I have had reliable DSL service at my home office for many years, provided by a small, local internet service provider through lines maintained by Verizon. Last week, however, I made the grave error of signing up for a Verizon high-speed DSL and voice package. The process was a disaster from start to finish, and is emblematic of the problems with a large, bloated corporation with no apparent centralization of responsibility.
First: Verizon seized control of the phone line from my old ISP fully two days before they were scheduled to do so, leaving me with no internet service at all. I rely on the internet as a freelance journalist, and my children use it for homework.
Second: When they hooked up the DSL service (at the Central Office) they connected it to a second (fax) line that I had asked Verizon, at the same time that I ordered the DSL, to disconnect. I could not get internet service from this line.
Third: When they hooked the DSL up to the correct phone line, they switched the wire pairs at the Central Office, meaning that I still had no DSL service. This took more than a week to fix.
Additionally, I never spoke to the same customer service agent twice, spent more than 5 hours on hold, and on four separate occasions the automated response system gave me telephone "help" numbers that were either disconnected or, as a stern automated voice told me, that I was "not authorized to use."
I finally called my old ISP and asked them to please regain control of the line, but it still took Verizon four days to get it right. Despite my insistence that nothing at my house had changed, they had to send a technician out to test the line, which showed that - as I had told them all along - the problem was with their Central Office switching.
Several times, the customer service people tried to sell me on Verizon fiber-optic service (FIOS), but as I pointed out to them, we don't have or want cable or satellite TV, and how can I trust Verizon FiOS service when their DSL service and installation services are so abysmally poor?
In fairness, Verizon offered me a $25 credit for my inconvenience, which just happens to be the cost of reconnecting to my old ISP. It's not nearly enough to compensate for my time or agita, but I accepted it.
In the United States we have been making the transition from a manufacturing to a service economy, but if Verizon's services in my case are in any way representative of this new economy, I tremble for our country.
In a nutshell, if you are an existing customer and try to sign up for a Verizon special advertised on the Internet, you will not be given the advertised price. Various reasons are given. When I initially signed up for Verizon home service on line and got my first bill it was a higher price. When I called CS, no one knew anything about the price that was advertised on the Internet. Verizon local CS will try to tell you that only Internet services can give you that price but when you call Internet services they can never "find" that advertised special. That has happened to me twice. I tried again because my contract ended and I don't need a landline, only DSL, but they won't give me any plan with a lower price. The DSL price they offered me was the same price as my bundle with phone and Internet. Unfortunately, AT&T or Time Warner does not service my area. Everyone says Comcast and Charter are worse. My solution is - class action suit. Who would like to join me?
PS: For those of you who have only DSL, you can get free landline service (VOIP) through Google Voice for free calling/texting to US and Canada through your computer. That includes voice mail and ability to receive calls and messages at your mobile phone. You can even receive email notifications to your mobile phone. I use if for my business.
Oh, if I could only get rid of Verizon!
PS #2: Regarding quality of service, when they installed my land line they charged me about $80 and left the phone cable sprawling across the kitchen floor. When I asked then to staple it to the wall they said they would charge me xtra. On a previous installation I used a private company that ran the phone line entirely across two rooms, did a very meticulous job and charged me $75. Verizon gave me a $30 credit on my first bill but the phone wire is very tackily taped to the kitchen floor and has to be replaced every couple months because the tape picks up dust and dirt.
NEW YORK, NEW YORK -- Peter Dahl
Summer: 509 Woodlawn
Harrison, ID 83833
I would like to complain about the service that Verizon has provided me. Verizon is the only landline provider in Harrison. We are summer residents (4+ months) so we place our phone on vacation hold for the rest of the year.
Two years ago, we signed up for Verizon's Freedom Value Package (unlimited local and long distance, and high speed internet access). This involved paying for and installing a modem and various other items. This service worked fine for the summer of 2008 and after calling Verizon in May 2009 and having the service restored, it worked fine for the summer of 2009.
