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Verizon Customer Service is BROKEN - Stuck in Limbo

Member

Warning, wall of text, but necessary to accurately describe my problem.

Name: ******* ****

SSN: ***-**-****

Verizon Cell # ***-***-****

Device:  Samsung Galaxy s7 Edge

Problem:

I am/was a graduate student and a customer of Verizon for over 5 years . In mid-May 2017 I was to be aboard a research vessel for 6 months, out to sea with no cellular service. I went to the Verizon corporate store near my house (Eureka, CA) and spoke with a customer ser vice rep there. His name was Jesse or Justin, something like that, can't recall exactly. I told him of my plans to be at sea and requested my account be in suspension for 6 months. He stated that he made the proper changes to my account and assured me I was "good to go" and that when I returned home I could re-activate my phone and account.

Fast forward 5.5 months - I return to dry land and attempt to re-activate my account. I went to the Verizon corporate store in Medford, Oregon. The customer service reps there could not locate my account via my telephone # or my name, and had to use my SSN to locate my account info. I was informed that my account had been sent to collections. I told the reps there that this is an error, and that my account was in suspended status. They looked over the notes and saw that the rep from the Eureka store that I initially talked to, had only placed a 90 day suspension on my account, rather than 180 days (6 months), and that after those 90 days had passed, my account was subsequently sent to collections.

The Medford  reps stated that there was nothing they could do to help me, and that I had to deal with a 3rd party collection agency (IC Systems). So, I called IC Systems and requested that my account be transferred back to Verizon. They stated that they were unable to transfer the account back unless I paid an amount of ~ $660. I requested to know what this amount was for (i.e. an itemized report of what the charges were) to which they replied they could not provide me with. I called Verizon back, and they stated that they ALSO could not provide me an itemized report of what the $660 was. I then called the collection agency back, again, and once again requested an itemized report, to which they stated that the only way to generate such a report was for me to write a letter of dispute, and mail it to them (snail-mail only) after which it would take 30-60 days for an "investigative team" to ascertain what these charges were. I didn't have 60 days to wait, I needed my phone that day, so I reluctantly decided to pay the ~$660.

I gave the IC Systems representative my debit card number, and THANKFULLY  before she processed it I asked her if there were any associated fees, to which she replied "yes, there is a $25 fee for card payment transactions". ($25! Ridiculous!) I then asked what the other payment options were, and she said I could also pay with my checking account/routing #, and that there were no fees for that route. So, I proceeded to pay via my checking account. After the transaction went through, she stated that it would take 48 hours to post the payment. 48 hours! Once again, RIDICULOUS. I then asked for a receipt to be sent to my email, to which she stated that a receipt could not be generated until my account had been marked "paid in full" after 48 hours I assume. This all took place on a Thursday. I waited until Monday to proceed any further.

Monday morning: The ~$660 had been posted and cleared from my bank account, but no receipt was emailed to me. I called IC Systems, and asked the rep where my receipt was. She stated that it was marked on the account that I requested a receipt, yet for some reason none was sent yet. I confirmed that the payment had gone through with her, and she said yes it had. I then requested that she email me a receipt of the ~$660 payment, to which she replied she was unable to do so, and that she could only "make a note" on the account that I wanted a receipt. At the time of writing this transcript of events, I have still yet to receive a receipt from IC Systems, I have requested one 3 times now. On to Verizon......

After confirmation that I was in the clear with the collections agency, I called Verizon customer service. They said "yes, your account has been paid in full". I then requested to have my cellular service reinstated, but they said that my account had been closed, and that I would have to start A BRAND NEW ACCOUNT! They said my old telephone # would not be recoverable and that I needed to speak with the telesales department in initiate new service. Before they transferred me,  I asked if they could give me a breakdown of what the $660 in charges that I paid were. The rep I was speaking with couldn't access that info, and I was juggled around from rep to suprvisor, department to department, for over 2 hours until I finally spoke with someone who let me know that the $660 was the remaining balance that I owed on my phone + my last bill (May, 2017). I then was transferred to telesales.

