Above And Beyond: Verizon?

Verizon actually helped someone. His name is Matt, and he lives in Texas. Of course, he might be a fiendish undercover Verizon mole hiding behind a normal-sounding name. “Matt” claims to have purchased a Treo 700p on eBay, which was quickly felled by a faulty memory chip. Matt brought the paperweight to one of the notoriously unhelpful Verizon stores, where he got… help?

He said they didn’t have any 700p’s in stock, but he could offer me a 700w, the Windows version. I said no thanks, I want the same phone. He apologized profusely, told me they could ship me one, and that I’d have to talk to someone on the phone. He dialed a number, handed me the phone, and a customer service guy took all my information. He told me they’d ship me a new phone and a prepaid address label — all I had to do was send the broken phone back. “How long will it take?” I asked, expecting to hear “7-10 business days.”

The guy said, “We’re overnighting it.” I was floored, but a bit skeptical.

There’s a catch. It’s a cellphone company. Without his consent, Verizon signed him to a three year contract without nights and weekends – something like that. There must be a catch.

Sure enough, less than 18 hours later, I had a replacement phone, just for the asking. And remember, I didn’t even buy it from Verizon! I bought it second-hand on eBay!

We’re going to pour a strong drink while you read Matt’s full email, inside…


About four months ago, I bought a Verizon-branded Treo 700p on eBay. The thing crapped out on me a few months ago. (Apparently it was a faulty memory chip.) I took it in to a Verizon store (on Post Oak Blvd. in Houston), waited in line maybe 5 minutes, then told the customer service guy my story.

He said they didn’t have any 700p’s in stock, but he could offer me a 700w, the Windows version. I said no thanks, I want the same phone. He apologized profusely, told me they could ship me one, and that I’d have to talk to someone on the phone. He dialed a number, handed me the phone, and a customer service guy took all my information. He told me they’d ship me a new phone and a prepaid address label — all I had to do was send the broken phone back. “How long will it take?” I asked, expecting to hear “7-10 business days.”

The guy said, “We’re overnighting it.” I was floored, but a bit skeptical.

Sure enough, less than 18 hours later, I had a replacement phone, just for the asking. And remember, I didn’t even buy it from Verizon! I bought it second-hand on eBay!

Verizon has earned my business.

One happy customer. 59 million to go. — CAREY GREENBERG-BERGER