Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Verizon Incompetence

Verizon has awful customer service.  After more than a month, my long telephonic nightmare may be close to being solved!

Problems with Verizon not come as a surprise to many Verizon customers, but for 25 years I have had no problems with my two residential lines.  That ended October 21, when Verizon experienced a cable failure that has left many residents on New York's Upper East Side without landline phone service.  

This past June a Verizon representative called offering me their FIOS fiber service.  He indicated that because a new neighbor was requesting it they would have to run fibers through our house.  He pointed out I could get internet, television and phone service all in one.   I said, since I was happy with my Time Warner Cable TV service and my current Verizon phone service, I did not more lines running through my house. 

Several weeks later. on Friday, October 21, both of my landlines failed, they are on copper lines that have been in place for decades.  We called in the problem, giving both phone numbers, but did not see a repairman until the following Wednesday.   The repairman sad he had a ticket for only one phone line suggesting I call the other line in separately.  After less than a half-hour the repairman left to find the box in the apartment building at the corner.  We never saw him again.  

A couple days later a second repairman showed up with a ticket for only one number.  He explained he could not work on both lines.  He disappeared next door after revealing there may have been a cable failure somewhere, and many phone lines were out.  We never saw him again.  

For the next couple weeks, repairmen occasionally came by our townhouse to fix one line or the other, but none had answers.  One day a repairman actually got one of our lines to work.  But a day later it failed.  It had been three weeks since our phone system failed, and Verizon service representatives still could not explain what was going on, but they assured me it would be repaired as soon as possible.  "We apologize for any inconvenience," I heard time and again.

I followed along with one of the repairmen to see what the local area set was like.  There's a box filled with copper wires in and apartment building which is connected to a box outside, behind a fence, with more copper wires.  The repairman explained to me that Verizon wants to replace all the copper boxes with FIOS fiber.   It finally occurred to me that Verizon was slow walking repairs on its old system to force customers to FIOS.

On November 22, one month after our phones failed, I called Verizon again in pursuit of an answer.  I spent more than 30 minutes going through their system, speaking to different service people.  I was forwarded to someone described as a "dispatcher."  (He was located in New Jersey.)  The dispatcher made several attempts to get information for me about what was going on with phones in my tony neighborhood.  

Brace yourself--the dispatcher told me my landline phone service will not be restored until mid January.  That's six more weeks!  On the other hand, they could install FIOS fiber in my house almost immediately.   What!

Here's what's wrong with Verizon:

-Verizon does not communicate well with the customer, unless it is a sales opportunity.
-They do not tell their employees what's going on, leaving them to suffer the wrath of unhappy customers.
-The company has incredibly inefficient repair processes that do not allow them any flexibility in solving problems.  Two people can be at the same site working on a related problem--and no one knows.  No central organization.
-Technicians should not be upselling Verizon FIOS when they appear for repairs.
-The automated phone system is not designed to handle some problems.
-Receiving automated phone calls from a computerized voice is a pain, and a waste of time for customers who have to navigate through the system.  
-Verizon should contact all of its customers and inform them they are moving to fiber and will have to replace their old copper systems.  They can explain that the copper wire system is failing and must be replaced.  BE TRANSPARENT!  It's the best policy.

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