When we called two weeks ago to have the service restored, we were told that that there were no lines available for our area for DSL internet service. We were asked to get unlimited dial-up phone service temporarily, and we would be placed on a waiting list for an internet line. I called the next week – still no line available. On June 1, I called again and talked to Jim in Sales. He said that he could sign me up for a package deal like the original (for $ 65.99 + taxes, etc per month) and after a long data-entering process he said that we should have the DSL internet service the next day.
There was no DSL service the next day, so I called various Verizon phone #s, starting with the DSL #, and got transferred to Billing, Sales, Dial-UP, Tech Support, etc. Each time no one could determine whether any pending high speed internet order had been placed and who to talk to if it had been placed. I started on the phone at 8 am, and was on almost continuously until 12 noon. Often it took 15-30 min waiting time to reach the place that I was transferred to by one of your agents. Finally I went back to Sales and that person's computer was down, but after explaining my situation for the umpteenth time, she said that she would call me back as soon as the computer was working. She never did call me back. At 3 pm, I tried DSL all over again, who transferred me to Sales. This time the person said that there could be no pending order because there were no lines available in our area of Idaho! I spent all that time for nothing!
It is obvious to us that Verizon Northwest does not care enough about its customers to invest in the infrastructure to provide high speed internet service to our area in Idaho.
Now we have to find another DSL provider, which means buying new equipment and having it installed – a great inconvenience and a lot of expense. On top of that, Verizon's on-line help is terrible. Jim in Sales should be boiled in oil! The rest of the bunch were awful. I was transferred to Sales in Penn/Delaware once. One person thought ID was Indiana!
Too bad that we cannot cancel all our Verizon phone services – we will have to retain local.
GREENPOINT/WILLIAMSBURG, NEW YORK -- I have been paying for "high speed" DSL for 10 years, the only reason I have not switched to a cable modem is because of my neighbors complaints of outages and lag he11 for no reason and ZERO customer service with Time Warner.
I have never received more than 2.7 Mb/s on my "Up to 7 Mb/s" plan. I switched to the 7 Mb/s plan because on the 3 Mb/s or 5 Mb/s plans, you can't get more than 1.2 Mb/s. The reason? There is no central office anywhere near north Brooklyn or south Queens. So Verizon is in effect, selling goods that they can't deliver. I think this is probably against the law. Anyone with Verizon DSL service in Williamsburg/Greenpoint/Long Island City area that wants to sue them for a refund with me, let me know.
The maximum speed that a Verizon DSL customer can receive in Greenpoint is 3 Mb/s with the most expensive plan and the best modem. They don't have the equipment in place to deliver any better, yet have salesmen on your ass telling you lies that the equipment has been upgraded. The line is also noisy and the internet drops out every time it is rainy, or windy or sunny. There will be so much static on the line that you can't even hear and your modem will be flashing red and the foreign fellow with the fake name like "Rick" will tell you that "dee liegn tebist shoween norbmadl staddus!" (The line test showing normal status). Poor guy, I should not make fun, he has a job answering to people who are already very angry when they call. I am probably funding some fat jerk's swimming pool by being ripped off paying for DSL service that I will never receive. The options are Time Warner with zero customer support and random blackouts and bandwidth black holes, Verizon DSL slower than my AT&T dialup was in 1995 or... no internet. Verizon is a ripoff, do not get Verizon in north Brooklyn or south Queens. Verizon sucks in Williamsburg. Verizon sucks in Greenpoint. Verizon sucks in Long Island City. Again, I have been listening to them promise to resolve my latency issues for 10 years only to find out this week from the new technician who visited that Verizon does not actually have the equipment in place to provide residential DSL at speeds higher than 3 Mb/s to the Williamsburg/Greenpoint area. Please join me in posting this information wherever you can so Verizon either remedies the situation or gives us all our money back.
