FiOS Damage Control Swoops In After Man Blogs Privacy Concerns

After Andru’s story about Verizon not taking his privacy concerns seriously hit our pages and the front page of Digg, the Verizon Damage Control team swung into action. Andru had this problem where whenever he logged into his Verizon FiOS account, he saw the personal information on some other guy’s account. When he contacted the guy, the other guy said he saw Andru’s info as well. Over eight months of broken promises by Verizon and the problem wasn’t solved. So Andru blogged it. Once it started getting internet attention, Andru got two calls and several emails from Verizon people and a Verizon exec ended up having a tech stay on the line with Andru for an hour getting it fixed. Andru then asked for compensation for his three quarters of a year of hassle. Verizon gave him 10 months free FiOS, a $1500 value. Ii think it’s actually good thing when the customers can force the big corps to do right,” Andru tells The Consumerist.

Verizon makes good on our FiOS privacy woes [GearLive]
PREVIOUSLY: FiOS Swaps Customers’ Account Details, Still Won’t Fix After 8 Months

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  1. darkened says:

    That’s great and all but I still advocate suing or atleast consulting a lawyer. The only reason Verizon is willing to cough up that much is they realize they’ve done something incredibly wrong and there could be serious consequences if they don’t get it swept under the rug. Maybe that’s just a jaded view point but not many companies no matter how rich or poor toss around basically a year service contract for nothing.

  2. crapple says:

    Suing in every situation is one of the most sickening things in our society. Don’t encourage it.

    He got the end result he wanted, and they made it worth his while with 10 free months of FiOS (though I would have pushed for a full year or more).

  3. IphtashuFitz says:

    I agree with Crapple 100%. Don’t encourage a lawsuit. Verizon will just throw tons of money and expensive lawyers and Andru will see pretty much nothing come out of it.

    If, on the other hand, Andru finds that his identity is stolen or he encounters other problems that he can trace back to Verizon’s snafu, then by all means he should sue the pants off them. But for now a lawsuit isn’t appropriate since Verizon finally fixed the problem and compensated him quite nicely.

  4. ARP says:

    It’s so unfortunate- companies complain that frivilous litigation and our overly litigious nature is the problem. The thing is, companies won’t correct their mistakes or do the right thing unless they think they’re going to have to pay out big time in a lawsuit. I’m sorry, you can’t have it both ways. Either do they right thing, because its the right thing or deal with the fact that you’re going to be sued constantly for doing what you should have been doing.

  5. Nytmare says:

    Sure they fixed his instance of the problem, but did they fix the underlying cause?

  6. GearheadGeek says:

    Arp: The other alternative is to publicize the company’s failings… they don’t like that. That’s potentially more expensive than a lawsuit, and business they never get isn’t something they can write off like they can legal expenses. It worked in this case, it was easier for the customer, and the net profit (considering the actual amount of harm done) was probably better for him than the results of a lawsuit would be.

  7. Bukz68 says:

    It’s good to know that Verizon doesn’t give two shits about securing personal information until they’re getting bad press for it. Some posters have said not to encourage lawsuits in every instance of customer dissatisfaction but why not when it seems to be the only way to get these companies to make the appropriate changes willingly.

  8. Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg says:

    I love it when somebody manages to put some giant bureaucratic Megacorps nuts in a vice and forces them to do the right thing. Hooray for Andru.

    but I have to make the same point I made in a recent Best Buy thread.

    It makes me sad to see that it takes a major internet shitstorm to get them to fix a legitimate and serious customer problem.

    I hope that this incident will spark som mid/high level executive to examine the corporate culture and the customer troubleshooting process. But likely it will simply get a scathing memo to some low level manager, who will come up with a one or two minor changes that may or may not do any actual good. Then the whole thing will filter back up the chain as “Problem solved! And we fixed it so it can’t happen again.” And things will continue on exactly as they currently are.

  9. mac-phisto says:

    one has to wonder if customer service sucks so much these days b/c everyone’s scouring internet blogs at work. that would certainly explain why problems only get fixed after they are posted to the intertubes.

  10. m4ximusprim3 says:

    @mac-phisto: I work in CS for a major company and spend most of my time on blogs and forums. Luckily, we tend to do our jobs pretty well, so we don’t get many complaints.

