Saturday, November 20, 2010

Open Letter to Verizon Wireless

Dear Verizon,

I just spent 64 minutes on the phone with two of your customer service people. It was such a long conversation that my husband and I took our pups on a long walk during half time of a Razorback game. My dogs don’t like you either. And it’s my birthday weekend.

A few months ago, my 13-year old daughter and I went to a local Verizon store, bought her a new phone and signed up for unlimited texting. This was for two reasons: I was tired of whacking her when she went over her minutes, and one of my sisters and I love texting each other really stupid messages about the superiority of our animals and how Dante’s Peak was a silly movie but worth seeing because of Pierce Brosnan being such a hunka hunka burning love.

We came out of the store all warm and fuzzy: we could text with abandon!
We did not get a very good deal (because although it was not our choice to switch and we pay a whopping bill to Verizon each month, we’re considered vile reptiles, otherwise known as Alltel customers), but it would have cost too much to change providers. (It reminds me, in reverse, of the way the Little Rock School Board is so fond of hiring superintendents, firing them, and then buying out their contract for oodles of money. You guys really stink but I’m stuck with you and have to pay you vast sums of money). I thought that when you sucked Alltel into your vast death ship I became a Verizon customer – that’s what my bill says. I’ve been told several times in your stores that I’m “an Alltel customer”, and your representatives always spit on the floor afterwards as if it puts a bad taste in their mouths. “I would SO love to get you in a Mercedes, but your past wireless provider makes you worthy only of this two-toned Pacer.”

We’re a family of four, all with phones, but only two of us text. At last I come to the heart of the story: my bill today showed that we had gone over on our texting minutes. Apparently we stood around in your store for 20 minutes before seeing anyone and then spent about 30 minutes signing up for unlimited texting – but the dog apparently peed on our order. Your rep tonight acted as if it was just another tricky day at Verizon. He never went off script (which had no bearing on what I was talking about) and put me on hold probably 10 times for long periods. Although I'm pretty sure he was in front of a computer, I kept imagining him skating down the hall to check the Manual for Alltel losers, maybe having a beer or two on the way back, jesting with his colleagues about the live wire twisting on the phone.

I repeatedly asked to speak to his manager; he repeatedly refused – he didn’t really refuse; he just kept coming back and saying things like, “Well, I could give you a 10% discount on the charges you shouldn’t have had in the first place”, or “I could wash your dog for you.” Except he wasn’t as clear; he would give a long spiel about some plan I wasn’t interested in, such as giving me 40 free minutes a month to call someone in a gulag in the former Soviet Union. One of his special offers (seriously) was to inform the Mother Ship that I had a complaint about the store where I signed up originally. Really? You’d do that for me? He was relentless about keeping me from his supervisor; she would only confirm what he’d done, but I was more so: I told him that I’d wait on the phone all night if that’s what it took. But when she came on, she agreed that my situation stunk and sounded beaten down – it took the wind right out of my sails. And by that time I was convinced that I was getting cancer by listening to the endless spiels while on hold.

A side note: I generally go to the office on Chenal in Little Rock. I’m not sure whether they have a sadist for a manager or whether all your stores operate this way: why do you make your employees stand on their feet all day? It seems a bit of a sweat shop-ish thing to do. I know what you’re thinking: that episode of Seinfeld.

As much as I’d like to put the blame on you; I am the moron who renewed our contract. But next time we’re up for renewal, we’re gone.

p.s. I am posting this letter on my blog before even putting in the mail to you – I have at least 10 loyal fans!!!!!! And some advice about customer service 101: satisfied people maybe talk to 4 people; those who bear a grudge tell about 5,000. And trust me; my story will get better each time I tell it. Especially if I call next month and they tell me that there are no records of me calling.

1 comment:

  1. Why is getting a phone such a pain. I would rather get a filling I think. I have to go see why ours is so high now and DREADING it.