Verizon Loses Your Order, Tries To Install FiOS Without Permission, And Disconnects Your Phone

It has now been 72 hours since Verizon took control of reader Matt’s phone, according to his new website www.verizon-fios-sucks.com. He originally tried to order FiOS way back in November, but when no one called to schedule an installation, he was told that his order didn’t exist and would need to reorder.

Annoyed, he declined. Since that conversation, Verizon has been systematically proceeding with his conversion to FiOS without his permission.

First they wouldn’t stop calling. They they started mailing him postcards. Then, trucks showed up and starting digging under his lawn. Soon, indoor installers showed up at his door, and finally Verizon has taken control of Matt’s phone number and has disconnected it.

Vonage, his previous phone company, confirmed that Verizon had transferred the number (Verizon initially denied it) and is trying to rescue it for him, but Matt’s phone is still not working.

It has now been nearly 72 hours since Verizon FiOS slammed me and then Verizon disconnected my phone so its time for an update:

  • Still no call investigating my Slamming claim. 2 business days down and 3 to go.
  • While Vonage has helpful and I was hopeful to get my phone service working is hasn’t happened yet. I still get a “Number Not in Service” message or fast busy signal every time I call home.

Matt would love for Verizon to contact him so he can fully disentangle himself from FiOS.
What a mess!

Verizon FiOS Sucks

Comments

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  1. NightSteel says:

    Hopefully, they haven’t cut his copper yet.

  2. officeboy says:

    Verizon’s ordering process is ridiculously messed up. I tried changing my home phone plan about 2 weeks ago. Well 3 “orders” and 1 repair later I have all the services working as they were before the change.

    It’s funny because dealing with them at work they have always been very helpful and quick to make changes, and I’ve never had them mess up an order.

  3. calvinneal says:

    Don’t The states Verizon operates within have Public Service or Utility regulators? Maybe that is only applicable in the midwest. Stop wasting eneregy, find out who regulates them in your state and get them involved.

  4. chiieddy says:

    @NightSteel: It wouldn’t matter. He’s not using copper. He was using Comcast and Vonage. However, they stole his phone number from Vonage and now he has to probably re-transfer it back.

  5. m4ximusprim3 says:

    And his customer service rep is apparently named “Amosher”. Poor guy.

  6. Buran says:

    At least the house hasn’t burned down.

    I would have called the cops if they refused to leave, and charged them for digging up my front yard. Hire a good landscaper to fix it, and send them the bill.

  7. Buran says:

    @chiieddy: How the heck can they do that without permission?

  8. Hitchcock says:

    I hate to side with Verizon, but Matt is just as much in the wrong here as Verizon is, if not more so. Matt placed the order with Verizon, and has not cancelled the order. Yes they were slow in getting back to him, and clearly the CSR made a mistake when he said that Matt had not placed the order. However that doesn’t change the fact that Matt did make the order and did request that Verizon change his phone from Vonage to Verizon. They tried to contact him by phone twice and by postcard once after the CSR gave him the bad information and yet Matt made no attempt to answer their calls or get back in contact with him.

    Had Matt just called Verizon back none of this would be happening. He has not been slammed, her ordered the service.

    So in summary, this whole problem can be traced back to 2 thing. 1) The CSR making a mistake when Matt called to check on his order status and 2) Matt acting like a dick ever since.

  9. Buran says:

    @Hitchcock: And he cancelled that order and never confirmed an install appointment. They are doing this with no permission. If you ask if you can come over and mess with my property, and I never answer your calls, that does not give you permission to do it anyway.

  10. warf0x0r says:

    Still better than comcast.

  11. Buran says:

    @warf0x0r: Comcast doesn’t burn houses down and disconnect your phone without asking or dig up your lawn.

  12. XTC46 says:

    @Buran: actually, he didn’t cancel. he was told it didn’t exist then declined to make a new order.

    Verizon is in the wrong for entering his property without consent to do so, but are in the right for pulling his number.

  13. Electroqueen says:

    I hate their installation process. When I ordered DSL from them, it took 3 months for the freakin’ company to activate my DSL line!

