Internal Documents Show Why Verizon Isn't Fulfilling Advertised Discounts For Tens Of Thousands

These internal Verizon emails, sent by the same insider and as a a followup to “LEAKS: Insider Says Verizon Isn’t Fulfilling Advertised Discounts For Tens Of Thousands,” shows why some of our readers have complained about Verizon offering them one price and billing them another, and then being inflexible in offering service credits. It appears to show that Verizon mailed out a half a million “Blitz” promotional rate cards, then decided it was an error and pulled the offer from the computers. Then Verizon let people get the advertised offers, but only if the customer specifically asked for it. Around the same time, on March 3rd, management cuts the discounts reps can give to $150. Two weeks later, it’s $50. Two weeks after that, it’s zero. Even if a customer was overbilled and legitimately deserved a credit, tough titties, Texas, you weren’t going to get it. Verizon insider’s explanation, rebuttal to the response by Verizon PR pointman John Bonomo, and the internal emails, inside…

Anonymous writes:

I recently wrote to the consumerist about the fact that Verizon is acting in a manner most would consider inconsistent with a customer-first attitude. Only in bizarro world could the statements that were made be construed as an attack on it’s employees. Unfortunately John Bonomo, Verizon’s director of Media Relations, saw it as exactly that. He believes that it did ‘his or her colleagues a disservice and dishonoring the work that they do on behalf of our customers.’ Mr Bonomo also said that there were ‘a number of inaccuracies’, but failed to identify any. All he did was state that customers entitled to the tv will get them, and acknowledges that delivering the set would take some time, and we said that as a part of the promotion.’ That’s funny, I never stated that Verizon wasn’t going to give everyone their tv’s, only that it was taking longer then it takes conceive and deliver a baby.

Mr Bonomo goes on to say that employees should be commended and here I am in total agreement. For far too long we have suffered at the hands of individuals posing as management, people who have no clue how to properly run a company. They actually believe it’s acceptable to refuse to credit a customer who we admit we over billed, simply because we’re given too much credit to everyone else. They think it’s perfectly fine to knowingly send out fliers advertising a price, then decide not to honor them, and to then claim they were sent out *in error*.

Some readers of the consumerist have asked ‘how do we know what he said is true?’ Excellent question. To prove it, I submit to you the emails from the director and the head of marketing which is the basis for most of what was stated in my previous article. I believe they stand for themselves, and I challenge Mr Bonomo to defend the policies that these emails impose on us as employees, and on the customers who they claim to value.

First is the NJ marketing summary which clearly state on the 2nd page that effective 2/18 the blitz offers were to be made permanent. Second is an email from Judy Peters stating that all offers are rescinded. Following this is a far more detailed email dated 3-15 detailing what has been rescinded, why, and what is left to offer. The language is very threatening (even to management, which is referred to as IHD) This email was sent only a few weeks after half a million letters offering these rates were mailed out, and it clearly stated as so in the NJ marketing plan on our website. After being rightfully called out for being so asinine, Judy Peters sent another email explaining that the offers are now back in effect, but ONLY if the customer indicates awareness of them. We can’t proactively offer them. Note the specific use of the phrase ‘letters sent in error’ which contradicts Verizon’s own internal marketing information, which indicates that the offers were in fact meant to be sent.

Following that is an email informing us of the first of what would be two times where we simply didn’t give anyone their proper discount if they had a specific bill date.

Then we have three emails from our director and the head of marketing. The first one, dated March 3rd, tells us that we’re been partially neutered and that we are now only able to adjust $150 without first needing to seek management approval. Pay particular attention to the last paragraph if you want real insight into how management thinks. Then there’s a followup sent March 18th cutting it to $50. Finally there’s an email telling us that we are not to give any credit to anyone for any reason for the remainder of the month.

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PREVIOULY: LEAKS: Insider Says Verizon Isn’t Fulfilling Advertised Discounts For Tens Of Thousands

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(Photo: davidbivins)

Comments

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  1. EyeHeartPie says:

    How can a company get away with not giving credit due to their own error? That would be like going to a store, checking out with $50 worth of stuff, and then being charged $75, with the store refusing to reduce that charge back down, and refusing to let you be responsible for any less than the total $75, which is only there because of their error.

  2. heavylee-again says:

    @EyeHeartPie: How can they get away with it? Because most people can’t get landline telephone service from anyone else and because Comcast sucks just about the same.

