Verizon: Go Ahead And Email Us, We're Not Going To Read It

At least Verizon is being honest about the fact that they’re not going to read your emails, right?

Reader Vince says:

I was attempting to contact Verizon FiOS about their recent TV channel lineup change (Verizon did not report the change to outside providers so both of my $400 TiVo HDs are basically rendered useless because they have the wrong channel lineup data) when I noticed the disclaimer at the top of the email “support” page.

What’s the matter, Vince? Don’t you like talking to robots?

Verizon Central

Comments

Edit Your Comment

  1. Quatre707 says:

    Would you rather them raise prices so they can hire more U.S. customer service personnel?

  2. Angryrider says:

    Why even bother with an automated email process? Just have a searchable FAQ and we’re good to go.

  3. mgy says:

    This is blatantly unfair, Consumerist! They’ll read the help request – they just won’t…help…

    Nevermind.

  4. @Angryrider:

    Yeah, good luck with that! The average customer doesn’t even know what FAQ is, other than it sounds like a cuss word.

  5. @Dooley:

    Now go faq off.

  6. @Angryrider: Faq, isn’t that what they say on BattleStar Galactica?

  7. mariospants says:

    Still would love to see what happens if you send in a non-sensical or sexual inquiry… wonder what the bot would respond with.

  8. Nick1693 says:

    @mariospants: See: SmarterChild…

    But yeah, they’re being honest.

  9. timmus says:

    Verizon makes $93.78 billion in annual revenue and they can’t afford to provide a reasonable level of support? It never ceases to amaze me that the more capitalized a company is, the more likely that they’ll treat their customers with animosity, if not outright contempt.

  10. bbernardini says:

    As much of a pain as it might be, you can still program them by time and channel. Also, I’m sure the info will be updated eventually (which is no help now, I know).

  11. mike says:

    There are times that a FAQ page does wonders. Like what your email settings should be or how to attack a wild bear.

    But sometimes you do need to talk to a human. I would guess Verizon wants you to call them and wait on hold.

  12. rlee says:

    Call, or use their chat web page. Both have worked well for me.

  13. slungsolow says:

    It’s not like they actually have customer service to begin with. Of the 31 days that I’ve had FiOS, I’ve had 5 days without FiOSTV service and they haven’t mentioned the word “credit” to me once. Instead they blamed me for rewiring my install (I didn’t) and sent out 2 new set top boxes. Why actually fix a problem when you can just frustrate the customer so they’ll switch back to their previous provider (and pay an ETF).

  14. There's room to move as a fry cook says:

    This could be fun. Let’s see what response I get to certain keywords.

    [netservices.verizon.net]

  15. SuffolkHouse says:

    @Quatre707:
    Yes. I love my country, and that means the people in it. I want them to work. I will pay more.

    Don’t give me this shitty lozenge about free markets.

  16. khiltd says:

    @SuffolkHouse:

    I heard your tailor ran out of material while trying to make you some pants.

  17. Tiber says:

    @Quatre707: Cable companies tend to raise rates often, and I doubt their overhead increased anywhere near the amount their prices have in the last decade or so. If one of those price increases actually lead to better service, I would be extremely happy.

    @timmus: Yes, but that costs money. Can you imagine if they only made $93.77 billion because they had to have competent support! That’s almost in the red! How could any business be expected to survive on that?!

    I never got that sort of thinking when it comes to email. You would think that email and/or online chat would be better for companies, since there’s no communication barrier due to accents, there’s a record of what reps have done or tried (making it easier to transfer between reps), it’s probably cheaper than the total costs for the phone system, etc. Yet companies barely seem to realize email exists. They have a huge staff, but it’ll be days before you get a reply by email (for every email, so hope the first response fixes the problem). Plus, few places have online chat as a support option.

    I know companies are slow to change, but what’s wrong with giving customers options? I use a prepaid phone, so I’d rather not sit through 10 minutes of muzak at $.20 a minute when I can go to your website for free.

  18. temporaryerror says:

    @Git Em SteveDave displays attention-grabbing vanity:
    I think that they say “Frak”. Could be wrong though. Just seen adverts for BSG.

  19. sega8800 says:
  20. @Quatre707: That would be…providing customer service…which is…their responsibility…as part…of the exchange…of money…consumers pay them…for goods and services.

    Sorry, slow enough? Smaller words? You tell me; I’m a human and I’m here to help.

  21. tomcatv1 says:

    @Quatre707: Hell yes!

  22. iCanhasLs2plz says:

    @khiltd: Splendid.

  23. yso says:

    their web chat wasn’t functioning on safari or firefox yesterday – and there’s no way to track down an actual phone number for residential support (spanish support for wireless yes but all other support is filtered towards email.)

