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 ** 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 telephone 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 cooperate, 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 telephone 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 mis-charged $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 land lines (broadband) that provides only the line, with numerous other companies providing services over these land lines. While the limited land line 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 land line telephone industry, that industry should largely cease to exist.
SANTA PAULA, CALIFORNIA -- My father had a stroke December of 2011. I called Verizon to cancel his residential line and keep Internet only so that we could continue to pay his bills online. I was told that I could only put it on vacation hold for only 9.99. The next month we have a bill for $150 which was even higher than his original bill!
I call again...mind you it takes 20 minutes of holding to talk to a representative (must have a lot of complaints!), this time I'm told that "their notes say" that I called to ask for a customer elite package and to have my father's number unlisted (extra charge) which was total BS! There were also other charges that I have no idea what they meant.
Once I got through to the rep... After talking in circles, she said she was going to fix it for me but couldn't do it until the am because she had a "computer glitch". Lo and behold the next month the charges remained. I call again...wait for 20 - 30 minutes...talked to another rep and she tells me that she will simply reverse the charges for me and give me Internet only. So now we are in May of 2012. You guessed it... the charges aren't gone and Verizon is threatening cancellation!
Once again I have just gotten off the phone with yet another representative after spending 45 minutes with her...got the run around... until she finally agreed to "put a request in to credit" these ridiculous charges. Have I told you all yet that my father's phone has not worked since my original call to them yet they continue to bill him for it!?!? We shall see what happens next month.
Basically to anyone reading this... Verizon is doing the typical scam of putting ridiculous charges on customer's bills and giving them such a runaround when they call to fix it that they think we will just give up and pay the charges. Well Verizon sorry but we are on to you. When I can physically get to my dad's house (I live far away from him) we will be leaving Verizon due to their poor customer service and unethical billing practices. I once held Verizon in high regard that has completely changed now! Later Verizon!
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 mean time 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 too 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 customer's 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 and 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.
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 ANOTHER 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.
YUCAIPA, CALIFORNIA -- We have had Verizon for several years, we have our cell phones through Verizon as well as our Internet and home phone. Our Internet and home phone have always been on the same bill. Until two years ago when we received two separate bills for the same exact thing. Both bills had the same phone number and were basically for the same services, but had different account numbers. I then called Verizon's customer service department, they apologized for the inconvenience and told me to wait 3 to 4 billing cycles before we stopped seeing the bills (And just disregard them in the meantime).
We did eventually stop seeing the bills, but just recently, we received a collection notice for $444.84!! I called the collection agency immediately, and of course, all they kept asking for was payment! I said that I did not agree with the charges and the gentleman said we needed to call Verizon. That was the very next thing I did. I spoke with a c.s. representative and she said that we were responsible for every charge and stuck to it!
So I asked to speak with a supervisor, who did indeed agree with me and again apologized on behalf of Verizon California and said I needed to dispute the charges (which I thought by calling several times spoke for itself in disputing the charges). He told me I would be transferred to a department that I could file a dispute with. And I got nowhere! She had informed me that he had MISinformed me and that I needed to call the collection agency and file a formal complaint with them.
So, I said, "Even though this is Verizon's mistake, I still have to call an outside collection agency?" She replied, "Correct." I then said, "So even though this is VERIZON'S fault, I am still responsible for the charges? And there is absolutely nothing that Verizon will do to help??" And again, she replied, "Correct." As if she didn't even care. I have been dealing with this for two years!!! I have Verizon for everything I have! And they cannot respect a loyal, paying customer!? I feel like getting rid of Verizon completely!!
Verizon phone customer service for home phones is without a doubt the worst customer service I have ever dealt with!!! My dad has been living at Charlestown Retirement Community now for 5 years. They have Verizon phone service. I have had to move him 3 times and get his phone hooked up in 3 different buildings since his health has been deteriorating... each time it has taken hours on hold to get to talk to a customer service representative!! I have been calling for 2 days now for repair... phone dead, not working. I have been put on hold for an hour and get cut off!! Has happened 2 times today!!
I do not have time to be on hold this long and then get cut off 2 times after waiting an hour!! This is just ridiculous and incomprehensible for a communications company to have customer service of this kind!! Every person that I have talked to at this retirement community has had the same experience getting their phones turned on... hours of being on hold, cut off after waiting for hours!!! Taking weeks to get the phone hooked up. Senior citizens should not have to go through this inconvenience of having to wait this long. This is the only phone service available at Charlestown Retirement Community in Catonsville, MD 21228...
No one in the corporate office at Charlestown can even do anything about it!! They just say that that is how Verizon is and that we have to take care of it ourselves and call... They can do nothing about it!! There are thousands of residents at Charlestown!! It is an expensive community to live at. My dad is paying $9000 a month to live there, and he cannot get phone service. Unbelievable! For all that the residents pay, they should have a person working at Charlestown that has a direct # to Verizon phone service, and he should do this for the residents!! They should not be inconvenienced like this for what they pay a month to live at this community.
It is just an outrage to have to go through this... just want to warn people before they move to Charlestown that you will be without a phone for weeks, and on the phone for hours, and disconnected many times from customer service before you ever get any results. I have never dealt with a customer service like this before!! A communications company that you cannot even get in touch with is ridiculous. Hello! Communications! Concerned consumer...
NEW YORK -- Today: June 10. Last Date of Working Service: April 12. I spent 4 hours crying, screaming, pleading with supervisor after supervisor to stop trying to pacify me with condescending remarks like you must be so upset and to just fix my freaking phone. I had two appointments I took off work that they just didn't show. The second was for between 1 & 5pm. They came 11am and after I heard this from my neighbor when I got in at 12 I called.
