My excruciating experience with Verizon Business

verizon_business
It all started 7 years ago when I started my third  business, a computer retail and service store.  I was happy with my other two businesses which uses Verizon Business for our phone services.  So I decided to use them again for the computer store.  I ordered a few phone lines, fax / credit card services line, security line, etc.  The sales representative added everything a-la-carte and never told me about any package deals at all.  At that time the cost of everything “seemed” reasonable so I went ahead and ordered it.

Fast forward 7 years later,  I recently got a letter from Verizon Business stating that my contract was almost up and that I should contact a sales representative.  I proceeded to call them up and talk to a helpful sales representative which took her time to see what I have and recommended to me that I go with a package deal which not only lowers my cost of everything by like 30% but also includes a free DSL connection.  Sounds like a great deal right?  Of course it is!  So I agreed and had them schedule the rollover to the new plan after my current one expires.

That’s when the nightmare started.  The sales representative said that nothing would change and that there wouldn’t be any service interruptions because it was just a billing issue.  The only thing Verizon had to do was to just activate the DSL service on my fax / credit card services line.  Sounded easy enough and should be just a switch or setting on Verizon’s end to make it all happen.  Well…it wasn’t as smooth as that.  First I received an email from Verizon Business stating that my DSL would be activated in a few days.  A few days later I got another email stating that the DSL line is active and ready to go.  So I plugged in the DSL modem and the first webpage I got was the Verizon DSL activation page.  I followed all the directions but the activation never completed.  I then called up tech support and they said that they would fix it and that my DSL would be up and running by the end of the business day.  Well that didn’t happen and what’s worse is that now my fax / credit card services line is totally dead!!  This is a retail store business and the credit card services line has to work!  I called tech support up again and ran through their checklist of questions only for them to tell me that it’s a line problem and that they will send a phone service repair technician out.  Now I’m thinking, how could it be a line problem when everything was working up until they tried to “fix it” the first time?!?!  I tried to explain everything to them and that I was convinced that it should be something on their end that’s messed everything up.  But they insisted it was a line issue and that they would send someone out.  I explained to them that this is a business and that we needed that line to be active.  At this point I didn’t care about that free DSL connection.  I just wanted my fax / credit card service line to just work.

My store opened the next business day without a working credit card line.  We explained to our customers that the machine was down and they understood and paid with cash or checks.  A few were annoyed since they had to go back home to get their checkbooks or cash.  The Verizon phone repair technician finally came in the afternoon.  I prayed that it was a competent technician.  I was lucky he was.  I explained what has happened and he agreed that it shouldn’t be anything to do with the wiring in my store.  But he went back to the building’s phone switch board to check on the wiring there to make sure it was correct.  And guess what he found.  He said our original fax / credit card service line was cut and that a new one line was just hanging there.  So he explained that it was probably another technician that came out the first time to “fix” my problem by wiring a new line from the outside telephone phone but forgot to punch that new line into the switch board.  My frustration was why didn’t that first technician come into the store to make sure everything was working or at least inform me that they were working on the line.  I had no clue that they even came here and there weren’t any notes on Verizon’s end about that first technician coming here.

So at the end everything is working now.  Now all I have to wait is to see if they messed up anything on the billing at the end of the month.  Wish me luck.

An advice for Verizon Business: Tell your left hand what the right hand is doing!  And keep your customer’s informed before cutting any wires!

Verizon…big enough to suck yet too big to fail.  And that’s the same with the other 3 letter phone company.

Posted in: Articles, Miscellaneous

13 comments… add one

  • Phlip September 15, 2011, 6:07 pm

    so your phone was out for a day, and after 7 years of satisfactory service, you found out you could get 30% off your bill and free DSL?

    When I read the title, I assumed the excruciation would take more than one or two calls to alleviate… The idea of excruciation usually connotes something a little longer term. Your nightmare couldn’t have been recurring, because there was only one night…

    People are dying out there, and you are complaining about the one day of IT problems you experiences 7 years into your third business?

    (just a reality check. maybe you didn’t have anything else to write about today. communications disruptions can be very annoying).

