1 EECB Does What 60 Hours, 40 Calls, And 7 Replacements Couldn't

Josh’s phone from Verizon kept crapping out and they kept giving him replacements, which also crapped out. After a year of dealing with this, a friend of his turned him on to the idea of sending an “EECB.” His letter grabbed the CEO of Verizon’s attention, and that’s when he got satisfaction.

His letter is longer than I would normally suggest for a complaint letter. I think the blow by blow could have just been summed up by saying the number of hours, calls, and replacements he had gone through. But hey, it was worth Daniel Mead’s time and got the problem solved, and that’s what matters.

Dear Consumerist,

I would like to thank you for giving me the knowledge to successfully execute an Executive Email Carpet Blast yesterday for Verizon Wireless. To sum up (the full details are included in the letter I attached which I emailed to Verizon), I have had a year of phone troubles, gotten 7 replacement devices of two different models, spent at least 60 hours on the phone with technical support, performed aout 15 factory resets, and had little to show for it.

After being fed up and posting about it on Facebook, one of my friends told me to look on your site (which I had never heard of before, but am now your biggest fan!) and try to figure out how to do an Executive Email Carpet Bomb.

I spent about 10 minutes and had enough information to write my letter, which I sent last night to 9 executives, including the CEO and COO with the following results:

I received an email in the middle of the night from the vice president of customer service for the western region apologizing for the situation and promising that I would receive a phone call first thing in the morning from the director of customer service for my sub-region, which I did.

The direct of customer service apologized for the situation and told me I would be receiving a call “within the hour” from someone who would resolve and finalize the issue.

Unfortunately, that did not happen and I sent him an email in the afternoon (and copied the vice president who sent the original email) telling him it hadn’t happend and was sure it was a simple oversight.

At about 5:15 today I received a call from a member of the Verizon Wireless executive team who talked to me about resolving the issue. He told me that Daniel Mead, the CEO had read my email and forwarded it to him as well as several other key executives. He also told me that they were prepared to provide me with a brand new iPhone 4 at no cost to me. However, they were not going to provide me a credit for 3 months of service like I asked for, but instead I had to choose between a three month credit (valued at approximately $356) or an iPhone 4 (valued at around $700) and I choose the iPhone 4.

Again, I would like to say thank you for allowing me to achieve these results. My original plan was to call their tech support every day until I got what I wanted. This however, was a much more efficient use of my time and got their attention more quickly. I also received calls from them, which I certainly appreciated.

Keep up the good work!

- Josh

Josh’s full letter is below:

4/6/11

Daniel S. Mead & Executive Team
President and CEO
Verizon Wireless
1 Verizon Way
Basking Ridge NJ 07920-1025

Dear Mr. Mead & Verizon Executive Team,

Re: Wireless number XXX-XXX-XXXX

My name is Joshua and I have been a loyal Verizon Wireless customer for almost 7 years. I could always count on having great wireless service and very few problems. I appreciated the level of service I was given and the confidence that I had in my wireless company.

I had very few issues over the years besides a few billing issues that were resolved quickly. That was until this past April. I was eligible for my “New Every Two” credit and decided to enter the world of smartphones by preordering the HTC Incredible and adding data to my plan. While it was a large increase from $55.95 to $107.99 (plus insurance and tax, making it $118.99), I was happy to do it and finally have a smartphone.

When my phone arrived on April 29, 2010 I was very excited. I switched to the new handset and started immersing myself in the world of Android. Everything was great, until about three weeks later. At that point my phone stopped notifying me when I received text messages and emails. I called up Verizon technical support and the advised me to go to the store. I went to closest store to me at the time and after waiting 45 minutes, the customer service representative was incredibly rude and did not resolve my issue.

I then called up technical support again and after performing a factory reset and trying to see if the issue was resolved, it was determined that it had not been. I was told I could receive a replacement, but that it would have to be a factory recertified handset. The customer service representative told me that it was because your system is based on the purchase date of the phone and not the date the phone was released or the day I received it. I was very upset because I had just spent $199 on a brand new phone and was told I would have to receive a refurbished model, but what could I do. I made the arrangements for your company to send me the replacement handset.

A few days after I received the handset, I received a phone call telling me that I was actually eligible to receive a brand new handset instead of a factory recertified one. I was rather annoyed because I had just set up my replacement phone, which takes about an hour for an Android phone. You must set up the phone, re-download all of your apps, place all of the widgets and apps on the various screens, and replicate all of your settings. However, I decided that I would rather have a brand new handset for the next two years than a refurbished one. So I made arrangements to receive the brand new one.

Once I had received that handset and set it up, everything was working fine. However, about two months later, this handset (which was brand new) stopped syncing data. I could not receive emails or access Facebook, Google Calendar, or other Google apps. I called up Verizon technical support yet again to try and get the issue resolved. I was told to perform another factory reset and after it was determined that the reset had not resolved the issue, I was told I could receive another replacement handset.

At this point I was starting to get really annoyed. I had already been through three handsets in a matter of months. Something wasn’t right. However, like most people, I rely on my phone heavily, I had no choice but to get another replacement in the hope that this would solve the issue.

I received this replacement and set everything up again. Then, not six days later, my phone suddenly froze, turned off by itself and then repeatedly kept cycling through the various splash screens that the phone displays while turning on (HTC, Verizon, Droid). Taking out the battery was the only way to power off the device and did not fix the issue and there was no way to even perform a factory reset.

