It Takes 40 Verizon Reps To Fix Your Address

You know those Verizon ads where someone is trying to make a call and like 100 Verizon people show up to help them do it? Arelene’s story is sort of like that. Except they all showed up to help her change her address. And they were one at a time. And it was over the phone. And it took several days. Here’s her tale, and how she eventually won…

My daughter attends a school in Philadelphia which strangely enough does not provide internet access. She recently had to move from one apartment where she had resided for 2 1/2 years, to another due to school renovations. We helped her move, she came home for a few week break and only upon arriving back did she realize her internet access was not working. She is majoring in animation and will very soon graduate so her work is dependent on internet access. She called Verizon and they assured her she would have service in 6 -7 business days.

After the time period she was given had passed with still no internet access, she called again (Tues) and was given an appointment for someone to come out and look at the wiring. The timeframe was 8am – 8pm (Wed). She waited all day, missed classes and no one showed. She called Thurs only to be told tech people went there, knocked on her door and no one answered either the door or her phone but they rescheduled for Friday, 8am – 8pm. Once again, she waited all day, no one called or showed.

I called in the late afternoon to see what the problem was and was given the same story that no one answered the door or her phone but they would reschedule for Monday…..same deal 8am – 8pm. Now I am sure you can understand that not only were we shuffled around to keep getting shuffled around but actually getting through the 800 “customer service” line, waiting on hold for several hours listening to non music repeating over and over and over, does take its toll.

I asked to speak to supervisors only to be transferred back to the beginning of the press this, press that or simply cut off. I spoke to one person who swore that another tech person was on the way and they would call back to make sure……….still waiting. The other problem and this one I consider to be major is that we were lied to every time. My daughter lives in a building that has security at the entrance, no one came, certainly no one got through to be able to knock on her door, no missed calls nor messages were recorded on her phone.

It was only after I googled the CEO of Verizon and ended up on your website, read through the horror stories of Verizon that I obtained the email for the CEO of the DSL portion of Verizon – Dennis.F.Strigl@verizon.com and sent an email that I received calls from no less than four executive troubleshooters who were falling all over themselves to help me. I must say in the end they were very helpful but how cost-effective is it to have one customer’s problem solved by talking to 30 – 40 people (no exaggeration) as opposed to one person, one problem, one file, one solution? I sent a list of recommendations to Mr Strigl what he does with them are his business.

In closing I just want to pass along this advice to anyone who contacts your site with a Verizon problem -

1) Keep a record of who you talk to and when. They don’t have to give you their last names (for security reasons I was told) but they do have ID numbers which identify whether they are in house people or out sourced. People need to know they are going to be held accountable.

2) Make sure your problem is completely understood, get facts straight by asking questions. Our problem stemmed from the fact that the first person my daughter spoke with put in a change of address, not a change of location. I’m not sure how one can change apartment numbers without actually moving but that is the excuse they gave in the end.

3) Go straight to the top with your complaint. After being on hold for hours, my daughter missing several days of classes and being no closer to a solution, I sent an email outlining the facts to Mr. Strigl and we heard back straight away. More importantly the problem was fixed the next day. I sent him a follow up email thanking him for his help along with thoughts for troubleshooting to prevent future problems. He may ignore my letter but keep in mind that one letter they receive represents many others that people don’t write but would like to.

Comments

Edit Your Comment

  1. Zeniq says:

    Thats insane. I’m amazed that we see story after story like this one on Consumerist. You’d think that CEOs would get tired of seeing crap like this in their inbox and do something about it.

    Will this never end?

  2. BigFoot_Pete says:

    Bravo, once the CEO go the message that it got taken care of so quickly. It’s sad that it had to get to that point, but this must be one of those lessons about skipping directly to the top.

  3. deejmer says:

    @Zeniq: No.

  4. goodywitch says:

    @Zeniq: Few people know about EECB, so I doubt they get that much stuff in their inbox. Always good to hear a reminder to document any and all contact with a company, and to be absolutely sure where the problem started (although I can think of a reason to change apt numbers, like moving into a larger one in the same complex).

  5. evslin says:

    Our problem stemmed from the fact that the first person my daughter spoke with put in a change of address, not a change of location. I’m not sure how one can change apartment numbers without actually moving but that is the excuse they gave in the end.

    The rep probably mistook the original request as a change in billing address, with the service remaining at the old address. I see that every so often with people signing their retired parents up for service and paying the bill for them, or parents doing the same thing for their kids in college.

    That’s still a stretch, though, compared to the likelihood that someone calling in to change their address actually needs the service moved too.

  6. desertdust says:

    Not to beat up the OP but after moving and then getting the run around on service I would have asked what address they were sending the tech to. I have a great amoount of experience moving and instinctively know this. This problem stems back to the very first call for the change of service. A quick question as to where the techs were going would have solved the problem early.

  7. spinfire says:

    I had this problem too.. The problem stemmed from the fact that I ordered Verizon FiOS for our new location (MA) before actually moving. So my billing address was in NH. Eventually I grew concerned – I had not received a bill but they recharged my CC. It was for the right amount but I couldn’t sign up for the online account because I hadn’t received my account number.

    So the saga begins with me using the email support. I figured, hey, simple address change. Response came two days later: Since you live in NH, your phone company is now Fairpoint. You’ll need to contact them.”. My original email had clearly stated that my service address was in MA.

    So I called. First response is that Verizon doesn’t service NH, then I get a very helpful rep who gives me my account number in exchange for some of my personal info.

    Now I figure I can go sign up on the website, so I’m all set. It wants to know my account number and my billing telephone number. Now, my cellphone USED to be with Verizon Wireless, but I ported that number to a different company years ago. Surprise! Verizon’s website says I need to use the Verizon WIRELESS account setup because I have Verizon Wireless. But I don’t. So when I go to the Verizon Wireless Account setup it doesn’t work.

