How I Got Verizon’s Attention

By Karen

Blogging. Within two hours of posting here about my mother’s problems with Verizon, a third-party consultant found it and alerted a Verizon senior vice president, who immediately phoned me for more details.

Within minutes, I got two more calls, from the consultant and from a woman on Verizon’s Executive Support Escalation Team. This woman also called my mother.

Now I have the names and direct phone numbers of two Verizon employees who are actually paid to give a damn. I’m not revealing them because the resulting avalanche of complaints would make their jobs hell, and they both seem like nice people who don’t deserve that.

Verizon promised me they would resolve all my mother’s issues and even make her happy. That includes trying (with a house call, perhaps?) to get her to give up her old AT&T e-mail account and start using Verizon’s, which she loathes for functional reasons.

But I think Verizon’s true motivation became apparent when the Escalation Team woman asked my mother if she would reconsider sending her complaint to the State Corporation Commission. My mother stood firm, but agreed to send a copy to Verizon.

Last year, I had to go to the SCC myself to resolve a bogus charge on my bill after trying in vain for four months to get the originating company and Verizon to remove it. Within a few days, the SCC cut through the crap and got Verizon to fix everything.

During this ordeal, I learned about “cramming.” Shortly, I’ll tell you what Verizon won’t about how you can avoid it and get some protection from bogus charges. Phone companies have reason to allow you to become a cramming victim.

I also promised Verizon to give credit when and where it’s due by posting word of their success with my mother when it’s achieved.

So, stay tuned…

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17 Responses to How I Got Verizon’s Attention

  1. RVA Foodie says:

    Well, you’ve got this comparison shopper’s attention. I posted a blog entry about my internet bargain hunting. Maybe you (and your mom) have some advice that you can leave on my blog. I’ll keep watching yours as your FiOS story unfolds.

  2. catsworking says:

    My mother got a second call Friday from Verizon at 5:30 p.m., again asking her not to send her complaint to the SCC. Again she refused.

    I’ll be sharing the story of how I had to go to the SCC last year to get Verizon to remove a fraudulent charge from my bill. Apparently, this seems to be the only good way to get their attention.

    Ironically, I’m sitting on hold with Verizon right now, trying to fix something they screwed up when they installed my FIOS phone service. 12 minutes and counting…

    In my area, my only options are Verizon, Comcast, and Cavalier. Cavalier didn’t offer DSL here, and their phone service was so inferior (and expensive) that I returned to Verizon after a few months. I’ve never considered Comcast for phone or Internet because I think they do only a so-so job with cable, and I don’t want to be totally at their mercy.

  3. teri says:

    I am glad that you got Verizon’s attention. I wish I could do the same. I have spent an estimated 6 hours on the phone either talking to the automated service rep or on hold trying to get help. I will be writing to the State Corporation Commission that is for sure. My problem? I moved into a new apartment in NJ and asked Verizon to came and set up phone and internet service. They “flipped the switch” and gave me a number around Feb 1. Around Feb 4 or 5 (It kept getting delayed) a tech team showed up to find out there wasn’t a phone jack in the apartment, but if I wanted to knock down a wall or two and pay Verizon several hundred dollars for all the extra wiring I could have one. Not to mention losing my $3,000 deposit on the apartment and eventual repair costs. I said no thanks. The Technicians said OK we will file our report and let them know that there is no jack in the apartment. The apartment was fully wired for cable. I called Verizon IMMEDIATELY and told them the situation and to cancel my pohne and DSL account. After much arguing they agreed. I spoke to a Manager to verify that I was really me and she agreed to cancel. This took close to two hours worth of my time on hold and getting bounced around, but that is nothing compared to now. Of course the account was not canceled and I have been billed $172.00 for services that I never received. Every time I reach a real person they cannot help me because “it is not their Department.” I guess there is no department for canceling with Verizon. Just keep paying for services that you don’t receive. I am waiting for the overdue charges to come now.

    Somebody wish me luck. Oh, yeah, have you noticed how hard it is to find an address for complaints or problems. Clearly, Verizon policy is to not deal with problems and just hope you go away.

  4. catsworking says:

    Oh my God, teri. That is one of the worst stories I have heard yet. Who builds apartments without a phone jack? I’d be complaining to the landlord about that. Seems they should be on the hook for any construction work that needs to be done, or they should have told you up-front that you would be limited solely to cable for all your telecommunications services.

    And why didn’t you know there wasn’t a phone jack? Didn’t you try to hook up any phones in the place?

