1 VERIZON WAY, BASKING RIDGE, NEW JERSEY -- Over a period of time we have lost phone service due to unmaintained Verizon equipment on three occasions. In each case we were without service for 5 days and received no credit on our bill. The problems were in the Junction Boxes located every 50 to 100 yards along the street. They were bent, had their covers missing and wires hanging down on the ground. When the service tech was asked why he did not repair the boxes, he stated that company policy was to do no more than required to get me back in service as they wanted everybody to switch to FiOS which was not yet available. (It's now available but at a higher cost) On another occasion an underground transformer/junction exploded causing an estimated 2 to 3 square mile area to lose phone service for from 4 to 14 days. We were without service for 11 days and they gave us $2.00 credit on a $30.00+ bill.
Then a little over a year ago I called Verizon at the number that appears on their bills to see what I could do about long distance service. (My 91 year old mother had made a long distance call which AT&T charged us $25.00 for.) After a number of "if this punch this number" type transfers, I found myself talking to a sales representative I explained the problem and mentioned that I would be needing cable service shortly as Our residence will only be able to receive 2 TV chanels (at most) by antenna from the new HD transmissions. He suggested a combined package that would include TV, Phone & Internet for $69.95 plus $5.00 for a second converter box plus Taxes and government fees. He stated that there would be a $200.00 equipment deposit that would be returned via a $5.00 per month credit on my bill. I agreed to this.
My first bill was over $130.00. I tried complaining and was given the runaround. I filed a complaint with the FCC and received a letter from them stating that Verizon would be correcting the problem and the FCC was closing the case. Also, when I received my next bank statement, the equipment deposit had been removed from my bank account by DirecTV though I have never authorized Verizon to give my personal bank information to DirecTV.
Shortly thereafter, I received a call from a Verizon representative that said the person who sold me the service was not a Verizon employee but an outside source Verizon uses to sell services. The representative agreed to correct the problem. The next bill was lower but still not correct. Over a period of months and several phone calls and e-mails, the bill finally came close to the agreed amount but was still higher than it should have been by a few dollars. Nine or Ten months ago my bill went up $15.00. I assumed it was the DirecTV fee increase. and though it was earlier than I expected the increase, I paid it. When I examined my bill more closely a couple months ago, I found 14.95 charges for something called Streaming Flix on my last 2 bills (A service that no one in our household would be interested in). I contacted a Verizon supervisor who, when I offered to sue Holly Hess, Ivan Seidenberg CEO/Chairman of the Board (who resides at 3817 Quail Hollow Lane, West Nylack NY 10065 with his wife Phyllis "a large contributor to George Bush's Presidential Campaigns), Tom Tauke, Suleirman Hessami & Verizon's President Virginia Ruesterholz (who resides at 44 Van Cortland Way, Baskiing Ridge NJ 07920), agreed to remove those charges and prevent it from occurring again.
Afterwards, I examined all my bills for the last 10 months, I found 6 more months that I had been carged for that service. I have been unable to get anyone at Verizon to discuss the problem nor do they respond to faxes or e-mails. In searching 'Streaming Flix' on the internet, I find hundreds if not thousands with this complaint.
They also have billed me $2.50 per month for late fees, the last two months. even though I mail the payment within 5 days of receiving it. Their bills are dated about the 19th of the month but I don't receive them till the first week of the following month. Therefore, I do not know if the fees are because I have deducted the illegal charges from my bill or if they actually consider the payments late.
And finally: My latest bill includes a $5.00 charge for something called TV.
I just discovered that Ivan Seidenberg has been replaced as CEO by Lowell McAdam, which might account for Seidenberg's failure to respond to E-Mails or Faxes. I expect to have Lowell's residence address shortly.
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA --
By Howard Suer
President, Box City, Inc.
I rarely become angry, as a matter of fact, I’m probably one of the most even tempered people you will ever meet.
Today, however, I was so mistreated and abused by a monopoly telephone company, that my anger almost overcame my ability to think rationally.
