I Have a Gripe

July 5, 2010

Verizon’s “Customer Service”

Filed under: Economy,General Annoyances — alvb1227 @ 10:05 pm
Tags: , ,

OK, today’s entry comes via request from my dear husband Glenn. And, by the way, I agree with him.

Back around January, we ordered a new cell phone for my husband. Now he uses his phone as a phone. No text messaging. No internet access. No photo-taking. Nothing. He just wanted “a phone.” So we went online and looked at different phones after all the phones at the local Verizon store required data plans. I called to double-check before placing the order that the phone we selected did not require a data plan. I was assured it did not. So, we placed the order.

When the phone arrived, we called to activate it. The first question? What data plan would we like. I explained why we ordered this phone and that we weren’t interested in a data plan. I told the rep that we wanted to return the phone if it required a data plan. So, I went to Fed Ex the next morning and shipped it back.

The following month, a charge ($219) for the phone was found was on our bill. I called and explained that we returned the phone (and why). They said they yet had to record the receipt of the phone. Luckily, I kept my receipt from Fed Ex and gave them the delivery confirmation. They said they would look into it and credit the charge back.

Well, now here we are, in the heat of July, and that $219 charge is still on our bill and we still call every month to find out what is going on. We’ve been told everything from “we couldn’t find your phone at the warehouse” to “we get thousands of phones a month, you can’t expect us to know where your returned phone is.” Really?

Now, I remember as a kid, back when Verizon was still part of “Ma Bell,” going to their customer service center in East Orange and my Mom resolving billing disputes right there on the spot. “Face to face” as my husband puts it. Now, you call around the country to God knows where and it is much easier to be smug and blow off an issue.

Now, call me dramatic, but my husband and I think this speaks to a bigger issue as to what is wrong with this country today. Not necessarily to the people, but to the management running the major corporations today. Let’s start with companies not taking responsibility for their actions and their customers. Why should they when the federal government is handing out bailout money like candy? It also displays a lack of pride in work. I really believe that work ethic is a dying concept.

My husband was actually told by the Verizon rep that there was no reason to get hostile because he raised his voice. He responded after six months of trying to resolve a simple billing issue with a company that specializes in communication and technology, we should be way past hostile. And my husband said he would bet his year’s salary that if this was a face-to-face conversation, that statement would’ve never been said. As a matter of fact, this would’ve been resolved by now.

What is going on with Verizon is the same issue with AIG, GM and the like. My husband and I run a small business and maybe it is just small, but we do what is necessary to make our customers happy. Why? Because that’s the way it should be. A customer is handing over money for a service or product. Therefore, that service or product should be the best it can be. I think a lot of these big companies are forgetting this concept. And as my husband puts it, we have a “no excuse” policy because there is pride in what we do and what we provide.

While my husband has some belief in technology, he feels we need to get away from email and texting and get back to the good old “face to face” discussion to work out issues with the so-called “customer service reps” and arrive at a proper outcome.

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