Customers Fight Back Against Hyperaggressive Verizon FiOs Door-to-Door Marketers

Eric and Sarah write:

Thanks to the executive email listing found on Consumerist, I was able to fight back against the invasive marketing of Verizon Fios! Here’s the email I sent last week:

From: Eric XXXXXXX
Date: October 25, 2007 8:37:10 PM EDT
To: william.barr@verizon.com, robert.e.ingalls.jr@verizon.com, thomas.j.tauke@verizon.com
Subject: personal assault

Dear Mr. Barr, Mr. Ingalls and Mr. Tauke,

I am only taking the extreme step of writing to the highest levels of Verizon due to the seriousness of the invasion of our lives by Verizon sales personnel.

As I am sure you can confirm, we have been loyal Verizon phone and internet customers since we moved into our home nearly five years ago, and eagerly upgraded to FIOS immediately upon its availability in our area – first for internet and phone service over a year ago, and then also switching to FIOS TV earlier this year.

Nevertheless, we have been constantly bombarded with invasive FIOS marketing, even well after we signed up for these services. Not only direct mail, which we understand is unavoidable, if a nuisance. But then we began receiving special “deliveries” by carriers ringing our doorbell and demanding our signature for what turned out to be simply another Verizon advertisement in an important-looking express mail envelope. My wife and I have two small children, and on several occasions they were awakened by these inappropriate solicitations for services to which we already subscribed.

Since FIOS TV has become available in our area, however, the situation has become intolerable. We have twice received uninvited door to door Verizon hucksters, who have disturbed our peace with offers for products for which, again, we remain loyal customers. Tonight, however, was the last straw. Yet another salesman came to our door, after seven o’clock at night. My wife was putting our our three-year-old son to bed while caring for our seven month old baby daughter, and yet the salesperson loudly rang the doorbell (despite it being taped shut with a “do not ring” sign over it!). When my father-in-law explained to the man that my wife was not available because she was tending to our children, the salesperson became very rude and aggressive, and demanded to know when we could speak with him, even going so far as to ask my father-in-law for our personal information with which to contact us for a follow-up solicitation!!

I am sorry, but this is no way to treat a loyal, long-term customer who is an early adopter of your most lucrative products; a family with young children, or simply a way to act in a civilized community. At this point, I am contemplating communicating our distress at these invasions of our home to the local media, the better business bureau, and, if necessary, our local police.

I truly hope you are able to determine who is responsible for these assaults on our peaceful existence, and eliminate these harmful practices from your corporation’s marketing plans. At this point, we are considering switching our phone, internet and television service to Cablevision, your closest competitor. Our decision will be based on your response to this situation.

With appreciation for your attention, and in hopeful anticipation of your reply,

Eric and Sarah XXXXXXX
XXXXXXXXX
Port Washington, NY 11050
(516) 767-XXXX (acct. # XXX XX X)

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

As you can see, I sent this email at 8:37pm. Exactly ONE HOUR later, I already received this direct response from Mr. Tauke, the Executive VP for Public Affairs, Policy & Communications:

From: Date: October 25, 2007 9:38:24 PM EDT
To: ,
Subject: Re: personal assault

I apologize. I understand your concern, and I will try to address this issue.

Tom Tauke

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

At 9am the following morning, my wife received several calls from “executive customer service,” who promised to advocate on our behalf after hearing our story. We also spoke with Mark, the “door to door marketing customer service representative,” who explained that Verizon contracts out their door-to-door marketing to another firm, but still promised to take responsibility for repairing this situation. So, here are the results that we received by the end of the day, as confirmed by Verizon directly:

1) The offending marketer was being removed from the FIOS campaign.
2) Our ENTIRE STREET was being removed from the door-to-door FIOS campaign.
3) We were being taken off their lead sheets (why we were on the lead sheets in the first place, is another matter)
4) They credited our account for two months of FIOS internet, TV and phone. Total savings: over $300!!

Thanks, Consumerist! You made it easy to fight back, and get proper compensation for our troubles!

All the best,

Eric & Sarah

Eric & Sarah got started on their path to fightback success after taking a page from The Ultimate Consumerist Guide To Fighting Back (Revised Edition). Awesome! We’re glad that worked out for you. Great that Verizon was able to reign in their hyper-aggressive third-party marketers. I wouldn’t have expected them to throw in the two month bonus but that’s a very nice gesture as well. That’s the power of kicking issues right to the top of the heap.