Business as usual for Verizon Customer Service Representative #1: a customer writes in, frustrated but polite, with a cogent complaint. When shopping for their phone, they were misleaded and/or lied to about the phone’s functionality by a Verizon employee. While the customer does not demand a refund, they are looking for some sort of acknowledgment that they have been wronged and want to know what Verizon is going to do in the future to prevent their sales reps from selling products based upon misleading and dishonest claims.
Verizon Customer Service Representative #1 skims the email, then opens “Form Letter 1435 – We Appreciate Your Concern (Variant M).txt” on the Verizon CS network. Control A. Control C. Control V. Hits Send.
Business as usual for Verizon Customer Service Representative #2: customer responds to Form Letter 1435 pressing their questions. Verizon CSR #2 skims the email, then opens “Form Letter 1435 – We Appreciate Your Concern (Variant N).txt” on the Verizon CS network. Control A. Control C. Control V. Hits Send.
In this case, this all happened to Consumerist reader Christy K. when she bought her Motorola V710 from Verizon after being told it had Bluetooth capabilities that allowed her to use it for her own ringtones and the like. It didn’t and her exchange with Verizon resulted in a series of completely mechanical emails from Verizon CSR’s. They all “appreciated her concern”. Of course, they didn’t bother doing a damn thing about it.
Our favorite line from Christy’s email? “I can appreciate that you are a company employee and cannot divulge the actual reason for disabling all the bluetooth features on the phone. Anyone can figure out that is it so Verizon can make money from people having to buy ringtones and send pictures through their for-fee services.” Way to go, Christy. You rock.
Her full email and Verizon exchange after the jump.
Since you guys asked for tips, I thought I would forward along a nice little conversation between myself and some Verizon robots.
My initial bitch was that I went out and bought a Motorola V710 specifically because it has Bluetooth capabilities and I wanted to be able to move files, sync my address book, etc. When I was purchasing my phone, the Verizon employee flat out told me “Oh – you won’t have to buy ringtones or anything just send songs from your computer.” I foolishly thought that to mean that Verizon had not in fact hobbled almost all Bluetooth capability in order to force people to use their for-pay services for ringtones, photos, etc.
I know I had 30 days to return the phone, but since the employee had either lied to me (or mislead me due to incompetence, who knows?) I was under the impression that I was doing something wrong or that it was a problem with my computer. So, before you know it because of that and having a life, my 30 days were up.
Anyhow, the saga is below. I will let you know if I get another automated response.
:: christy ::
Begin forwarded message:
> *From: *Christy
> > *Date: *March 13, 2006
> 11:43:27 AM CST *To: *VZW Customer Service MW
> > *Subject: **Re:
> Phones and Accessories (KMM24106876V87541L0KM)*
> I must say that it doesn’t go a long way in my book when I respond to
> an email and get what is, essentially, a rehashed version of the
> first email.
> What I want to know is what kind of policy there is in place to keep
> employees from telling customers the wrong information, whether
> intentionally or not, and what a customer can do if that happens. My
> guess is that the answer is to get over it or pay to get out of a
> contract. Is this correct?
> :: christy ::
> On Mar 12, 2006, at 12:34 PM, VZW Customer Service MW wrote:
>> Dear Christy,
>> Thank you for contacting Verizon Wireless through our website. I
>> apologize for any inconvenience miscommunication has caused you.
>> My name is Helen, and I am happy to assist you.
>> On behalf of Verizon Wireless, please allow me to apologize for the
>> inconvenience of you not being given correct information with us
>> set up service with Verizon Wireless by one of our co-workers.
>> Verizon Wireless has a strong customer commitment to delivering the
>> best from our service and staff. I am disappointed to hear the
>> service you received did not reflect this commitment or correct on
>> the information that was provided to you.
>> Please be assured appropriate action will be taken and we will
>> continue providing ongoing training to all of our employees. We
>> hope we can restore your confidence in Verizon Wireless and prove
>> we are worthy of your continued business. And hopefully in the
>> future we may offer other alternate ways for our customers to
>> download to their phone.
>> If you have any other questions or concerns feel free to respond
>> back via this email, or call Customer Service at 1-800-922-0204,
>> and or *611 from your cellular phone which is airtime free.
>> We appreciate your business. Thank you for using Verizon Wireless
>> products and services. Should you have additional questions or
>> concerns, please reply to this e-mail.