It all started quite innocently. We’re moving our Marina del Rey store to a new location on April 1. I was in the new store measuring and planning where to put things such as shelves, etc.
I needed to call the Department of Water and Power, the Gas Company, the security alarm company, the electrician, the painter, rubbish collection, and numerous others. My only means of communication was my Verizon cell phone, which only had two bars (indicating the battery was getting low).
I decided the call the telephone company to have a phone put in the new store immediately since I was spending so much time there. . . . Thus was the beginning of a horrible nightmare. Let me give you the scenario; I called 411 information for the number of Verizon telephone. The operator said, the number is . . . And then connected me. . . . Then came a series of recorded questions requiring me to say something or press keys. I followed the instructions implicitly and finally received a recorded message stating that all service personnel were busy and my call would be answered in the order it was received.
So far this was all a little annoying, but understandable. The announcement repeated itself every minute or so for about 5 minutes and then announced that this was the last announcement and I would hear music until a service attendant was available. For almost 20 minutes I listened to that annoying music on my cell phone and finally hung up. I called back about 15 minutes later and went through the same procedure until after 16 minutes a man came on the line. I gave our local phone number (310) 305-4682. After looking our account up he said, Oh, you are a key business account. Let me give you a direct number before I connect. You. He gave me the number: (800) 606-8855, and it started ringing, and ringing until finally their automatic system picked it up and asked all the same questions over again while I pressed keys in response. Finally announcing, all of our service personnel are busy helping others. Your call will be answered in the order it was received. Then, that same music for several minutes interrupted by another announcement every few minutes until finally a human being answered. I explained what I wanted and he quickly responded- - let me connect you to the department that handles that. More music, more announcements until finally a very pleasant female voice came on, Can I help you? Oh, I thought to myself, I’m finally getting service. After giving her all the information I had previously given to several people before she looked up our account and said, Oh, I see you are a key business account. Let me give you their direct number before I connect you. The number is; (800) 606-8855. Whoa, I said, that’s the number I just called and he connected me to you! She responded, Hmm. Let me call them and find out why they referred you to me. Once again, that annoying music for several minutes. She came back every few minutes apologizing for keeping me waiting. This went on for almost 18 minutes until I finally hung up. This time, Furious, I dialed 1-(800) 606-8855 and kept pressing 0 until I finally got a human. She asked me what state I was in and I whimpered, California. She then asked me the city and street address. I said, Los Angeles, 13452 Washington Blvd. After several seconds she said, Is that East Washington Blvd. or West Washington Blvd.? WEST, I replied. We only service up to 13100 numbers, you must be in another phone company district. You can try calling AT&T . We can provide you with your same phone number forwarded to AT&T for $16.85 per month.
After I hung up, I went to the motel right next door to the east and inquired who their phone service provider was. Verizon was the reply. Then I visited the sport memorabilia store next door to the west and asked the same question. Verizon was the reply.
The busy day had slipped away from me and I accomplished nothing because of the damned inefficiency of VERIZON telephone company.
When the California Public Utilities Commission regulated the phone companies they were so customer service oriented that it was a pleasure to deal with them. Now that they have a MONOPOLY and we customers have no where else to turn. They have become too powerful. Apparently Customer Service takes a back seat to the BOTTOM LINE on their financial statement. They have become abusive.
Due to our family never being home and the constant static in our phone line that had been present from day one, we decided to cancel our $90 a month residential Verizon line and strictly use cell phones. I also would like to point out that the $90 wasn't the original amount we had agreed to when we got the service....the cost seemed to jump from $40+, to $50+, then up to $90 in a year, with no rhyme or reason. Our Verizon statements were paperless, and our monthly payment was automatically debited from our checking account. In December of 2008, I cancelled our service. The rep, of course, tried to sell me a $20 'emergency' land line, and after repeatedly telling him no, he cancelled our account. Since it was auto debit, I assumed Verizon would deduct the final amount due and that would be the end of it, like MOST ethical companies do and have done for me in the past. I was told no different and had no reason to believe otherwise. Today, June 10, 2009, I received a letter in the mail. It was from an attorney that Verizon uses to collect their debt, stating that I owed $34.38. Until today, I have received NO request for any type of payment from Verizon - no postal mail, no email, no calls on my cell, and they do have my cell number - NOTHING.
