Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Really, Verizon Wireless?


As I sit here in my office, typing away, I watch my phone shut itself down for no reason at all for the fourth time in 12 minutes and I realize that it must have been designed to fail. You know, considering my contract expires in just two short months it only seems reasonable that my phone would die right now; forcing me to buy a new one and renew the contract for another two full years.

Either that or pay the low, low price of $350 to end the contract early and go with another carrier like I actually want to do. Thanks Verizon for being so clever as to keep your customers unhappy but on the hook none the less. Fuckers.

So the battle with this phone started twenty two months ago for Matt, his started doing this power itself down for no good reason thing about three days after we got the phones. Mine was fine though so we thought maybe it was just some odd glitch in his physical phone and called to talk to the folks at Verizon Wireless.

They told him they'd do some kind of funky thing where they reboot software from their master computer behind the curtain in Oz and that the reboot would take care of the problem. They did their thing, his screen went white, they did more stuff, his screen came back up and voila, for about a month his phone was working fantastic.

Verizon Wireless became the saviors of the day and we all rejoiced. Yea.

Things went along as if nothing was ever wrong, with no home phone we rely on our cell phones as our only voice communication. This was in 2009. At that time, most of the world realized the (insanely overly expensive) awesomeness of Smartphones and people ran around like the bulls were chasing them directly into the AT&T store to buy their iPhones, post haste.

Must. Have. Technology!

Hipsters everywhere whipped out their little mini computers to check directions, level an entire log cabin or flick a Bic at concerts. Meanwhile I continued to do the things on the phone that truly mattered to me – texting with my friends and family.

And then it happened. About a year into my contract my phone started doing the same thing as Matt's had been doing. And then Matt's phone began doing the same thing it had been doing all over again. So I go into a Verizon store and they tell me, oh yeah, the LG EnV3 is known to have this problem. This is something they knew about for the past year or so.

You mean the past year I've had this phone? Awesome. So I ask how to go about trading it in, you know, considering the issue that they are fully aware of, and if Matt and I need to be together to do that since we’re on the family plan and all that. They look up our account, give me a polite smile and tell me that neither of us are eligible for an upgrade so it would cost us upwards of $200 to do so. Each phone.

Um, that's not an exchange on a product you know isn't working. How can we fix this? Blank stare.

So why weren't customers who bought this phone informed of the issue right away when it was discovered? Head shake, shoulder shrug, and blank stare.

He told me that I should call customer service and have them do a software reboot which will definitely take care of the issue because that’s what the LG people told them would work. So I went home and did exactly that.

The next day my phone shut itself down again for no apparent reason. The battery was fully charged. I had perfectly respectable reception. Software reboot my ass. Way to brush off your customer there Verizon Wireless employee from the day before.

We started saving for our move and basically just learned to deal with the bullshit pieces of crap that were our phones as we really had no choice. I looked up our contract end date so I could be prepared to dump them as soon as possible.

As soon as we got to Arizona mine began doing this shut down deal more and more often. It would randomly turn off when I was in the middle of a call. Sometimes it happened as I was typing a text message.

Matt got a phone for work through Sprint, which works the bomb, so he pretty much turned off his Verizon Wireless paperweight and stopped using it. We both opted to wait it out to get new phones when our Verizon contract expired in January 2012 because we're not made of the money “required” to purchase a new phone to deal with this known issue.

And now it’s just become recoculous, shutting down like it is this morning, and I’m already on the BestBuy website looking at phones to go out and spend money on. Money I don’t really have. Money that will eat into my savings. Money on a phone that is way more than I need. And guess what that means? Yup, extending the contract for another two years. Thieves.

I'm frustrated and more than irritated at Verizon Wireless for not taking care of the problem when they had the chance years ago, when I spoke both on the phone and face to face with someone who could have simply made the issue go away and had me as a customer probably for life.

But now all I want to do is become a Sprint customer and I basically can’t.

Those Verizon Wireless people know they have me over a barrel because I won't cancel two months out, pay the exorbitant fee to do so, and the only way I can “upgrade” these days is to buy a phone that has more bells and whistles than I actually want (which essentially means a more expensive plan and more expensive phone but of course it’s still cheaper than the cancellation of the contract).

Two months of a working phone is all I am asking for because I stayed with a company to fulfill my end of the bargain on the contract.

Sadly it has become clear that they can treat their customers however they want and do nothing to fix issues because in the end they will make a ton of money off of you regardless of what you do or don’t do. Again, fuckers.

Never before this moment have I wished so much to be famous(er). Famous people get their shit fixed when they ask for it to be fixed because they threaten to use Social Media against companies and companies don’t like that because masses of customers walk away, not just two like us.

People like me with only about 300 some odd readers of this blog and a few hundred Facebook and twitter followers are small time. We get the shaft because they know my reach isn’t wide enough to cause a major upheaval or uproar.

Does no one care about their paying customers anymore? Loyalty clearly gets you nowhere.


Judi FitzPatrick said...

I hope you can hold out until the end of your contract, then move your number and account to Sprint as I did.
My 2-year Sprint contract was up many months ago, and THEY CALLED ME when THEY noticed I wasn't using as many minutes and as much data as my plan allowed for, and thus lowered my rate. This rate will stay in effect until I'm ready to change out my phone - and so far no problems so not planning on changing anytime soon.
Love you, Mum

Karen said...

That totally sucks. I'm on T-Mobile prepaid, which means I had to pay retail for my Android ($600), but with my usage (not much) I only pay $100 per year. I don't have a data plan, but so many places have WiFi that it barely matters.

Can you start a new contract with Sprint now, and just pay the monthly fee for the next 2 months to close out Verizon? (I'm sure that's less than the cancellation fee.) Or are you hoping to port your number?

Rosebud Collection said...

I don't have a cell phone..I use to have a tracphone/net 10..but really don't use them enough..I don't care for contracts..they really have you and when they give a phone that goes nuts..I would not be a happy camper..
Loyalty..Jenn, that is almost a lost word..Customer service..another one.
I find the way this life is going and the way people treat customers..I don't know how long anything can last. Disgusting..
Hope you get yourself a nice phone soon..at least you will be warm..now that is one good thing..haha..
Take care and sending you love..

Suldog said...

I have never owned a cell, so I have no practical experience with which to empathize with you. However, I know enough to know that this totally and royally sucks! They should be ashamed.

Joan said...

So frustrating!!
Have a great time on the east coast. :)