Friday, May 16, 2008

Why I think Verizon is the shizit

It's a long consumer rant here. Get a drink and put up your feet. If you don't have time, save the page to your favorites and come back. This one got really long. REALLY. LONG.

I have had cellular service for the larger part of 10 years or so. There was a period of time that budget prevented me from having a wireless phone, then I was on Bellsouth's old prepaid plan. As my phone aged, the service sucked and the sales people kept pushing me to upgrade my plan that was "antiquated" despite the fact that it suited me and my measly paycheck budget just fine. Companies merged and Bellsouth became Cingular (now it's AT&T). Then when I could no longer make use of half the network because my cellphone was stone aged (4 or 5 years old at the time), I started looking around for a new service. I didn't want the service that Cingular had and their customer service was sucking worse and worse every time I called. My husband had Sprint PCS a few years prior to that, and I knew I did not want that company either. His friends dumped Cingular and went to Verizon when their contract was up. One went to work for a Verizon. Meanwhile my husband was in the military, working as an MP on a remote training base an hour and a half from here. The only service they could get was Nextel. So, he got that since he knew so many people from the military and previous construction work who had Nextel. Direct Connect was nice to have. The bill never has been. Doing some very simple math, I deduced that since HIS friends were all moving to Verizon, and several of my friends had Verizon, that it would make absolute sense to cash in on the mobile-to-mobile and go with Verizon as well. Let's add that a couple of relatives on my hushband's side of the fence have Verizon too. It's nice to talk to his Grandparents and not worry about the minutes or cost. My friend C has had Verizon since it was Qualcomm(?) with the little pink guy. I could probably count on ONE hand the number of dropped calls I've had in the 2 years I've had Verizon. This means network lost connection, not my battery died, or any other factor. My husband and his overpriced Nextel plan lose signal right here in the city in a number of places. There are giant holes in their network, despite that whole Sprint/Nextel merge a while back. I have been telling him we can save money by getting a family plan, to the sum of that savings actually covering our cable bill (we won't even talk about that one today). But he was not willing.

Can you imagine my recent near fainting experience when I heard my husband actually utter the words that equated to "I want to dump Nextel". Apparently about a handful of his contacts actually still have Nextel anymore. Thanks honey, you could have spared us several hundred dollars and NOT got a new phone and plan last fall, and joined my Verizon plan. But he's the kind of guy that it has to be his idea or he won't do it. Someone went swimming in the ornery end of the gene pool there. Soo....we started looking at phones and plans etc. He can move his number over to Verizon, but it's going to cost a lovely early termination fee of approximately $200 at Schmucktel. Plus the cost of equipment etc on the new plan. How's THAT for stimulating the economy? So I decided I'd do some homework on the matter and called Sprint posing as a new customer. What an experience. I tell ya, it can only be described as "a piece of something". If this is how they treat people that don't YET have their service, good grief, why the heck hasn't my husband dumped them as soon as he could get out of the first contract???

First, you encounter the usual automated answering thing. Please press this or that to get here or there. This is where it gets *entertaining*. The phone is answered by someone who is OBVIOUSLY NOT A NATIVE to the United States of America by any means. Dare I say, this call was received by an outsourced overseas call center. I've been known to be wrong and I'm willing to admit as much but trust me on this and you'll see why in a minute. This individual gave me the name that was so overtly untrue I could have gagged. I was greeted with that cheezy slogan answer line "....this is George Aliza" asking how he could help. Uh...yea, his name was probably Amudesh or something but we self absorbed gringos can't grasp those Mediterranean pronunciations apparently. I explained I was searching for a new provider and wanted to do my homework and get information about the plans they offered, he asked who my current provider was. I told him that I didn't have a plan at the moment. I had to discontinue my cellular service a couple years ago and was finally able to get one again, and so I was starting fresh. He was dumbfounded by this. Oops, sorry "George". You can't use those scripts on me now. Darn. So he did his best to recover from an obvious jarring to his flowchart. I asked a few questions and somewhere in there, about 2 times, he asked about running a credit check to see if I would need a deposit. I told him I didn't want to do that yet. Then in the middle of my asking a question the butt-tard hung up on me. Pissed? somewhat. I called back. I got the automated answer, pushed the cursory buttons to get back to the sales people in Bangledesh or some other sand-laden locale on another continent.

