7 Confessions Of A Verizon DSL Tech Support Rep

A former employee has stepped forward to tell us what it’s like to work as tech support rep in a Verizon DSL call center. Learn about how the supervisors aren’t really supervisors, the numbers and call times the reps have to meet to keep their jobs (and the sneaky tricks they use to meet these numbers), and more…

“Dear Consumerist,

I started near the beginning of a new center that was taking care of business DSL Technical Support and when the job started it was a great job. We were greatly encouraged to take care of our customers and technical knowledge was second to none. I spent around 2 years working for the company and multiple help positions.

The center was made up of several different departments. These included Level 2 Technical Support, Level 3 Technical Support, Business Intelligence, Quality and Management. Furthermore Level 3 Technical support was further divided into Business Order Status, Supervisor Take Over, Ticket Management, Outage and Presidential Appeals. Additionally Level 2 Technical Support also had a separate division for “High Care” customers, and eventually Premium Technical Support would join the team. The hierarchy of people that the customer will ever deal with is only two tiers. You call in and talk to a Level 2 agent, however if there is a requirement you may eventually speak to a Level 3 and if you are really persistent you may get the privilege of speaking to an actual supervisor.

7. The Supervisor You’re Talking To Is Not Actually A Supervisor
My first confession on the list is about the Escalations department, which never used to exist. When the center first opened and a customer would demand to talk to a supervisor, they would actually end up talking to a supervisor. This created problems however ranging from supervisors who would dodge taking calls from customers to supervisors who were overwhelmed with customers and could not do any of their actual work. The solution was to create a department of agents to handle the issue, and this is not all bad. One of the major problems when supervisors would take over calls is that almost none of the supervisors had any technical knowledge and were virtually unable to assist the customer in any way unless the customer was only looking to vent about their experience or in some cases give kudos to outstanding service. There are approximately 10-15 “supervisors” for each center to handle the escalation calls now. Each of these agents has their own direct phone number which they can give out to the customer. There is a standard external number that the customer must call, then they are prompted for a password (4-6 digits long and changes monthly) then they are asked to enter the extension of the supervisor, or they may press 0 to get the first available supervisor. When the team first started they were allowed to a lot to help the customer, sadly their privilege to help with stuck orders or technicians who didn’t show up were eventually removed. Things may change in the future but unfortunately the supervisors are bound to the same support boundaries as the normal Level 2 Technical Support Agents, and in most cases are unable to assist the customer any further.

6. The Metrics That Rule Our Lives

  • Handle Time (15 min): During an 8 hour shift, the agent must achieve an average handle time of 15 minutes. This timer starts from the time the agent hears a beep in their headphone to notify them that the call has started to the time they set themselves as ready to take another call. When I worked there we had a lot of calls where the customer simply got to the wrong department so this was normally an easy metric to meet.
  • Hold Time (2-3 min): If for any time the agent puts you on hold, they are supposed to only leave you on hold for no longer than 2 minutes (it used to be 3 min). After that time they are supposed to pick up the phone again and refresh you as to what is going on. Also a note here is the customer is supposed to put you on hold and not simply mute their phone. This was a common tactic used by agents to dodge the hold timer. If you’re speaking to an agent and they put you on hold and you hear silence and no music. They likely have you on mute and not hold, and additionally they can hear everything your saying at that time, when you’re on hold they cannot hear you.
  • Quality (88%): Every Agent is supposed to be graded approximately 2x a week on their calls. This is the metric that most agents hate the most and I will touch more on this later.
  • 5. In order to meet their 15 min handle time, agents have simply transferred the customer back into the queue to talk to another agent and tried to make it look like it was a phone problem.
    Agents have just hung up on customer/disconnected their phone, or told the customer that they need to go to another department and then transfer the customer there. It is sad that this happens but unfortunately if you cannot meet your metrics then you will do this.

    4. Customer Service Is More Important Than Technical Ability
    I was told by someone in management that the mentality was it was far easier to train someone in technical support than customer service. Now my personal view on this is that it is just cheaper/easier for them to hire anyone off the street and give them a month of training on how to follow a script to fix a customer’s problem than hire people with actual technical background. The problem this creates is a barrage of customers whom are fed up with the lack of technical knowledge the support staff has. Verizon did however introduce a solution to this problem; Premium Technical Support.

    3. “Premium” Technical Support Means They Had 1 More Week Of Training
    Now first off I want to say, Premium Technical Support is an awesome service in the fact that they are not under the same pressure as the normal Level 2 Agents. They do have more technical ability then the level 2 agents; however there are no real requirement for certification to get the position and the training is only a week above the normal technical support.

    2. “Quality,” The Department Everyone Hates
    The sad fact is, even if you go above and beyond, assist the customer in every way and have an amazing rapport with the customer you can still utterly fail your quality which means you can in turn lose your job if you keep failing. Some of the fun tidbits from quality include the agent must say the customer’s name three times throughout the call. They must review what they have done with the customer, use the “outstanding” verbiage, brand Verizon and they can also ding you for little things like saying “tech” instead of “technical” here. This sadly is where a vast amount of talented technical support agents were lost. They worked great with customers, got issues solved but didn’t do the little things and it ultimately ended their careers working for Verizon.

    1. We Must Implant The Word Outstanding In Customer Brain’s To Score Higher On Satisfaction Surveys
    This is something I always found hilarious, and I am not even entirely sure if they still do it, but agents are required to mention at the end of the call something along the lines of “I hope I’ve provided you with outstanding service today”, the stress always being on the word Outstanding. Now why is this you ask? Well Verizon contracts out a company to call back customers who have recently called into Technical Support and perform a survey about the service they received. The customer is supposed to rate the service from “poor” to “outstanding”. So basically they want to embed that word in your mind so that you rate them higher.

    Tips/Funny/Random Thoughts:

    • A repair ticket that was dispatched out to the customers location was closed with the notes left “Technician had a gun pulled on him area is unsafe closing ticket”
    • 1-888-427-1405 (Business Customers Only) – This is the phone number that we would use to call internal departments. The only real difference from this number and the one provided to the customer is instead of having to talk to the IVR and have it ultimately mess up where you want to go, you are given simple number prompts for where you want to go.
      o 1 – Technical Support
      o 2 – Billing
      o 3 – Used to be sales
      o 4- Cancellations/Retention
    • The most angry and vulgar customers are the least likely to get helped. When dealing with customer support please try to explain your frustration in a civilized manner, and be persistent if you need to. Just remember swearing and insulting us only gets you put on the back burner.
    • Technical Support is open 24/7/365, and they are the only department that is.

    This is all my personal opinion on my time I spent at Verizon and I hope that it has given you some insight as to what it is like to be on the other side of the phone.

    -Anonymous”

    (Photo: Getty)

Comments

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  1. brew400 says:

    sounds exactly the same from when i was a tech phone jockey at cox….

  2. greatgoogly says:

    Hellvista?

  3. What is that girl’s extension!?

  4. Abusiveelusive says:

    Couldn’t agree more with this:

    “The most angry and vulgar customers are the least likely to get helped. When dealing with customer support please try to explain your frustration in a civilized manner, and be persistent if you need to. Just remember swearing and insulting us only gets you put on the back burner.”