MANCHESTER, MARYLAND -- Verizon Residential Phone Service and DSL line connectivity on a whole is HORRIBLE, HORRIBLE, HORRIBLE. This year alone we have been without residential phone service twice, each time for 5-7 days each time. That means no phone call, either in or out, and no DSL line connection. I work from home and use my computer all day, and Verizon is aware of this, and still I have no kind of priority. We even have the wire protection and repair line protection which we pay for through Verizon, but I still cannot get them to fix the phone lines any faster. Each time the trouble has been with the outside lines and Verizon has stated this to me. On a whole, their service is HORRIBLE, the line clarity is awful, and the products they use -- their phone lines -- need to be updated or replaced. On talking with a supervisor, begging to get a sooner appointment time than 10 days from now, I asked her to explain what is happening to the wiring -- do they hire untrained people, because this time they are saying that my lines are crossed, and I didn't cross them. She encountered: well, you know the phone lines to your house are very old". I said, "my house is 6 years old". She encountered: "no, the lines coming from the poles to your house". I said: "oh, you mean your lines are old, and should be replaced, but your not going to do it, and I have to suffer each time this happens?" I then asked that if I changed to another carrier, would I be using the same old lines? She said, "no, they would be completely different lines with a different company, but then she stated: "Customers who leave us, always come back!!!" In other words, I take it that they don't care. You pay for repair service, which takes them 7-10 days each event to even look at the problem. Then, they have to fix it, and then you hope and pray it doesn't happen again, but they don't care because they feel "you'll be back". They are really sure of themselves aren't they. You would think we all should be valued customers of Verizon, but we're not. They just don't care about us! Every time I see a Verizon Repair truck in my area, I cringe because I know my lines are going to be messed within some way, and I will probably be without phone service any minute now. They want you to take out insurance on your part of the phone lines, but they are not fixing or updating their own lines. My DSL line is down A LOT. I cannot think of one full month of Verizon phone service that something didn't happen -- from phones not ringing, to us receiving a lot of wrong numbers who swear they are dialing right, to static in the lines, to phone calls being dropped, to HAVING NO SERVICE AT ALL. VERIZON WAKE UP! We're not always going to be your customers. You can be replaced, and will be. I just can't take this anymore. On our bill, Verizon wants us to refer friends at $50.00 each if they sign up for phone service -- I wouldn't refer my worst enemy, if I had one. It would be cruel and unusual punishment. They think they are doing me a favor by not charging me for my usual services while I have no service and they think that giving me a credit is fair and sufficient. Verizon better wake up soon and take care of their customers.
For almost 10 years, we had wonderful DSL service from Verizon. Fast, reliable. Then on Sept 14, a voice repairman comes out and makes a change to some equipment near the demark on our house. To be fair, it is their equipment, and it is on their side of the demark. But now the DSL is dead. We tell the tech about it before he leaves, but he says he knows nothing about DSL. He calls 10 minutes later and tells us he "reset" our DSL, and to re-boot stuff in the house. Nothing. So he shrugs his shoulders and tells us we need to turn in a trouble ticket through billing. HE RUINED IT, but we get to make the call! We call immediately.
Two days later, and 4+ hours on the phone speaking to wonderfully trained and apologetic Indian speaking people (apparently every single Verizon # goes to India), I finally get hold of a supervisor that makes a call to the scheduled repair person that never did show up in two days (and I was assured MANY MANY times that by noon, then by 4:00 and then by 7:30 "don't you worry about that, Mr _____), and then the supervisor (Vanny) comes back on the line and tells me to Re-Order DSL. I HAD IT, IT WORKED GREAT, VERIZON RUINED IT, and I need to re-order it! She hung up after revealing yet another number that ended up in India.
I ordered the DSL, got put into a 2 week install queue. Told them, "Look, I teach an online college course, and it was Verizon that took out my DSL, please move me to the front of the line." So they moved me up from 15 days to only 8 days.
In 2 days they called the house and told us the DSL was ready. NOPE! not working. Called repair now, and told it will be a couple days to get somebody out. Got a call next day, said, it is now working. NOPE! not working. OK, they said, an actual DSL technician (what I should have gotten the day after it was taken out) will actually show up tomorrow. They did, and I finally got a tech that knew what they were doing. By late in the day on Sept 23rd, I had DSL back.
NINE days, (6+ hours on the phone, two supervisors, and a plethora of re-boots later) after they took it out, I get my DSL back as new service.
Now get this. Service worked up to the 14th, they claim it was turned on on the 17th, it actually started working on the 23rd. Billing says I only lost 3 days of service!!!!!