Telesales - I spoke with a rep in the telesales department, and told him I was reluctantly signing up for  "new service". He requested the IMEI # for my device. It's basically the identification number for my cellular handset, it's fingerprint/unique identifier. He walked me through the software navigation on my phone to find the number and I read it off to him. He told me to hold a moment, which turned into 10 minutes. He finally returned to the line and told me that he could not proceed because my account was in collections and the device needed to be paid off before service could be started. I told him it had been paid off, to the tune of $660 and to transfer me to his supervisor immediately. He replied that he did not have the ability to transfer me to a supervisor, but that he could have one walk over to his workstation and talk to me. In comes Tyson, the supervisor.

Tyson looked through my account and noted that my account had in fact been paid in full, and that  I should be "good to go" to resume service. after tapping away at his workstation, being put on hold numerous times, and asked for my SSN, date of birth, and confirming my IMEI # again he asked if I had a callback # he could reach me at, something was strange with my account. I gave him a callback # and he called me back 2 hours later.

Tyson said something was wrong with the Verizon tech department system, and that he had spoken with several managers  in that department about the issue. It was something along the lines of "the system for removing holds on the devices sent to collections has been undergoing systems failures for the past 10 hours, and they are having issues lifting the restrictions on your phone, I'm sorry this is taking so long". Tyson... (who by the way was the only rep who checked in with me while I was on hold for HOURS, assuring me he was working on the problem)... gave me his personal cell # so that I could inquire with him the status of my account, rather than running through the torturous gauntlet  of transfer-hold-[removed] music-dropped calls which is the Verizon customer service telephone system. He told me to call him near the end of his shift at 9pm CST to check on the status of my account. I did as he requested and called that evening. He stated that all holds had been lifted, and that it would be easier for me to go to a Verizon store to have my service reinstated, as I needed a new SIM card. I drove straight to the Verizon store nearest me (a 30 minute drive one way).

The young rep at the store proceeded with the application process, looked up my IMEI switched out the SIM card, asked which service plan I wanted, requested my ID, billing address, date of birth etc, etc. He tried to finish the process and on the very last screen he was met with "unable to proceed, account in collections". LOVELY!

I had Tysons personal cell #, so I waited for his shift to start the next day (noon CST) and called him. He was SHOCKED that I was unable to get service reinstated, and told me he would get right on it and call me back within 15 mins. An hour and a half goes by, no call, so I call him back....he doesn't pick up. So I text him. And he replies with a phone call (an hour later) that he was stuck in a meeting, but that he has never seen a problem like this before and that he is doing everything he can to fix it. He stated that he would make sure that any connection fees would be waived and that he would credit my account for 1 month of service, once my phone was reactivated. I asked him to keep me posted via text or calls to let me know when my account was ready to go. I gave him the new SIM card serial number, along with the application # generated by the young man at the store the previous evening. Tyson texted me once after that conversation, simply asking me for my date of birth. Hours went by. I knew Tyson's shift ended at 9pm CST, as he had told me it would be resolved before that time. 8:30 CST I decided to call his personal cell # again, he didnt pick up. So I texted, he didn't respond. 9pm CST came and went, I still don't have cellular service on my phone (I was using a friends prepaid device for the calls/texts referenced in this narrative). So, Tyson, as friendly and "helpful" as he was, has failed to rectify the situation. I proceed to call Verizon Customer Service at 800-922-0204....big mistake.