  5. SVreader says:

    Ugh. The “quality” rating reminds me so much of when I worked in retail. I worked in a big-box store, and we had to ask customers a specific set of questions while we rang up their purchases. The barrage of scripted questions annoyed a lot of customers (to the point where some would yell at us), but we had to do it, because there could be a secret shopper around who would ding us for not asking the inane questions.

    It’s annoying when you work in customer service, but to keep your job you have to do things customers hate because the company tells you it’s good customer service.

  6. DrGirlfriend says:

    I call health insurance companies frequently at work, and I have noticed that more and more of their CSR’s close the call with “My goal was to provide outstanding customer service today.” Now I know why.

  7. DrBologna says:

    I love how these “confessions” so often have something like this: “When dealing with customer support please try to explain your frustration in a civilized manner, and be persistent if you need to.”

    Seems like CSRs always chide us to “be polite” or “act civilized,” while they continue to ignore/deride/coerce/abuse/lie to/degrade/hang up on/back-burner their customers. Don’t they ever wonder why people aren’t always polite to them or don’t always act civilized? It’s not just because Verizon (et al.) sucks.

    It’s because the Verizon “suck sundae” comes with an asshat-CSR cherry on top.

    • Stop2ThinkABit says:

      @DrBologna:

      Well, in all honesty, you catch more bees with honey than you do with vinegar. It’s human nature and sometimes completely subconscious to offer more help to someone that is more pleasing to talk to. I’ve seen it many times… those who scream and curse give the rep a reason to disconnect the call.

  8. AddMan says:

    Very nice article. I can say, having worked for a couple different call centers over the summers (including working for Comast’s billing department) that you’re pretty much on the money. The only things that I know are different for Comcast are:

    1) Handle Time: I worked billing (which also had to handle tech support for the digital boxes) and our handle time was 5 minutes! It was ridiculously small, and most people were only able to meet it by pulling the same garbage you mentioned.

    2) The internal phone #’s: We had such huge problems trying to re-direct customers to the right department. It seemed like everyday we had a new number that we were supposed to use. Then you’d call the number and they’d say that they couldn’t (wouldn’t) help the customer. I’d spend 20 minutes trying to find the right department for some poor customer wanting to get something fixed, then get yelled at by my “floor Support” (fancy term for supervisor) for spending so long on a call.

    But I think stories like this are a good thing, since if the customers can get an inside view of how things work when they call up with a problem, it’ll given them a better idea of how to go about getting their problem solved. And yes, if someone called me up yelling and screaming, I’d go out of my way to do as little for them as allowed, whereas if they were nice, I’d bed-over backwards and break all sorts of rules to help.

    • Teapotfox says:

      @AddMan: This is a revisit to an old story, but I feel compelled to add that both 15 and 5 minute handle times sound like a luxury to me… ages ago, I was a call center CSR for the DMV, handily the worst job I have ever had. Our handle time was 2.5 minutes. Have you ever had any problem with the DMV that was solved in 2.5 minutes?! I know I haven’t, and I’m more familiar with the labyrinth of laws and regulations than most people, having worked there.

      Metrics are part of the bid a third-party company makes to be contracted by the larger corporation or organization to provide call center services. The DMV didn’t set that handle time, but it accepted the contract bid from the company with the most attractive terms and perceived value for its dollar. Unfortunately, that really doesn’t translate into quality or a positive experience for the consumer. We were repeatedly told that by not hitting the required metrics, we could cause the company to lose its contract and everyone would be out of a job… I guarantee you that is what drove metrics, not management concern for solving anyone’s actual problem.

      (I have a much, much better job now.)

  9. mgy says:

    I do phone support and am consistently amazed at how lax my bosses are about the “little things”. I don’t get paid a ton, but it’s completely stress-free. There are a host of specialists that you can turn to if you need to help someone further, and we’re allowed to be civil with people. There is no required call time (spent 3 hours one Sunday helping someone install Win95 – don’t ask), and rarely, if ever, do we have any upset customers. I guarantee this because they give the phone support guys like me free reign to help in any way we know how.

  10. Abusiveelusive says:

    @DrBologna: I can almost promise you that if you are nice and polite, it will be returned.

    Usually the tone of the call is started by the customer, not the CSR. Trust me, more than anything we would love to answer your question/solve your issue. That way we don’t need to talk to you anymore.

  11. snowpuff says:

    Verizon DSL reps signed me up for some extra “games” package even though I repeatedly said I did not want it. Then online, there was no literally no way to decline the package. When you declined it, it just said “are you sure” and put you back to the agreement.

    Then Verizon kept emailing me, asking to confirm my order. THEN Verizon started CALLING with automated reminders to agree to the package.

    Finally after like three months, Verizon gave up.

    Very honest, Verizon!

  12. howie_in_az says:

    When will companies realize that putting ‘metrics’ on their support department is an utter waste of time and ultimately damaging to their consumer relationships? I don’t care if your boss is looking over your shoulder saying you’ve been on the phone for 15 minutes if a FiOS installation resulted in my home blowing up.

  13. Terminal-Alkyne says:

    @DrBologna: I place that as a chicken-and-egg problem. It is unknown which came first.

  14. stephenjames716 says:

    this article comes at a time where I am experiencing this horrible service first hand. my dsl and linksys wireless setup stopped working over the weekend. after multiple calls and many, many hours of dealing with both verizon and linksys I was at my wits end last night. I asked to speak to a manager and was told there is no managers only supervisors.

    so I was “transferred” to the supervisor “department” and was given a number to use to callback with today after work. (after spending another 2 hours last night at it I was fried). I think I will be using the business line instead tonight.

    I ended up buying a new router and actually had it working yesterday without a password prompt to get into the wireless network. Silly me…I called in to get help setting that up and the tech f*&ked everything up and ended up telling me my router is bad. (the brand new one that worked fine earlier). he told me he was going to get a linksys rep on the phone to help US out…when in reality he transferred me to some number at linksys that nobody picks up. I finally hung up after waiting 30 min on hold.

    BURN IN HELL VERIZON TS!

  15. luckybob343 says:

    Cool. Nice towing of the corporate line. Can I get some answers to, y’know, REAL questions:

    1. Why does my DSL service just go out at random times?
    2. When my neighbors and I are all without service, why am I never told there’s an outage when I call?
    3. Why do I have to reset my modem once a month to keep a connection for more than 15 seconds?
    4. Why am I grilled about whether or not I’m sharing my connection regardless of what I’m calling for?

  16. Hambriq says:

    Snooze.

    I think maybe one out of ten of these “Confessions” posts have any kind of useful information. What did this post tell us that we either don’t already know or have any use for? Let’s just go down this list for a moment.

    7. The Supervisors Aren’t Really Supervisors: Thanks, but I could pretty much have guessed this on my own. Plus, is this helpful to us as consumers? See #6.

    6. The Metrics: Why is this important? Does it do us any good to know how you are graded? It’s not like we can use it as leverage.

