Things I wish Verizon understood:
- Customer convenience is more important than back-end systems convenience
- If you direct people to your website, make damn sure it works
- Don’t punish the customer when your cash cow gets disrupted
I say this even though I’m happy enough with my cellphone plan and my DSL. Verizon’s service is fine, it is their “customer” service that is crappy. Why? For starters, I could not upgrade the two phones on our family plan at the same time, because Verizon built the shopping cart to handle one upgrade at a time, no matter how many phones are on the same account. This is so idiotic I thought I must’ve been missing something, so I accepted Verizon’s annoying pop-up chat invitation — only to confirm that their system really is that idiotic. I ordered the first upgrade phone, and then their website went down.
Of course. So I figured I’d pop into one of their omnipresent stores to get my phone. My mistake — because 1) I’m not waiting around for an annoying clerk to try and upsell me when I know what I want, and 2) I’m not spending money in a store for things that don’t cost me anything online. That’s right: the phone that I get for free, without so much as a shipping charge, will cost me $50 in the store. The in-store phone will be free eventually — I would get $50 back from a mail-in rebate at least four weeks later. Compared to zero upfront costs online (presuming their website resurrects itself), why on earth would I do this? It’s crazy.
Verizon’s website becomes reachable again, and I get my upgrade. Since I’m on a roll now I decide to deal with Verizon again, regarding my unwanted landline. I register on their website so I can make promised changed to my account, only to discover that any changes in service have to be made over the phone. Grrr. I call and wind up listening to a voice on hold tell me I really should be handling this on their website. If only. I carefully enunciate “real person” “agent” and “live person” so the automated system transfers me to a human being.
Now, it must be said that this human being was quite pleasant, and she was even able to help me get rid of my voice line (because I don’t need a phone, on account of the Verizon wireless family plan we have) while keeping DSL service. The stupid things she was forced to do were not her fault in any way. First stupid thing: she is obligated to tell me that “you will not have 911 service.” I laugh — of course I won’t, I won’t have a phone! Then she must also inform me that “you will not be listed in the phonebook.” You don’t say. The very idea that anyone thinks these things need to be called out hurts my head. The final element in this trinity of stupidity is a kicker: I will now need to pay $5 more every month for DSL. Just because. Also, even though I’ve been paying my phone bill via automatic withdrawals from my checking account without any issues whatsoever, my DSL-only service needs to be billed to a credit card.
Verizon is lucky I intensely dislike Comcast, and that they have no real competitition.