[FoRK] F*ck you Verizon

Bill Kearney wkearney99 at hotmail.com
Sat Oct 23 14:34:35 PDT 2010


Verizon is indeed a clusterfuck.  It's a classic example of too many 
different departments, all unable to do anything beyond a very limited 
scope.

They are, however, not a monopoly.  They're just another large corporation 
that's just barely good enough at providing services to get your money, but 
not bad enough to drive you completely away.  Quite the profit model. 
Seems all the rage lately.

I still demand paper billing from just about any repeating service I use. 
No hassling with online information, especially if/when you terminate 
business with them (as in, Bank of America and their fuck ups).  I have the 
paper.   Paper trumps websites.  That and gotta love mail fraud as a 
threat...

Their services work reasonably well, better than others available in the 
area.  But their billing and support are horrendously screwed up.

As for Apple, clearly you've never had to deal with their mistakes.  No less 
than SIX times now they've mysteriously decided to bill me for something 
never associated with my account.  Purchases never actually made, by myself 
or anyone misusing my account.  Each time, every time, again and again, 
their personnel insist it's somehow MY responsibility to prove the error. 
Each time I make it clear my attorneys would be glad to bill them while 
proving otherwise.  Every time the charges disappear.  Yet they still keep 
screwing up.

Amazon has never screwed up.  Can't quite see how Target applies, but hey...

I use verizon services and they've worked quite well, but I absolutely dread 
the hours of my time that will get wasted should I have to actually depend 
on them for support.

-Bill Kearney


-----Original Message----- 
From: Stephen Williams
Sent: Saturday, October 23, 2010 4:59 PM
To: Friends of Rohit Khare
Subject: [FoRK] F*ck you Verizon

Could you screw up a customer experience any more?  I am SO glad I will be 
done with them and that I've moved as far away from
them (for local services) as possible.

My rented out house in Virginia had Verizon FIOS TV/Internet...

First, their bill has, at the very top, an account # like: 85 9000 555555555 
01 under a heading of "Account Number".
It also has a heading of "Phone Number" (even though there is no phone 
service on the account) with that 9-digit 55555... number.

On the second page of some versions of their bills, they have another field 
called "Account Number" that only has that 9-digit
number.

So, when you call them, their first question is: "What is your phone #?"  To 
which I can only answer by giving them my Sprint
mobile or Google Voice #.  Since many companies immediately ask you for a 
call back #, this is ambiguous.  If you give them the
number shown on the bill as "Account Number", they still cannot find the 
account.

So, you give them the full account #.  Then, most of the time, they STILL 
can't find the account...  Or even with SSN.  Or
contact phone#s (which haven't changed in a decade).  Or the street address. 
Sometimes you have been routed to the wrong part
of the country, sometimes the wrong department.  Even with other PII 
information, they often go through several people and many
queries just to find the right account.

All this when they have multiple pieces of information that are all unique 
and would seem trivial to find in a Sqlite or AWS
database or something.

So, as the account is closed and they owe me money, I attempted to get a 
look at the last ebill.  After digging up the long
acct. # to reset the password, the web site is forcing me to merge "all of 
my accounts", by which they mean the web account
login and the email account attached.  But the email account was never used. 
The web flow forces you to type in the email
password (for a closed account!).  When I try to reset the password, they 
point out that a security question was never set up on
the account, so I have to call back M-F  7-7 EDT...

This is why monopolies must die.  Their whole billing and account apparatus 
should just be junked and a replacement hacked
together in a few weekends.  Add this to how much they held back high-speed 
Internet until they could roll out their own, and it
just sucks all around.

Compare this to Apple or Amazon or even Target.  Or Sprint for that matter. 
At the Apple store in San Jose, they don't even
have cash registers or visible printers.  The reps find someone to help, 
pick and hand the items to you, swipe your credit card
in an iphone encased in a reader / laser scanner case that makes it about 1" 
thick, then reach under a nearby table to
(magically) grab for the falling receipt.




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