All of the reasons that I left Verizon as a phone service a few years ago are returning while I deal with my new FiOS installation.
As I mentioned previously I was excited to move away from Comcast‘s Internet service (a service I had been with for well over a decade and a company I’d been with for over 25 years). I also valued the savings on combining Internet and TV services. That savings was enough to get me to freeze my DirecTV service for six months while I try out FiOS TV.
What I did not care for was the “Triple Play” of adding phone service to the account. Their idea of $33 being a big savings doesn’t work for me when I already pay a third of that “discount” rate for my current phone service from another provider.
I told the sales person I didn’t want phone service. He assured me that it would be no problem and to just tell the installer that I didn’t want it. I did and the installer said that he’d inform the order company that I hadn’t ordered it. He did run battery back-up to their box in my garage but did not run any wiring from the box into my phone lines.
Imagine my surprise when I found out that, not only did I have phone service on my account, but that Verizon had ported over my phone number to this service. When I called about this their only response was that they could cancel their service and that would have resulted in my losing a phone number (a good one) that I’ve had for many years. I instead had to have them do nothing while I initiated a port back to my original phone provider. I then called customer service about a credit.
Talk about ending up in hell. After several days and speaking to no less than 15 different people and six different departments I finally reached someone who put a note on my account to credit the phone service. Prior to this everyone I spoke to wanted to be helpful but simply wasn’t. One person would listen and say, “I can’t help you with that problem but let me transfer you to the department that can help.” They’d transfer me only to have me reach another person who would tell me the same thing. Along the way I’d often get transferred to numbers that didn’t work or have the call drop entirely.
It seems that, as usual, Verizon is so big and has so many departments and procedures that differ between them that customer service has little hope of being a positive experience. In the latest example of this I was informed that there are east and west coast retention departments and that each retention department is divided between copper and fiber departments. So, you have a one-in-four chance of reaching the right department. Thankfully I just found out that they’ve combined the copper and fiber groups so that now there’s just two departments (east vs. west). A rep in the east retention department has now claimed to have taken ownership of this issue and says that I’ll be credited once a new bill is created and that she’ll move me from the current plan into a new “bundled” plan for Internet and TV that should cost me $79.99 a month plus the cost of my TV boxes and any movie channels.
For now I’m going to hang in at least long enough to see what the first bill or two looks like. At this point I’m expecting the worst.