  3. oakie says:

    at least we can now address Judy directly at judy.peters@core.verizon.com

  4. oakie says:

    @EyeHeartPie: great question. i recommend contacting Judy Peters directly to see what she has to say at Judy.Peters@core.verizon.com

  5. Scotus says:

    Welcome to the wonderful world of unemployment, Judy Peters. Today’s word is: Scapegoat.

  6. oakie says:

    ya know, when i moved to Las Vegas recently, I was quite disheartened to find a lack of choice for broadband internet service as Embarq has locked out Verizon and AT&T for DSL service, and my only other residential option is Cox Cable. Of course both options are exhorbitantly priced compared to my options when living in Seattle; competitive pricing due to increased competition, lacking here in Las Vegas.

    After learning of this “bait and switch” advertising tactic used by Verizon in their latest promotion campaign plus their obvious attempt at overbilling without due recourse or proper compensation, I’m glad I didn’t have Verizon to choose down here.

  7. td0t says:

    Wow. I have Comcast where I live and I keep seeing the switch to Verizon commercials; I was seriously considering it until I read this. I hope they get taken to the wood shed for this one.

  8. whoareyou says:

    Nice scoop. Proves who not to do business with.

  9. LorneReams says:

    I like how they are basically admitting that billing errors are an essential part of their profit margins. Here come the class action lawsuits.

  10. sleze69 says:

    This looks like fodder for a class action lawsuit. Thanks Verizon Whistleblower!

  11. b612markt says:

    Good lord, I’m glad I don’t work there! How confusing it must be for those poor folks who man the phones and have to remember the labyrinth of rules, promotions, promotions that have stopped and all that crap.

    Also, Verizon sucks.

  12. EricaKane says:

    Wow. what chutzpah!

  13. chemmy says:

    I think we should add Judy Peters to the reunion.com email address book.

    Oh, snap!

  14. ObtuseGoose says:

    I’m so thankful I left Verizon three months ago. My AT&T cell phone and DSL service have been rock solid ever since.

    I hope Verizon gets their a$$e$ sued off for this.

  15. Hawk07 says:

    I’m glad I don’t have Verizon or Verizon Wireless.

    I can’t imagine how many hurdles you have to jump through just to get them to honor their own advertisements.

    Pretty much the entire tone of the emails is only honor it if the customer insists upon it.

  16. joshthephenom says:

    @chemmy: Yeah! Or give her info to military recruiters!

  17. eblack says:

    Backed up for mirroring when Verizon inevitably asks for them to be taken down.

  18. RagingBoehner says:

    Wow Verizon uses Lotus Notes?

    I thought my company was the only one still living in the 80s

  19. sleze69 says:

    @eblack: Someone needs to post this on wikileaks.

  20. nerdsavant says:

    I’m loving the totally non-ironic use of Comic Sans in that next-to-last email. It really steps the hypocrisy up a notch. “Well sure, the situation sucks, but if Judy Peters can find humor in it, …”

  21. ViperBorg says:

    @chemmy: Pwnt.

    And to think, if Verizon’s service didn’t suck in the first place, they wouldn’t have these issues.

  22. unravel says:

    If there’s one area in which Verizon truly does excel, it’s dicking customers around. I can’t imagine ever hating myself to the degree that I would look to them for (residential) services again. I’m sure that there is a better metaphor, but … Verizon is a company that will gladly set you on fire, and then refuse to even piss on you to douse the flames. Hate hate hate hate hate.

    We get our cell service through Verizon Wireless, and while I really can’t complain about the service there, I hate using them, and want to switch based on principle alone. But the other carriers don’t provide the coverage they do in rural areas here, and my husband -who pays the bill- does not *get* my Verizon hate. Boo.

  23. mac-phisto says:

    @joshthephenom: that’s just evil, man.

  24. satoru says:

    If it makes people feel better it looks like Comcast uses Lotus Notes as their email platform. I suppose the anti-M$ crowd would be happy to know that Comcast and M$ are not in bed with eachother :P

  25. mac-phisto says:

    @unravel:

    Verizon is a company that will gladly set you on fire, and then refuse to even piss on you to douse the flames.

    that’s not fair. i doubt they’d refuse to piss on you – they’d just charge the going rate for fiji bottled water (& then sell the video to every fetish site on the web). that’s the verizon i know!