    5. Dirty Tricks: Again, why is this important?

    4. Customer Service vs. Technical Knowledge: How is this knowledge helpful to us?

    3. “Premium Tech Support” is a Sham: See above: How can we use this information usefully? Chide the person who is trying to help us for their lack of experience? The author admits that this is an “awesome service”, so what’s the problem?

    2. The Metrics pt. 2: Why do we need to know how you are graded?

    1. “Outstanding”: Thanks. Do I really need another reason to ignore the scripted hellos and goodbyes of the CSRs?

    I enjoy the “Confession” posts when they actually have useful information. However, the majority of them have degenerated into self-indulgent job descriptions. Remember authors, the point here isn’t to tell the world where you are coming from. It’s to give us information that we can use. Typing up the specific inner-workings of your company helps with nothing except whatever bizarre ego inflation you get from seeing your post featured on Consumerist.

  17. SVreader says:

    @howie_in_az: You can’t really fault people for not wanting to get fired. You’re right–companies shouldn’t make people lose their jobs by doing their jobs.

  18. gqcarrick says:

    Wow, they got a lot more call time than we did when I worked for Adelphia. We got 13 mins, I was always way under, but 15 mins is insane. A lot of that is right on too, everyone hated quality because they would ding you on the stupidest things just so you didn’t get a bonus that month.

  19. nursetim says:

    @DrGirlfriend:
    The last place I was at, our lab that did blood draws would call us if there was a critical result we would need to know immediately. All of a sudden, the person calling us, after giving the results, would ask if there was anything else they assist me with. This be something some management drone thought of, because it sounded ridiculous, since they were the ones calling us.

  20. Hambriq says:

    @Terminal-Alkyne:

    It’s not really a chicken-and-egg problem. It’s actually pretty simple. As a CSR (of ANY company), your job is to help the customer, no matter how loud, irate, angry, etc. they may be.

    The customer is the customer. They are not bound by their job description to be level-headed. You, on the other hand, are. If you choose to treat a customer differently because of their attitude, you are a bad CSR.

    Now, on the other hand, I’m not naive. I know my attitude as a customer can affect how I am treated. That’s why I don’t have an issue with the author of this post throwing in that note. But there is a major difference between explaining how things are, and then trying to defend poor CSRs or put the blame onto the customers.

  21. zibby says:

    Interesting. Not surprising about the lack of actual tech knowledge – I think Time Warner NYC’s whole tree consists of figuring out what piece of equipment you have that isn’t theirs (usually a router) and blaming the problem on it.

  22. SVreader says:

    @Hambriq: I disagree. If consumers know that certain aspects of bad customer service are a company’s policy rather than a “bad” CSR, then consumers have a bigger picture of the actual issue.

    It does no good to say, “I don’t care what the working conditions are, just help me,” if the CSR is, in fact, prevented from helping customers in order to save the company money. The real problem is that these huge near-monopolies are set up so that they have no incentive or pressure to treat consumers fairly–and that’s not going to be solved by yelling at CSRs.

  23. Clipdat says:

    Full size version of customerservicescarygirl.jpg please!

  24. czetie says:

    T-Mobile seems to have the biggest Department For Writing Stupid Scripts. Every time I call, the intro script gets longer and sillier. When will the people who write this nonsense realize how bad it sounds? There is no substitute for authenticity.

  25. homerjay says:

    “The most angry and vulgar customers are the least likely to get helped. When dealing with customer support please try to explain your frustration in a civilized manner, and be persistent if you need to. Just remember swearing and insulting us only gets you put on the back burner.”

    Ya hear that Mr. AT&T/refurb iPhone dude??? This is applicable to EVERYONE- not just Verizon. I generally get everything I want when I call a company because I’m a sweetheart that acts like the rep knows everything. They like feeling appreciated, and they like feeling smart.

  26. Dover-II says:

    This article explains so much of the hell I have endured with Verizon over the past few months. Truly maddening. If you are interested, fiosexperience.blogspot.com. I linked to this article, since it was so fitting.

  27. chrisfromnl says:

    100% Agree. When I worked at AT&T this summer if I got yelled at I just transfered them ASAP. On the other hand, if someone was nice, I usually stayed on the line and tried to help, and if I had to transfer them, I would stay on the line and tell the next agent the problem before switching them over.

    “The most angry and vulgar customers are the least likely to get helped. When dealing with customer support please try to explain your frustration in a civilized manner, and be persistent if you need to. Just remember swearing and insulting us only gets you put on the back burner.”

  28. @Hambriq:

    Dude, calm down! I really enjoyed reading that article!

  29. stephenjames716 says:

    LOL@Dooley….exactly!

  30. ornj says:

    Interestingly enough. I have found that I received better service and correct information by calling the technical support call center late at night rather than during the day. The only time this failed me was when they were in the middle of a system wide update which prevented the support rep from accessing my information. He said he could get it if I could give him my DSL line number but reformat of my own system, I couldn’t location my DSL information

    I believe that he wasn’t just brushing me off because he then proceeded to call or talk to anyone he could trying to figure out why the hell my DSL wouldn’t activate.

  31. sleze69 says:

    Things haven’t changed much since my days at Compaq…in 1995.

  32. LatherRinseRepeat says:

    @snowpuff:

    I just moved my Verizon DSL service from my old apartment to a new one. The rep was very nice and helpful. BUT she also signed me up for their online storage and security package. I do recall telling her on the phone that I didn’t want it at all. But she kinda played it down and said that I would need to actually install the software to sign up for the service. Wrong.

    I logged into my Verizon account and saw that the service was added. It was a 30 day free trial, and around $8 a month afterwards. Luckily, there was a “Decline” button. And I was able to remove it from account.

    It really sucks when tech support reps are also sales reps.

  33. Catperson says:

    My husband worked at this exact place when we first moved to the city in which it is located. It’s truly a horrible call center. It’s known in the area as being the worst employer you could get stuck with. People will ask, hey I’m thinking about applying at —— and everyone in the room will turn with a look of horror in their eyes and warn them against it. This post tells you about the stupid practices that affect the consumer, but it doesn’t mention the way the managers will decide that calls are slow and force you to take an hour off without pay in the middle of your shift, which should be illegal. Or how if you don’t get around to taking your lunch exactly when it’s scheduled (something that’s pretty hard in a freaking call center where you have no control over the amount of time you’ll be on the phone with someone), you’ll often get screwed out of getting one at all, which should also be illegal. But no one cares and most of the employees who want justice just end up quitting and getting another job because it’s easier than fighting for your rights.
    My husband was extremely part time there because he’s in grad school and they would just randomly change his schedule without telling him, and if it conflicted with his classes, he had to jump through a million hoops to get it resolved and usually get ‘pointed’ (it’s like occurrences for missed time) in the process if he chose to attend a class rather than come in and work his new schedule before it got fixed. So the next time you call Verizon DSL tech support, just be aware that you’re probably talking to someone who has recently discovered that their employer is the devil incarnate and would like to help you but most often can’t, or you’re talking to someone who has been there a while and is either too stupid to find a better job or loves the place because they’re also the devil incarnate.
    My husband used to get tons of calls about service techs who were supposed to make house calls and never showed up multiple times. He would get screamed at, and he would do everything he could – note the file, escalate the call, tell management about the problems customers were having – but nothing he did would solve the problem and he obviously couldn’t get a on plane to Arizona or wherever to fix the problem himself (even though some customers demanded that!). Whenever he got one of those calls, he would come home and say, “I can’t understand why these people still have Verizon DSL when the company obviously doesn’t care about them. Instead of waiting 3 months to get your connection working and paying that whole time, call up another carrier and get better service!” I would wholeheartedly recommend this plan of action to anyone struggling with a company as customer-hostile as Verizon.
    Just another note: this call center is completely outsourced, so my husband didn’t actually work for Verizon. They do tech support for other companies, including Apple. First sign that a company doesn’t care about customer: they outsource their customer service to a bunch of people who don’t know anything about the company or the product and expect a couple weeks of training to make up for that.
    Okay, that was long, but that place is truly evil and I had to speak up!

