Verizon Wireless - Clearwater, FL / total lack of service
I have been with Verizon for nearly six years and my fiance nearly three. I have tried to utilize most of their services in that time (wireless, wireless broadband and business DSL). It's been a long time since I've been satisfied with the service, hardware and customer service that we have received. We have renamed their Customer Service, 'Customer Serves Us', at least around our house and here's why.
We are located in Clearwater, FL very close to the bay. We moved to our new home approximately one year ago and noticed that service in, around or near or home was inconsistent and unreliable at best. Because of that we added phone service with our cable/internet provider, problem solved, not really. I guess I did not notice how lousy our Verizon service was because at the time I was commuting between Florida and Ohio (my service had full bars at my Ohio residence) and making most of my business calls from the office. Since relocating to Clearwater full time our inconsistent service has become unbearable, considering the premium prices, nearly $350/month, we were/are paying. In my profession one phone call can yield hundreds even thousands so I need to sound professional whether at home or the office. My Verizon service no longer allowed me to achieve that level of service. Free nights and weekends were/are useless to us because like most people we probably spend better than half our lives at home. We did not have even an area inside the home that would insure we would not drop a call. We were left running for the garage, which is not air conditioned, or outside and even then there was no guarantee we would not lose the call. Now I know no wireless carrier touts coverage inside a structure. One has only to watch the endless parade of 'network' commercials with helicopters whizzing overhead, a platoon of uniformed people standing atop a speeding train or their be speckled mascot standing in the middle of a cornfield asking 'can you here me now?' to understand they don't want to here about your interior phone issues. Have that fellow come and stand in my yard and the commercial would sound more like 'can you her. do Do DO' (that's the sound my phone makes when I drop a call.
My sarcasm and contempt for Verizon has not been an overnight deliberation. It has been hammered into me from hours on the phone, dozens of emails and several postings on message boards. Six months ago we first contacted Verizon to see if maybe there were some 'settings' on their end to help our wireless reception. We were eventually forwarded to some upper level of tech support that said they would drive our neighborhood and see if there were any adjustments to nearby towers that would help. They also said that since we were close to the water it would obviously cost prohibitive for Verizon to put get to close as nobody actually lives out on the water. Well I never heard back from them on the results of driving the neighborhood and if any adjustments were made to 'the network' on our behalf they were immeasurable gains. In the mean time we kept sending our tuition to the school of hard knocks only to be frustrated time and time again with the erratic level of service.
I had heard from a friend that he was released from Verizon without an early termination fee for a similar problem, thus I started a campaign to free my family from the Verizon yoke. So I called, got transferred, another transfer, a call back, another transfer, well you get the idea. Eventually was forwarded once again to an upper level support technician that said, again, they would drive my neighborhood to verify service issues. I'm not sure how this helps me, please forgive my selfishness but like most people I didn't care about my neighbor's service levels, only mine. Two weeks later and without any sort of follow up on Verizon's behalf I went through the process again and was guaranteed to get a response. A few days later, I did. I received a voicemail from a cordial Verizon representative that basically said that my area was 'good' and that in late 2008 or 2009 they were putting up a tower one block from my home. Wait a minute, everything is 'good' but you are still going to arbitrarily put up a very expensive tower? The rep went on to say that because of my reported issues they would allow me to terminate my contract early without penalty. For a moment the clouds were fluffier, the grass greener and the birds were chirping in the trees, but then I called to inquire about the other 3 members of the household and their same plight. She said that she was a tech and could not offer that same option, but that I would have to speak to a manager. She went on to tell me to simply reference my case and the offer should be extended. Made sense to me, so a diligently called and asked to speak to a supervisor. Of course the first CSR wanted to hear the whole scenario before a transfer could be made, I obliged here request and after nearly one half hour of convincing was transferred. My conversation with the manager started out cordial enough but when she only offered to release 1 of the remaining 3 lines I think I nearly blacked out. Clearly my reasoning was flawed. How dare I ask Verizon to relinquish all claims to my hard earned money? I'm not sure how much longer I tried to reason with her (I know I was on the phone a total of 2 hours that day alone) but all my attempts to strike an accord with this person and try to convince her that if she walked in my shoes in regards to this whole fiasco, she probably would not have been able to keep her contempt from boiling over into a tirade of obscenities. That manager has since marked my account accordingly and each subsequent CSR I have spoken too says there is nothing they can do. I was referred to an email address and told that would be a better way to exact results, NOT! I have emailed Verizon no less than a dozen times. Unfortunately they do not have an automated response system notifying you that your email has been received and a representative will respond presently. So I sent another email. My email was a couple paragraphs and the response I received did not directly deal with my question and was concise. They spent more time reminding me of the balance due on my account. I complained about the lack of a response and now they just copy me on the emails I send, in place of a true reply.
Hopefully I haven't jumped around too much I'm sure I could have gotten to the point a little better but I am passionate about my utter disdain for Verizon and could have just kept going and going.
I have just switched 2 of our 4 Verizon lines to T-Mobile and thus far T-Mobile has exceeded my expectations. We ordered our new phones (BlackBerry Pearl and RIZR) on line at www.letstalk.com <http://www.letstalk.com/> , made enough in rebates to cover activation and put a little money in our pockets. The best part is we cut our bill in half making the switch to T-Mobile with comparable services.
I am actually on hold with Verizon at the moment and trying to convince someone that they should do the right thing and allow us to terminate the remaining 2 lines without penalty. Angela has been the nicest person to date and has a Tech looking at the dropped calls to try and make a determination as to whether it is warranted. I informed her that we do not use our phones at, around or near the house because of the lousy service. Just took a turn for the worse, Verizon says they should not have even let me out of the other two contracts that it was just out of the goodness of their heart. Looks like I will probably just cancel the other two lines at a $175 early termination each (contracts up in May) since I would spend more than $350 in charges before May (9 months x $60 - $540). Sell the phones on eBay and save myself hours of frustration.
Thanks for letting me vent,
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