  26. satoru says:

    Ooops sorry I mean Verizon. It’s so hard to keep track of which evil company I’m talking about anymore. :P

  27. toddy33 says:

    Wow, I’m now thinking I should just not renew my Verizon Wireless. Which major provider is the least evil, anyway?

  28. elf6c says:

    If Verizon doesn’t get “Worst Company” now with this direct evidence, then the process is completely broken, and the turfers and “viral marketers” have won.

    It was sad when “Show us your Verizon Face” disappeared. Worse when the ability to flag users disappeared. But after seeing those last two emails, the litmus test for the Consumerist is now in place. If a company can game the system, you will see it now.

  29. IndyJaws says:

    @oakie: Oakie, if it makes you feel any better, I was in the same situation when I moved out there. Turns out Cox was the best cable I’ve ever had. Never any issues with service and competent reps. Hated to go back to Comcast when we left LV. (Hated to leave LV, for that matter.)

  30. subodhgupta says:

    I can tell you I am a victim of this first hand. Last month, I called and got the rep to adjust. I was told that the credit has been applied and that I would see it next month. But this month when I check the bill, no credit has been applied :(
    I have to again waste time on the phone.

  31. Hawkins says:

    This is just amazing. Thank $DEITY$ for the leaker.

    As Thomas Jefferson once said, “I’d rather have leaked e-mails without democracy than democracy without leaked e-mails.”

  32. fluiddruid says:

    Shameful.

  33. zsouthboy says:

    OMFG

    I can’t BELIEVE the – “empathize, but only actually fix the problem if the customer insists” part.

    They’re going to get away with this, though, aren’t they?

  34. toddy33 says:

    @zsouthboy: Probably. But wouldn’t you hate to be Judy Peters right about now?

  35. APFPilot says:

    You could always call Erica Kelly to let her know what you think. She’s at lunch now though.

  36. toddkravos says:

    @RagingBoehner: You’d be surprised at the number of companies running Domino (aka: Lotus Notes).

    Have you seen the tv advert for Alltel where they summon ‘the wizard’ and one of the telco guys disappears and the verizon character is rifling thorough his pockets?
    Yeah, that pretty much sums up how Verizon operates.

  37. Flyinace2000 says:

    This will help me greatly. They promised a $200 gift card when i signed up, but the letter i recived only said $100. There response was the $200 was for customers who got 20/20 and NOT 20/5. I just called to get this corrected. Thanks!

  38. rmz says:

    Wow.

    Judy’s going to get a shit-ton of calls now. Wonder how long she’s going to keep her job?

  39. jcoltrane says:

    Here’s Judy Peters profile at LinkedIn. [www.linkedin.com]

  40. randombob says:

    Uh, Epic Fail?

    Wow I hope they burn for this, and serve as a reminder to every other corporation in America.

  41. jcoltrane says:

    Keep your head down, Verizon Insider. I’m sure there’s going to be some increased scrutiny of the Kelly NJ Team when Verizon brass see these posted.

  42. ludwigk says:

    What we can take from this:

    Always request your billing fixes at the BEGINNING of the billing cycle, so that they have enough ‘adjustments’ to cover you billing errors.

    I love this line: “In addition, there are specific billing issues that have an automated fix that don’t require adjustments” Translation: Tell the customer that their billing errors will be fixed automatically. They won’t be. But as long as you believe this statement, you are not out-right lying to your customers.

    Another classic: “…remember we have a fiduciary responsibility for Verizon’s financials.” Translation: The higher ups that make all the money want to keep making all the money. I want to make my quarterly bonus. For all your hard work and customer screwing, you will see no further reward, besides perhaps a pat on the head. Oh yeah, MONEY is more important than morals, and don’t you forget it.

  43. Blueskylaw says:

    Winback/Winover, DM, HDNO, Freedom Credit, ROC, BOSS, FIOS, PSTN, CPE, HSI, Price for Life, BARS, Legacy Users, Triple Freedom, Cable stealer offer, cheap voice freedom, LNP intervention, NRiConsole, CSSC, ICP, LEC, IHD, City Rates Discount, Voice Blitz, sweetener, rightsize, offer restructure changes, reconnect offers, DTV.

    Who is this material written by? Lawyers, psychologists and circus clowns most likely. My apologies to all circus clowns I may have offended.

    No wonder that the employees dont know anything or keep hanging up on you, they dont even know what the hell they are talking about.

    Whenever you need a crisis management team of 12 people to figure out a pricing plan, you know it was written like that on purpose and for only one purpose.

