From FiOS, To Cablevision, To Hell, And Back Again

Oliver tried to two-time FiOS after he got burned on a bad install. But Cablevision didn’t treat him right either, reneging on its promise to pricematch his old bill. Now he’s back again trying to rekindle a relationship with FiOS but they’re still up to their old ways and not giving him the tender loving he deserves.

Oliver writes:

Dear Consumerist,

I originally signed up for Verizon Fios. The service was installed initially with no real issues, my beginning 3 bills were approximately $166 (140 base, plus installation spread over 3 statements, taxes additional). My bill remained around $144 for several months, but soon became to increase in very small installments, making the bill $155 all the way to $174, and then its final statement of $190. I was told that the final statement increased because my promotional package had expired.

When speaking to a customer service rep, I was informed that new promotional packages, which were drastically cheaper, were reserved for “new customers” only. My response:

“what if I cancel right now, and then call back to sign back up?” The rep’s response was that I would be considered a new customer and the promotional package would be applicable.

Needless to say, I scheduled my new installation (new and upgraded hardware needed to be installed). This was during this past August of 2011 in the tri-state area. Now, if you have followed local news, you may be aware that during this time, there was a strike that took place among the workers.

I received a call from a Verizon Fios technical support rep a few days after the strike began, which was 2 days before installation was supposed to happen. She informed me that the installation was indefinitely put on hold due to the strike. I understood and asked that my disconnect be postponed so that I do not experience any lack of service.

(Side note: I rent out an extra room in my apt. My tenant works from home and her business is fully dependent on internet connection.)

I came home the day my service was scheduled for installation and found that everything was cut off. No phone, internet, or cable available. I called to find out what happened, maybe there was a mix up, I wasn’t sure. When I finally was able to get a live person on the phone after 23 minutes of holding music, I was informed that they had a disconnect order and followed through.

In response, I asked what happened to request to post pone the disconnect that I had placed with the rep that informed me the installation would be postponed. Their simple response: “we have no record of anyone calling you for that.”

I did my best to put my frustration aside, and asked to simply have the service returned to its original state until new installation was available. Common sense deems that if you can turn off service remotely (without an onsite tech), and that the equipment is already wired and installed, the same said service should be able to be restored the same way. Apparently, this isn’t the case. Nothing could be done. I spoke to 4 supervisors, and each became nastier and ruder than the last. I admit, I became nasty and rude right along with them.

After numerous calls, I found myself nowhere, and was in a tight spot to restore service for myself and tenant. I called Cablevision immediately and was able to have their service installed the next day. I was relieved. They even offered me a promotional discount on my monthly service since I was actually switching from Verizon Fios.

I stayed home from work so that the Cablevision could be installed. The technician on-site asked for proof of previous coverage from Verizon Fios. I presented it to him to keep for my records. My first bill came, and reflected the amount I was promised. Although I felt that the cable service itself was lacking (user interface, speed of remote control, dvr set up), I understand it’s a matter of personal opinion.

When my next bill arrived, it shot up from $144 to $188…. Within one cycle. I knew we had ordered a movie for $5, but nothing to constitute a $44 increase.

I called to find out what the reasoning was once I had analyzed my bills side by side. There was no explanation on the bills themselves, so I asked the customer service rep to elaborate as to why the increase happened. Apparently, I was not only to supposed to show the technician my Verizon paperwork, which is what I was told initially, but I had to make copies and send them in with my first bill.

At no point during any conversation with Cablevision was I informed of this. I was outraged when speaking to the rep and to her manager. The manager explained there’s nothing that can be done on their end and that they have no record of their tech ever having the Verizon paperwork.

They said they had sent out a letter indicating that they required this paperwork- which I never received. I then asked to have this same letter resent via snail mail and by email immediately. I waited over a week for both, and received nothing

I feel robbed and lied to now, but both companies at this point. None of the departments communicate. I cancelled Cablevision entirely and cited my claim.

Still in need of service, I ate the crow and called Verizon to have them install. My package deal sounds amazing, but apparently they still have the same inter-department communication issues. The technician, who doesn’t speak enough English to communicate properly, apparently was given “the wrong order ticket.” This means he can’t signal and actually install anything.

He arrived at 10:45 am this past Wednesday (11/9/2011) and left at 6:45 pm- only my phone line was installed.

He promised me when we spoke that he would return by 830 am the next morning to complete. I made arrangements at my job so I could be present for his arrival. By 9am, I had to call his supervisor and find out that he hadn’t even been dispatched yet. Needless to say, by 10:30am he arrived, stayed until 2pm (when he had to leave because no one would be in the apartment) and still, nothing was done.

I have spent the past 2 days on the phone with tech support, customer service, dispatch, and the technician. I have no other means of reaching out for help than your establishment.

I need help with this in some way. Is there anything you can do to help or at least advise me on how to proceed?

Sincerely,

Oliver

Sounds like you need some sweet sweet escalation, Oliver. Here is some upper-level contact info at Verizon that will hopefully get you some traction.