Verizon Wireless Wants You Back, Turns Into Creepy Stalker With No Concept Of Time Zones

Verizon Wireless really, really loved Mike. That’s the only conclusion we can draw from the carrier’s attempts to woo him back. Unfortunately, the company with a nationwide customer base doesn’t seem to understand this whole “time zones” thing we have going on, and called Mike a little too early for his taste.

I recently ported my number from Verizon to a different carrier. To woo me back, after the porting was finished and the account was closed out, they called me on three or four different occasions at 7:15 in the morning.

I finally got around to telling them never to call me again. They were very honest that they were calling me to get my business back, and that by the way, they only call after 10 AM EST. I’m in Los Angeles, so this is not a courtesy. It’s like being pursued by a vindictive ex. Plus I had to give my full name, former account number, and the last four digits of my SSN in order for them to stop calling. Since I’m no longer their customer, this information is no longer any of their business, and if I’d gotten more sleep, I would have given them a harder time.

Oh, wait, that’s what I’m doing now.

If Verizon wants to win Mike back, they need to start by respecting his boundaries. Then they’ll need to wait out his new contract.

Comments

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  1. shemnon says:

    Add sloppy bookkeeping to the retention and recovery department’s sins. I don’t get the calls, but they send me cards and always get the address wrong. Funny how billing always got it right.

  2. oldwiz65 says:

    They are very persistent in trying to get new customers an get old customers to come back. However, if you have a problem with your service or billing it is a completely different story. Sales and re-sales (or whatever they call it) are far far more important to the carriers than customer service to keep existing customers. If you are having troubles you don’t get a lot of help or interest from their support people, but if you should happen to simply up and cancel then all of a sudden they call you like crazy to get you to come back. Typical of the carriers these days.

  3. tbax929 says:

    I’m not a Verizon customer, but I’ve had this problem with several other companies. It’s as if they don’t even realize that not everyone lives on the east coast. One incident I remember is when, after taking in my vehicle to the dealership for a factory recall, I got a satisfaction-survey call a few days later at 5 am. When I pointed out to the caller what time it was, at least where I live, she rudely told me it was 8 am where she was, as if that excused the early-morning call.

  4. Virginia Consumer says:

    A question for Mike, what time zone was the number they called him in normally in or what time zone was his account information with Version in. With people moving all the time often they don’t change numbers. I have been living on the East Coast for over a year, but still have a midwest area code.

    Back when I did IT for robo-dialing I setup our system to check the timezone, it was based on the information in our records. We even had the whole Indiana/Arizona not following the rest of the world with Daylight Savings worked in.

    If on the other hand your address and phone number both correlate to California, they have some idiots working in their IT department :-)

  5. adent1066 says:

    It’ll be really great if they move support to India and they call from their daytime

  6. TheRedSeven says:

    Shortly out of college, I worked in a call center as a benefits administrator/customer service guy. The client was one of the leading retailers in the US, and had employees (our ‘customers’ as it were) all over the country. All 50 states + PR + DC.

    I had a habit of getting in to work early to work on some of the more difficult issues, since I could have some uninterrupted time (no phones ringing, no n00b co-workers asking dumb questions, etc) to focus on what needed to be fixed. Normally, I’d resolve as many issues as I could, then follow up with the impacted folks by making outbound calls as soon as the phones went live at 8am, working from East Coast to West Coast, so that I wasn’t too unreasonably early.

    Once, I finally received resolution on an 8-month, ongoing billing issue for someone on COBRA who had ongoing health issues and had been in a constant struggle with the insurance company, mainly due to the fault of the company I worked for. The added stress wasn’t doing her any favors, either.

    I was so excited to see the issue was finally fixed–permanently, honestly, thoroughly FIXED–that I called her right then. Forgetting it was only 7:30 in Chicago. And exactly 2:30AM in Hawaii, where the employee lived. Oops.