  34. weeborg says:

    As a former CSR for a major airline (probably the most hated group of CSRs out there, even more so than tech service people), I can say that a lot of the issues the author mentioned are true for us as well. Some comments have raised an interesting point – why should we care about details of the CSR’s job like metrics or crappy training or whether or not there are genuine supervisors, anyway?

    Mainly because the quality of your service depends a lot on those factors that may seem irrelevant to you! I cannot begin to count the number of calls I had where I had to break some metric (time limits, compensation limits, using particular phraseology, subverting the computer system even) in order to actually help a person who I felt had been wronged and deserved better service. It’s ridiculous that so many CSRs feel like they have to choose between proper service and keeping their jobs, and the main consequence is that CSRs who actually give a crap end up quitting, leaving customers with gormless idiots who couldn’t care less as the only ones to deal with. These measures which seem like they should only effect the reps themselves in the end do have consequences for us all.

    And yes, it’s true, the caller’s attitude shouldn’t matter to a truly good CSR. But seriously, when choosing between risking your job or taking the safe route and toeing the company line (which usually isn’t terribly beneficial to the customer), would you choose the former to help someone who just called you a f***ing piece of s***? I know I never did…

  35. MissTic says:

    Thanks Consumerist. Posts like this make up for the inane ones.

  36. Hambriq says:

    @Dooley:
    Okay.

    @SVreader:

    What you’re saying is true. If your CSR is administratively crippled and cannot help you, it does no good to bark up that tree. But what does that have to do with this post? The OP gave us little insight into the company besides the specifics of how they are “graded”. I will spare you the blow-by-blow of why nearly all of his “confessions” are useless and go with the summary: I feel absolutely no more equipped to deal with Verizon’s customer service now than I did before I read this post.

    So, that leads me to my question: what’s the point?

  37. Echodork says:

    Sounds more or less like most other call centers: scripts and verbiage are more important than effective service. I’m just surprised that we didn’t hear anything about upselling. Working tech support for Dish Network, we had sales quotas for upselling movie packages.

    Also, I don’t see anything about how Verizon’s tech support center is housed in Bangalore. I don’t think I’ve EVER spoken to a Verizon tech without a thick Indian accent.

  38. Parting says:

    @DrBologna: Didn’t you read an article earlier today, on how to get what you want.

    I work with tech support(different industry altogether), and when the customer gets abusive, he gets BANNED from the center.

    And your frustration with Verizon does not have to be vented on a poor tech support. It shows your lack of education and respect to a HUMAN.

  39. nevin says:

    Eds, where did you get the image for this story? is it one of your Flickr finds?

  40. SoCalGNX says:

    I suspect the imaginary supervisor is used everywhere.

  41. Catperson says:

    @Echodork: I don’t remember exactly (it’s a been a while), but I believe the company Verizon DSL outsources their tech support to has a few locations around the world, at least two of which are in the United States

  42. strokz1 says:

    i only get angry when i have to sit through their automated answering machine repeating myself over and over while waiting to talk to a technician…. that is what gets me

  43. Confession number 8: They don’t all look like that hottie in the photo, do they? [If they do, I’m gonna switch to verizon DSL and have technical problems!]

  44. Imakeholesinu says:

    “A repair ticket that was dispatched out to the customers location was closed with the notes left ‘Technician had a gun pulled on him area is unsafe closing ticket'”

    I fail to see how this was funny/tip. If the technician felt his/her life was in danger, by all means he needs to put that in the ticket notes. As for closing out the ticket and not specifying if it was the actual customer who pulled a gun on the technician or a passerby, it should have been noted but the ticket shouldn’t have been closed. I wonder if authorities were notified or if this was just a hoax.

  45. elf6c says:

    Ah Verizon, the company behind “show us your Verizon face”, and “burning down your house with the faulty FIOS install and lying about it”. The only way they don’t lose “Worse Company not the RIAA” every year is sweet sweet astroturfing.

  46. boss_lady says:

    @DrBologna: Not everyone who takes technical support calls is an asshat. Many people that work at my particular site actually have college degrees; when you speak to someone as though you think they are an asshat, trust me, it’s much more amusing for us to play along. Moreover, it is often the limitations of quality metrics, etc. that prevent us from delivering the service customers need and want.

  47. boss_lady says:

    @Echodork: You probably have residential DSL service if you don’t speak to people in North America.

  48. Fist-o™ says:

    If that girl works for Verizon, I forgive them of all sins.

  49. tamoko says:

    This was awesome. A great peek behind the proverbial curtian. I always treated CSR’s and tech people with respect and honest appreciation for their help. Now I have even more reason to appreciate them, especially for sometimes thriving in such a weird enviornment. I love the little work-arounds that people have come up with too.

  50. bt0133 says:

    I did the full training at an outsourced T-Mobile center in Canada. One of the things they stressed is that we don’t let the caller know we are from Canada. We were told that if a caller asked us where we were from to say “up North” or “near Seattle”. Side note: I quit after my first day on the floor because when a caller demanded a supervisor 2 times, the “supervisor” wouldn’t pick up the call, and instead told me to “cool the customer down”.

  51. Milliardo says:

    When will companies realize that putting ‘metrics’ on their support department is an utter waste of time and ultimately damaging to their consumer relationships? I don’t care if your boss is looking over your shoulder saying you’ve been on the phone for 15 minutes if a FiOS installation resulted in my home blowing up.

    –I so agree with this. Metrics are evil–they are hell for the agents and does not help in supporting issues. It can actually ruin a company’s otherwise good reputation because the agent has to hit his metrics but fail to support the customer.

  52. danseuse322 says:

    @SVreader: Was that a store owned by the place that owns Victoria’s Secret? I quit buying my favorite perfume because of those questions. NOTHING is worth it. I realized it was the company. What kind of moron doesn’t know that you lose more than you gain that way. Just called to cancel my Verizon DSL since I am moving–it’s two months before my contract is up but I said I would rather pay the contract out that the ETF becasie I had such horrible service–that I would rather give free internet to who moves in. Then I told the guy (who was nice–prob. b/c I pushed CANCEL and not tech support) that he should read Consumerist today. He said, “really? That’s awesome.”