After calling another technical support representative, I was told that I could receive another HTC Incredible and I told her no. I wondered how a company could keep sending me faulty device after faulty device. I told her I wanted a different device and I didn’t want to pay for it. At this point I had received four handsets from April to October, performed at least 10 factory resets, and spent countless hours on the phone with Verizon tech support people trying to resolve these issues.

I told the tech support representative that I would like to receive a Samsung Galaxy S Fascinate and she agreed as long as I agreed to receive a factory-recertified device, which I accepted. She also gave me a credit on my bill, which I appreciated.

I received my Fascinate a few days later (because of the weekend) and was very happy with it at first. However, it started to have the following issues, such as:

• Facebook would not sync my contacts properly like it did with my HTC Incredible
• When I created events in the calendar, they would disappear like they had never been created
• The phone would freeze when I was trying to call people
• I would go hours without receiving email

I called a tech support representative to try and resolve the issues. After performing another factory reset, these issues had not been resolved. I tried to do everything I could to avoid being sent another device.

After a series of calls I was able to fix most of the issues. However, it was only a temporary fix. They started to happen again and. I called up technical support and the representative suggested that I receive another replacement and I begrudgingly agreed.

I received my replacement about three weeks ago and it was having most of the same issues out of the box. I have been busy moving and was finally able to call this past weekend to see about resolving these issues. After spending 90 minutes on the phone with your tech support and being hung up on once, the issues were not resolved.

I called back yesterday and spent another 70 minutes on the phone with a technical support representative. I even asked to speak to his supervisor because at this point, I am at a loss about what to do. I have been offered the ability to switch to another handset that has been available or receive the two-year promotional pricing for a newer handset. The issue I have with this is all of the older handsets aren’t as nice as the one I have now, so they would be a downgrade. The alternative was not an attractive offer either because I don’t want to pay $200 for a new phone now.

While I was on the phone with the supervisor yesterday I asked him to count the number of times I have called technical support since April 29, 2010. After waiting on hold for about five minutes, he returned to the line to tell me he had stopped counting at November of 2010 at 30 times.

That means I have called at least 30 times since last April, but probably closer to 40 or even 50. Since each of these calls averages an hour, that means I’ve spent at least 40 hours on the phone with Verizon technical support. I have received seven handsets and set those up, which takes about an hour. I have performed at least 15 factory resets and then had to set up my phone again, which also takes about an hour. This means I have spent at least 60 hours dealing with my phone that should’ve just worked in the first place.

When I expressed my frustration to the technical support representative yesterday, he did not seem to understand my utter lack of patience and anger at the situation even though he started every line with “I understand your frustration sir,” but clearly he did not and it was a fake line he was fed out of manual.

He also rescinded the previous offers that had been made and told me either I could receive a replacement of the same model or pay for a factory recertified version of another older model. When I told him I would like to speak to the supervisor again, he placed me on hold and about ten minutes later told me he was busy. I certainly felt like I was being brushed aside.

I understand a company has to have policies to operate by. If I had been having a typical experience and perhaps needed my first replacement after about a year, I would understand. Even if this was my second or third handset, I would understand. However, the representative was ready to send me my eighth replacement handset in less than a year. He also told me that the issues I was having were technically not Verizon-related issues and that I should contact Facebook and Google. The thing is, I’m not paying Facebook or Google $120 a month for service. I’m paying your company. He also had the nerve to suggest that I was creating these problems myself simply so I can call up and complain. That really made me angry because it suggested that my time is not valuable. I do have better things to do than spend the equivalent of 2.5 days over the past year dealing with phone-related issues.

I consider $120 a month to be a significant amount of money. I am currently not able to take advantage of most of what I am paying for with my data plan and I don’t really see how this is fair. I have always paid my bill. I have been a loyal customer for almost seven years. But now I am being treated like none of this matters. If this was a more typical case, I would understand the reaction of the representatives, but it is not.

At this point, I am considering switching to another carrier simply because I am sick of dealing with these things. I do not want another Fascinate, that will most likely have the same issues as the first two and then be told to call up Google and Facebook to have them resolve my issues. I also do not want to have to pay for a recertified phone and be called a troublemaker by your employees.

This however, is what I would like:

• I would like an iPhone 4 for free without having it renew or extend my contract (Android phones just don’t seem to work for me even though several of my friends have the HTC Incredible and the Samsung Galaxy S Fascinate and have never had a problem).

• I would like 3 months of service for free to make up for the approximately 60 hours I have spent trying to resolve these issues

• I would also like to receive the two-year promotional pricing for the iPhone 5 whenever it comes out, as I am actually eligible for my “New Every Two” credit this December.

I don’t make these demands lightly. I understand you are trying to run a business. However, I have been wronged while continuing to be a loyal customer. If my situation had not played out this way, I would not be making these demands, but considering the amount of trouble I have had to deal with over the past year, I feel that I am entitled to make these demands.

I would just like you to see how someone feels when he or she is treated like a phone hypochondriac. I am not creating these issues myself. I actually have a very technical background and work for an Internet marketing company, so I understand how phones work and what should and shouldn’t be done when using them.

I hope we can come to an agreement as far as how I should be compensated for this situation. The reality is, because of how far back this extends, I know I have forgotten many details about what I have had to endure for a working phone, while paying your company $120 month on top of it. If I was being paid for this service, that would be another thing. But in the midst of rising gas prices, a downtrodden economy, and rampant inflation, which is raising the cost of all goods, I am still paying $120 of my hard-
earned money to your company every month.

I would like to say thank you in advance for reading my letter and hope to resolve this in the very near future.

- Josh