My first cell phone was with Verizon’s predecessor and that was back in 1996. It was amazing to me that each year I had to negotiate for a better plan. I think the only time I really enjoyed my account was when I used the phone for business purposes. My bill was a business expense and not a personal expense. After I left my company I still continued my service with Verizon.
I held on to the non negotiable contract every 2 years. No upgrades until the company dictates the 2 year date to upgrade. In the big scheme of things, what kind of customer service is this? By giving a consumer no choices or options a company is basically pushing the consumer out the door! I think the final straw for me was the fact that a CUSTOMER CARE rep gave me three options for upgrading my phone: 1) wait until my contract ends in April 2014(my call was in December) 2)upgrade through the EDGE program which allows you to purchase a phone at retail value(over $600 for Samsung Galaxy S4) for a mere fee per month added to my bill and only when you have paid at least 50% of the value can you upgrade, what in the world? 3)I could leave Verizon and pay the early termination fee and a new company’s fees by leaving I ask again what kind of customer care is this?
If you open the door for me, instinct should say walk and never look back, right? Well of course not I gave Verizon one more chance and from my next call with a CUSTOMER CARE rep she was able based on my warranty to send me a replacement phone. Interesting because the previous rep never offered this as a possibility. Did the replacement meet my requirements? Well temporarily because I had a refurbished replacement phone without battery charging issues. The replacement was the exact same device as my original phone. When I again experienced the delay in dialing out and sending texts the writing was on the wall for my next move. I called Verizon and demanded an upgrade in light of the fact April was only a mere 3 months away. Well as usual there was nothing for them to do but transfer me to technical support. I adamantly asked the CUSTOMER CARE rep (play on words for me) not to transfer me to tech support.
When Mr. Tech Support comes on the line I prefaced the beginning of the conversation with “there is nothing you can do for me except upgrade my phone”. I politely told him the phone was beyond repair and flat out called it garbage and the replacement was a refurbished phone. In order to end the call I told him without an upgrade I would be a TMobile customer by Monday. I told him it is a shame his time was wasted when I clearly asked not to be transferred. After that statement I disconnected the call.
This was on Friday evening, now a great company truly focused on “CUSTOMER CARE” would have tried to contact me since I hung up unsatisfied. It is apparent that the arrogance of Verizon prevents any real customer service and satisfaction.
Guess what, on Saturday evening I pleasantly walked into a TMobile store and took advantage of their deal. They were running a promotion where they pay Early Termination Fee(ETF) from competitors. Now the caveat is you must give up your existing phone, if the phone has value it will be applied to your new phone. As you recall my phone was a replacement phone of a 2 year old model. Well you know the rest, my phone had no value so I had to pay for the taxes on my new Samsung Galaxy S4. Interesting enough while in the TMobile store, the associate told me she handled about 25 Verizon customers who switched service.
I know I am a small fry in their pool of customers but 17 years of loyalty should stand for something. I cannot be happier that I have one bill remaining with Verizon and TMobile to cover my ETF. My new 4G phone offers the speed and features that exceed my previous phone. On top of the features of the phone I am saving $50 per month with my new plan(unlimited data, texts, calls) there are no contracts and after 6 months I can JUMP to another phone model.
It cannot get any better than that for real CUSTOMER CARE! The moral of this story is never remain loyal to a company that does not reciprocate any perks for being a loyal customer.