    Took two more reps on the phone before it was all sorted out :)

  8. KW802 says:

    @evslin:

    The rep probably mistook the original request as a change in billing address, with the service remaining at the old address.

    That is very likely what took place. Verizon Online allows for a totally different billing address versus a service (location) address. To confuse matters more, you can order broadband and have different billing, service, and shipping (your new equipment) addresses associated to the same order.

    When dealing with a situation such as this where Verizon insists that a package was shipped or that a tech’ was on-site, always ask the person on the phone what the address is that they are viewing in their particular system. While it does seem unlikely that the CSR taking the call would change just the billing but not the service it is a possible explanation as to why the problems occured.

    Just a minor note: In the OPs step #1 she mentions the Verizon employees having ID numbers. That is true, they are known as a VZID, but not all customer service reps she may have talked to might have one, especially if it was an out-sourced call center overseas. As a rule of thumb if the persons VZID starts with a “v” then they are an actual Verizon employee but if they start with a “z” then they are likely a contractor. If they have none at all, well, that is possible.

  9. Subliminal0182 says:

    People need to know they are going to be held accountable.

    I’ve witnessed so many of my fellow employees just make up random BS when asked for their names or employee ID (my favorite was when this guy believed $%&&*@7 was a real ID, lmao).

    I’ve recorded my calls with Skype/Pamela when calling companies I know aren’t going to get it right the first time. If a problem does arise, simply email an executive detailing the events along with the conversations attached (.mp3 files), and facing the evidence, they sort it out rather quickly. Comcast, Microsoft Support, and BofA come to mind.

  10. bilge says:

    I dumped Verizon for Cavalier. My life has improved significantly.

  11. InThrees says:

    That picture needs a caption along the lines of “All these people can’t help you with a trivial customer service issue.”

  12. camman68 says:

    @desertdust: I don’t think this was the issue. The article says that Verizon told the customer that they also tried calling but didn’t get an answer. Verizon was probably lying about both!

  13. stargazerlily says:

    “After being on hold for hours, my daughter missing several days of classes and being no closer to a solution, I sent an email outlining the facts to Mr. Strigl and we heard back straight away. “

    Why would the daughter have to miss class? And a school that offers animation doesn’t have Internet access? Sounding fishy to me. And why is Mom involved in the first place? Can’t her daughter fend for herself? We all acknowledge the fact that most telecoms suck, but this seems curious.

  14. Meathamper says:

    I have the world’s worst Internet connection, so yesterday I moved to Time Warner Cable/Road Runner (RCN was not available in my building). Is TWC good?

  15. speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

    @stargazerlily: My fiance has an animation degree.

    If we had lost Internet access at home while he was in school, there would have been a couple online classes he might have missed. There’s a super online school called Animation Mentor that is almost completely online. Many animation schools have online-based classes.

    Brick-and-mortar art schools may have Internet access only in the library, probably restrict the sorts of sites students can visit (often poorly chosen filters), and restrict the time that any given user can stay on a computer. Saving your work to the network in order to perform a large render can be problematical.

    And if you knew animation students like I know animation students, you’d never have thought of asking whether they could fend for themselves. Seriously.

  16. NitrousO says:

    Sometimes I almost forget that atop the uncaring behemoths that are the companies that I use, there are half decent people running them.

  17. mabus says:

    funny this. my wife works for vz on the wireline side at a call center and routinely deals with billing and new installs for copper phone, dsl and direct tv. she tells me daily about horror stories like this. she also tells me that in 95% of the cases they are easily solved and that she does so by keeping the customer on the line and engaging the other departments as necessary, and *shock* by reading the case notes.

    the reason why most CSR’s do the transfer roulette game? it keeps their call times low (because this is a metric used to gauge employees), in addition to the fact that billing and existing customer calls are not lucrative compared to new service calls as there are incentives to sign people up for new service.

    so she’s probably gonna get fired eventually for caring for the customer, but there are a few good eggs out there.

    i don’t like it either, but that’s the God’s honest truth about vz.

  18. MissPeacock says:

    @stargazerlily: Why are you so suspicious? The letter clearly states that she had to miss class because of the extreme service window they gave her: 8am-8pm. Maybe her mom got involved because the daughter had to go back to class. Who cares? It has absolutely nothing to do with the issue at hand. There is absolutely nothing about this that sounds “fishy.”

  19. A school in philly that doesn’t provide internet, and kicks it’s students out to renovate? Sounds like AIPH to me.

  20. dewsipper says:

    2) I have changed PO boxes on several occasions, but my home address did not change. I can’t possibly see this as being a norm though.

    I hate to see these Verizon posts. I’m going to have to go with them for my cell phone as soon as my contract’s up with Sprint. Unfortunately, they’re the only ones with service in my area. Sprint supposedly has roaming, but it can never seem to place/receive any calls.

    TWC service depends on where you are, same for just about every service. From my experience, it was great in the city, but it’s pretty crappy in the boonies.

  21. Upon a second read through, I can verify that this is indeed the 1346 Chestnut building for AIPH.

    I majored in animation there as well and when through an identical flaming hoop of bullshit trying to get Verizon to set up DSL in my room.

    Honestly, the ancient building is partially to blame, but it almost seems like Verizon needs to be reminded how to turn on internet there each and every time one of it’s over 500 residents needs it.

    Shame on them for not opening their eyes and learning how to address this by now.

  22. ltlbbynthn says:

    @bilge: omg Cavalier is the worst telephone company I’ve ever dealt with!! You sure are lucky.