Wanna know what I got? "There are no agents available. Please call back."


The robot hung up on me too! Now if I was truly shopping for a new phone, I wouldn't have called back. They don't want to talk to me, well I don't want to give them my money either. (Felt this way for a while but ornery genetics over there....)
So I called back. AGAIN. Phone robot, push buttons, get a human. Ah, and this guy sounded just like the previous one, except he gave the name "John Michael"....hmmmm....I am thinking that Amudesh was either enjoying his phone sex operator name changes, or this guy's name was probably Jimadelah (let me help you here: Ja-mah-deh-leh). In any case this one took his job a tad more seriously than the first one. He asked a bunch of qualifying questions so he could match my needs to the company's benefits available. He misunderstood me when I told him I didn't need a thousand minutes (hinting at T-mobile's plans), and assumed I needed that many minutes. He offered me a 900 minute plan. I corrected him and told him I didn't need that many minutes, that I'd barely use those 900 at all ever. He seemed suprised, and took him a second to register this thought (translating is not easy when you think in one language and speak in another). Then he offered me the smallest plan they have. Then this one also asked me about doing a credit check to get my account started. At least he was a *ahem* hair more professional than the first one. I declined his offer, thanking him for his time and explained that I was not ready to make a decision yet. He also didn't hang up on me, and I thanked him for at least keeping me on the line to answer my questions. I guess in their native land, women do what men ask, demand, expect of them. While this may be an offense of Bibilical proportions to them and some holy-roller types here even...I am the one charged with tending the financial fires in our household.

So why am I posting this LONNNNNNNNG-A rant? Because once again the customer service of a company deserves it. If this was the company's sales department, charged with wooing customers and appealing to their sensabilities for a service that is ultimately an optional expense, I don't want to even venture into the other aspects of their customer service arenas. Let me lay out the biggest faults of this company's *SALES* department that I experienced.....this is outside the fact that their call center is blatantly outsourced overseas.

1.) PUSHY sales agents who do not give full disclosure. Half the information over the phone is not good service. Customers want to know everything they're getting into up front. Suprises on the back end leave a bad taste worse than that diet-soda-saccharin-aftertaste. We'd rather lick our own feet than be screwed over due to non-disclosure. Plus "George" kept breathing in my ear, and I was not getting aroused by it one single bit. I'm just glad I was unable to smell his lunch. Someone tell that guy to move the microphone up just half an inch to get out of his breath's expulsion path.
2.) NOT LISTENING TO ME!!! You want my money, but you don't listen to me. I have a need for services, you have a benefit that will fulfill that need. But I only need certain things from you, and simply won't use everything available. If you won't listen to me at the outset on a sales call, why would I think that I will be heard or even acknowledged once I've signed a contract?
3.)Putting across the inuendo that I have to have a credit check just to get information from them. This ploy works on unsuspecting customers who have not been taught better. It's bad character for a company to do this. What goes around comes around. Thank you, but I've had enough of my share of credit problems due to fraud and other reporting agency errors in my lifetime. Still having them.
4.) Hanging up on me. TWICE. Yea, I understand that "George" may have actually had a technical problem. I sensed he and his cohorts get a commission for every account they initiate or every credit check they run. He sensed he wasn't going to get a Lira out of me and decided I was no longer worthy of his time since he wasn't getting paid to talk to me. I guess it sucks to be whored out to an American company who allows women that do things their women would never ever even have the inclination to think about saying or doing, much less actually DO them. Like tell a man "no". Second half of this offense is that an automated robot answering system hung up on me. AUTOMATED hang up. I wasn't even given the option to hold on the line for the next available agent at Schmucktel, moving at the speed of Shint.

Anytime I call Verizon, I get a polite and articulate individual who has my interests in mind. Their training obviously includes "take care of the customer". Anytime I call them, I don't get disconnected by their agent or their computer. Anytime I call Verizon, I am told something along the lines of "if we can be of further assistance, please let us know". The people I encounter do something important, THEY LISTEN TO ME. I don't feel like I'm getting my wallet ripped out of my backside sans the joy or damage control. So somewhere along there, Verizon is doing plenty of things right. If someone feels otherwise, they may consider re-reading their contracts before they scream about it. I'd venture that customer didn't pay attention and ultimately had buyer's remorse. THAT is not Verizon's responsibility, that rests with the consumer. This consumer thinks that Verizon rocks.