Every rep I talked to asked me the same questions "name & telephone # please" to which i try to cut to the chase and let them know my account can only be accessed via my social security number. The first two reps I spoke with had trouble locating my account and asked me to "please hold". Both of those calls were mysteriously dropped while I was on hold. So I called back a 3rd time, and asked to be transferred directly to a telesales manager..."but sir I need your name and telephone #",  "NO, JUST TRANSFER ME NOW" I responded. First transfer failed and I was transferred to a different customer service call center, rather than telesales. They subsequently tried to reroute my call to telesales, placed me on hold, AND THE CALL DROPPED AGAIN, no not the phone I was using, the Verizon Telephone System DROPS CALLS CONSTANTLY. I call back a 4TH TIME, finally get through to a "telesales supervisor" who asks me all the same questions I've answered 15 times now and can't find my account (even though I told her she needs to search for it via my SSN). She then asks for my SSN, and STILL CANT FIND IT. She then puts me on hold for 7+ minutes. When she finally returns she tells me that she had to use a different interface to find my account, but that she finally did and that I need to talk to TECH SUPPORT, not telesales. She offers to transfer me, I state ONLY TRANSFER ME IF YOU CAN TRANSFER ME TO A SUPERVISOR/MANAGER of TECH SUPPORT. She agrees to do so, puts me on hold....and guess what.... THE CALL DROPS.

It takes 20-30 minutes per call to get to a "supervisor" none of whom can solve the problem, and that's only if you are lucky enough to not have the call dropped while on hold.

DUE TO THE INCOMPETENCE OF A VERIZON EMPLOYEE, MY ACCOUNT WAS SENT TO COLLECTIONS AND MY TELEPHONE # OF 5 YEARS HAS BEEN LOST. A WEEK AGO I PAID A MYSTERY ~$660 TO A COLLECTIONS AGENCY TO HAVE MY ACCOUNT REINSTATED. IT IS STILL NOT ACTIVATED AND NOBODY KNOWS WHAT TO DO TO HELP ME. THIS IS UTTERLY RIDICULOUS. I WOULD SWITCH TO A DIFFERENT CELL PHONE COMPANY, BUT THE SAMSUNG GALAXY S7 EDGE I PURCHASED IS LOCKED TO VERIZON. WHAT A [Removed] JOKE.

Fix it Verizon, FIX IT NOW

Update:

Contacted customer support on Facebook Messenger. Pasted the narrative above in the text box, and this is the response they gave me:

Service rep- Trenton, we do apologize for the frustration that this has caused. Due to the state of the account, we are not able to access any information. We do recommend contacting the Recovery team at 800-852-1922. - Brandon

Me - [Removed]

The number you provided is just a music recording, for 1 minute, followed by a recorded message that states "hi I'm having some technical difficulties, please try again later" and then it hangs up. IS THIS A JOKE?

profanity removed as required by the Verizon Wireless Terms of Service

Message edited by Verizon Moderator.

Labels (1)
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Re: Verizon Customer Service is BROKEN - Stuck in Limbo

Expert

Thank you for the wall of text warning and the paragraphs.

I'm most definitely NOT a VZW employee. If a post answered your question, please mark it as the answer.

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Re: Verizon Customer Service is BROKEN - Stuck in Limbo

Expert

The original rep you worked with apparently didn't inform you that you can only suspend the account with reduced or no billing for a maximum of 90 days in a rolling 12 month period. Only a military suspension is allowed to be longer. That is a lack of training on their part. The information about suspensions is readily available to customers if they are willing to research it beforehand. Suspend Service FAQs | Verizon Wireless

I don't understand why they weren't able to provide you with the bills that would have been generated during this period. You would have been entitled to those at least and they would have provided you with accounting of the charges.

I'm most definitely NOT a VZW employee. If a post answered your question, please mark it as the answer.

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Re: Verizon Customer Service is BROKEN - Stuck in Limbo

Member

"The information about suspensions is readily available to customers if they are willing to research it beforehand. Suspend Service FAQs | Verizon Wireless"

I don't work for Verizon, I shouldn't have to research anything. The service rep at the Verizon corporate store failed to do his job correctly and the customer (me) is now suffering due to the employees incompetence. This problem is still not resolved, and has been ongoing for over a week. Meanwhile, I've paid $660 out of pocket, and still do not have a working phone. I assume you don't work for Verizon either Ann154?

