Where to even begin. I guess with a little background. It was “that time again”. You know time to upgrade your aging technology with some shiny new gear? I provide cell phones to several of my employees as a benefit. Most of us are still rocking the original Samsung Galaxy S. More specifically the Epic 4G variant from sprint. It has seen better days so I wanted to get everyone moved up to the S III. I figured what the heck, while Im upgrading everyone’s phone why don’t I get us switched over to verizon since they have the better network. So I pop onto the verizon wireless website and what happen next can only be described as a complete and utter failure on the part of the Verizon wireless customer service department.
Your Business is too New
So I input all my business info, select a few phones and accessories I want and pick a plan to cover all the lines. I hit submit and am greeted with a screen that tells me my account has been flagged for review. Im told if I want to cancel or look up the status of my account I can use the control number at the pre-order lookup website page. Neither the url for this page or the you know, actual control number, was provided. I shrug it off. Figure there will be some sort of email. There was. They ask me to call in. I do. They tell me “Sorry sir because your business has no credit history this may be easier to put in your own name”. No problem I tell them. I’ve actually been a verizon customer in the past so that should be easy enough.
Fax or Visit to Verify your Identity
Ok so I go back to the website and this time put together the entire order again, only this time using my personal details rather than my business info. All appears to be going well. I hit submit. It tells me my order was successful and that I will receive an email with my exact shipping dates. At this point I think Im all done. But no. A few hours later I receive an email that my account has once again been flagged. I call in they say “we need you to fax over your ID to prove who you are”. I tell them I don’t have a fax machine and really don’t know anyone who does (who faxes anymore?). They tell me “No problem sir, just go to a local store and you can show them your ID there and even pick up the phones same day”. Fine I guess I can do that. I mean who needs e-commerce right? So next day off I go to the Verizon store.
You Don’t Exist
Now I’m at the local Verizon store. I’ve got an ID in hand. I pick out all the phones and accessories I want. Tell the guy the plan I want. I have it all memorized at this point, so the guy is even complimenting me and asking me if I worked at Verizon before since I seem to know all the answers to his various questions before he even asks. I’ve got my bank card out and I’m ready to pay. BUUUUT no. “I’m sorry sir but I’m also going to need to see your social security card, and a recent utility bill with your address on it, do you have those things with you?”. Uh no, I don’t. Heck they tell you right on the social security card NOT to carry it with you. Whatever I tell him I’ll be back in 40 minutes. I drive home, get the required documents and head back.
We Don’t Fax
At this point I’m pretty irritated. But it’s about to get a lot worse. When I get back in the store I find that the guy I had been working with has gone home. There are only 2 people left, and one of them is on her very first shift ever. Want to guess which one ends up helping me? Yep miss brand new. So I give her all the stuff. She takes a good 20 minutes to figure out where we left off. Calls corporate. They tell her she needs to fax my stuff over. “We don’t fax. We don’t have a fax machine”. I chuckle and I said “SEE! That’s what I told them too! Who faxes amiright?”. 25 minutes later we’ve managed to scan and email the documents to them. You’d think at this point I’d finally be all set. But you would be wrong. Corporate tells the new gal “We can’t verify his identity, social, or employment. We’ve flagged his account as fraudulent. He’ll need to deal with the fraud department to move forward”.
Fraud and Phone Tag
As one might imagine, at this point I’m furious. They have 3 forms of ID (I had even brought in my birth certificate for good measure) and a utility bill showing I really live at a house. But apparently that’s not good enough. I must be a fraud. Mind you, I was already a Verizon customer in the past, and in fact my current cell number came from that account (I transferred it over to sprint when I switched carriers). For bonus points I am also the only person with my name in the entire world. Not the united states, the whole globe. So it’d be pretty hard to mistake my identity with someone else. I digress. I head home. Hop on twitter as I’m like to do and start ranting. Verizon’s social media guys start tweeting back apologizing and ask me to call the fraud department to get it cleared up. I finally submit and give it a shot. Once I get someone on the phone I explain everything that has happened up to this point. They tell me they understand my frustration and are going to transfer me to a supervisor to get this all cleared up. I’m placed on hold. JUST KIDDING.
I’m not placed on hold. Im dropped into a menu system. I select the number that pertains to fraud and I get to start telling the story all over again to a new gal. She then tells me “Sorry sir but this is the department for land lines, let me get you transfered back over to the wireless side”. Before she can do that I say, “Wait! before you do anything I want you to actually call the department, get a PERSON on the line then hand me off to them after you’ve explained the situation. I don’t want to be dropped back into a menu system or general hold queue again.” She tells me, “Of course sir, I understand I’ll do that. Can I get your number in case we get disconnected?”. I give her my number and sit patiently on hold for the next several minutes. Then I hear an automated system message “Verizon Wireless. Our office hours are Monday through Friday 7am to 4pm. Thank You for calling. *click*”. Yep. They hung up on me. And no, they didn’t call back.
We’ll they’ve done a pretty good job of making it apparent they don’t want my business. And doing some Googling and twitter searches I see my experience is not even close to unique. So I thought “Hey, I do internet marketing. Why don’t I a blog post about my experience and rank it right up there for their name. Then maybe they might think twice before wasting peoples time”. So if you or someone you know has had a shitty experience with Verizon Wireless Customer Service – please comment, share, tweet or link to this post. Great thing about the web? Anyone can do a PR blitz against a crappy company. Cheers.