AND while DSL was out, Verizon sends me well over 2 dozen emails (on two different sub accounts) on how to trouble shoot DSL. Hello!, DSL was out, how am I supposed to get these emails?
There is absolutely no one to talk to at this company. NO ONE!!!!!! Can I reiterate, NO ONE that knows anything. They place notes on your account and tickets, there is no conversation and no knowledge of who, when, where, or what anyplace...... When their stuff works, it works great. Hope you never need technical work at your home, though.
CRANBURY, NEW JERSEY -- During the spring of 2008, I decided to bundle with Verizon. I already had their phone service and it had been intermittently problematic but lately not so bad. So I ordered two cell phones, Verizon DSL, and DirecTV. The location is Cranbury, NJ.
First let me say DirecTV is actually quite good. But, then it's not Verizon. Verizon Wireless is OK but I don't have a good connection at my house so I need a land line.
And then the problems. First, Verizon quotes you all of the discounts and bonuses you get to bundle. One was a $200 AmEx gift card from DirecTV. After never getting it, I called DirecTV and they said we do not offer this as part of the Verizon package. So, I called Verizon back and went through 3 different people including one woman who called me every week for over a month and never got me an answer. Finally, I was told I was not entitled to the $200 because I was an existing phone customer. They don't care that their reps promise it. Over the last year, I have been lied to two other times on refunds I was supposed to get for all my troubles. And I don;t even get most of the refunds for periods of service outage.
First the DSL: When it worked speed was OK. Not great. When it went out, a call immediately went to a service center in India. They run a loop back test and if it passes they cannot do anything more besides send you a new modem. They cannot dispatch a technician - they said they are not allowed. They are poorly trained and they waste your time with phone calls that offer nothing and they keep closing your service tickets which they are obviously measured on. I have dealt with Indian tech support a lot and it is usually not very good but Verizon is the worst of the worst. Finally by calling a 978 number I was given a phone number in Ontario for a special group that troubleshoots DSL. They admitted the service center was inept and they diagnosed a hardware problem. Unfortunately with no spare parts and some trouble getting access to a remote terminal plus the Indian service center problems, I was without service for almost 3 weeks. I switched back to Comcast.
Then, phone service. In a 13 month period I have lost service 8-9 times. Once was town wide. The rest were all localized but even when it is town wide, Verizon insists nobody else has a problem. (They did the same thing on DSL when everyone was out. I actually had an Indian tech call my neighbor and conference her in to prove it). THey have replaced parts twice the pedestal near my driveway. The current outage started on June 21 and they are sending a tech June 29- 8 days. The excuse: "We've had a lot of rain."
I am switching to Comcast Digital Voice. I am also waiting for my cell phone contract to run out to get AT&T. I will probably drop DirecTV, as well even though they have been good.
07666, NEW JERSEY -- A few weeks ago I contacted Verizon about moving my DSL service from Brooklyn, NY to my new Teaneck, NJ address. I later found out they had gotten the date of the internet cutoff in Brooklyn wrong. Fair enough, but this started a three-week nightmare, during which time I have spoken to literally 25 different people and probably been on hold a total of about 3 hours. First we're told we can't change the cut-off date, then we're told we can't get DSL in our house in Teaneck, we can only get FIOS, then we're told we can and do have a DSL service order for Teaneck. Then we call back and are told again that we can only get FIOS. Before we can explain that we already have the DSL order we are put on hold again to talk to the FiOS department, even though we don't want FIOS. We ordered DSL and the order was confirmed several times. Every time we call there's a ten-minute wait on hold before the whole nightmare starts all over.
I just called Verizon's toll free tech support number for DSL. This is the same number I have called 20 times to get my NJ situation straightened out. Now I am suddenly told this number is only for NY DSL, not NJ! So either this person is completely wrong, or the 20 other people I spoke to are all insane. Either way this mess is inexcusable.