  14. Buran says:

    @xtc46: And how are they in the right without an order? Performing unasked-for service, then billing or otherwise causing hardship, is called a “scam”.

  15. dodonnell says:

    Every time I think of Verizon, I can’t help but remember Ernestine’s fateful words, “we’re the telephone company. We don’t have to care.” (paraphrased)

    OTOH, despite being a company that I generally loathe, Verizon *business* FiOS was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had with an Internet provider. They delivered the product on time, the installer was helpful (even worked out in the freezing cold rain), explained to me what was going on, didn’t try to push additional services, and was out the door in a lot less time than expected. It’s too bad that their consumer install people are (apparently) the opposite.

  16. socalrob of the 24 and a half century says:

    This is making me not want fios that much more. They hooked one of those hanging post cards on my door a few months ago with a box checked fios… Never called to find out what that meant though. When I checked the prices, my internet price would go up like 10 bucks or more and so would the phone. We rarely use the phone. In fact we get charged a $4.00 fee for NOT using the phone each month. Its some long distance fee that they charge on top of the long distance service. The $4.00 gets eaten away when you make LD calls. So I’ts a $4.00 or whatever you use fee.

  17. SBR249 says:

    @Hitchcock: And how should Matt go about canceling a nonexistent order? He was told that the order didn’t exist. Even though a CSR might have made the mistake, the CSR was still acting in his capacity as a representative of Verizon. Therefore, Matt couldn’t have known that there was an order to cancel. Additionally, since the order would probably constitute a contract and the contract was ended with consent from both parties (CSR representing Verizon and Matt) Verizon can’t arbitrarily decide that they want to resurrect it without consent of the other party. From Matt’s standpoint, his order has disappeared and he didn’t reorder, therefore, he didn’t contract for the installation and therefore Verizon pulled his phone against his wishes and without his permission.

  18. mattmcl1 says:

    @Hitchcok

    This is Matt from the story.

    1) The postcard and people calling me were Sales Reps that wanted me to place another FiOS order. They were doing this because they also thought my original order had been lost. I confirmed this on the night of the 17th when I was on the phone with 2 Verizon Sales offices using the reference number on the postcard.

    2) I explicitly told the CSR during my call on 11/14 that I wanted to cancel if the order ever was “found” and he insisted he didn’t need to do it because no order ever did or would exist and nobody ever would install anything.

    I may be acting like a “dick” as you state but when they won’t talk to me or help me get my phone number back I don’t really know what else I am supposed to do. I certainly do believe in free speech and taking a stand using sites like Consumerist when appropriate.

    I also know many friends that have had great experiences with Verizon FiOS installs which I state on the site. This is just my story and as always YMMV.

  19. smiith says:

    For Verizon to port away (technical term for moving a number from one provider to another) the number from Verizon, they need to have a signed LOA that Matt sent in. If they don’t have that, it’s Matt’s legal right to have the number ported back to his provider of choice. The big issue here is the beaurocracy – in a perfect situation, a port can take up to 14 days.

  20. notyourmom says:

    Well Matt, when the CSR passed you to Third-Party Verification that was you giving your permission to move your phone number from one company to Verizon. That’s called legal confirmation with a goverment-regulated neutral party. The CSR couldn’t pass you there for confirmation without an order/reference number; that’s party of the process and it’s in place for both yours and any communication company’s protection!!!

    Verizon also does not dig up personal property; not to install a copper line nor for FiOS service. Either you had an aerial drop from the street providing your service or underground service provided via a pedestal at the street level which runs through a conduit underground to your premise. An electrician must have a pull-string in place for Verizon to install your service thru the conduit; if the Verizon /FiOS tech comes out and sees the conduit not prepped he’s clearly going to let you know there’s no installation unless you take care of it.

    Hmn…this is clearly not making any sense.