    Then again, all of our clients are rich and pay us lots of money, so we’re empowered to drown kittens in a sack if thats what the customer wants. I’m sure other CSR’s aren’t so lucky. A good CSR is only as good as the parameters he works within.

  11. He says:

    What did they give the other guy who was affected by it but didn’t blog about it?

  12. vildechaia says:

    … empowered to “drown kittens in a sack?” Why?!

  13. BrockBrockman says:

    My first reaction is “WOW! FIOS is frickin expensive!”

  14. Hawk07 says:

    So does the $1500 “compensation” come with the agreement that Verizon did no wrong in this situation?

  15. Hawk07 says:

    Yeah, if FIOS really is $150 per month, I guess I’ll continue to live life in the slow lane.

  16. DMDDallas says:

    $150 is probably for one of the faster packages.

  17. mthrndr says:

    HOLY SHIT!!! This happened to me back when I was on Verizon DSL in 2002-2003! Every time I logged in, I saw some other guy’s info – it was like we had the same account number. When I tried to resolve it with them, I got a “nothing we can do” response. But I was never overcharged, and switched to RCN cable soon after. Plus, I don’t think consumerist was around yet. But still, it’s just funny this is the same issue.

  18. SgtBeavis says:

    I need to blog about how Verizon sucks for not offering FIOS in my area.

  19. Hey guys – I’m the guy this story is about. I’m not a sue-happy kind of person. It took a while, but Verizon finally did fix the issue. I’ve been a FiOS customer for 8 months, and they gave me a ten month credit.

    For those wondering, I pay $150 a month for the fastest package – 30.0 down / 15.0 up. Not typical. Their standard $40 package is 5.0/2.0 – not fast enough for us to run our videoblogging network :)

    Anyhow, I figured I’d write the follow-up to let people know that it DOES work to complain the right way. I wrote the original story, sent it in to Consumerist, and posted it on Digg. Then I emailed those URLs to the Verizon execs with an EECB. Problem solved. I think people need to know that they CAN move past standard customer service and get their problems resolved. If you wanna help spread the word, I just put the follow up on Digg as well:

    [digg.com]

  20. WhoMee says:

    Andru, glad to see everything worked out for you and we were glad to help. One minor clarification, neither Eric or I are executives, we just happen to notice a customer in need. Verizon as( well as all companies) have people that do there best to satisfy the customer. We were glad we were able to help you.

    Jeff

  21. darkened says:

    @Andru Edwards: Then go with criminal charges. Do not let these people just scoff off laws. I personally wouldn’t care as long as I could take money from them for it and that is more than equitable justice imo for myself but if you don’t want to sue them, that’s fine. Go for real charges then. Make sure some kind of real justice occurs. This isn’t just a customer service issue, this is a crime.

  22. Imaginary_Friend says:

    @WhoMee: It’s great that you were able to help Andru, but 3 posts above yours MTHRNDR claims he had the exact same issue in 2002/2003. You should probably pass that info on to some of your higher ups so that they can fix this problem once and for all.

  23. HaloZero says:

    Wow 1500 value? So he’s getting that top crazy ass tier of FIOS? Must be damn rich.

  24. Empire says:

    10 months of free FiOS? Can Verizon violate my privacy please?

  25. darkened says:

    @HaloZero: I’m not damn rich but I’d sure consider spending that much on fios if verizon would ever fucking install it to my neighborhood it’s within miles of me but not my neighborhood.

  26. @HaloZero: Paying $140 a month for a bill has no requirement of being rich. I run our blog and video network out of our home. It is a much-needed video expense. Uploading at 15.0 is a lot better than uploading at 0.768 with Comcast when it comes to our videos. ;)

  27. swalve says:

    Agreeing with the non-lawsuit people. Lawsuits are for when:

    1) You have suffered damages.
    2) Normal channels haven’t provided satisfaction.

  28. doctor_cos wants you to remain calm says:

    @swalve: At what point can we sue when ‘normal channels haven’t provided satisfaction” ??
    Who decides when?

    I want everyone to know I’m “taking this seriously.”

  29. KJones says:

    If you ever do get “resolution” like this, the first thing to do, after receiving compensation, is to post the name, email address and direct phone number for everyone to read.

    If the company won’t “take it seriously” when they should, force them the take it seriously when you or other customers think they should.