I hadn't the slightest idea that I owed them anything until today. The only thing I ever receive from them are emails trying to sell me their 'money saving' products, blah, blah...one would think that if they can send spam referencing your old account, they can let you know you have a balance due. And why would they be trying to drum business from a residential account owner who supposedly owes them money? Needless to say, I was irate. I immediately called the attorney and expressed my displeasure over the entire issue, and did my best to keep my cool. The representative was very courteous and upon reviewing just much time had elapsed - 6 months - before Verizon decided to inform me that I owed them money, completely understood why I was fuming. She stated that in her dealings with Verizon, once you cancel your account, they do not deduct any more funds from your checking account. News to me. That would've been great info to have had the representative been kind enough to share. I believe that saying this representative was incompetent would be an understatement. How on earth would I have known there was an amount due, and what the amount was?
I guess I was supposed to pull a figure out of my rear end. Ready to spit nails at this point, I continued to maintain my composure, as it wasn't her fault that Verizon had royally screwed up, and she herself admitted that what Verizon did was unacceptable. I paid the balance due prior to ending the call, because I just wanted it done with. Obviously, if I was paying $90 a month, auto debit, certainly the $35 balance wouldn't have been a problem had the idiots let me know that it was due. I work for the US Treasury, and can lose my job over a collection or judgment - they do not take that lightly. I am held at a very high standard in regards to financial obligations. Verizon put my career at risk, along with my integrity and credit score, when they made this error. I'm almost afraid to pull my credit report, after reading the numerous blogs and complaints about Verizon’s lack of professionalism, not to mention this blunder. To send me nothing - NOTHING - alerting me that I had a balance due is poor customer service and very unprofessional.
It infuriates me that they can send me emails referencing my old account and making offers and bribes to come back. I have two words for Verizon - HELL NO. If I ever need a second line, it'll be with Vonage. I actually considered switching my cell over to Verizon once my Sprint contract ran out. Monkeys will fly out of my behind before that happens. They continue to operate in this unethical and unprofessional manner because they have no real competition, and know they will get away with it. The way my account was handled was just WRONG – period. There’s no other way to put it. IT WAS WRONG.
AZUSA, CALIFORNIA -- I started having trouble with my land line 10 days ago, where certain people would call me and all I heard was static. Others would call and the phone would be fine. I had the people that called check their lines and everything was fine. I called Verizon was went through the ritual of giving them my telephone number, Name, Address etc, finally they told me I had the wrong department (which was the number listed on my bill). They transferred me to the "Phone" tech and I was kept waiting for 20 more minutes. After talking to the tech and followed their instructions of disconnecting the cordless phones and also the hardwired phones, nothing changed. they told me that they would run a check on my line and call me back, which they never did, I called back the next day and went through the same baloney all over again, explaining the problem, being put on hold for over 1/2 hour, then finally talking to someone but they were unable to help. Now this was two days ago, since it was Saturday, they couldn't send someone out until Monday or Tuesday. Today, Monday, I get a text message on my cell, saying that an agent was "dispatched" and was on his way. After about an hour, I get ANOTHE text, say that the service request had been closed???? I call AGAIN and AGAIN was put on hold for 1/2 hour, finally, I was told that the request is till open and when they say "Dispatched" they really mean that it's on the schedule to be sent out. Talking to some of the people, either I can't understand the accent or they sound like they are 1/2 asleep. I can't find and they won't give me a direct telephone number to call for service. The number they list goes to the "Internet" service and they have to transfer me, after going through all the information over and over. THIS IS VERY DEPRESSING AND IRRITATING. CAN'T THEY DO SOMETHING TO MAKE THIS PROCESS EASIER. I do notice that the monthly bill, come on time every month.