    • mrscoach says:

      But I bet upon hearing that the problem was fixed they were able get back to sleep and REALLY sleep, without the worry. If I’m gonna be woken up in the middle of the night, I want it to be good news, since usually the first thought is something is wrong. Your happiness and eagerness could be forgiven.

  7. The hand that feeds, now with more bacon says:

    Sleep is for the weak. Wake up.

  8. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    This is really weird because I got a Verizon email the other day asking me to enroll in paperless billing – I haven’t been a Verizon customer for more than a year. And I’m still getting junk mail asking me to come back so clearly, they’re aware that I’ve switched. I called customer service and they were completely useless to help me.

    • tbax929 says:

      Qwest has been begging me to return to them since I dumped them two years ago. It works out for me, because I’m getting their service again when I move (have to have a land line for the alarm), so I’ll be taking advantage of the promotion they’re offering ($24.99 for 12 months for high-speed internet).

  9. lordrefa says:

    I’m going to guess that the OP has an Eastern Time Zone area code…

    • 99 1/2 Days says:

      Of course! Since call centers never screw up, the only likely scenario is this fellow obviously forgot his number is an east coast number.

      Snerk.
      (I almost kept a straight face…)

  10. lukesdad says:

    I recently ported my number from AT&T and all I got was double-billed for my final month. No calls, letters… nothing. I took it as their way of saying, “you made the right decision.”

  11. BenChatt says:

    This is a classic example of what’s going to keep happening as companies automate more and more, using algorithms that, apparently haven’t been thoroughly vetted or controlled by real human beings. You can’t do “automatic customer service”.

  12. Ben says:

    If they called you at 7:15 AM, they actually called you earlier than 10 EST since we’re on Daylight Saving’s Time now. They should’ve said they only call after 10 EDT!

  13. NahWukkers says:

    It’s funny how these corporations spend bazillions trying to woo customers, then treat you like second-hand bog-roll once you’ve signed up. Do they take their corporate cues from two-bit Lotharios or something?

  14. isileth says:

    One of my most memorable answer to someone calling too soon was to my husband’s working place.
    They called us at 6,45 in the morning and they dared to ask: “Is there ….. at home?”
    My growling answer was: “And where do you think he is, since it’s 6.45 in the morning?”
    That was the last home call we ever received from them.
    eh eh eh

  15. MaxH42 thinks RecordStoreToughGuy got a raw deal says:

    I hate when they do this. They are NOT allowed to require any information, period. They have to put the number on their internal do-not-call list no matter what. This section of the law even specifies that you do not even have to give them your name:

    “(3) Recording, disclosure of do-not-call requests. If a person or entity making a call for telemarketing purposes (or on whose behalf such a call is made) receives a request from a residential telephone subscriber not to receive calls from that person or entity, the person or entity must record the request and place the subscriber’s name, if provided, and telephone number on the do-not-call list at the time the request is made. Persons or entities making calls for telemarketing purposes (or on whose behalf such calls are made) must honor a residential subscriber’s do-not-call request within a reasonable time from the date such request is made. This period may not exceed thirty days from the date of such request. If such requests are recorded or maintained by a party other than the person or entity on whose behalf the telemarketing call is made, the person or entity on whose behalf the telemarketing call is made will be liable for any failures to honor the do-not-call request. A person or entity making a call for telemarketing purposes must obtain a consumer’s prior express permission to share or forward the consumer’s request not to be called to a party other than the person or entity on whose behalf a telemarketing call is made or an affiliated entity.”

    (ref. http://ecfr.gpoaccess.gov/cgi/t/text/text-idx?c=ecfr&rgn=div6&view=text&node=47:3.0.1.1.11.12&idno=47 , about halfway down the page.)

  16. ElectroMan says:

    I never wanted to be one of their customers and turned down every offer they made so the stalking got serious and they bought my carrier (Alltel) just to have me. Now that I am theirs, they have crappy service, I hate their voice mail retrieval and the bills have gone up for the same service. I’m currently looking for a new stalker……

  17. TPA says:

    Hey Verizon — Take care of your current customers FIRST. Then you won’t have to bother with attempting to woo them back.