  53. danseuse322 says:

    Oh–and as I was doing all this? My DSL is not connecting to the server. AGAIN. I did tell the guy to please put in my file that I would never EVER use Verizon DSL again.

  54. killerbean says:

    On the otherside of the coin, I once had a great call-back from customer service. A few years ago, I bought a computer router on sale. A coupla months later, although it worked fine 95% of the time, it wouldn’t work with one particular piece of MS software. not a huge deal, but it made me curious why, so I emailed the company. About a day later, I get a call at 8:00 p.m. from their technical support staff. He spent an hour on the phone with me, even tried a remote fix through my computer to solve the problem.

    Although he never did solve it (not from lack of trying), he was friendly, courteous, and get this, he called from their head office in Singapore! I’m in Canada.

    Didn’t have the heart to tell him that I payed a total of $1.00 (plus tax) for the router (purchase price of $30.99 with a $30 mail-in rebate).

  55. Citizen Snips says:

    @homerjay:
    Amen.

  56. Flame says:

    ya know, I used to do sales support for Directv. It always amazed me the people that would get mad at installers for not showing up, and then, the next call I got would be from an installer saying that the customer whose house he had just been at had taken a swing at him with a baseball bat, or taken his ladder away and trapped him on the roof because the building they lived at couldn’t get service due to trees. It’s bad on both sides. There are customers out there that will do anything and say anything to get what they want; and there are csrs that will do anything and say anything they can to get you off the phone. my advice, if you don’t get what you want the first time, call back. if that doesn’t work, escalate. if THAT doesn’t work, log onto the Consumerist and get an email for the dreaded EECB. there are ways to get what you need done, but yelling and screaming wont solve anything, and taking a bat to someone’s head will get you jail, every time.

  57. metalhaze says:

    Wow…that DSL tech support chick can service my lines any day!

  58. SuperJdynamite says:

    “Agents have just hung up on customer/disconnected their phone, or told the customer that they need to go to another department and then transfer the customer there.”

    Mike Daisey, author of “Dog Years: Doing Time at Amazon Com” admitted to getting his average handle time down by simply hanging up on people. Unfortunately he miscalculated one period and got his handle time down to twenty seconds.

  59. unklegwar says:

    I didn’t read any of the article, I just want to operator number of the girl in the photo. I’ll be more than happy to spend my day on support.

  60. Leohat says:

    I used to work for Verizon Wireless at a outsource company (WDSGLobal). I did support for ‘Wireless data devices’. Things like Treo’s (I would not give a Treo to my worst enemy), Blackberries, and cell modems a.k.a ‘air cards’

    1) The first we knew of a new phone release was when we started getting calls on it. No training, no advance notice, nada.

    2) We did not have the actual phones to look at. Nearly all the phones have differant menus/buttons. All we had to work from were screen shots from older models. Which of course had differant menus

    3) Our training for the Vcast service was watching the online advertisement video (about 90 sec long) and looking a screen capture from that video. That was it. Go support it.

    4) 3 outbound phone lines availible for outbound calls to differant deparments. No no, not 3 per agent, 3 total… for about 100 agents.

    5) Read only database access. The Knowledge base (the instructions that the agents had to follow) required resetting functions in a computer program that we had no access to. We had to call a differant Verizon dept. to get someone that did have access to that system. See item 4. Most of the time I had better luck searching HowardForums and TreoAddicts than I did with our internal KB.

    6) Scripting, Ever wonder why agents sound like idiots when opening/ending a call? There are call opening scripts and closing call scripts. We had to read them VERBATUM. We were written up for changing/missing even one word.

    7) Ever wonder why there is ALWAYS a hold time? It’s because hold times aren’t allowed to drop to zero. If the hold time drops to zero, agents are pulled off the phone. This however; almost never happens because of agent turnover causing there to not be enough agents, thus 30+ min. hold times. Our company was penalized if the service level was too high.

    8)Metrics. 15min average call? I would have given a testicle for 15 min A.C.T. Try 6, with 30 sec. after call time

    9) Supervisors that will not take escalations no matter how much the customer screams obscenities at you.

    10) General BS. Things like; not turning the Air conditioning during a heat wave and not allowing us to open the doors or turn on fans. It got up over 90 degrees in the office. Things like; writing employees up for obeying the State Patrol’s warning to stay home during a blizzard.

    Things like; forcing people that are eating lunch/on break to go back on the phone. For this reason, I ALWAYS left the office to eat lunch.

  61. Anonymously says:

    The “outstanding” shtick was why I’ve decided to avoid buying from Verizon. I know it’s such a minor thing, but it really pisses me off.

  62. Rando says:

    Welcome to Macy’s 4 months ago. I think the same consultants got a hold of verizon. Macy’s eventually realized the OUSTANDING bs was not making customer’s happy and make people sound stupid.

  63. Tech support is notoriously horrible, none of this is news to me. The only problem is that the Service-based companies like Verizon and Comcast etc. should really be more on the ball and not abuse their customer. Manufacturers on the other hand have more freedom to make their consumable product support less than shining.

    Tech support will never get better guys. You as a consumer will pay for it if it does. I could write a novel about the industry’s gaping flaws and how the whole system could be completely steamlined. But this country only likes to look at the bottom line. Companies will say “how can I mak my wallet fat” And until this coutry can look beyond the dollar it will no doubt continue.

    What can you do? READ THE FUCKING MANUAL.

  64. joebob778 says:

    “The most angry and vulgar customers are the least likely to get helped. When dealing with customer support please try to explain your frustration in a civilized manner, and be persistent if you need to. Just remember swearing and insulting us only gets you put on the back burner.”

    I just wanted to add that this is so true. I, too, worked in a call center and always tried to do my job the best that I could even if it meant sacrificing my numbers. One time, someone threatened my life over the phone because he felt it my fault one of the companies that we partnered with wasn’t fixing their equipment. I had absolutely no control over anything and the issue was actually with the other company altogether. I don’t think any electronics are worth threatening a human life and it was very upsetting. I turned him in to the company that he worked for (and calling on behalf of) and he got fired. I don’t think that anyone working in customer service should have to take verbal abuse from their clientele. People working in all types of customer service should be treated with respect and just remember that they probably don’t get paid very well to get yelled at all the time.

  65. AMetamorphosis says:

    Trust me, as a CSR for tech support,

    If you treat me respectfully I am WILLING give up my outstanding review in order to make SURE your complaint is resolved. I amswer to a “higher power” than my supervisor and take pride in doing the best job I can with the limited tools I am provided. I take my job seriously & nothing makes my day more than making a frustrated person happy. ( I love passing calls to my supervisor so that you can tell him what a great job I did. )

    If not, I’m not your therapist and frankly @ the rate of pay I’m making I can’t afford a therapist for all the agony uncivilized people heap upon us.

    Besides, didn’t your Momma ever teach you common courtesy ?

