Once again it's a new month and time to promote our monthly blog chain. The topic this month is "gifts from the heart." Note the list to the right of this post for the daily routing. Right now it's hard for me to actually think of something pleasant in a gift as I have been trying to take care of a billing problem with Verizon. So this will be my gift for you of a warning of doing business with a mega company and the promises that they make and don't keep, and how you might resolve the "service" issues.
This is not lack of payment on my part, rather it's getting money back that is owed to me. When I discontinued my service with them, that stopped the "bundling" I had with them and Direct TV. When I made my final payment to them, which included my charges for Direct TV, they just took the money as full payment without sending the funds owed to Direct TV. I've heard it said that "medical practice" is the art of keeping the patient entertained until nature takes its course. I guess something similar could be said of "customer services" as the art of saying "we're sorry for your inconvenience" until they handle it in their predetermined corporate time frame which has no relation to your convenience.
Two months ago I was promised those funds. At that time it took 2 hours of calls to confirm that they did owe me money instead of me owing them. Last night it was another 2 hours of calls and being bounced around like a ping pong ball. Verizon would tell me I did indeed pay them including the charges for the TV service. Next I was transferred to Direct TV to clear up the problem. At which point I was told I owed the money as their records showed I didn't pay Verizon. My final call with Verizon ended with being told to call in the morning to a different department which was now closed. I confirmed with that rep the proper time to call with my time zone and I was assured I could call at 8:00 AM.
After 5 calls and 55 minutes I am coming to the end of my patience. I have been trying to get to the correct department which is financial services. However, when you call the number (that I have confirmed with 3 reps now as the correct number) it routes you to other departments. There is no other number for me to call. Two of the 3 reps told me I would just have to keep trying as they couldn't route me to the correct department. Two of my additional calls didn't even go through to a live person (even after saying "customer service") as when I went through their prompts the final automated response was "you're calling after hours, try again at another time." Don't you love those automated systems!
With my final call, here is what I learned...
1. The check would be in the mail (which I was promised last month) in about 2 weeks as part of my 2nd final bill. They only do this monthly and can't change or expedite the cycle.
2. They are not responsible for correcting the payment to Direct TV even though they were paid for it. I need to pay Direct TV myself even though it was part of my bundled bill paid through them.
3. Saying "we're sorry for your inconvenience" is merely a phrase to be said. It makes just as much sense as saying "thanks for choosing Verizon, we appreciate your business."
4. A service problem with a mega company can't be handled quickly. Their phone prompts will do all they can to prevent you from talking to someone. Once you input all their required info and you get someone "live" you will have to repeat it over and over to each person you are directed to in the call process, thus prolonging the call even more.
I guess I really shouldn't be surprised how bad the customer service is as it also started badly. When we originally signed with Verizon we did so as we were guaranteed we could get a DSL connection. After 3 weeks of numerous calls to tech support to attempt to fix the lack of service and 3 reps at our house to check our phone lines and computers, we were told that our location was in a "black hole" and the service couldn't be provided as it wasn't available.