  • Jackie Cheng September 15, 2011, 7:45 pm

    I was so concerned in telling the main part that I forgot to mention that I was transferred back and forth to 14 different people. Been put on hold with 30+ minutes hold time. The first representative that transferred me to the phone repair technician actually transferred me the NY Verizon repair service technician…too bad I’m in NJ. And I was actually on hold for 45 minutes on the completely wrong number. So I wasted most of my day on the phone with Verizon.

  • Baa September 15, 2011, 10:04 pm

    You are lucky you don’t live in Australia!

    Built a new house and was promised by Telstra to have fiber optic connection to the house – even better it would only take 3 months after I moved in for the infrastructure to be ready! To cut a long story short after 3 months of using wireless internet I found out I was not supposed to have fiber (Telstra’s error) but the old copper interface, so had my cabling on my house totally redone and got connected.

    For a year or two I was getting under 1mb sync on my connection until we had a massive storm which flooded my exchange that I connect through, Telstra had to fix some of the hardware there and now I get 14mb which is livable.

    Telstra being the generous bunch they are paid for my rewiring of my house and also my wireless internet for 3 months (after I reported them to the Telecommunication Ombudsman).

    All up I would have spent 10+ hours on the phone to them and maybe 3 or 4 days off work for technicians to come round and investigate!

  • Peter September 15, 2011, 10:16 pm

    I used to work for Verizon.
    The technicians and hourly and union.
    They DON’T CARE!!!

  • Jackie Cheng September 15, 2011, 11:09 pm

    @Baa – I grew up down in Australia and still have a summer house down there. I totally understand your position about Telstra. Where in Australia do you live? I have a summer house near Manly Beach in Sydney. I have a home security system setup running on Telstra’s network. I only remote into it once in awhile or when there’s motion detected (usually a fly going by the camera). So there’s not much bandwidth going in and out. Even though I never missed a payment, Telstra decided to cut me off since I wasn’t “using it”. So took a few days and many long distance calls (from the USA) to have it straighten out.

  • 1000Acres September 16, 2011, 1:59 am

    Welcome to Corporate America. I hope you all see fit to give them the corporate tax cuts that they SO NEED, too.

  • Jerry Danzig September 16, 2011, 9:48 am

    In my experience, and according to friends who have used Verizon, the company has just about the worst customer service available today. Letters to their chairman are the routine course of resolution for customers fed up with the company’s hopeless incompetence. Unfortunately, I have also heard horror stories about Verizon’s competitors, notably the cable companies, as well. It would seem that the public service commission needs to bear down harder on these telecom companies until they shape up…

  • nike September 16, 2011, 9:48 am

    This article should just be title, “troubles with telcos” having opened and managed more than half a dozen business around the world, this type of thing CAN happen and HAPPENS with every single telco providor. I wouldn’t say any are that much better than the rest. The need to work ones way through multiple levels of customer service or tech support is going to happen unless you are large enough account to warrant a direct account rep.

    The fact that your credit card line was down a day is problematic, but couldn’t you have utilized a second line, primary line for that or taken direct credit card receipts and phone it in? Honestly, your difficulty really pales in comparison to the true horror stories that many business/consumers have experienced with teclos and their often broken processes or incompetent employees. 1 day is NOTHING!

  • Tom L September 16, 2011, 12:04 pm

    Jackie…it’s a real “bummer” that you had such poor service and bad experience with Verizon Business! I have worked for VZB for 14 years (originally MCI) and have been actively involved in customer support (network design & implementation) for all those years. I must tell you that what you experienced is not a normal experience with our company, as the large majority of feedback we get from our customers indicates a high level of satisfaction. HOWEVER…your experience was not what it should have been and I, like everyone else here, agree that we (VZB) didn’t do well in supporting you! I hope you contacted VZB management and let them know about this experience, as we are always working on process and customer support improvement, as a company, and really need to look at what happened to you so we can take actions to fix the problems! I am not adding these comments in any “official” capacity…I can’t speak for VZB in this forum…but I do care about our customer’s experiences and wanted to advise you to follow-up with VZB, if you haven’t already, so your next experience is what it should be…a GREAT ONE!