FAIRFAX, VIRGINIA -- Dealing with Verizon,
I have seen many behaviors reflecting an oligopoly,
best countered by reducing government sanctions
for the telephone oligopoly.
Can't move phone number 5 miles,
but competition can move it 3000 miles.
Ten years ago, I moved 4 miles,
and Verizon moved my phone number with me.
Two months ago, I again moved,
this time 5 miles from my previous Verizon service,
so close that my daughter attends the same middle school in Virginia.
Surprisingly, while I have had the same telephone number with Verizon
for 16 years, Verizon could not move the telephone number
to my new address.
However, any VoIP service like Vonage will let me take
that same (703)***-**** telephone number anywhere in the world.
Preferring my phone number over the telephone service provider,
I switched to Vonage.
Charges 100 times the market and charging to not receive a service.
A few years ago, my long distance carrier went out-of-business,
so for a year I had no long distance service through Verizon
and that satisfied me.
A couple years ago, I received a 42 dollars reverse bill
for an 8 minute call from Hong Kong,
even though my calls to Hong Kong through my long distance card cost
but 4 cents per minute.
A regular marketplace should not produce a commodity costing
over 100 times what the rest of the market charges.
Unknown to me, Verizon had assigned me a long distance service
that I had not requested.
This long distance service additionally charged $5.50 per month
plus long distance per minute costs.
I asked Verizon to end my long distance service,
yet despite making no long distance charges, I continued
to receive these $5.50 monthly long distance service charges.
After two months of this, I had Verizon prevent
any long distance calls (after all,
I had been using long distance calling cards for several years).
For this -- to prevent the very problems Verizon abetted --
Verizon has charged me $1.50 per month for the last couple years.
That is, Verizon calls it a "service" to "prevent a service."
No reasonable marketplace would charge to not receive a service.
Won't release my telephone number.
I filled out Vonage's webpage to acquire my telphone number
from Verizon, and a week later I contacted Verizon
to drop my telephone and DSL service.
Several days later, I read that dropping service returns
my telephone number for Verizon to reassign,
even though I had a request in Vonage
for the telephone number's transfer.
Verizon wouldn't co-operate,
so even though I no longer lived at my former address,
I had Verizon continue my phone service.
Luckily, 10 days later, my telephone number did transfer to Vonage.
Holding a telphone number hostage is the most easily solved
excess of oligopoly.
Rather than abetting Verizon's oligopoly,
the Federal Trade Commission (FTC or FCC)
should give individuals permanent ownership of one telephone number.
Dropping telephone service and moving didn't drop DSL service.
Verizon wouldn't drop DSL-service because I still had a DSL-charge
[even though they themselves had dropped my telephone service];
but Verizon wouldn't drop the DSL-charge
because I hadn't dropped DSL-service -- Catch 22.
I moved 5 miles away on December 9, asking Verizon
to cancel my DSL service.
However, to retain my telephone number,
I had to continue telephone service
until Verizon transferred my telephone number to Vonage.
Today is February 12, two months later.
Having just gotten another telephone bill from Verizon,
forwarded through standard mail since I have moved,
I see another $37.95 charge for DSL service at my former address,
but no other telephone service charges besides a $17.19 refund
for cancelled telephone service.
Calling Verizon, I had to spend 50 minutes on the phone
with 5 people over 4 call transfers.
First, I'm told that the $37.95 can't be removed from my bill
until I stop DSL service, transferring me to 800-567-6789.
Second, this person affirms the need to drop DSL service,
transferring me to 800-358-2076.
Third, this person informs me that my service can't be cancelled
because I still owe Verizon money.
Reality check: they charged me $37.95
for DSL service 6 weeks after I moved,
but I have a credit of $17.19 on the same Verizon bill
for telephone service ended;
so I don't owe Verizon, rather Verizon owes me $17.19.
So, one Verizon person tells me I can't get $37.95 removed
from my bill because I must first stop DSL-service,
while another Verizon person tells me I can't stop DSL-service
because because I still owe the mischarged $37.95.
