible wages...

    +1 Votes
  • Ka
      6th of Aug, 2009

    I had a Verizon account for three years with no trouble. I do not use my cell phone very often and only have it because I drive through some pretty desolate desert at night and want the security of being able to call for help if I should need it. Suddenly one month I received a bill for over $350 for additional minutes beyond my contract. I looked at the calls and there were pages of one minute calls - one after the other to familiar numbers. Since I make one of two calls a day it seemed obvious to me that the phone was somehow shorting out. I would never make 10 or 15 calls of one minute duration to the same number within minutes of each other. I called Verizon customer service (?) and was told that I had obviously made the calls since there were other calls on my account to those numbers. I don't know how those charges were put on my account (I am technologically challanged) but Verizon was not helpful, wanted their money and that was that. I paid the bill and, since I was well past my contract, cancelled the account and got a phone from my land line company, Qwest. Reading these complaints I now know my situation was not unique

    After a year with Qwest, I had a problem with my phone and made a call to see how I could get a new one. Qwest told me they were not going to continue cell service and asked me to allow them to convert my service to - you guessed it - Verizon. I asked if there would be a new activation charge and if the switch would extend my contract to an additional two years. The answer to both questions was "no" . WRONG! I was charged an activation fee for the "new" service and my contract was started over at month one. I don't know which company "mis informed" me but I paid the bill, accepted the new contract length and resigned myself to another two years with a company that I now knew was unethical. You can live with anything for two years.

    The new phone was a bit kinky when I recieved it but I just charged it up to a cheap phone. The problem slowly escalated to an irritating level. In both the house and car charger the phone switches on and off while being charged and the male connector has to be held in a certain position or the charger actually discharges the battery. (I now set the coffee grinder on the phone and a bottle of green olives on the plug to hold everything in just the right place until the phone is charged.)

    Two weeks ago I called Verizon customer service (?), explained the problem and asked how to solve it. I was told immediately that I probably had a bad battery or a bad charger both of which I would be responsible for replacing as Verizon did not take responsibility for those items - even tho they supplied them. I said the charging problem existed with both the house and car chargers so I thought it improbable that both chargers were defective and therefore it must be the charging connector in the phone. I was told to take the phone to a Verizon facility and they would check it and sell me either a new battery or a new charger. I immediately knew my problem was going to be something I had to pay for.

    Today I took the phone to the Verizon store. It is 50 miles from my house. First, I had to get in line and wait for 30 minutes to see someone. The customer service (?) rep ask what he could do for me and I explained that the phone did not charge properly. He asked if I brought the charger. I said no I was told they would attempt to charge it there. He was very put out but he took my phone into the back and came back a few minutes later and told me there was nothing wrong with my phone. I said he needed to leave it on the charger because it takes a few minutes for the problem to surface. He said just go home and get the charger and come back. I explained that it was a 50 mile drive one way and could he please put it on the charger for a longer period of time so the problem would show up. He said it was probably my charger and I should just go home and get it. I asked how probable it would be for both the house charger and the car charger to both be defective. He said that would be unlikely. I asked if he would not please put it on the charger again and leave it. He said he put it on two chargers for 30 seconds each and it charged just fine.

    As I was leaving I told the young lady at the door that since they did not have time to properly check out my phone they had just lost a customer. She asked what I want ed them to do and I said put it on the charger for more than 30 seconds so they could properly assess the problem. She said it was probably my charger and she could sell me one or I could leave the phone and come back in an hour. I don't know why they refused to check out the phone but I was then convinced that no matter what happened during that hour, the goal was to sell me something, not to solve my problem. I declined.

    I had been toying with switching to Credo Mobile since I had a bad taste from the first experience with Verizon. Credo donates a percentage of profits to conservation organizations and I like that. Today sealed the deal.

    Right now my Verizon phone is sitting on the kitchen counter under a coffee grinder and a bottle of olives. It seems to be charging.

    0 Votes

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