  66. Xeelee says:

    Well… here I am. Spent a few days out of commission working on a project of my own so I can finally begin the process of working less hours per week. So, on to the good stuff. A blow by blow account of each point, made by an agent who is (hopefully) still working a a tech support agent

    7. “The Supervisor You’re Talking To Is Not Actually A Supervisor”. Yes, most definitely true. Current supervisors at my call center are just Level 3 agents who were transferred to the new agency

    6. The Metrics that Rule our Lives
    a)Handle Time: Current maximum Average Handling Time(AHT) is 16 minutes. Whenever an agent goes over than he gets chided constantly by his floor supervisor. Myself? I don’t care less for it. I got caught hanging up on people and was punished for it. So now I will be with a customer as long as it takes. My own personal record is four hours.
    b)Hold Time: Current maximum holding time is 5 minutes at a time, but we’re supposed to refresh customers every 2-3 minutes

    5. To meet Handling time…: Myself, I have an intense dislike for agents who transfer people without warning. It means I know have a potentially irate person on the other side of the line. On my own end, it is likely the agent did not save his own ticket right there and then, but will save it – usually – one or two hours later, after I have saved my own ticket. To the system it looks like the customer called back after we disconnected, and it affects my First Call Resolution (FCR) rate.

    4. Customer Service Is More Important Than Technical Ability. Yes, most definitely true. Myself I’m way better at technical resolutions. Got a computer issue, whether it’s windows, mac or linux? I’ll help you out. Router issue? Bouncing back between Verizon DSL and your router manufacturer’s tech support? I’ll help you out. But you get helped MY WAY, and excuse me for interrupting but let’s get back to the point. If you want to complain you’re not talking to the right agent. This is a line I actually use, and use it often.

    3. “Premium” Technical Support Means They Had 1 More Week Of Training. Also true, although we don’t have any of those agents at my own call center. If you get me *and* you’re nice to me – something I have emphazised before in my comments – I will help you out, regardless of the problem you have. Oh, I’m forgetting something here… IF YOU HAVE A MACINTOSH COMPUTER, PREMIUM TECHNICAL SUPPORT WILL *NOT* HELP YOU. They will transfer you to the main macintosh tech support queue.

    2. “Quality,” The Department Everyone Hates. Yes, most definitely. Once, one of their kind told me it was because of people like me our call center wasn’t in first place of the standings. You see, when a call center is on the top three of rankings management gets a nice fat CASH bonus. The people in Quality Assurance get their bonus regardless of what happens. Me? If the QA guy says I messed up on something during a call, I get the shaft.

    1. We Must Implant The Word Outstanding In Customer Brain’s To Score Higher On Satisfaction Surveys. The specific verbiage goes something like “On a scale from 1 to 10, with 10 the high score, how would you rate my own personal customer service to you”. Then the customer is supposed to rate it. Now, if someone hangs up before I can ask it, I get screwed. If I don’t ask it, I get screwed. If the customer bases the rating on the resolution of the call rather than my “customer service”, I get screwed, specially if the issue wasn’t fixed. It is the single most hated part of the call for us agents.

    Now, whoever sent this in saved me the work of thinking up what to send… but still, for me it’s important people know what’s going on. I’m somewhat doing this in spite because of office politics, since I got transferred to the morning shift and getting up at 5am to be at work at 6am is no fun for me. My supervisor dislikes me and would love to have me fired. I recently got monitored live by Verizon and then I was told I had been rude to the customer… but hey, if people call in just to have me listen to their own troubleshooting instead of performing the officially verizon-approved troubleshooting it’s fine by me. It’ll just make my AHT go up and up. Yes, I know you all hate troubleshooting, but If I don’t show we actually did it on my notes your ticket gets closed if it was escalated and I get the shaft.

    I type this as I get ready to get up at 4am and be at work at 5am, since my country is an hour behind the US, after an unjustified two-day absence. I could use one of my sick days… but nah. I’ll just look at my supervisor in the eye and say MYOB when he asks why I was gone.

  67. daddyman77 says:

    hmmm did you really work for verizon or do they outsource their level one and two tech support?

    A lot of what you listed is exactly what I did at a outsource company, or you have someone from upper management from a outsource company.

    Folks remember that Verizon is a volume based business so the 100 people they piss off today are replaced by the 100 people who just picked up their service.

  68. rabiddachshund says:

    “It is just cheaper/easier for them to hire anyone off the street and give them a month of training”

    What? We get one week and a 13 minute handle time.

  69. manus manum lavat says:

    @DrBologna: My poor, dear, deluded DrBologna. The reason that we tech support agents say things like “being polite helps” is for your benefit, not ours. It really makes very little difference to our day whether you scream at us or not. Sure, it might make our call time longer, but on the other hand it gives us valid reasons to hang up on you or hand you off to someone else so we don’t have to listen to you any more. When we say “It’s a good idea to be polite” we’re saying it as a public service. Firstly, because very often if you come on arrogantly, sure that you know everything, or angry at Verizon and wanting to take it out on an individual who has nothing to do with why you’re angry, you have to wait longer to get their problem fixed, simply because it takes 10 or 20 minutes for you to blow of steam, and then 5min to fix the problem. Secondly, because we feel very unmotivated to go above and beyond to help you. I have contacts in other departments, but I am not going to use them for you if you are a dick. Thirdly, if you think you DO know everything, then when you ask you to do something basic (like plug it in), you will refuse, and if after 45 minutes it turns out that all you had to do was plug it in, then you’re going to feel very foolish (YES, this happens. More frequently than you would imagine). Fourthly, there’s nothing stopping me from just hanging up the phone on you and blaming it on a phone error. Nothing. I’m not saying I do this (I have a foolish desire to help people, even when they make it difficult to help them), I’m just saying it happens.

    Being polite is reciprocated by politeness. Being an ass will be reciprocated in turn. True story: Had a customer who had internet service, it was working fine, the only issue was streaming video on one particular site. I assured her that if that was the only site that was having problems, then it was most likely a problem with that site. She called me an idiot and asked for my supervisor. I complied, the supervisor (yes, an actual supervisor) tried to walk through step by step to troubleshoot the problem. She ended up calling the sup a moron because the sup didn’t put “www” at the beginning of a URL that she was reading off to her, then she hung up the phone. Supervisor’s response was to sit at her computer and reboot the cx’s data circuit every few minutes. Is it right? No. Does it happen? Yes.

    Simply put: Hey, might be good if you were nice to people that you require help from.

  70. Virginia Consumer says:

    I used to work in IT for a competitor of the local phone company called a CLEC. The basic premise was that we could offer better service for less (figure that one out economics majors).

    Anyway, Our company ran a lot like how described here, it all started out well and good and we had all kinds of queues and systems for dealing with customers in a kind friendly way. It is difficult to offer this kind of service. You have to have some sort of metric to measure people and reward good agents and work with bad ones. The handle time was used as well as quality reviews.

    Since my group wrote and managed the software for the phone system and customer service system we called whenever they suspected people of dumping etc. One tactic used was to have agents call directly into the queue from common phones or cell phones to pad down times. Another popular one was dumping. We tracked down and fired an agent from our highest level support group, and highest paid, for dumping calls down a level.