I called the 800 number supposedly for NJ and was told to wait while a supervisor was found. Next thing I know I'm back in the voice menu again! Finally I'm connected with the FIOS dept and I tell the agent my story. He doesn't respond or apologize. He matter of factly sets me up for DSL and gives me a start date of February 6th, after I TOLD HIM I was scheduled for Jan. 28th and needed it that day. I ask him if he has heard ANYTHING I've said explaining the screw-ups I've endured and he claims he has but can't do anything. He offers to connect me to another department so "we can ask them". I say, "'we'? Do you mean you're going to wait with me for them to pick up and explain the situation to them?" He says, no. "So I guess you mean 'me', not 'we', right?" "I guess you've got me there. heh heh". I tell him to cancel the order as Feb 6th is not acceptable at this point. I also tell him I am very unhappy with his service, and he laughs. At this point I hang up.
I am sick over the way Verizon has treated me. I am switching to cable modem internet service as I've given up getting a straight answer from Verizon.
I just called OptOnline and in 5 minutes got my cable modem order set for Jan 28th, just two days away. It's a little more than DSL costs but worth it to keep my sanity and never have to deal with Verizon again.
EDIT: February 16: Got a bill from Verizon for $106! So now I have to call them AGAIN to "cancel" the order I never placed. AMAZING. I am considering changing my Verizon cell phone service to another company so I never have to call that company again.
EDIT: June, 2009. Just received another bill from Verizon for a new month of service, despite the fact that I have twice called and cancelled the service! Did I mention I returned the DSL modem long ago, and when I call they always acknowledge they do have a record of that.
NEW JERSEY -- Mid December of 2005 I decided to subscribe to Verizon DSL on one of my phone lines. After my initial call I realized that they may have misunderstood which line I wanted the service installed on. I called back and as suspected, they were about to install it on the incorrect line. Initially the Verizon rep thought that they would have to cancel the order and enter a new order for the correct line which would mean my shipping the equipment back when it arrived. She spoke with a supervisor and connected me with her. She was very nice and said that she could simply change the number on the order. Great. The start date given to me orally was the 9th of January. When the equipment arrived, the date was the 10th. On the 7th I received a call notifying me that the service was ready. I did the install and during the "setting up account" I could not connect. I called their tech support and was told that the service was not complete and that the date they had was the 16th. Upon further investigation I found out that the initial incorrect order had not been canceled and that it was activated on the wrong line. I did (I think) get that service canceled and am still waiting for the service on the correct line. On the 10th of Jan the line that I want the DSL service on went dead. I called repair and was told that the line tests OK. I explained to the repair rep that there was no dial tone at the NID. She scheduled a repair appointment for the 12th. No one showed and the line was still dead. I called them back and was told that the line tests OK. I again explained that there is no dial tone at the NID. She apologized and assured me that a supervisor would call first thing the next day and that someone would come out. No one showed. When I called back I was told that the repair visit was scheduled for the 16th. When I complained to the supervisor he told me that someone would be out on the 14th. No show. Another call and I was told that the tech could not gain access. The NID is outside! It was raining! Another call to a supervisor and after many apologies I was told that a tech would be here on the 15th. I again explained that despite their test, the line is dead on my end. No show again today and when I called I was told that the problem is resolved as the line tests OK. When I seemed rather irate I was simply put on hold. The next possible repair date is the 18th. I think not. At this point I not only do not have DSL service but no service on that line at all. I will cancel the DSL service and seek another provider for my entire service
BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS -- (FOR DSL ONLY) Had this service as long as I can take it' 18 months' the very worst possible service and nightmare company you could imagine in the service area zip code 02301 MA BOSTON. If you live in this area do not get Verizon anything' their service, phone and internet DSL is the very worst. They have been to my location over 20 times in the last 4 months and the problem is always outside their support is the worst I ever experienced in my life. I just can put up with it any longer its not worth health issues over this company.
It's too bad our local government only offers basic internet and phone to only a few companies, this is the reason why so many have problems because we are stuck with either paying high prices for cable or satellite or have to suffer because there is not enough service companies to make the few get there act together to correct the problems that exists in these problem areas..... No matter I had enough' so be warned' sat as far away from Verizon DSL & phone as you possibly can..... you have been warned in advance' good luck finding a good affordable internet and phone service in this area zip code 02301.
If you live in this zip code area you should start complaining to your local town governing body to make them get you better service in this area.