  44. Buran says:

    @EyeHeartPie: I beleive it’s called fraud.

  45. bvanpelt says:

    @jcoltrane: She has only an Associate’s degree (note the two years in college!) from a community college. And she’s senior staff? Sheesh!

  46. elf6c says:

    Not sure if Verizon or Sears is the worst company in America. Maybe if you bought a Verizon phone in Sears. . .

  47. rmz says:

    @Blueskylaw:

    cable stealer offer

    What is that, an offer aimed towards cable thieves?

  48. anonymousemployee says:

    i work in verizon fios.
    i just wanted to say that ‘yes’ the east coast footprint is a total mess. and ‘yes’ everyone knows it. west coast footprint (inlcuding tx and fl) is fairly smooth sailing for the most part. alot has to do with the different unions of the two. rumor has it the eastcoast union will strike at the end of their contract as well.
    it all looks to be getting worse outside the union issues. we have more customers, yet we have close to the same number phone reps and field techs and management is more demanding than ever trying to hit their regional stats.
    the customer will feel the squeeze as much as the first contact employees (cssc, fsc, etc) feel the squeeze from the company, (employment depends on meeting call metrics – sales numbers, call times, etc). customers may be angry, but there isnt a thing the person you are talking to on the phone can do about it outside of their current policies. when the customer is yelling, you can bet you are on mute, and the rep is chit chatting with the person next to them about who won the game last night, wait for you to stop yelling, then come back, apologize for their inconvenience, and explain what we can do for them. if you are courteous, and respectful, you might get that rep that will go outside of their boundaries and help you even further. think about that.
    the entire tone of the company now has to do with pushing the responsibility/accountability to another person or dept to get the issue out of your hands. when you, the customer, get to someone that will take the time to resolve your issues and take the time to hold your hand, you can bet that employee will be on the chopping block soon. i was, until i realized i cant do that anymore, and have to heard the cattle like everyone else. through the companies own actions it is very very clear that to truly take care of 1 customer is not as effective as puting a bandaid on 5, 10 or even 30 customers issues.
    we also keep ‘reorganizing’ thinking this will solve these issues and boost morale in and outside the company. yet the same underlying issue remains – we put too much money into laying the fiber, and there is nothing left to support it.

    just call us ver-enron.

    good luck to you all

  49. Trai_Dep says:

    Holy cow, that’s a lot of pages of corporatese-laden bait & switching. Shameful!
    Although, for easier readability on the next expose, Ben, could you possibly add, I donno, cleavage or something? Perhaps in place of the dollars clip-art (do their corporate communications people warp in from 1995?)

  50. Verdigris says:

    I work for a major wireless company and even to me these insider documents are LOADED with PR bull. Yes, we have acronyms for everything, but not like this.

    It a wonder anything gets done at all with communication like that.

  51. mk says:

    @Trai_Dep: as a corporate communications person, I can pretty much assure you they did not see any of these notes because generally I pull all uses of clip art and comic sans (even from the CEO’s emails)

  52. magic8ball says:

    @Trai_Dep: Forget the cleavage. What this article needs is more cats.

  53. mmstk101 says:

    this is crazy.

    I guess now Verizon will have to go send some more internal documents around to tell the CSRs how to deal with all the questions people will have after reading this post.

  54. randombob says:

    I think everyone here that’s a verizon customer ought to email them at one of the email addy’s above, and tell them that due to this sort of backstabbing behavior, you are seriously considering changing providers when your contract is up.

    And I also think everyone here that’s NOT a verizon customer should email them at one of the addy’s above and let them know that due to their backstabbing behavior, you will not be doing business with them in the future.

    Mine’s on the way!

  55. wolftrouble says:

    This is your bed, America, made for you, by you.

    Sleep well.

  56. civicmon says:

    amazing stuff….. no wonder why someone prints out internal documents.

    And people wonder why the sorts of articles make it onto this site as it does.

    i work in customer service for a very well known financial firm, we do not do any of this crap but we do what is necessary when the errors are on our end.

  57. Legend says:

    WOW funny how they refuse to credit customers for errors yet enjoy their fat million dollar bonuses and salaries & perks-from the top of the company to other upper management-and it’s us on the front line and our immediate coaches that are threatened and intimidated if numbers are not met. We are accused of not “contributing to the company”and are forcesdto take all the heat from customers-who are rightfully upset, must appease them, without crediting them,and then to the disgust of the customer, are required to follow a sales process on EVERY call which involves offering them MORE BUNDLED SERVICES or we could lose our job. Let me be careful with what I write, apparently employees are being disciplined and terminated for expressing themselves in manners which may tarnish our corporate image. I applaud you, whoever you are, whistle-blower!