  • 1000Acres September 16, 2011, 4:14 pm

    Tom L. sounds like the typical Corporate Apologist. Apologize so the company can quickly continue with the usual incompetence. Because, competence costs money!! I guarantee there are MBA’s in the back room crunching numbers to make sure the wait times (30+ minutes) make sure that ALL customer service people are continually busy all the time. Because, 5 minutes without a call will cost “VZB” millions. And training… NAH, training costs money, too. And, BTW, don’t forget to support their corporate efforts through Congress for less regulation!

  • James September 16, 2011, 9:35 pm

    Regulations usually just add bureaucracy, often have loop holes that prevent them from effecting those you actually want them to effect, and more often than not the costs are usually just passed down to the consumer.

    So what you should advocate is better consumer laws instead. Make business more directly answerable to the people instead of government and then you’ll see real change.

  • Tom L September 16, 2011, 11:49 pm

    1000Acres…As I said in my response to Jackie…I’m bummed she didn’t get the service she needed/expected/deserved. So, how does my saying that make me a “typical Corporate Apologist”? And your suggestion that we (management at VZB) are trying to figure out how long we can make people wait is baloney! If anything, our upper management STRESSES that we all respond as quickly and effectively as is humanly possible to these issues that are part of doing business with our customers. In fact, if you look at the facts, Verizon Business has the best “MTTR” (mean time to repair) in the industry because the company has invested in tools/systems to make sure we are efficient in responding to issues like Jackie had. Do we fail…SURE…what company can say they never make a mistake. My point to Jackie was that she should not just stew with her anger…but let VZB management know about the problem, as we all are doing our best to provide the best service to ALL our customers, large or small! I am a lowly first-level manager who, like almost all my peers, is continually focused on finding ways to improve our efficiency and service to our customers. If that somehow is a bad thing in your mind…well…nothing I can do about that. Also, please note that my comments earlier…and now…are my own opinions and suggestions. Do I like being a Verizon employee…YOU BET…it’s a great company to work for! Is there room for improvement…ABSOLUTELY…and we not acknowledge that, as employees, but are always working to improve!

  • Joseph September 6, 2012, 3:05 pm

    My Experience with Verizon…

    Ordered an internet USB port then was pushed to get a cell phone. I did that and Verizon sent me a Black Berry Curve(with the wrong charger that did not charge the phone) then, Verizon Wireless informed me my phone doesnt have internet capabilities. Thus leading me to order another phone (HTC) sending it to me after i receive my first bill for 108.00. Keep in mind I did not have either phone( i had returned the blackberry with the return label) my USB was a no go i could not even finish homework with out receiving a text stating (you are 45% at your data limit) every few hours with different updates. UGH! So, my phone arrives then i call and do an EFT over the phone for 108.00.

    In this process i went to mall (under the guidance of Verizon Wireless Customer Service agent or their vendor) and paid my bill because the EFT had not went in yet. Verizon told me that they will reverse the EFT so i waited on hold for 5 minutes(out my day in which i usually make 400.00) for them to call financial Services to verify the EFT had been stopped.

    They told me that it had in fact been stop to go ahead and pay the booth so i did paying my bill to 0.00 pending other cycle. Keep in mind Verizon charges a month ahead… So i call AGAIN to speak with a manager who informed me the EFT went through. She said that I will have to pay the next bill that was due in 2weeks in order for service to be turned back on!

    Verizon charges a month in advance. Even though the 108.00 was the advance payment. So i paid the 108.00 due and Verizon wanted 400.00 more for next months bill. I still havent found a “detailed bill” to see the complete charges. I started service in June 2012 with unlimited minutes and hadn’t used data since July… My bill is now 700.00. VERY interesting. a class action lawsuit needs to be started inquire via my work email.

    Thus, my phone has been off (either halfway; were you cannot call out but can receive calls) 80% of the time i received in July 17 2012 800.00 in bills already for ” unlimited service” Jesse from Kiro needs to review this. I see a business of using corporate americans to pay outrages fees.

    You will be exposed!

    Turn off my service send me my final bill to forward to attorney. FYI; the payment on 09/11/2012 has been cancelled.

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