I'm going to preface this with saying that I've had my Verizon account for about 10 years, and prior to that had been on another person's account for about 10 years as well. I've been a satisfied customer for years. Lately I've noticed that I'll have text messages my wife sends to me arrive much later than when she sent them. I'll get a voicemail but no have a missed call. And several times a day I will have no internet and get messages on the browser that the internet is down or webpages will fail to load correctly I've always paid on time, I take care of my phones and have never really had any major problems until recently.
About three weeks ago, I came home from work and went to charge my Pixel 2 which I've had for a couple years and noticed it had powered off. I turned it back on assuming it maybe had an update, but within seconds of it powering off, the screen became pixelated and powered off again. It did this a few more times and I'm thinking "my phone's going out". I work at a hospital and am often on call, and I have to have a reliable phone in case of emergencies, so I head to my local Verizon store.
I talk to the employee there who tells me that it sounds like there's a defect with the phone and gives me three options on what I can do. 1. Upgrade to a new phone since I'm due for one. 2. Spend $150 and do an insurance claim. 3. Overnight a replacement Pixel 2 to me and send the old one back to be claimed as a manufacturer's defect.
I thought about upgrading, but wasn't looking to spend money on a new phone at this time. The insurance claim was questionable on how long it would take to get someone out to try fixing my phone, and if they weren't able to, I'd still have to upgrade or get a replacement. The guy said that as long as I hadn't dropped my phone or got water in it, I should be good for the third option, otherwise there was a $300 fee if there was uncovered damage. I've never dropped my phone or gotten it wet, so he had me convinced that this was a good option and I agreed to it.
I got my replacement phone the next day as planned and sent the old one back. Fast forward to last week and I receive an email from Verizon that basically says "your phone has damage that is not covered, see the attached pictures, you will be charged the $300" I'm frustrated at this time as there was no explanation of what the damage was and there were no "attached pictures" like the message said. All I know is I'm responsible with my phones, never had issues in the past, and was told that my phone should be good for the route we chose.
I'm upset and confused so I choose to chat online with a representative who acknowledges what is happening but is unable to do anything themselves. The people I need to get in contact with can only be reached by phone, and they are unable to pass on a message for me or anything else. The next day, I call customer service and have a roughly 15 minute wait, I get in touch with a live person who listens to the situation and tells me that a company called Asurion handles all of Verizon's damaged phones and I need to call them. I then try to contact Asurion online, but logging in I am unable to find any info regarding my phone, so I call them and after another 15 minutes or so I get in touch with a live person who after a good bit of looking up info, can find no evidence that my phone ever reached them. They then tell me that they only deal with the insurance claims (which mine wasn't) and I would have to call Verizon again. I do this, and this time I'm on the phone for about 30-45 minutes before being able to get in touch with someone They tell me that I need to get in touch with a tech coach which they can help me with. While on the phone, my call drops (figures), but they call me back. I'm on hold for about 10-15 minutes before getting in touch with a tech coach.
I explain the situation to them and they look up my info. She looks at my photos and informs me that my phone has significant water damage to the charging port. I'm very shocked to heat this as I take very good care of my phones, never dropped it in water, and have never had issues with this in the past. I question if this would cause the phone to randomly power on and off as it was doing, and she does not give a firm yes, but only infers that is could be possible, but regardless my phone has water damage that is not covered. I'm very skeptical and ask where this water damage could have come from and she states that given several months to a year, any phone will get water damage to the charging port just from humidity that forms in the pocket of ones clothes. At this point I'm very frustrated and don't want to be rude to someone just doing their job, so I thank her for her time and hang up.
It's been a few days now and the whole situation has been gnawing on me and there's a handful of things that are really bugging me:
1. If just the simple humidity that forms in a pocket can damage a phone over a few months, why would you even give the option of sending a phone in.
2. As someone who lives in Southeast Texas where the average humidity for the year is 79% and frequently passes 90%, why would the store recommend sending a 2-3 year old phone in? Hindsight seems to show there was a zero chance of not finding humidity related damage and people that work in the local store I would think would be aware of this.
3. While none of my phone calls or waits were excessively long, I still spent about 3-4 hours of my time chatting on Verizon's site, calling their customer service, sifting through Asurion's site and calling them. Being able to send an email explaining the situation would have been so much easier, or if the person I did a live chat with would have been able to send a message directly to the tech coaches to send me a better explanation and the pictures.
4. I still haven't seen any pictures of the damage, and the only explanation I have is that humidity damaged my phone causing it to start randomly powering off. I still question this explanation but have to take their word that this is true.
5. All of the above leave me feeling like I was tricked into a program designed to mess people out of $300, which I fell for. On top of that, I've been paying money for insurance and can't even use the $150 a claim would have been to go towards that $300. So it's not just the $300 I'm out, but all the insurance I've been paying for every month as well.
6. In addition, for being the nations most reliable network, things haven't been very reliable and even included a dropped call while trying to sort other problems.
What is my motivation for staying with Verizon at this point?
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