  58. failurate says:

    So this was limited to a Verizon regional office?

  59. Charred says:

    @bvanpelt: That’s assuming she graduated.

  60. lase170 says:

    IT’S ALL 100% TRUE, TRUE, TRUE!

    I too worked for verizon in NJ and was so disgusted too with all those emails and calls from customers that we were unable to help.

    Let me also respond to NOW to this comment that John Bonomo, Verizon’s director of Media Relations wrote about this article:

    “The employee who anonymously faxed the “mysterious” letter to your headquarters is doing his or her colleagues a disservice and dishonoring the work that they do on behalf of our customers. It’s more appropriate to cheer for thousands of our customer service representatives who are helping our customers every day.
    Even worse, this self-described employee’s letter contains a number of inaccuracies, and readers here should be aware them. For example, we’ve stated publicly that customers who qualified for the free TV under our recent promotion will receive one. We also acknowledged that delivering the set would take some time, and we said that as a part of the promotion.”
    “This employee did not do his colleagues a disservice; he’s merely pointing out the TRUTH”. As far as dishonoring the work they do on behalf of the customers, you should even be ashamed to say that you even have such representatives as to call them “customer service representatives”, when what he is doing is informing the customers again of the TRUTH. And in regards to the TV’s and going public, why don’t you go public about all the other TRUTH’S behind the story: such as the blizts credits & promos, refusing to give customers credits, even if it was VERIZON’S error . . . WHY DON’T YOU GO PUBLIC ABOUT THAT? The truth still remains that despite your attempts to “go public”; the job is not being done right.

    I was recently let go because I was still in my “probation” period and had to miss work one day for medical reasons (legal doctor’s note – reason – asthma). Then I had to miss work again due to other health issues that had me in the ER. I was told by the head of tardiness/absenteeism, that no doctor notes, or er documentations would save me. I had my final warning and if I missed one more day, I would be fired. This issue is about to go to grievance. I recently read an article here re: people getting sick due to the stress of the call center’s work conditions. After experiencing the chest pains, horrible headaches etc that I experienced while working there (which I no longer have), I would definitely agree that verizon is the cause of those issues.

    All they care about is making that next sale. I’m starting to believe that part of their marketing technique is to screw up your bill, so when you call, they can “trick”, convince you to order something else. As my supervisor told me, and I quote: “if they are not going to buy anything, get them off your line, this is not a customer service position, this is a sales position”. But people have you ever looked at your bills and noticed that there is no longer is a “customer service #”; it is now a “billing #”. So where is verizon’s customer service department? Oh but wait, this is funny . . . . One of verizon’s values is CUSTOMER SERVICE & INTEGRITY. Yeah okay, what’s that number to reach this department?

    I was also reprimanded for being on the phone “too long” with customers explaining their bills because they just couldn’t understand them. The problem came when they didn’t buy anything, now I’ve wasted valuable time. What verizon has failed to realize is that with sales, comes customer service. They go hand in hand. I mean the issue is so bad that employees do something called slamming’ and cramming’, all to make their numbers, look good to upper management and save their “ass” oh I mean job. They expect us to resolve the issue and offer (upgrade to triple, double play, wire maintenance, DSL & DSL broadband essentials, Direct TV, International calling plan, wireless) through questions . . . oh and all this should take place in less than 6 minutes. The system alone takes a good 2-3 minutes to get the customers info up. There’s just so much that can be said about how things are being done, that a book could be written and a class action lawsuit from both employees/ex-employees and their customers should take place real soon.

    I was told not to speak out this way, cause I would be called the whistle blower too, but you know what customers and other verizon employees need to stand up for themselves and show these large corporations that without these employees and customers, there’d be no VERIZON.

    I will remain anonymous for now. I still haven’t decided if to take other legal actions against verizon.

    Advise to all:

    Customers: beware of your bills, especially after making a call to “customer service” department (what a joke to even call it that). Review your bills carefully as you may never notice the smallest “add on”, without your permission.

    Future Employees: be aware of the company that you are dealing with. The pay is great, the benefits are great, but at what cost? Is that weekly paycheck worth more than your mental well being, health, and your integrity? Do unto others, what you’d like done to you.