    You don’t “try” to order service with Verizon; you either do or you don’t. There is no grey area. Also, Verizon is not “The Phone Company”. Verizon is a full-blown communications company and I would prefer to have Verizon over Comcast, as everyone knows Comcast is clearly the Devil. The only reason Verizon attempts to contact the customer is because SOMEONE missed an appointment for something they ordered to be installed! Matt would LOVE for Verizon to contact him but how many times is he going to ignore the fact they’ve been trying and trying and trying to contact him to no avail? How are they going to contact him if his line is out of service? Probably a postcard. Duh.

    Again…Matt…c’mon…what’s really going on? Clearly you’ve got a grudge out for Verizon and we would all LOVE to know what it is!

  21. sleze69 says:

    I have my cell phone as my primary home phone. Never had AT&T try to rip up my yard or burn down my house.

  22. mattmcl1 says:

    @NOTYOURMOM

    Verizon (or more accurately their contractors) did dig up my yard – perhaps it was to install the conduit – I wasn’t looking that closely. They left the trench nicely covered with hay.

    I absolutely did order service. I did go through 3rd-party verification. (As stated in my blog) But when they couldn’t find my order a week later (when I called to try and find out when the install was going to be) – they didn’t let me cancel because they claimed I didn’t order.

    The people trying to contact me were the Sales department following up to get me to reorder when Customer Service couldn’t find my original order. I confirmed this with them on the night of the 16th. They were not calling regarding anything with my original order – they were just following up on a sales lead.

    I remain very willing to talk with Verizon but the only people that will talk to me are in the department that will investigate my slamming claim. They would not let me call them – I have to wait for them to call me and for my phone to be turned back on.

    I have no grudge against Verizon. I very much want FiOS TV because people tell me how much better the HD picture is than Comcast. I want the reliable bandwidth of FTTH (especially the upload speed to upload my pictures). Despite my frustration the geek in me still wants their services if only they could get it right. I just need someone to contact me.

  23. Charles Duffy says:

    @notyourmom:

    You don’t “try” to order service with Verizon; you either do or you don’t. There is no grey area.

    If you take an action which you reasonably believe qualifies as ordering service, that’s an attempt to order service; you tried to order service. If Verizon tells you that no such order was placed, one can thus infer that the attempt failed — regardless of what might have happened on the other end. CSRs do make mistakes, after all.

    Notyourmom… c’mon… what’s going on? You’ve got a bunch of pro-Verizon hyperbole strewn in amongst the valid points in your post (“a full-blown communications company”! whew!) and significant knowledge of the process that Matt couldn’t reasonably be expected to have when making his own determination of whether a successful order was in place. Clearly you’ve got a connection of some sort to Verizon and we would all LOVE to know what it is!

  24. scoosdad says:

    @smiith: Verizon (Wireless) ported my home number once to my work cellphone without my permission or me signing a form, so it happens.

    My company-paid cellphone contract was up, and my IT department went about the business of replacing my phone with a new one. Accidentally, one of our IT guys, looking in the company directory, gave the Verizon Wireless rep my home phone number as the current cellphone number instead of the cell phone number I already had on the account, and they never verified that. I knew nothing about what was going on behind the scenes until my home phone went dead. I filed an online repair ticket with Verizon (landline) to report the outage; first they sent me back a reply that said ‘sorry we can’t help, but we’re not your phone company!’ (that bounced when I replied to it) and after some further gyrations someone from Verizon landline called me to say that I had authorized that number to be ported to a cellphone somewhere… whaaaat??

    I figured out what happened when someone rang my original cellphone (which hadn’t been deactivated yet), and told me they had dialed my home number, not my cell number. I talked to Verizon Wireless and they told me that they were powerless to port my home number back, that I’d have to go scream at Verizon (landline) to have them get it back for me. Which I did. I played it that I did not own the cellphone that they ported my number out to (which technically I did not), and they had no authorization from me to port it out, and that if they didn’t get my home number back on my landline phone in 12 hours that I’d file complaints with our state Dept. of Public Utilities and possibly a file lawsuit too (nice having an attorney brother in times like this). And so they did. Without even an apology from either side.

