Talyor was able to leave his Verizon contract without paying an early termination fee by launching an executive email carpet bomb loaded with a polite email. In it, he says that customer service reps have refused to transfer him to a supervisor and now he needs some help. In the ensuing email exchange with the executive customer service rep who helps him, he tells her how he wants to leave because of the raise in text message rates. Frequent readers of The Consumerist will remember that when a cellphone company raises its text message rates, it’s a material change to the contract, meaning that the original contract is void and the other party can walk away from the contract without penalty. Taylor wins because he’s polite, professional, persistent, and acts like he’s conducting a business transactions, which is exactly what he’s doing. Read his blow by blow exchange, inside…
To: Ivan.Seidenberg@verizonwireless.com; Strigl, Dennis F.; Townsend, John; McAdam, Lowell; Lynch, Richard; Gurnani, Roger; John.Hinshaw@verizonwireless.com; Zipperstein, Steve; Debra.Carroll@verizonwireless.com; Delehanty, Martha; Jim.Gerace@verizonwireless.com; Melone, Anthony J; Steve.Zipperstein@verizonwireless.com; Margaret.Feldman@verizonwireless.com; Lanman, Mike; Michael.Lanman@verizonwireless.com; Gerace, James J; Plating, Jack (EVP & COO); Waghray, Ajay; Small, David; McGean, Jim; James.McGean@verizonwireless.com; Walden, Marni; Devlin, Patrick J; Maiorana, Michael; Falco, Charlie R.; Berberich, Christine; Eileen.M.Creeden@verizonwireless.com; Creeden, Eileen; Bowman, Anthony E.; Tony.Bowman@verizonwireless.com; Stacy, Brian; Nancy.B.Clark@verizonwireless.com; Clark, Nancy; TJ.Fox@verizonwireless.com; T.J.Fox@verizonwireless.com; Lou.Sigillo@verizonwireless.com; Ivan.G.Seidenberg@verizonwireless.com; Dennis.F.Strigl@verizonwireless.com; Lowell.C.McAdam@verizonwireless.com; Richard.J.Lynch@verizonwireless.com; Steven.E.Zipperstein@verizonwireless.com; Haller, Greg; Tang, Roger C; Jerald.M.Fountain@verizonwireless.com; Jerald.Fountain@verizonwireless.com; Cruz, Luis (Regional President – Central Texas); Pamela.Tope@verizonwireless.com; Mango, Jeff; Henze, Kay A.; Dixon, Kenneth S (Regional President); Hand, Charles;
Good afternoon all,
I have been having pretty poor luck with your Customer Service Department today.
While I always intend to follow proper procedure, it does not seem as though I am going to make any progress by contacting them. I have now been refused a supervisor on two separate occasions.
I am hoping that one of you fine folks may be able to put me in touch with someone in a position of higher authority who may be able to assist me and get this issue taken care of.
Here is my pertinent account information:
Name: Taylor XXXX
Please have someone who may assist me contact me via e-mail to discuss this further.
Thank you for your time in consideration in getting this matter resolved.
Thank you for contacting Verizon Wireless.
I received a phone call from our executive staff that you are seeking assistance. I called your work and home numbers and left voice mails in an effort to assist you immediately. Later, I was informed that you prefer email communication. I sincerely apologize if I bothered you or your family with voicemails.
How may I assist you?
MWA Supervisor, Executive Relations
To: Beichner, Lisa
Thank you very much for your attention in this matter. Please do not worry about the phone contact – it is completely fine; I just requested e-mail contact as this is a much more accessible option for me at this point in the day.
I recently received a postcard from your company indicating that the terms of my wireless contract would be changing. In this postcard, it stated that if I would like to cancel my service within 60 days of receiving the notice, the ETF would be waived for the cancellation. It also stated that if I continued to use the service, the company would assume that I agree to the changes, which I do not.
Earlier today, I contacted Customer Service to pay the final balance on the cancelled account; however, I was advised that an ETF was included in the balance, which I explained should be removed. The representative seemed to have some trouble understanding my request, so I attempted to clarify further. At this point in the call, she still did not seem to understand the request, so I requested to speak with her supervisor, who refused to take the call.
I later called back again in an attempt to rectify the situation, but was met with the same battle.
I am just looking for my ETF to be waived as I was previously advised it would be. I feel that I have been fair and consistent in my dealings with your company and have always received fantastic treatment. I was absolutely shocked and disappointed when this occurred as I do not feel that it is a correct representation of your company or how it wants to treat it’s customers.
If I can provide any additional information or be of any further assistance, please do not hesitate to let me know.
Once again, I am truly grateful that you have taken the complaint seriously and have taken the initiative to contact me. This alone speaks volumes about your company.
On 2/15/08, Lisa.Beichner@verizonwireless.com
I apologize for the difficulties you experienced when speaking with our Customer Service personnel. Please know that your feedback is very valuable for training purposes. I will personally follow-up with our Customer Service personnel.
I am disappointed that Verizon Wireless would lose your valuable patronage only after five months of service. I understand that you disconnected because of a text message rate increase. Because you had Unlimited Messaging, this rate increase did not apply to your account.
Please help me make our business better. Is there another area where we failed you? Perhaps you had an equipment or network problem? Is there any way to win back your patronage?
To: Beichner, Lisa
I appreciate the attempt; however, I have already ported the number and switched the account to another network provider. I had attempted to pursue service with Verizon again (the recent five month membership), but could not get signal at my home. Furthermore, when switching to a data-based account/plan, I was not able to find a plan to suit my needs.
Also, while I did have unlimited text messaging on my account, the text messaging rates that were in place at the time of activation were a huge contributing factor in my decision to activate service with your company. In the event of financial hardship, if I were to eliminate my text messaging plan, the rates would most definitely affect my service, which is another reason that I made the decision to cancel.
Unfortunately this last experience with your company has left a bad taste in my mouth and I do not wish to reactivate my service. Again, I am very impressed at your ability to offer this in such a non-threatening manner, but am not interested at this time. I will be sure to save your contact information in the event that I change my mind.
When you have a free minute, could you please send me my final adjusted balance? I will be happy to call and pay this in full upon receipt.
Thank you again,
I truly appreciate the time you have taken to elaborate on this information. Thank you for your time.
I have issued an account credit of $152.63 that reduces your balance to zero.
On behalf of the Verizon Wireless executive staff, please accept our sincere apologies. I hope we may be your provider of choice in the future.
Thank you very much for your help.
Have a great weekend!
Taylor via Sprint Motorola Q9c Wireless Handheld