I find it hilarious that a Verizon moderator found it necessary to remove the already censored profanity form my post, but did not reply with any suggestions on how to proceed. Where is the customer service here?

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Re: Verizon Customer Service is BROKEN - Stuck in Limbo

Sr. Member

To avoid further confusion going forward, regardless of the reason it was sent to collections (whether in-house or to an outside collection agency), the account has been closed and that number can't be  resumed and is likely already re-assigned to another wireless subscriber. As Ann stated, only a military suspension can suspend for a period this long and so while it is really an area where that rep needs some education regarding this, you have to start a new account with a new number and trying to do otherwise or trying to resume this line/account is going to be a waste of time and effort and is likely going to go no where.

Activate a new line on a new account with the S7 that you do have, or take that phone to another carrier, as it is not actually locked to Verizon (VZW hasn't carrier locked their phones in years) and could likely be used on another carrier if you really want.

Good Luck Smiley Happy

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Re: Verizon Customer Service is BROKEN - Stuck in Limbo

Customer Support

This isn't the experience you deserved as a Verizon customer of 5 years, cerf. While we do post information on suspensions on our website, it is our responsibility to provide the correct information so you can make the best decision possible for your account. Please be on the lookout for a Private Message so we can provide any support that we can.

 

LynnD_VZW

Follow us on Twitter @VZWSupport

If my response answered your question please click the �Correct Answer� button under my response. This ensures others can benefit from our conversation. Thanks in advance for your help with this!!

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Re: Verizon Customer Service is BROKEN - Stuck in Limbo

Leader

The issue is that the device is locked by Verizon saying that the original account is in collections. He paid the past due balance of $660. The collection company needs to communicate with Verizon to let them know that it is paid so that Verizon can release the ESN for reactivation with a new number. I am pretty sure he realizes that he is going to be getting a new telephone number and accepted that fact though frustrated at it.

The hold up is that Verizon can't seem to figure out the collection account is paid. I wish I knew which department to ask for to get that situated but I don't.

This is one where I can't offer any suggestions except to try to call financial services and see where that would lead. I don't know if this is the correct number but it is worth a shot.

866-266-1445

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Re: Verizon Customer Service is BROKEN - Stuck in Limbo

Expert

Yes, that is the correct number for the Verizon Financial Services Department.

To the OP,

No, I don't work for Verizon Wireless. I DO educate myself on the policies and procedures for Verizon Wireless so I know what to ask for and know how to interact with reps quickly and efficiently both in store, on the phone, and online. If I hadn't, I probably wouldn't have kept my Nationwide Plan with unlimited data plan for as long as I did until I chose to change it of my own volition. I probably wouldn't have known my real options when Verizon Wireless was forcibly making me switch to AT&T as part of their divestment of duplicate services per the terms of the Verizon/Alltel merger. I probably wouldn't have known that I actually had the option to return to Verizon Wireless without losing my number after my service was switched to AT&T and discovered the level of service wasn't equal to what I experienced on Verizon Wireless in the places I frequented.

I'm most definitely NOT a VZW employee. If a post answered your question, please mark it as the answer.

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Re: Verizon Customer Service is BROKEN - Stuck in Limbo

Sr. Member

You are likely correct, just read this as he was still trying to get this "reversed" as near the end of the post he stated that he was trying to get this resumed/re-instated ("A WEEK AGO I PAID A MYSTERY ~$660 TO A COLLECTIONS AGENCY TO HAVE MY ACCOUNT REINSTATEd"). Just didn't want him wasting his time or getting even more frustrated trying to get something done that will likely never happen.

As far as for the device-- if it's at this point locked for a "non-pay" situation, the best way to get this resolved is to contact tier 2/technical support as they can get this removed from that list the quickest (though it may take them contacting financial services to verify it was in fact paid off).

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Re: Verizon Customer Service is BROKEN - Stuck in Limbo

Member

Verizon using COVID-19 to mask poor customer service. Most links don't work. Never thought they could be as bad as AT&T but they re getting close. Simply trying to remove a service and it is impossible.

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