Is there any reason to stay with Verizon? by Marjorie Arons-Barron

This entry is being cross posted from Marjorie Arons-Barron’s own blog.

telephoneThis month has brought several scam calls from a man with an Indian or Pakistani accent claiming to be from the IRS. FTC take notice! Also, proving what a fraud the national Do Not Call Registry is, there have been daily calls from a 406 MT exchange, with caller ID cleverly popping up the name “Evelyn Davis,” – a man wanting me to refinance to lower my credit costs. I’ve tried everything to stop those, to no avail. But nothing has pushed my blood pressure off the charts as Verizon has, with what it has done to our voice mail.

Verizon “upgraded” to a new voice mail system on July 31st. Old voice messages were apparently out in the ether. Trying to retrieve voice mail prompted the message that our access code wasn’t working. We tried to call Verizon service but were repeatedly directed to seek help online. The online effort prompted the internet message that “the page could not be displayed.”verizon-logo

It was back and forth between online and phone customer “service” for hours, and then my husband took over. He got trapped between a page asking for identification of phone number, email and amount of last bill (with all input being rejected) and an automated chirpy avatar offering help, but only to non-germane questions.

Finally, he managed to get a simple voicemail message activated so we retrieved two weeks of messages. Then we tried to set up the sub mail-boxes, so we each would have a password-controlled mailbox. The Verizon operator whose help we sought explained that tech support can be different for western and eastern parts of the country, and, oh goodie, we had reached someone in Dallas. The mailbox systems, he explained, were different for east and west regions. He was useless for someone in Boston.

The next day we went back to trying to follow unclear instructions to set up sub mailboxes. In the process, our entire mailbox access crashed. If you’ve called us, we’ll never know. Back to tech support. This time we were dealing with a woman in Tijuana, Mexico. She tried and tried to reboot our phone. No luck, but, she said, especially since tech support for the eastern part of the country was now closing for the day at 5 PM. She’d have someone higher up call “tomorrow.” If they don’t, she advised, call tech support again.

When they didn’t call, we did and were told on Thursday the matter would be repaired by end of day Friday. Friday came, no call and we’re told by another Tijuana operator to wait until Monday, because, she said, tech support was unavailable over the weekend. Other operators, presumably higher up, said the same thing.

Monday came, no calls arrived. We reached someone in NJ who so earnestly tried to help that we asked why he was working for Verizon. Aware that the call was being monitored for “training purposes,” he demurred. He said he’d gone as far as he could, even deleting and restoring the entire voice mail feature, but we’d have to wait until tomorrow to test the feature. My husband proposed that customers on hold (after half hour of “free”waiting) be permitted to deduct their time at their states’ minimum wage from their next bill.

Today in the mail we received a pitch from Verizon offering their “best prices ever” and a telephone solicitation from Comcast, offering the same. We’ve been reluctant to bundle our internet, cable and phone service, even if it meant saving a few bucks. In the past, we reasoned, that Comcast had built its expertise with cable and internet, and Verizon with phone. But our phones now are FIOS and no longer hard wired during a power outage. We understand that Verizon’s technology might be better than Comcast’s, but its customer service over the years has been unremittingly bad. Once, after failing to show up for two service calls, Verizon offered to send someone out on the weekend to accommodate us. The person they sent was, get this, a pay phone “specialist” available on a Saturday, but clueless to phones inside homes.

The internet is filled with customers with complaints about both companies. But, dear readers, is there really any reason to stay with Verizon at all? Should we switch everything to Comcast, aware of the national horror stories that may await us? How do you deal with the Comcast-Verizon conundrum? Do you bundle internet, cable and phone with either company (and why)? What’s been your experience with your choice?

I’m tired of ruining the last beautiful days of summer trying to get Verizon to get our 617 area code phone working. Please advise.

I welcome your comments in the section below.

One Response to Is there any reason to stay with Verizon? by Marjorie Arons-Barron

  1. Craig H says:

    At the risk of ruining another beautiful day of summer with the bad news–Comcast is worse.