So if anyone specifically at Sprint, Nextel, Verizon, or any other wireless provider for that matter is reading this blog, TAKE NOTE. It's a well known fact that dissatisfied customers do lots of damage by word of mouth. In my case, by word of key. I reach WAY more people this way. Granted, satisfied customers don't always sing praises either, so it's not always known. However, the silently dissatisfied ones are the ones that will make or break a lot of deals. Having worked in industries where those customers can make a bad day for people, and having been one of those customers that made bad days for other people, I understand how this blog will impact things. That was my precise point. My blog is full of rants about companies and services that merit space here to tell people what I think. As the daughter of a Depression era parent, I don't part with my money easily. I have always felt the larger part of the American population was too willing to part with their money without so much as a grease job or reach-around in the process. If I'm getting screwed, I at least want something to minimize damage or I better well be enjoying it. I guess my husband finally realized the lube was no longer there and came to his senses. It will be my pleasure to pay for this divorce. It is worth every single overpriced penny charged by Schmucktel. So Sprint/Nextel, I DIVORCE YOU! I DIVORCE YOU! I DIVORCE YOU! Are you dizzy yet from my circling you three times as I said that? Good, now go pay attention to what "George" and "John" are doing. I bet if I call back I'll get "Paul" or "Ringo". Any takers on that bet?


Lindy said...

You go girlfriend. AND God forbid George, John, Paul or Ringo every have to show up at your door as door-to-door salesmen. I hate pushy salesmen. They think they have it all over us women.

Anonymous said...

your a racist prick. Those people from "sand laden" continents are better at the jobs then most ignorant americans thats why they have the job. Why do you diversify your culture and learn about others? We are human, we are all the same regardless of race.

Feisty Irish Wench said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Feisty Irish Wench said...

Well anonymous, get it right, I'm a bitch, not a prick. I don't have a penis. Second, like every other coward like you, the comments are hidden by the good old "anonymous" curtain. Third you only know what I ALLOW my readers to see. If by any chance you were surfing for porn via keywords and found my blog, sorry to disappoint you. If by some chance you happen to be a descendant from a Middle Eastern heritage, I make no apologies. Welcome to America where I have this Constitutional permission to say what I want. Stay with the tour, because if you paid attention, you'll notice I didn't use racial eptithets.

I am offended by stupidity in general and doubly offended by those that think I am stupid. Which by the way, your poor grammar offends me. It makes me wonder if you work for Sprint.

There's an old Chinese proverb that says, Better to be thought foolish than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt.

The short of it here "anonymous"? You opened your keyboard and removed all doubt of your stupidity. Thanks for the entertainment Joe Schmuckatelli. Have a nice sand in your pants day.

8/7/08 17:53

Feisty Irish Wench said...

PS: Let me also add that this was written from a customer service standpoint, not one of a dislike for a certain race etc. I dislike being treated like I'm too stupid to know what's really going on, and I appreciate companies who treat their customers with respect and don't try to take advantage of them. My brain is not in my backside (can't be in my boobs, I don't really have any), and intelligence doesn't require a penis to exist either. I also don't appreciate being generalized as an ignorant American, because if you really read my blog instead of searching for the nitpicky crap to rant about, you'd find that I dislike ignorance in the first place. Now go tattle to mommy that I called you stupid and ask her to help you get the sand out of your sensitive parts.

DebbieKnitter said...

*tossing glittery bobbles at Wench's feet* BRAVO,BRAVFRICKIN' O!! Well said and geesh, it NEVER ceases to amaze me how people think it is ok to come into someone's "living room" and piss in the middle of their floor basically. I mean, weren't they EVER taught that pissing should be done in a proper forum and well, not with a bag on your head damn it!! Piss loud and piss proud but do it with class!! WHICH by the way, I might add that you did not piss ...BUT if you did, it's YOUR LIVING ROOM DAMN IT!!! LOL

yakiduk said...

Say it loud, girlfriend!
Anonymous, go shit in your sand-laden hat.