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Open Letter to CEO McAdam

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An open letter to Lowell C. McAdam

Verizon Wireless President and CEO

 

Mr. McAdam,

 

First, I hope this note finds you well and in good spirits.

 

I should give you my back-story before getting to the meat of my issue with Verizon Wireless. I was a long time (8 years) customer of T-Mobile with multiple lines of service and always on the bleeding edge of phone technology. I've been an IT professional since 1986 and the mobile arena is exciting to me, especially now with the advent of the Android open source operating system for mobile devices.

 

I have owned 2 HTC Dream devices as well an HTC Sapphire device. On November 13th, I began my relationship with Verizon Wireless. My impetus was simple, I need 3G coverage and T-Mobile was not delivering in my area or in many of the areas I do business. My first contact with Verizon was EXTREMELY pleasurable and, quite honestly, very surprising. I called and ordered 2 HTC Eris devices with the $30.00 unlimited web plan as well as the 1400 minute voice and unlimited text family plan. I also ordered two lines for the kids with a Motorola slider and a Samsung slider. The first surprise was the CSR. I originally had ordered the cheapest free phones you offer, but she immediately pointed me to better phones that were also free on a new line. The phones we ended up with were satisfying, except for my Eris, which with the amount of always-on work I do, was miserable on battery life. I tried all the tricks that have worked before with various Android devices to extend battery life and never got it to a point that I could make it through my day without a charge. Finally, on December 14th, just before the end of the 30 day worry free period, I called in to a CSR to request a change. I was determined to stay with Android, but also could not deal with my battery situation. I told the CSR that I wanted to change from an Eris to the Motorola Droid handset. To my surprise, again, the CSR not only told me that it wouldn't be a problem, but that it would not cost me anything to make the change. I was shocked and asked three times (I didn't want a charge showing up on my account that I didn't expect). I even asked about the $35.00 re-stocking fee. I was assured that there would be no charge and that the device would be delivered on Wednesday by 3pm! Imagine my excitement! This was the third time I had a great experience with Verizon Wireless CSRs. The second time was when I asked for a received a credit of $99.00 for the second Eris during the BOGO period. Oh, and the original CSR waived all activation fees on my four new lines of service, a savings of another $110.00!!! So Wednesday, December 16th, I am excited when Fedex shows up with my package from Verizon Wireless! I open the box and IMMEDIATELY my heart sinks! Here is what I received...

 

 

http://lh6.ggpht.com/_F7VsbpZge0Y/SzJgra2CSVI/AAAAAAAAAPM/E7GdMxcMUpE/s720/Droid%201.jpg

 

http://lh6.ggpht.com/_F7VsbpZge0Y/SzJgrVW-C0I/AAAAAAAAAPQ/ESHYpJqbK6M/s720/Droid%202.jpg

 

http://lh3.ggpht.com/_F7VsbpZge0Y/SzJgrg_-a1I/AAAAAAAAAPU/ijdm2QzCVq8/s720/Droid%203.jpg

 

http://lh3.ggpht.com/_F7VsbpZge0Y/SzJgsCxUWgI/AAAAAAAAAPY/MZPJ5BuuXFI/s720/Droid%204.jpg

 

There is no battery, not charging or data cable. The only thing in the box was this BROKEN Droid. By broken, I mean the sliding mechanism scrapes and the shiny rear underside (you can't really tell from the pics taken with the Eris) is scratched so badly that it no longer shines. My first call to Verizon after this arrival was less than satisfying. I was told that the original CSR made a mistake and sent me the wrong device, I should have received another Eris as a replacement. When I told them about the call I made on the 14th, I was told that she made an even bigger mistake and that there was no way I could receive a Droid in exchange for an Eris without a charge. Now, I HAVE a Droid that your company sent me. I then spoke to a supervisor who told me the exact same things, except that I could give Verizon $300.00 and wait until I sent you back the Eris to receive $165.00 back (I would be spending $199.00 + $35.00 re-stock - $99.00 that I already spent on the Eris). I mentioned that this was NOT my screw-up and that I should not be held responsible and would like to speak to a manager. I was told that a manager would call me back that day, the LAST day of the 30 day worry free period. Well, that call never came and I am sending this broken droid back to your company and after my initial 2-year contract is up with Verizon (and there are MANY more Android phones from all carriers available), I will leave Verizon and keep sharing my disappointing story with as many people as I can get to listen. I was prepared to spend money on the 14th of December when I called to order the Droid in exchange for my Eris and up until December 16th when I opened the box containing my new Droid, I was a very satisfied customer. This is not the case anymore.

 

 

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Re: Open Letter to CEO McAdam

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If you read my last post... I mentioned that everything turned out great, thanks to VZW corporate stepping in to clean up. Nice job guys!

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Re: Open Letter to CEO McAdam

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You should be relieved that you won't be using a Motorola Droid.  Their battery life, with minimal use is about 24-hours (and that's basically standby).  Plus there is so much other stuff wrong or poor with the Droid, you'd be even more PO'd.  (See my post e-mail and other issues).