Of course, I don't owe them $37.95, rather Verizon owes me $17.19.
Fourth, Verizon's third person transfers me another (unknown) number
at 9:38am, who affirms that I must cancel DSL-service before
they can remove the $37.95 DSL-charge for service from 1/25 to 2/24,
service for 6 weeks to 10 weeks
after I moved from that service's location.
Fifth, on hold for twenty minutes, at 10:04am Verizon
cancels my DSL service and drops the $37.95 DSL charge.
I will receive a refund for $17.19.
Verizon charges for trivial add-ons.
Caller-ID, Call forwarding, ...
are all trivial in the arena of broadband;
They are worthy of a few lines of software code,
but not worthy of extra charges.
These nitpicking charges by members of our telephone oligopoly,
like Verizon, further reflect their oligopoly.
The monetary mentioned amounts above are insignificant to me
and certainly insignificant to Verizon.
Verizon's oligopoly practices greatly restricted their customers' choices,
and distorted the marketplace.
To many economists, the status of telephone companies is obvious.
Government supports an obsolete oligopoly, an obsolete business
that lobbies for continued restraints on the new marketplace.
A well informed market or even a benign government like France
would have broadband (cable, fiber, or DSL) in every home
with a plugged-in broadband IP-based telephone.
Telephone service is merely an internet application,
an application that should require no extra costs
besides the telephone (adapter also, depending on hardware) itself.
France does all this for about $35, providing broadband, telephone,
and TV altogether.
The FCC should mandate the end of telephone-only service in five years,
to be replaced with broadband-including-telephone service.
I would favor landlines (broadband) that provides only the line,
with numerous other companies providing services over these landlines.
While the limited landline company (companies)
would continue an oligopoly, at least a competitive thriving
marketplace would provide broadband services.
The current telephone companies should largely not exist now,
and certainly should not exist in 10 years.
Most people favor free trade.
The above shows how restricted that trade is in the telephone marketplace.
Indeed, without government sanctions for the landline telephone industry,
that industry should largely cease to exist.
On Wednesday, April 28th, 2010 I contacted Verizon about getting their landline telephone service for my home. I should start out by saying that I do not like Verizon at all as I had a bad experience with their cell phone service back in 2002 and I forever swore off Verizon. The only reason I am going through them now is because unfortunately they are the only landline service provider where I live and I need it to get an internet connection.
Anyway, I signed up with the lady I spoke with over the phone which I will say she was very nice and even helped me with getting a cheaper monthly cost. She told me that service is guaranteed to be turned on by 6pm on April 29th (the next day). I said fine and that was it. 5pm came the next day and I still have no service. I contacted them and after being transferred to 3 different people I was told that it will not be on until the next day (April 30th) because of some technical issues. I waited till 12pm on the 30th and contacted them again because I still had no service. I again was transferred to 3 different people all of which couldn't tell me what was going on. Finally, the third guy told me someone would be coming out to my house by 4pm to figure it out. 4:30 came and still no service. I called again and was told that no one is coming out because they are handling it in their service center and this guy had no idea why the last guy told me someone was coming out.
At this point, I got very frustrated and starting questioning this guy about what was going on. He actually yelled over me (I wasn't yelling) and told me I have wait until Monday. I hung up on him.
Throughout the weekend I still had no service so when Monday came, I called again. I again was sent to 3 different people. This time I asked to speak to a supervisor but I was told no supervisor was in the office (it was 2:30pm!). I got sent to someone else who actually agreed with me that what was happening is ridiculous. He scheduled a repair guy to come out the next day (May 4th) to take a look. The repair guy came and now I have service (6 days after I was "guaranteed" it would be on).
Straight up, it is my personal opinion that Verizon is a horrible company and if I had a choice, I would not be going through them. I would also NOT recommend Verizon (for any service) to anybody. It is also my opinion that not all, but a majority of their employees in the call center are very rude and not helpful at all. None of them could tell me what the problem was and offered no help to me at all. If you have an option, go somewhere else!