    As for Verizon, forget them and go straight to the SCC. I once had a problem with a bogus charge some shyster company stuck on my phone bill with Verizon’s blessing. Verizon refused to lift a finger to remove it, and started tacking on LATE CHARGES while I fought the other company. I did get Verizon to freeze the late charges. But months went by and it wasn’t until I contacted the SCC that I really got Verizon’s attention.

    (Verizon loves giving crooks access to your phone bill because they get a cut of whatever’s collected, plus those juicy late fees.)

    Seems there’s a law by which Verizon has X number of days to respond to an SCC complaint — or else. Once the SCC got involved, that bogus charge suddenly went Poof! from my bill.

    Stick to your guns. If you don’t get satisfaction from the SCC, write to your Congressman and ask him to intervene. Sometimes that will do the trick.

  5. vze1n191 says:

    Verizon Wireless cares about their customers??? I think NOT.

    I am a longstanding customer with both Verizon and Verizon Wireless. However, that does not really seem to matter. I upgraded my Iphone 4s in August of this year to the Samsung Galaxy 4 s. It has been difficult to use, but I figured I should give it some time. I did that. Guess what. It is still difficult to use. That however, is not my issue with the phone. My issue with the phone is that it barely holds a charge for more than five hours. That, to me, is unacceptable for several reasons, with the two most significant being the following:

    1-I have a chronic disease, and if I am not near a power source, I could end up with a problem and unable to contact anyone because my phone has lost power as quickly as it does.

    2-I have a small child, and if something were to happen, and I was unable (again) to contact help because my phone was dead within 5 hours of it’s charge, the consequences could be severe to my child and myself.

    It just seems that Verizon Wireless’ concern is how fat it’s wallet gets, not it’s customers.

  6. catsworking says:

    vze, welcome. I agree with everything you say. Verizon’s customer service is so bad, we need a new word for bad. A few weeks ago, I got Verizon out of my life completely by switching to Xfinity/Comcast.

    Guess what? Comcast customer service is every bit as terrible. In fact to call any of these companies’ behavior “service” is a joke. They don’t know what service is.

    Verizon REFUSED to cancel my TV and Internet service. They had no choice with the phones because Comcast took the numbers away. But after unplugging everything on August 26, canceling by phone on Aug. 27, and even physically returning all the equipment on Aug. 31 (they didn’t make that easy, either), I was told this week that Verizon will not discontinue my service until Sept. 30.

    WHY WHY WHY WHY????

    I have yet to receive a final bill from Verizon. My last monthly bill went delinquent because I refuse to pay for service I have canceled. I feel sure this will show up on a credit report in the future when I least expect it.

    On the other hand, Comcast screwed up my initial billing and has yet to correct it. Xfinity TV is very buggy. My remote locks up constantly, and shows I watch On Demand get “stuck” like an old VHS tape gone bad.

    I have spent literally HOURS on the phone (mostly on hold, and then getting cut off, then back to Square One on hold) with both companies trying to get everything straight, to no avail.

    It doesn’t matter if you are a new customer or a loyal customer. Verizon and Comcast, in spite of rampant incompetence, are out to screw the world, and they are succeeding.

    PS: Earlier this year I ditched my Verizon cellphone and switched to Consumer Cellular, a partner of AARP. The phones are simpler and the plan is less than half what I was paying Verizon.

  7. Bill says:

    Verizon.., should not be allowed to own or operate a telecommunications company. They have no office set aside to handle customer complaints and there is no place that any of the tech support or other so-called “service” types can transfer you to if you have a beef with Verizon. I’ve found only TWO ways to get Verizon’s attention:

    1. File a complaint with the FCC. Now.., before you turn away, you need to know that it take all of five minutes to file a complaint against Verizon. Seriously.., it’s very simple and here’s how it works. You file your complaint. The FCC is required by law to share that complaint with Verizon. Then.., Verizon is required by law… to contact you and attempt to resolve the problem. Verizon is then required (by law) to get back in touch with the FCC to report to them on how they resolved the problem. ENJOY IT when Verizon calls you. Put them on hold…. Be completely UNreasonable. Call them stupid, ignorant or whatever you like. The people at Verizon who handle these calls are doing so as part of the company’s training program and they spend something like six months doing these calls. THEY really don’t care how the customer feels as they are just putting in their time so they can move up the ladder. So… don’t be afraid to open up and tell them exactly how you feel about Verizon and it’s LOUSY customer service.

    2. Here is the number for the corporate Headquarters for Verizon in New York City. 1-212-395-1000. This is where the top dogs for Verizon work on increased profits while ignoring their customers.

  8. catsworking says:

    Welcome, Bill! Good advice on Verizon.

