Rob has been an internet-only Verizon FiOS customer for years and recently decided, since he hadn’t really experienced any problems with that service, that he’d take the plunge had get FiOS cable TV service too. Since his house was already wired, it shouldn’t have been a big deal but the all-too-familiar happened and Rob found himself staring into the customer service abyss.
So, using some tips he picked up from reading Consumerist, Rob sent off an e-mail to Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg. Here is the timeline:
April 10: I ordered FiOS cable over the phone, as a bundle package with my current internet service. As the owner of a TiVo, I was told a cable card would be mailed to my house, and I could simply install it and would have cable service. I was told it would be shipped out immediately and I would receive it in a few days.
April 14: I called to check on the status of the cable card. I was told it was not shipped yet but it would be sent shortly.
April 18, phone call 1: I called again to check the status. I was told that, in fact, a technician would have to come to the house. The person I spoke with offered to send a technician out the next day (April 19). He said he would call me back shortly with the details. I took a sick day off from work for the installation. I never received a call back.
After three hours, I called back. In phone call 2, I was told that the order would have to be cancelled and re-issued. That call was dropped by my phone.
I called back. In phone call 3, I spoke to another person who said that was inaccurate, that the order did not need to be re-issued, but could not be installed until May 9, nearly a month from the initial order date. He advised I call back the next day to try and have that order moved up.
April 19: I called to ask for an earlier installation date. I was informed that the entire order had been cancelled and there was no pending installation. The person I spoke with re-issued the order, at a slightly higher rate than the one I agreed to on April 10. I requested an installation on April 21, which I already have off from work. Instead, my new installation date is May 10.
Within hours of sending off that e-mail, Rob received a call from Verizon HQ to discuss the problem and set up an appointment for Thursday to have it resolved.
Once again, while it’s great that Rob’s e-mail got through to the upper management at Verizon, it should never have gotten to that point. With Verizon trying to expand its FiOS service into territories currently dominated by the likes of Comcast and Time Warner Cable, wouldn’t it behoove them to better educate and train their customer service people so situations like Rob’s don’t occur in the first place?