I can vouch for this behavior. I am also an employee at Verizon and I have to agree that they will suspend you for 5 or 10 days if you are observed not offering products to a customer. The pressure to sell products are so bad that a lot of employees are getting stress related illness such as high blood pressure and having anxiety attacks. There are rules that we have now that state that if a customer wants to speak with a supervisor about billing the consultant must handle, the help desk set up to assist customers with bills will no longer assist these customers. It is putting the agents in a bind because we have not been properly trained to explain the bills to the customers and we know that we can no longer transfer the customers over to the department that can. Floor supervisors are supposed to assist with calls now but they don't even want to deal with it so they tell you to take a call back for the customer, yet the agent in the meantime is held accountable for the amount of time that the customer is on the line. If you have a customer on the line for over 9 mins, even if you are trying to provide good customer service, you have a supervisor or floor support coming to your desk telling you to get the customer off the phone because you have been on the call to long. When was providing outstanding customer service to a customer timed?
Then you have the employees that are adding products to customers accounts without the customers authorization just so they can Win daily contest, trips, and monthly bonuses. The sad part is that the supervisors are aware but don't care as long as the agents are meeting their goals which will in turn help them to meet their goals so they can get the other 30% of their pay, as they are now on a 70/30 pay scale. That means if your team doesn't meet goal you will get 70% of your pay but not the other 30%. So GOOD OLE customer service is definitely out the window at Verizon. It's the old bait in switch in effect, tell customers enough of what they need to know to get the sale, or just add to account and they will call back to have it cancelled when they realize they are being charged.
So Please Please read your bills and make sure that what you ask for is all you are paying for. And if they ask for your email address or discuss sending you something free for 14 days or 30 days...please know that nothing in life is free and you will be billed even if you don't download the free trial, so be aware
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA -- It's been several months in trying to get my messages! Verizon is holding my telephone messages hostage!! My doctors, friends, family tell me that they leave messages and I am unable to receive them. I used to have an answering machine that took my messages. I was assured to get those messages. Since Verizon has been involved with my phone, I have not received one message. People tell me to delete/empty my mailbox because my mailbox is full; I can't even access my mailbox!
Five (5 ) different representatives give me some number to dial, and then the system does not recognize my telephone number...uuugh!! I'm really frustrated and need some help!! I'm so disappointed in the Verizon service that I thought was so efficient.
MONROVIA, CALIFORNIA -- We switched from Time Warner cable over to direct TV with a Verizon bundle package. From the very beginning there were problems setting up the Verizon portion. Several disconnects, installation difficulties, lost phone number etc... Before switching I advised what services we would need including the fact that we call overseas often. They advised that the plan they had would work for us with unlimited long distance calling.
After a week with no Internet as they failed to send us the modem that was promised, my wife made five calls to her family in Australia. The next day we received a message that our phone was blocked due to excessive charges. We called and they said that we owed them 271.00 for the five phone calls at nearly $5.00 per minute. Verizon stated that we had long distance but no "world plan". We added this immediately and disputed the charges as these calls would have never been made at these rates by us.
They denied the dispute and say we owe, because they said they sent an e-mail explaining coverage. This e-mail among the 50 others I received during that week relating to what was going on with our telephone and lack of Internet service must have been overlooked. I will cancel Verizon as soon as I can get out of this contract and will never use any of their products again. They have the worst customer service that I have ever received and it is laughable that you call a phone company and the line is full of static and the calls keep dropping.
LONG BEACH, CALIFORNIA -- I had an international calling plan of 300 minutes for $15.
The morning before switching from Verizon to Charter, I called to Spain.
They charge the two calls as out of the plan. Actually I never got an explanation.
The charges that should be included in the 300 minutes plan I had were $109.72 for 26 minutes, which come to the rate of $4.22 per minute.
Wow! Have you ever paid such a phone rate?
I called twice, I wrote three letters. Worthless! They don’t listen at all. Instead, they sent me to a Collection agency.
Are they Suckers, Thieves, Stupid?
Does anybody how to fight them without spending more money that they charge?