  25. chiieddy says:

    @Buren: It was said earlier, but I’ll repeat it. The guy clearly states that he went through the verification process and gave Verizon permission to take his number. Unfortunately, when he called back they “lost” his order, but it was actually probably still somewhere in the system. So, it all went down like it was supposed to. Where he went wrong was ignoring his notices. He really should have called at that point and made sure they were aware the order had been canceled.

  26. mattmcl1 says:

    @CHIEDDY

    I did ignore their attempts to “contact” me. Those attempts were purely to get me to place ANOTHER order which I decided not to do at that time. They were not calling about my original order – and Verizon’s own sales reps verified this while their Customer Service department was closed.

  27. niteflytes says:

    Matt…give up. There’s no getting through to the blamers. They believe what they want. Good luck getting things cleared up with Verizon.

  28. goller321 says:

    @mattmcl1: I think the only person acting like a dick is Hitchcock. I think the last 4 letters in his user name say it all…

  29. goller321 says:

    @chiieddy: Ok, so Verizon screws up and now it’s up to Matt to repetitively call to confirm that his order is still “lost”?!? What kind of moronic simpleton logic is that?
    He called and asked to be canceled. It is not his responsibility to continue to call to ensure his lawn doesn’t get destroyed or his number get hijacked!

  30. mattmcl1 says:

    @NITEFLYTES1
    @GOLLER321

    Thanks for the support.

  31. Buran says:

    @chiieddy: You apparently have repeatedly missed the part where he DID talk to them only to be told THERE WAS NO ORDER! It’s not that hard! I would ignore sales attempts, too, from a company that LOST MY ORDER and said that NOTHING WOULD BE INSTALLED.

  32. FLConsumer says:

    @notyourmom: Conduit for phone/cable lines?!? bahahahaha In these parts they don’t even bother to run power feeders in conduits. Even the 13KV ones.

  33. darkclawsofchaos says:

    @mattmcl1: Wow, you really want something done as you are posting on this thread quite often. A lot of people just email consumerist and expect them to do the rest, kudos to you. I hope this can be resolved without court.

  34. elf6c says:

    I demand the return the of “show us your Verizon face”. Also, these articles need to be linked to any Comcast sucks threads (and vice versa).

  35. Stan LS says:

    I hate verizon with a passion. Back in 2001 they absolutely refused to allow me to have a non verizon partnered dsl provider.

  36. TMurphy says:

    My .002:

    Ask them to install as quickly as possible. They seem to like to respond opposite to your will.

    I have to wonder how communication companies can be so bad at, well, communication. While it is no surprise given the reality that has been present for years, it still makes no sense. They have me convinced they must use “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader” to find their employees.

  37. notyourmom says:

    This is for Charles Duffy and poor Matt. No, no connection to Verizon, Charles. I actually am an advocate for the poor. Deal with Corporate America each and every damn day. You know there’s always two sides to a story; sometimes more. I realize I came across as a Devil’s Advocate but sometimes I just get tired of people who want others to help but are not willing to help themselves first. As for Matt, you should call Verizon if you have a cell; ask for a supervisor. I don’t know what state you’re in but I’m in the Northeast and I speak to them all the time. If you are clear and just come right out and ask to please help you it will get you a lot further.

    p.s. they can’t find an order without any type of reference, trust me, I’ve dealt with their security policy and it’s not fun. You actually have to prove to them you are who you are before they will give you any info, even if it’s to tell you there is or is no order! Too much fraud; too much phishing, and too much social engineering for them NOT to be cautious.

    I also have to agree with TMURPHY. For a communications company they themselves are very bad at communicating!

  38. LostTime says:

    After having read and reread Matt’s blog, I believe I may understand what happened to his phone service.

    When he placed the order back on Nov. 7th, he authorized Verizon to ‘capture’ his phone number that at the time had been through Vonage. Verizon captured his number, and was then informed by the installation team that the consumer had canceled the order for his phone service; if the porting had already occurred, wouldn’t that cancellation actually be discontinuing his phone service that was now being provided by Verizon?

    That having been said, Verizon did have an order from a customer that they acted upon despite the fact that the customer requested that the order be canceled.