>> Helen Verizon Wireless Customer Service
>> Original Message Follows: ———————— Brett, Thank you
>> for the note on the email updates. I will go sign up for that. I
>> can appreciate that you are a company employee and cannot divulge
>> the actual reason for disabling all the bluetooth features on the
>> phone. Anyone can figure out that is it so Verizon can make money
>> from people having to buy ringtones and send pictures through their
>> for-fee services. After all, if security were the main issue, how
>> is it that almost every other wireless phone company allows these
>> features unrestricted? Again, I understand that you cannot really
>> answer these questions candidly because of your position, but it
>> may be a question to post to your supervisors or their supervisors.
>> What really bothered me is that I have no recourse after having
>> been lied to by an employee, no matter how misguided they were.
>> Does this mean Verizon employees can tell people whatever they want
>> to tell them in order to get them to buy a phone or sign up for
>> service? I know I had 30 days in which to return the phone, but
>> having been told by the employee that these features were
>> available, I figured it must have been something that I was doing
>> wrong, not that the features were disabled. As you can imagine,
>> before I knew it the 30 days had passed. Again, thank you for the
>> response, and I sincerely hope that what you say is true – a
>> suitable solution is on the way. :: Christy :: On
>> Mar 11, 2006, at 12:16 PM, VZW Customer Service MW wrote:
>>> Dear Christy,
>>> Thank you for contacting Verizon Wireless through our website.
>>> My name is Brett. On behalf of Verizon Wireless, please accept
>>> my apology for your dissatisfaction with your purchase of the
>>> Motorola v710. I am disappointed the service you received from
>>> this location did not reflect Verizon Wireless’ total commitment
>>> to quality for our customers.
>>> I hope we are able to restore your confidence in Verizon Wireless
>>> and prove that we are worthy of your continued business.
>>> We are aware that the Motorola v710 is currently not capable of
>>> transferring files using Bluetooth technology. Bluetooth
>>> capability is a specialized function of this handset, not a
>>> feature of our wireless phone service. Verizon Wireless offers
>>> limited support of this technology for select devices such as
>>> wireless headsets, hands free car kits and dial up networking.
>>> It is the intent of Verizon Wireless to provide the best
>>> equipment and services possible while maintaining reasonable
>>> security measures to protect our customers and the security of
>>> our wireless network. This issue has been acknowledged by Verizon
>>> Wireless as a potential concern and we are working to provide a
>>> suitable solution that will ensure the best customer experience
>>> I encourage you to register to receive free e-mail updates, which
>>> will notify you of new product releases. To enroll, please
>>> click on the following link:
>>> We appreciate your business. Thank you for using Verizon
>>> Wireless products and services. Should you have additional
>>> questions or concerns, please reply to this e-mail.
>>> Brett Verizon Wireless Customer Service
>>> “We never stop working for you!”
>>> If you have received this e-mail in error or are not the intended
>>> recipient, please notify us immediately by replying to this
>>> e-mail and deleting it and all copies and backups thereof. If
>>> you are the intended recipient and are a Verizon Wireless
>>> customer, this response is subject to the terms of your Customer
>>> Original Message Follows: ———————— Form Message
>>> MAIL_ADDRESS: firstname.lastname@example.org
Market ID: IL/WI Zip Code:
>>> 61920 Full Name: Christy Email Address:
>>> Primary Subject: Phones and Accessories Secondary Subject: Phone
>>> is Not Working
>>> Message Body: Within the last year I bought a Motorola V710 from
>>> my local Verizon store. I reupped my account in order to upgrade
>>> to this phone since it had Bluetooth. I wanted to be able to sync
>>> my phone with my computers as well as sending songs, images, etc.
>>> back and forth. Not only was I not told that these features were
>>> disabled on my phone, but the sales clerk who was helping me
>>> actually said to me ‘Oh, you won’t have to but ringtones or
>>> anything! Just send them from your computer.’ Had I know this was
>>> not true, I would not have purchased this phone. I have gone back
>>> and forth in my feelings for this phone, but another incident
>>> made me decide to write. Later, my husband and I were in the
>>> Verizon store again getting him signed up for service on my
>>> account. I mentioned my past experience with the sales clerk
>>> telling me things that were patently untrue about my phone and
>>> their response was ‘I don’t know why she told you that. It’s
>>> still a really good phone.’ Well, I don’t know why either. They
>>> told me that the employee had just come over from working at
>>> Cingular, where the phones are not disabled. I must admit the
>>> only thing keeping me from switching right now is the coverage
>>> area provided by Verizon Wireless. There are not many times I
>>> would tolerate being lied to so unapologetically from a company.
>>> I realize at this point there is probably not much that can be
>>> done. And I don’t suppose Verizon would do anything if it could
>>> anyhow. I just want someone to know what happened. :: christy