This Is What Fantastic Service From Verizon Looks Like

We’ve shared plenty of Verizon Wireless defective phone nightmare stories from readers recently, but maybe things are changing over there. Several Verizon employees went out of their way to be helpful to Chris–which, as the person who screens Consumerist tips, I find completely shocking. Or it could just be that Chris was lucky. Either way, here’s his Verizon nightmare that eventually turned into a success. For now.

Over the past 3 days, I have logged approximately 6 hours on the phone with various Verizon Wireless representatives, and came out of the experience feeling the end result (including the entertainment value of the situation) was a bargain at the price.

The story begins on Monday, 11/29/10, when I had called in the early afternoon (approximately 3:45pm EST) regarding switching from my HTC Incredible to a differing line of phone due to repeated, intermittent issues (randomly powercycling, etc – note : this is the 3rd Incredible they’ve sent me, each had additional issues on top of the powercycling issue).

The Tier 2 technical representative (sidenote, the tech reps are apparently the only ones who can place orders for replacement items) and I discussed my options, and I elected to go with the Motorola Droid 2. He advised that he would be sending the phone overnight, and it would have to be 2 orders, as the warranty replacement phone would not include the battery or the back of the phone (battery door). He also credited my account $50 to offset my need to repurchase items I had for the Incredible and would now need to purchase for the Droid 2 (case, chargers, etc).

Later that evening, I had occasion to call back, as I had not yet received the auto-generated email with FedEx tracking information. While speaking with the rep about this, he advised me that, while the phone was indeed marked for overnight, the battery and back were sent by standard 2 day shipping. During this portion of the discussion, I had explained my friend’s recent experience with Verizon support and phone replacement (she had recently been switched to the Droid 2 due to issues with her Droid 1, and had been sent an extended battery with her Droid 2), and inquired if there was a way to have an extended battery sent, and I advised the rep I would send the standard battery back (even offering to pay shipping if they were willing to be that nice). The rep stated he would be more than happy to send me an extended battery, but advised he’d have to charge my account $69.99 for it – but he would also credit my account $49.99 when they received the standard battery back (net cost, $20 for an extended battery).

I of course accepted, and Monday evening ended with a Droid 2 due to arrive Tuesday 11/30/10, and 2 batteries to follow today (Wednesday, 12/1/10). Tuesday morning I still had not received any email with shipping info on the batteries, so I called in to inquire (approximately 8:30am EST), and during the conversation with the rep, I was advised the phone being sent was a full, brand new Droid 2 (including battery, charger, etc), and that she would verify this (and look into the battery situation). She then stated she would text/call/email me with the information (confirming/denying whether the phone would be a full package, battery shipping info, etc).

I called back that afternoon (after not hearing anything further from that morning’s rep), and had that rep confirm that the prior rep had indeed done what she said, but they were still waiting on shipping info regarding the batteries (she did, however, at that time advise me the phone would be a warranty replacement model, so it wouldn’t include the battery or cover). On her own, she then contacted my local store, confirmed they had a standard battery and cover in stock, and credited my account $39.99 to offset the cost of my going and purchasing the battery/cover at the local store, so I could perform the phone swap that evening, rather than having to wait until the next day for the batteries to arrive.

I did make certain she was aware of the 2 batteries being shipped, and that only 1 was being returned, and that her actions, in effect, were giving me an extra battery. She confirmed she was aware of this, so of course I went through with it (sidenote – the store didn’t have the battery cover/standard battery, but they had an extended battery with cover for $49.99 which I did purchase). She also advised me I would shortly be receiving the auto-generated email with the tracking info from FedEx for the batteries.

This morning, I still had not received any email regarding the batteries being shipped, so I called again, got a rep from tech, and was advised that only one battery shipped (the extended with cover), and that my account was not charged the $69.99 for it, so needless to say I certainly had no issue with this. She also advised me that she would keep an eye on my account, and if the charge did show, she would go ahead and take care of it.

I got home, and what had been shipped was a standard battery (with no cover). I called back, advised the rep of everything that had happened, and explained that I would like either a standard battery cover (the extended bows out, so wouldn’t hold the standard battery in) or the extended battery I was told I’d receive.

I explained how amazing everyone has been, and how happy I’ve been with everyone’s willingness to work with me and get me everything I want (and then some), and we of course chuckled over the various little bobbles that have occurred. He decided to send me out an extended battery with cover, thanked me for being so understanding (and my willingness to laugh about this, rather than yell and berate him – I explained that this has been the absolute best experience I’ve ever had with customer service/tech support, especially dealing with equipment swap, and that part of the reason for that was the entertainment value of the situation), and (hopefully) we ended this 3 day long odyssey to get this resolved.

At the end of the day, it was quite obvious to me throughout these 3 days, that everyone honestly wanted to help, and wanted to ensure that I was very happy with their service. While minor mistakes were made, they went way out of their way to make certain they were made right, and so I had to send this in to demonstrate that there are still people out there who really are amazing. They took what could have been an ugly, long drawn out fight (as so many reps do, merely by not feeling like it and using the company policies serve as the excuse), and made it (relatively) quick, painless, and even humorous, to boot.