    As a matter of fact, I have filed a complaint against them, but I think I did it at the state level. It was over a bogus charge some third-party had tacked on to my bill and Verizon refused to remove. They were undoubtedly getting a cut. I can’t remember if I contacted the State Corporation Commission, but the procedure sounds similar, although the state rep. mediated with Verizon directly until it was resolved. But they had a deadline for responding.

    About a year ago I switched to Comcast and, believe it or not, Comcast is making me recall Verizon as the “good old days.” You can’t even call what Comcast does “service.” They’re reprehensible.

  9. robert62201 says:

    For the love of God, I beg you, please reveal your direct phone numbers…

  10. catsworking says:

    Welcome, Robert. Unfortunately, this post is so old, all the people involved who seemed to give a damn have moved on (or gotten fired). I’ve tried to use the numbers myself in the intervening years, only to hit dead ends.

    I switched to Comcast about 18 months ago, and THEIR service is so unbelievably horrible, they have me remembering Verizon fondly.

    I keep reading that cable companies are on their way out because of alternate technology. That day can’t come soon enough for me.

  11. robert62201 says:

    LOL! I want to dump Verizon so badly, but my only other option is to use Time Warner Cable instead. And, from what I’ve read about them on-line, they make Verizon look absolutely fabulous. I know, it’s so hard to wrap your mind around that, but it’s true. It’s like choosing between an amputation of a limb or a colostomy bag, neither option is good…but, at least there’s a chance at reversal of the colostomy bag later on down the road. =/

  12. catsworking says:

    As far as I’m concerned, they all suck. They’ve had monopolies for too long and grown complacent.

    My parents still have Verizon. I was thinking of switching back after my 2 years with Comcast is up, but after seeing how utterly pitiful Verizon On Demand pickings are compared to Comcast’s, I think I’ll say put.

    Comcast gave me an outdated cable box on day one that for MONTHS has been haranguing me to download software updates that I can’t download. Every day when I first turn on the TV, this fucking message pops up and hijacks the screen for several minutes. It’s beyond annoying. They’ve told me that to be able to use their current software, I have to switch out the box and lose everything on the DVR.

    How’s that for giving a shit about your customers? Knowingly give a new customer obsolete hardware, then give them the choice of living with it or going back to square one on DVR-watching. I hate those bastards.

  13. robert62201 says:

    Found it! The phone # for Verizon’s executive office in New York is (212) 395-1000. FYI

  14. catsworking says:

    Roberts, thanks, and lots of luck in getting some help.

  15. Rod Sapyta says:

    My Mother in S Tampa Has been WAITING 5 DAYS for a tech to come out to fix THERE problems. I WAITED FOR 9 HOURS TODAY..VERIZON HAS been JACKING HER AROUND ALL WEEK. I have NO other CHOISE but to CALL EVERY one of my friends at the LOCAL NEWS to tell them her story. As WELL as the STATE CORPORATION COMMISSION.. I WILL get EVERYONE in TAMPA to TURN in this CRAP EQ and SERVICE.IN.. The STUPIDVISOR’S named JOE LAVOLIA needs a CALL from CORPORATE and THE NEWS.. WE have been in Tampa For 54 YEARS, WHAT DISRESPECT, VERIZON. Time to call BRIGHT HOUSE. This is why they GOT BOUGHT OUT!!! There all going to be looking for a new JOB.. CORPORATE CALL ME ASAP 813-458-0422 to AVOID EXPOSURE of this last week of HELL for my MOM. She is 78 and DOES NOT NEED THIS..

  16. Rod Sapyta says:

    After the 5’th day today and another 9 hours of waiting I told mom I will help her turn this story over to the right people and they will make the adjustment on there own people that are running Verizon into the ground. ENOUGH is ENOUGH!!.WE ARE DONE!!..

  17. catsworking says:

    Welcome, Rod. I hope you have gotten Verizon’s attention by now.

    I’m sorry to report that in the years since I wrote this post, I switched to Comcast for 2 years, and then back to Verizon just last month. In leaving Comcast, they screwed up my final billing so badly, at one point I was on the hook for $463. It took repeated phone calls, getting transferred from one useless imbecile to another, and TWO visits to the local “Xfinity” store (because no one in customer service on the phone had power to fix anything) to get everything straightened out.

    And then Verizon failed to send me my initial bill, making me delinquent right out of the gate.

    You can’t win with any of these companies. Every time I read a story about how millions of people are “pulling the plug” on these companies, my heart sings.

    I’ve got another 2-year Verizon contract, during which time I am getting my technology ducks in a row so I can get rid of cable myself and save a bundle. As you said. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!

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