My friend should be the kind of customer Verizon should cherish. She’s a triple play subscriber with a triple digit monthly bill. She accrues no benefit in subscribing to both wireline and wireless Verizon services, because the company has a bizarre policy of completely separating the business dealings of the two ventures, except for offering a single bill. She’s paying Verizon wireless for unlimited long distance even as she has plenty of anytime, anywhere wireless minutes. She’s satisfied with Digital Subscriber Line “broadband” transmission speed.
Despite repeated assertions that Verizon Wireless employees do not receive commission’s my friend’s salesperson routinely inserted a 2 Gigabyte data plan. No examination of my friend’s data use. To add insult to injury, the sales person convinced my friend that she should use a “wireless solution” to her in-home, voice telephone requirements.
Verizon added insult to injury by skimping on telephone-based customer service. Repeated called got disconnected, probably because the representative realized the call would take too long to resolve in light of severe expectations on the number of calls handled per hour.
I got involved and accompanied my friend to the local Verizon Wireless store. The place has an uncanny similarity to a car dealership. The company uses multiple salespeople and a hand off process that sure looks like a way to “tenderize” the customer and beat them into submission so that the last representative can lard on insurance, extra features and accessories, of course accruing no commission, spiff, or kickback.
Two hours later, I achieved a remedy, albeit a still costly one. It was remarkable to see that the Verizon Wireless representative experienced the same recordings and runaround as my friend. A wireless call triggered a wireless Verizon customer service agent even though the local Verizon Wireless employee used a wireline Verizon toll free number. The local employee had to resort to a wireline telephone to get through to Verizon wireline.
How ironic (copper/iron pun intended).
The lessons learned:
1) Verizon is one of those “too big to fail” ventures that screws up customer care, even if arguably it invests more in the process than a company like Comcast;
2) Verizon is using far too aggressive tactics to nudge and push wireline customers onto wireless options, particularly in areas lacking FiOS;
4) Consumer interest in having the latest and greatest smartphone can lead of costly and unneeded service arrangements; and
5) Consumers surely must prepare for the high pressure, time is of the essence decision making that still locks most into a 2 year service agreement.