The representative said "oh yes you are scheduled btw 1 & 5 - hold on, let me call repair". She came back dumbfounded saying "yes, you have the correct time but they said they won't come back. They came early and you weren't there". Can you imagine??? I spent an hour on with a supervisor who finally got them to agree to come and in an hour repair called me and said they wouldn't because its an outside issue and will be there at 9am the next day and I didn't need to be there. That was back in early May.
Then I was put off for weeks saying it will be fixed by Mon, then Friday, then next Monday and to today when nothing done again and another condescending supervisor told me they just don't have enough copper wire and may be 14 more days. I blew up! Why the hell they can't patch me into a line that my neighbor is on that works well? "Ohhh they just can't" she says. I called back, asked for another supervisor where the agent listened to my story and said "hang on, I'll get you someone" and just proceeded to put me back in the customer service queue. The next guy got me a supervisor who called repair and said "Maybe" and she said it's a big "maybe Tuesday".
I filed with FCC - calling Consumer Affairs... I don't know what else to do. Maybe I'll write my councilwoman this weekend. Two months of lies, unfulfilled promised call backs, unfair treatment. It's sick. I said to the last supervisor I have been in NYC for 20 years and never has it been this bad... even during the strike and she said it never has been this bad. I agree. If you have an option stay away from Verizon. I need a new company.
WOW I can't believe how bad the customer service is at Verizon. I have a FiOS bundled package and within the past two weeks, I can hear AM radio through my phone. The first of four calls to Verizon went as I assumed. The lady was fairly nice and asked the usual questions regarding cordless phones and potential interference. I said that was not the case since I disconnected all of the cordless phones and the problem was worse on the corded phone.
The earliest someone could be here to help was one week away. No time estimate, but I could check online. Stayed home on Tuesday and checked their website to find that the service was changed to Wednesday. Stayed home Wednesday, checked the Internet and the service call did not show up. I called Verizon and spoke to a supervisor. One of the most rude people that I have ever had a conversation with. She used a threatening tone stating a service call would cost $100 if it was in the house and not the box. I was so upset by how rude she was that I told her I was calling a competitor and switching service.
After a bit, I calmed down and called them back. During this time, my service had been disconnected completely! Called on my cell phone and got another rude person who said that I would have to wait until Friday. I told her that I could not wait until Friday and if she could not get this fixed today, I would switch service. That is what happened.
The last straw was calling to cancel my service with Verizon. During the process of cancelling service, I was put on hold for 15 minutes while another supervisor was being tracked down to authorize my cancellation. Good lord, what an ordeal! Brighthouse is coming out this evening to install new service... hopefully with no AM radio. I really feel for those of you forced to deal with Verizon.
I called to have a regular telephone line installed in my home in order to have a medical monitoring service hooked up to the phone line. The technician came out and ran the line and told me it's done but I did not have dial tone because they had to flip a switch at another location in order to get the dial tone. But none was there at the time so it could possibly be Monday before this would happen. This was on a Friday.
Called to see what the deal was, they told me it was a mistake that I would have service that day. Well about 4pm on Friday the technician called me back and told me that they could not flip the switch because the order was placed under FiOS but it was written up as what I ordered and he installed it as such a regular copper line. He told me I had to call back and have them fix the order. Well I tried for hours to get someone to help me, explaining the situation over and over to no avail.
The last dumb ** I spoke to was supposedly getting me a supervisor but one has yet to come to the line. Been on hold for over 50 minutes now. No other land line phone companies in my area so I am forced to use them for this service. But I have never in my life experienced such incompetence. This is by far the worst company on the face of the earth.
I have FiOS service with them and I have been pretty happy with it up till now. I will cancel this service as soon as my contract is up and go with Comcast. Now I see why they have to lock you into a contract. That have lost a customer and I will tell everyone I know and all those I don't know to not patronize this company, if you want to maintain your sanity. Because this is making me insane. I'm still on hold.
Verizon has advertised that they can be heard anywhere. That may be true for their wireless customers, but the LAN lines are constantly having problems and the internet service has been sketchy, at best, in the Midwest. They offer combination packages at a discounted price and then do not honor them, as well as charging for service that is not rendered. My telephone has been down for almost three weeks. I contacted Verizon repair on July 6, and battled with the automated repair system until ultimate frustration set in, as I was getting nowhere, and I hung up (That is not service).
Service was interrupted from May 7 to May 23, as well. I was promised a discount for the interrupted service; however, I never received the promised discount on my telephone bill. Now, once again, the line is down. There is a very loud noise on all of our telephone lines (which is why the automated repair service could not understand my answers), making it impossible to have a conversation or to be able to hear the other party.
Verizon informed us, via the internet, that we needed to take a screwdriver and a telephone out to the NID box and plug the phone in to see if the noise was on the NID. It was on the line at the NID box, indicating the issue is with Verizon, not with our telephones.
I attempted to contact Verizon on July 7, via telephone and was told that the wait would be 40 minutes and to use the internet, if possible. I contacted them again, via internet, on July 8, and July 9, without any resolution or response, via internet, that was I promised. My husband called them on July 13th, and we were told they were come out on the July 21st.
Today, July 21, 2009, Verizon (automated message) called at 3:40 PM, after waiting all day for the repair person to arrive, to inform me that they will try to come out on July 29th. However, the bill has already arrived for next month, with expectation of 100% payment in full for services that are not being rendered.
I intend to disconnect my service with Verizon if there is no fair resolution. It may be a terrible inconvenience, as I live in a more rural area and services are monopolized, giving us little or no choice at all for our communication services. Not only that, we pay more for services than in bigger cities (no broadband) and the service is moderate to poor. It looks to me like Verizon Telephone is sliding all of the way down when a paying customer for several years is treated in this manner.