    Anyway the company soon discovered you can’t offer high customer service AND low prices and since no one wants to pay higher prices for better service they had to lower service.

    By the way CLECs still tend to offer better service on average than the incumbent carrier (ILEC) like AT&T or Quest or whomever is left. If you are a business customer, residential customers don’t make enough for companies to care about, and you want better service google up a CLEC in your area. I guarantee there probably is one and they are just itching to get your business.

    Do expect to have more problems with conversions, however, as CLECs have to depend on the ILEC to make the final connection and since the ILECs are loosing business they make it as difficult as possible to make the move.

  71. Milliardo says:

    What can you do? READ THE FUCKING MANUAL.

    –Again, true. Many irate callers can save themselves the trouble if they only bother to read the manual. Then again, many would be out of a job if people learned about that. ^_^

  72. jeturcotte says:

    Holy cow… yeah, I did this myself for a very little while… a new company was opening up that would be servicing other companies, such as dell. They trained us an hour away, promising the whole time that a place in town would be built… months later, it still hadn’t been and I was getting home some days at 5am. The metric were strict, and if you were late returning to your phone (from a break) by literally any time at all, you were splattered for it…

    I had been on CQ for a while… our equivalent of the ‘imaginary supervisor’ … we’d take call from other techs for their questions as well as escalations. It was by far a better position to be in than on the floor as a regular tech. Well, one day I was delayed getting back from a short break by a manager… and then was chided by my direct manager for being late (albeit, only by a bit.) The net effect would be that I’d be taken off CQ for no less than a month. So basically…I told her ‘What I’ll do is go get something for supper… and when I get back, I’ll let you know if I even work here anymore.’ I hit the local taco bell, took about 45 minutes to myself, went back and laid it on her that I’d had it. She asked if it was because I had a problem with her (which I didn’t, she was like the only nice person in the whole place, but had the misfortunate of having to be my supervisor that day.)

    As far as I am concerned, no amount of pay is worth the abuse we techs had to take in that kind of job…

  73. handle2001 says:

    Is anyone really so naive as to think you’re going to get any sort of technical expertise from someone who is paid $8 an hour? If they had any real technical knowledge, they wouldn’t be working in a call center.

    I’ve been a CSR for 10 years, and everything in this article is true. But in addition, what needs to be said here is that customers need to take some responsibility for themselves. When the company messes up, that’s one thing, but 90% of a tech support agent’s calls are about stupid questions that the customer could have answered themselves with a 5 minute search on Google. So when instead of taking charge of the problem and trying to learn how to fix it themselves, these customers get lazy and want someone else to fix it over and over, it’s not hard to see why so many tech agents are frustrated all the time.

    Don’t be an idiot. If you have a problem, spend 5 minutes and try to fix it yourself, BEFORE you call tech support. If you have no intention of following the advice of the tech support agent, or if you’re already convinced you know more than they do about the problem, THEN DON’T CALL. I can’t begin to count how many times someone has called me with a problem only to refuse to take any of the steps I asked them to follow.

    Frankly I think if you can’t figure out how to use a piece of technology, you should not expect someone else to figure it out for you. License the internet, and license computers, so that Billy-Bob won’t ever have to worry about whether he can check his email, and neither will I.

  74. jackjackjack says:

    Is any of the above news to anyone? This is pretty standard customer service in most companies. And there are always way to work around the metrics required by micromanagement. The reality is, this is the most cost effective way for businesses to handle customer service issues. And they’ll likely be outsourcing in the future to India if not already, so be prepared for language issues and these jobs to move to other countries soon.

    Bottom line is, many customers want service the company is unwilling to provide. The nicest way possible to tell the customer no is send them in circles until they give up. Try going to most larger company websites to find their customer service telephone number. They’ve likely buried it on a backpage, or require you contact them via e-mail first, just to get to speak to someone. Fair? Maybe not, but effective? Yes.

  75. MikeTylka1 says:

    As a former customer service supervisor I can relate. The loudmouth angry customer that yells will get the least help. CSR’s put up with a lot of the same crap over and over again daily. Yes, they are getting paid to deal with it….but you know what?…its not worth getting yelled at for something out of your control. Throwing a temper tantrum isn’t going to help you get anything from someone that has heard it all. You surely will catch more flys with honey. A lot of the time my deciding factor on whether to go “above and beyond” for someone depended on how they treated my rep. If you were cool headed and polite, I’d help you to the extent of my ability. You gotta remember that the rep is just someone trying to pay the bills just like you. They are not there to be a punching bag. Just explain your problem, what you want done, and be professional about it and you’ll get your way 80% of the time.

  76. Saydrah says:

    @Hambriq

    I’m not entirely sure why you feel entitled to “leverage” in dealing with Verizon’s customer service. The confessions post was interesting, illuminating, and provided not one, but two very helpful tips that certainly better equip you as a consumer:

    1. Don’t buy Verizon phones or service if you don’t want to deal with these particular tricks. Research alternate phone companies and see if you can find out if things are any different with them. Voting with your wallet against poor management of the customer service department is consumer power at its best.

    2. Be polite and avoid the angry, abusive designation that makes you least likely to be helped, as per the post.

    If you heed these two suggestions, and have a legitimate need, you should have no trouble dealing with customer service. It’s when you’re asking for something you don’t deserve that you need tricks and “leverage,” and if you’re into asking for what you have no legitimate reason to demand, I suggest you leverage your phone back into the receive and re-examine your priorities.

  77. duskglow says:

    So, is this Convergys in Toledo, Ohio? I worked for them for a few months when they were doing support for AT&T@home. This was a fairly terrible call center – ruthless in how they treated their employees. That said, I was ridiculously overqualified for the job and I think by the time I left was like the top employee or something like that.

    The bar was really, really low, however. Basically if you showed up consistently and followed the rules you pretty much had it nailed.

  78. VermilionSparrow says:

    I was a Verizon DSL Tech Support rep for the short-lived Residential Chronic Care. Basically, if you called more than 3 times in 24 hours, you were routed to us. The only difference between our support boundaries, metrics, training, etc, and the normal support group was that our talk time was allowed to be 17 minutes instead of just 15. This department, of course, no longer exists, because in reality we ended up with talk times more like 30 minutes since we got all the irate and frustrated people who needed to vent and scream and moan for 15 minutes before starting to solve their problem, and that was unacceptable to management.

    I went out of my way to help every customer, not just those who were nice to me, because frankly, most customers weren’t. Customers used to ask for my direct extension, which I would have gladly given them if I’d had one. After a few months, though, even though I am technically knowledgeable and I like to help people, and I’m single and didn’t really mind the pay so much, I got tired of having to fight for my job due to how screwed up your metrics get when you actually help people.

    One thing I brought away from this experience, however, is the Residential number to get the button-push prompts instead of that evil IVR system. That number is 866-268-4630. Press 1 for Tech Support, 2 for Billing, 3 for Orders, and 4 for the Retention department. We weren’t supposed to give this number out to customers, but I gave it out all the time anyway to anyone who complained about the IVR.

