Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Can You Hear Me Now?

Did the title make you recall a certain Verizon ad campaign (that has truly exhausted any amusement factor)?

It is a commonplace saying in our home with our Verizon phones. About a year ago we canceled our land lines and went strictly to cell phones. We save quite a bit of money a month, but we live on a "trouble area" in which we don't get very good reception. It has driven us crazy for awhile and we find ourselves often mimicking the annoying guy on the commercials.

But I have been with them for a decade and they USUALLY always treat me quite well so I don't want to switch. Plus, for some reason Steve gets a discount as an employee of a cable company. I don't know why.

So when tragedy befell my phone this weekend, I never thought it would be too much of a big deal to get a new phone. I knew I would have to pay our bill in full which I was planning to do anyway, but I assumed they would cut me some kind of deal for a new phone.

I was quite wrong and in for quite an adventure yesterday as I tried to figure out a solution to my problem.

It started out in the morning. After I took the boys to the Ford museum (Where my camera batteries died so I have no pics :( ) I decided that we would zip out to the Verizon store and see what to do about my phone.

Store A Woodland Mall:
"I could sell you a new phone if you want, but I could also reactivate a old phone if you have one."
The dude had no intention of helping me figure out a way to NOT pay through the teeth. So I gave up and went home.

After teaching last night, I decided to try a DIFFERENT Verizon store.

Store B Wilson Avenue:
"Do you have insurance for the phone?"
Yeah, right.
"Maybe I could work something out if you're willing to buy insurance"
Hopes are rising now. After about twenty minutes of button pushing on the computer and consulting with another guy (who actually seemed to want to help) I thought maybe we were getting somewhere. Then all of a sudden, he backpedalled as if he changed his mind and didn't really want to help after all.
"Sorry, the best I can do for you is $119"
See ya!

So now I am getting pretty mad. After over ten years of loyalty, these people aren't willing to do anything to help. So here's when my thought process changed.

If I have to pay $120 to get a new phone anyway, what's stopping me from changing carriers and getting service with someone who actually has GOOD reception in our house. When we discovered the "problem area" thing awhile ago, Verizon put a note on our account that we could cancel at any time because if it, so we wouldn't be out anything if we cancelled.

So I figured I would head over to the mall and check out the deals from the other companies. I figured I should first stop at the Verizon place to find out my exact plan so I could compare at other places.

Store C Rivertown Crossings Mall:
This time I was not being nice anymore. I had had enough.
"Excuse me, but I am planning to cancel my service tonight so could you please tell me what plan I'm on so I can go compare at other stores in the mall?"
The employee was very friendly and asked why I was cancelling. I kept it short and said that I had been all over the city at Verizon stores and no one wanted to to help me.
This young kid was so nice and said he would try.
A bright light shone from above!!!!
After assuring him that I was intending to pay my bill up in full if we could get something to work,he started his attempt.
More button pushing, just like in the last place.
Then he says,
"How does $50 work for ya?"

Woo Hoo! That I can do.
It turns out it is the same phone that the other guy in store B "tried " to make work for me but "couldn't".
In order to make the price work for him, I not only got a brand new phone, but also the "bundle" which included a car charger, headset, and holder with belt clip.
The manager then came up to me and asked if Alberto had been good to me. I told him that I was very happy with how things went.
This one employee took an extremely angry customer and turned it around.

What I don't understand is how a company can be so varied. If one person could do it, so could the others have. I don't understand why companies have to be subjective anyway.

I am not sure if this testimonial is good or bad press for Verizon, but for now, I have the ability to reach people again and that's a good thing.


Timmy's Girl said...

I feel you, Sister. We had similar issues with Verizon and after giving them a whirl for a couple of years, (I had been with ATT for 12 years before) we cancelled. We went back to ATT due to better customer service and better coverage up on the mountain.

I am so glad it all worked out, though. It is a bummer that you would get one answer at one place, and another one at the next. Kind of weird, huh?

Happy phone calling!
xoxo, Veronica in CA

Nina said...

Glad to here it all turned out good in the end. I do find it frustrating that you have to threaten to cancel just to get the service you need. It seems wrong!!!

Stacey,momof 2 said...

I am impressed that you kept on going to different stores-- I might of stopped after the $119.00 store!
We have Verizon also, and although we like it now--- last year the service wasn't as good.
I hope this will be a good fit for you and yours

bethn said...

I'm glad you got it worked out. I've found that about anywhere you go, if you threaten to leave, then and only then will they really help you. Or you got a newbie who wanted to please. Either way sounds like a great deal!

Debbie Yost said...

We have similary problems with Sprint and we've been with them for years. Tonight my husband was on the phone with them because we got the bill after adding a phone for my daughter and they screwed it up again. Plus, we didn't want internet for our daughter but they said she accessed it. My husband asked, "So why when I said I don't want internet do you make it so she CAN get us and then charge us a huge fee for it?" He got it all taken care of, but still, what a pain.

Glad you got it worked out.

Gypsy at heart said...

Word of mouth is the best advertising..for or against....I have been happy with Verizon, but they surely did give you the run around.