Tuesday, April 26, 2011

In praise of Verizon

I resisted getting our two teenagers cell phones for as long as possible, before finally relenting a few months back. I pretty quickly regretted my decision when I received a Verizon bill for several hundred dollars for going over the limit on texts. Yeah, call me Naive Dad, Poor Dad.

But there was a catch — in previous months, when they'd exceeded the allotted number, I'd received a warning from Verizon so I could tell the kids to cool it. This time, the bill came through without a peep.

I called customer service to plead my case. The first person I spoke to offered a 50% discount. Thanks, but no thanks. Moreover, she basically blamed me for not keeping track of the account usage, and said the warnings were at Verizon's option. I asked to speak to a supervisor, but she was at lunch, so she would call me back later. She didn't.

A few days later, I called and pleaded my case to a different rep. This guy repeated the same 50% offer, which I declined, but also took the extra step to inform me of a better plan for our usage pattern. I signed up immediately. Again, no supervisor was available, but someone would call me back.

And again, no callback came. So, this weekend I made one final call and finally hit paydirt:
  • The rep, Pam, heard me out without interruption or a guilt trip.
  • She agreed that the situation was not right.
  • She apologized that I had received poor customer service from previous reps.
  • She immediately put me on the line with a supervisor.
The conversation with Vonda the supervisor lasted about 2 minutes. I gave her the Reader's Digest version, she was profusely apologetic, and credited my account as I'd been requesting since Call #1. I thanked her and let her know that she had renewed my faith as a longtime and loyal Verizon customer.

Was I disappointed that it took so long to resolve my issue? Sure. But I'm a cheap SOB and nothing if not persistent when it comes to a couple hundred bucks! The customer service lesson in here is a familiar one: Ask the person what he or she wants, and solve the problem on the first call if you can.


  1. Another tip: preface your issue with "Can you help me?" It brings them right to your side.

    FWIW, I have AT&T (formerly Cingular). When daughter used 6,500 texts over the allotted 200 for that month, I called in a panic. Instant credit was given, and they had no troubles selling me on the $30 unlimited text plan. Plus those rollover minutes have been a godsend. She's easily chewing through my stockpile of minutes.

    I can't wait until she's on her own plan! LOL

  2. I think it's great you took the time to report a POSITIVE experience. I've certainly never had a good experience with a mobile service provider and I've never talked to anyone who has. Verizon must be very unique.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.