  79. csr_hell says:

    For the people who are not aware and think this is just Verizon, let me give you a run down of a few companies that outsource their billing, sales, technical support, etc. Microsoft, Yahoo, Verizon, Sprint, Best Buy, AT&T, Cingular, and USPS. Almost every company you can think of outsources their phone support to another company and it is the client that says what location (New York, India, etc.) they want for their outsource phone support.

    You can find people with actual technical knowledge that work at these outsource locations, it’s just their numbers will be low. You will find people there from all levels of education even people with a master degree.

    If you call in and be polite, you can get the best results. If however the agent you are speaking to is just a complete and total idiot, then your best bet is to hang up and call back and hope to get someone who not only is nice, but has a brain.

    I do work at a call center and have worked there for years. I have worked on different accounts (different main clients) and had to relearn my job and metrics a number of times. I know there are idiot agents and if I am trying to help a customer and the agent I need to transfer to is an idiot, I will place the customer back on hold and keeping hanging up on agents until I find one with a brain. However if the customer just wants to keep ranting, and throw all logic out the window, and I need to transfer them to another department, then that customer will get transferred to the first agent I get. If the customer is unhappy, he/she can call back in and try the whole process again.

  80. tonirosesmiller says:

    This is so true! I also worked as a level 2 agent for Verizon technical support and i feel the same way as you do…

  81. BillWalsh says:

    How about the part about where you’re trained to never even begin to entertain the possibility that a problem is on Verizon’s end? I have to spend a week being told to turn my modem off and turn it back on, and then Verizon insists on sending out a tech to turn my modem off and turn it back on, when the circumstances clearly prove that there’s some sort of Verizon hardware problem.

    • Anonymous says:

      @BillWalsh: Am slowly divesting myself from all Verizon products due to terrible service. For DSL, I spent two days trying to get them to send a technician to repair a line that I visually inspected and saw was worn through.
      I and a friend waited home all day (I skipped work) for a technician only to be told that night that the ticket had been closed because I hadn’t been home for the technician.
      Not wanting to play the game anymore, I now use a cable modem and look forward to the day in February when my wireless contract ends and I can become completely Verizon free.
      If they paid half as much attention to their customer service as they paid to advertising, they would have a company worth patronizing. They do not.

  82. Anonymous says:

    My roommate and I moved last July and have had nothing but trouble from Verizon since. I have spent hours on the phone with them, sent letters, even gone to the stores in person. What I’ve learned is that there are actually three Verizons and none of them communicate with the other ones. (Home phone, DSL and Wireless). Even though I closed my account in November they have continue to take money from my account. When I call I get transferred, transferred, transferred and eventually disconnected. I don’t think Verizon even knows what the words “customer support” mean.

  83. neo69ntx says:

    luckybob343

    In response to luckybob343, here are the answers to your questions:

    1:32 PM on Wed Mar 12 2008

    1. Why does my DSL service just go out at random times?
    Because there are many conditions which could affect the DSL signal. DSL is, by far, one of the most unreliable internet connections. Any type of electromagnetic interference, even cell phones, could cause your dsl to lose its connection (sync). If you are continuing to have this problem, have your ISP lower the speed on the line to the next lower speed “package” I assure you that it will create a more stable connection. Most of the time providers will have lower packages that have the same Upload Speed, so you wouldn’t be able to tell a huge difference anyway. And to respond to those that will say “Well, if I pay for 3mbps, then I expect to get it!” Well, there is more to it than that. In order to have a dsl connection, at all, you must be within 18k from the Central Office in your area. On top of that, you have to take into consideration of the line conditions, the number of other subscribers in that area, and sometimes even weather conditions.

    2. When my neighbors and I are all without service, why am I never told there’s an outage when I call?
    For the company I work for it is not considered an “outage” until there are 101 customers affected. It sucks, but it the honest truth.

    3. Why do I have to reset my modem once a month to keep a connection for more than 15 seconds?
    This is just bull crap. You should never have to reset your modem, unless you have a strange power outage and you can’t connect. Then, possibly, you may have to reset your modem. If you are still having problems, most likely the modem has gone downhill and needs to be replaced.

    4. Why am I grilled about whether or not I’m sharing my connection regardless of what I’m calling for?

    If you call in regarding intermittent connectivity issues, or slow speeds, this will be the first thing that is asked. If you share your internet connection with a number of other users (which is why it’s important to secure your wireless network) then you are sharing the total bandwith. For example, if you have a 3mbps connection, with 3 computers, then if you are all 3 online at the same time then there is a BIG chance you will only be getting 1mbps per computer. It’s all relative to the number of people on the local network. That’s why they will have you isolate to one computer. Most ISPs will NOT troubleshoot your local network, mainly because there are too many things that could go wrong.

    I hope this information is helpful. I do work for a MAJOR DSL ISP. I work in the Executive Escalations Department (Yes, there is such a thing there). We have all been trained to handle advanced tech support. My background does include writing training material, as well. So, I do have some credibility. :) Anyway, if anyone has any other questions, please feel free to email me, as I dont get on here often… (my username at gmail.com)

    Thanks!

    Neo

  84. Anonymous says:

    I worked previously for the technical support department of Verizon for more than a year and I had fun reading all of the comments and also the main article.

    Honestly speaking not all companies are perfect, that’s why there is the technical support department. BUT (as my friend has bluntly put it) WE ARE NOT GODS, we cannot solve everything within a snap of a finger. More often than not, we are also crossing our fingers at the other end, wishing that your service would start working after step one.

    IT’S HARD TO TALK CONTINUOUSLY 8 HOURS A DAY, 5 DAYS (sometimes 6) DAYS A WEEK. If you are stressed out, what do you think we feel? We also get tired, frusrated, annoyed AND angry; especially if the previous call made before yours was more than an hour, how do you think we would feel? We don’t even have the benefit of a taking a breather in between calls because it would be taken against our AHT (average handling time).

    However, we DO love helping our customers but we can only do so much. Troubleshooting NEEDS cooperation and every customer must understand that. If you could think of it this way:

    1. why do you think you are calling? Because your service is down and you don’t know what to do.
    2. if you know what to do, would you be calling us? No.
    3. and who knows more about the service than you? A technical support representative.
    4. Therefore, JUST cooperate because you NEED us for the information on HOW to resolve your problem and we NEED you to do those steps so that you’ll be happy again and stick with our company.

    Plain and simple.

  85. Anonymous says:

    oh nice… this is all true..and same with my department, im Dan from Verizon HSI technical support (home/residential).
    all the things you said are true and same with my department except for one.
    “7. The Supervisor You’re Talking To Is Not Actually A Supervisor”
    well in my department, our supervisors are really knowledgable and they can even be the one troubleshoot with the customer if needed. Why so? because all of our supervisors in my department were all former technical support representative too…

    other than that… all same and true

  86. coldfire409 says:

    I just found this article and as a CAE for Comcast in Tech support I must say that these are all spot on. One thing that bares mentioning as well is if you are running residential service and we have to send out a technician mentioning that you are running a business out of your home will not get you a technician any faster. We have business class service for people who are running a business. Our business class customer pay a premium to have a technician out within 4 hours.