  24. Dyscord says:

    At least they have numbers you can call. I HATE the companies that think that email is good enough for contact and don’t have any numbers.

    That said, what’s the point of emailing if it only generates an automated response?

  25. SuffolkHouse says:

    Ths s stpd. s Cnsmrst rnnng t f mtrl? lmst vry frkn’ wbst ds ths tdy.

    Ths s stpd, pls y hv t b flk t ssm n ml t bg crprt wbst s gng t brk thrgh th wb f tmtd ths-nd-thts.

  26. admiral_stabbin says:

    I don’t think a retarded disclaimer makes it any better…in fact, it actually makes it worse.

    Why not put on their phone number that they aren’t going to staff their phone number? “You’re welcome to call but there won’t be any actual person to speak with to resolve our failure to deliver the service you pay us for.”

  27. jmuskratt says:

    As I’ve no beef with Verizon, I’ll go ahead and play devil’s advocate:

    Just because it’s not answered doesn’t mean it’s not read. Perhaps the intent of the “disclaimer” is let you know that you won’t get a personalized response, but if it’s an easy enough question, the “agent” in India will fix it without your input. Or, they have automated keyword recognition such that a query of “How do I check my voice mail” is replied to with instructions.

    Now, is that likely to happen? Of course not. In any event, I doubt it’s actually intended to mean what everyone is reading it as saying.

  28. LeoSolaris says:

    Amusing… At least it is honest. Most likely they have some sort of keyword automated response system for the emails as has been proposed earlier.

    I am still waiting for them to expand towards South Carolina so I can actually have a swift internet connection. (I don’t give a fig about the TV service, I get all my news and entertainment from the Consumerist.)

    I just hope that they do not add some ridiculously low download cap to FiOS.

  29. Landru says:

    @Quatre707: Um, that’s what prices were for orginally, the cost of doing business and having employees. Then they thought, what are we spending all this extra money for? They should totally be called upon to provide promised services in exchange for agreed upon price. They keep cutting hoping no one will notice.

  30. lingum says:

    Well when you call and get ahold of Mujibar who says his name is “Ted”, and the ” I am not knowing of what you are talking about,” line you might as well be talking to a machine.

  31. Henrythoreau says:

    I agree this is an unacceptable approach to dealing with e-mail requests. However, I’ve had very little trouble with support from Verizon and they are great compared to most companies I deal with. That’s not saying much, I know, but I just wanted to put in my two cents.

  32. AgentTuttle says:

    US jobs to India then lost to robots.

  33. dragonfire81 says:

    @jmuskratt: Like the email is recieved, skimmed for keywords by a program, which then autogenerates possible solutions from the online FAQs and then sends a canned email back to the sender.

    I rarely EVER bother with those e-mail support things on general corporate contact pages because I know I am just going to get a canned response that has just as good a chance of having absolutely nothing to do with my problem than suggesting a possible solution.

    For tech problems in particular, simply google the problem you are having, for example “Norton antivirus k1x000a error” and most times you’ll get several hits from online tech forums offering assistance with the problem.

    For billing and account problems, skip the email and use the internet and resources like this site to find executive customer service department numbers or if you are hell bent on sending an email and have a very valid reason to do so, opt for an EECB, you’ll likely get far better results than sending one to a standard address on a contact us page.

  34. starbreiz says:

    Psst… report a lineup issue directly to TiVo and they’ll contact your provider on your behalf (and on the behalf of every other affected customer)

    [www.tivo.com]

  35. I prefer the “Frequently Unasked Questions,” or FUQ

  36. Sarcastikate says:

    I’m almost afraid to jinx myself by saying this, but I’ve had a very good experience with Fios. Signed up 1 1/2 years ago and have internet, tv, landline. So far, so good. No problems at all…never had an outage – not one. Just lucky maybe? Had to call to have the tv rebooted once. No big deal. Those bastards at Cablevision can kiss my kiester.

  37. Ghede says:

    @Sarcastikate: You have invoked irony. Why didn’t you just say “What’s the worst that can happen?”

    Thankfully, life isn’t a cliched comedy… OR IS IT?

    … No, pretty sure it isn’t.

  38. You think that’s bad… You should try Battle.net’s support… They’re average turn around time is 2 years. Not kidding, by the way. Atleast this way, you know you’re not going to get a human.

  39. prisonplanet says:

    FAQ this

  40. zithero says:

    “Would you rather them raise prices so they can hire more U.S. customer service personnel?”

    YES

    As a Tech support Technician, I can say one thing: I will not do business with a company that outsources their tech support. Dell and HP for example. Vonage, still has American tech, Cablevision (as i’m employed) is 100% local and American Techs – also they’re all 24/7 support – unlike Verizon, which is basically bankers hours only… which isn’t good for tech support honestly.