Verizon FiOS Wants Me Back, But Makes It Extra Difficult

Arthur loved the Verizon FiOS service he once had, and wants it back. He’s not as fond of their customer service or their prices, though, and ditched them for Cablevision. He met a salesman who made a great deal happen…and now the vagaries of Verozn’s system mean that if he signs back on with Verizon, the nice salesman will lose credit for the sale to Arthur, and also the commission. What to do?

I had an interesting experience with Verizon. They refuse to admit I returned their equipment, and they refuse to allow me to resume service until I return the equipment I returned. Unless I screw their salesperson out of a commission, and then everything will be fine. Until and unless I ever try to return their equipment again, I suppose.

I had their service and liked it, but after a year their introductory rate was about to expire and competitor Cablevision offered me a much better deal. While I like Verizon’s service better, I couldn’t ignore a $60 a month rate reduction. When I called Verizon, they kept me on hold for an hour before informing me that they could offer me nothing, that I should be grateful for the deal I’d gotten, and that Cablevision’s offer was too good to be true.

The rep was wrong. Cablevision made good on its offer. Yet they still don’t have BBC America, among other things, and their internet service is not in the same league as FIOS. I was in a Chinese restaurant where I met a FIOS rep who offered me a better deal than Cablevision. I was ready to take it, but when we called Verizon, they said I owed them for a past due bill. This was odd, since I’d received three bills from them, one stating I owed them $110, another stating they owed me $110, and a third stating they were deducting $100 from the 110 they owed me for a cable card I hadn’t returned.

Apparently, if you have all your services with Verizon, they are all billed to the phone account. Once that account is canceled, it somehow generates dual bills. It’s idiotic and inefficient.

The last time I canceled Verizon, I had to spend months proving I’d sent them back equipment via UPS. This time, I thought I’d be smart, so I brought it back myself and got a receipt. The folks at the return center somehow failed to tell Verizon they’d received my cable card, even though they’d given me a receipt for it. Verizon asked me to fax the receipt to two different numbers, and I actually bought a fax machine to do so.

After spending an hour on the phone with them, my fourth in a week, a Verizon rep managed to clear my credit. However, he said he’d have to cancel the order the guy I’d met had arranged, and redo it from scratch. I asked whether the guy I’d met would get credit for the sale, and was told no, he wouldn’t. If I wanted to purchase from him I’d have to wait two billing cycles for my records to clear.

It didn’t seem right to screw this guy out of a commission. I told the phone rep I’d stick with Cablevision, BBC America or no. Why Verizon makes it so difficult to resume service, why they have such an insane system, I have no idea. And frankly, their miserable and inefficient return process makes me question whether or not I need them, however good their internet service may be.

Other readers have been able to solve intractable situations with a call to executive customer service (212-321-8463) or an e-mail to CEO Ivan Seidenberg ( Good luck.

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