 

Their $35 re-stocking fee that they charge for things that do not work well may be illegal in some cases.

 

 

 

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Re: Open Letter to CEO McAdam

Novice

Wow, those were some serious promises that initial rep made you. Not only did she promise a free exchange for a phone that cost $100 more, she promised to waive the $35 restocking fee AND the 4 activation fees?! If it were me, I would have been more than skeptical, but you are correct, if she made those promises then Verizon should own up to them (and then promptly discipline that rep who obviously didn't know what she was doing).

 

As for the restocking fee being charged, well I think that even if your original phone is defective and you choose to exchange it for a different model then you should still be charged the fee. You could've gotten another Eris and avoided the fee but you wanted a different model so it should stand. I should say this is for a NORMAL circumstance, the above situation is obviously an exception. Besides, the battery life is not a defect in either of the phones; it is a side effect of the phone being able to run many applications/programs at one time without sacrificing performance.

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Re: Open Letter to CEO McAdam

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Zehan wrote:

Wow, those were some serious promises that initial rep made you. Not only did she promise a free exchange for a phone that cost $100 more, she promised to waive the $35 restocking fee AND the 4 activation fees?! If it were me, I would have been more than skeptical, but you are correct, if she made those promises then Verizon should own up to them (and then promptly discipline that rep who obviously didn't know what she was doing).

 

As for the restocking fee being charged, well I think that even if your original phone is defective and you choose to exchange it for a different model then you should still be charged the fee. You could've gotten another Eris and avoided the fee but you wanted a different model so it should stand. I should say this is for a NORMAL circumstance, the above situation is obviously an exception. Besides, the battery life is not a defect in either of the phones; it is a side effect of the phone being able to run many applications/programs at one time without sacrificing performance.


 

Do you honestly believe that if a product is defective, especially if it cannot be made to work properly, and you desire to return it and get something else, it is OK for the vendor to charge a restocking fee?

 

I can tell you most certainly  that if a product is defective, in some states it is illegal to charge a re-stocking fee for a defective product.

 

I'll concede that the the battery life issue may not be a defect, however, if the functionality of the product was misrepresented or decieptful by the vendor at the time of purchase, it matters little if the product was defective as it did not perform as promised.

 

If either of these are true, not only would it be unethical to charge a re-stocking fee, it may also be illegal.

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Re: Open Letter to CEO McAdam

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I don't think a restocking fee should ever be charged at all, let alone when a product is defective. The product wasn't actually defective, however, just misrepresented. So do I think it's unethical to charge the fee in this situation? Yep. Illegal? Probably not, but only because you wanted to move into a different model. If you had just wanted to replace the Droid or do a straight return I would agree with you.

 

All this is technicalities, though. Personally, I think the whole restocking fee idea is **bleep**, because what they're really designed to do is discourage customers from performing too many exchanges, thus costing Verizon money for the phones they can no longer sell as "new." It doesn't really work though, as per Verizon's own policy a person could buy a phone, return it, wait three days, and then purchase a different one without paying the restocking fee. In the end all this really accomplishes is to annoy the customer and waste their time.

 

Though I don't agree with a restocking fee, I am aware of it and know how to avoid it, and so it is just one of a very few negative things I'm willing to put up with from Verizon in exchange for the very many positive things they do for me.

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Re: Open Letter to CEO McAdam

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NorCalJD, Call VZW support back and escalte the issue. I am a long time VZW user I have had similar situations come up.

 

Once an Employee makes a commiment, unless illeagal, Verizon will back it up and admoinish the employee for making extrordiany promises.

 

You have to be willing spend the time to escalte to the the Presidents level if needed, I always got someone in management to return calls and make every effort to resolve the issues.

 

Bob

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Re: Open Letter to CEO McAdam

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Zehan wrote:

 

Though I don't agree with a restocking fee, I am aware of it and know how to avoid it, and so it is just one of a very few negative things I'm willing to put up with from Verizon in exchange for the very many positive things they do for me.


I like Verizon as a cellular network provider.  I started initially with Cellular One, which became Cingular, and now AT&T and switched to Verizon to VZW in March 2008 and could not be happier with their network services.  I just have serious issues with their marketing and policies about the phones they sell.

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Re: Open Letter to CEO McAdam

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My how letter writing has changed my outlook on VZW. I received an email response and then a call on the same day I sent the letter directly to McAdams. The email asked for contact information and account information. The first phone call was to offer me a free Droid, the second call was to verify the shipping address and I received the phone the next day. OBVIOUSLY something touched a nerve there and re-training is imminent for the CSRs. This all happened within one hour of me clicking send on the email. I stand corrected on Verizon CS. They came through when they made a mistake and although I had to write a letter to the CEO, it managed to make a difference and for that I am glad.

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Re: Open Letter to CEO McAdam

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Bad...But this can't be worked out? I have "always" had good customer service with Verizon. I am polite and speak to them and they always work things out. Have out done this? sorry, just asking........

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Re: Open Letter to CEO McAdam

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If you read my last post... I mentioned that everything turned out great, thanks to VZW corporate stepping in to clean up. Nice job guys!

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