About 12-13 years ago, I got my first phone with this up and coming company that was just starting to make a buzz and seemed to be trying very hard to grow something good. It turned out they were. Customer service was out of this world friendly and competent, billing was spot on with very few mistakes, and coverage was solid in the areas occupied at the time and spread quickly across the areas where they weren't already covering. I took great pride in rubbing in other's faces the superiority of my wireless carrier over their's with lite ribbing and joking, though it was the truth. Verizon worked diligently at growing their network while taking excellent care of their customers and understandably packed in new customers unbelievably quickly. Those were the days and sadly those professional ethics that won so many over, have long since been forsaken.
About 2 years ago, I first noticed the decline in their give a damn when I found out a couple months after upgrading my phone and starting another 2 year contract with Verizon, that I had been completely misled into thinking that I had no option to keep my unlimited data plan. No, I didn't misunderstand that I could only upgrade if I gave my plan up, I was told outright that Verizon was not allowing anyone to keep their unlimited plans beyond the time at which their contract came to an end. I was either purposely lied to, or unintentionally misinformed by an idiot who didn't know his job. Either way, when I called customer service about the whole incident, Verizon basically said "Sorry about your luck". I'm not a huge data user, so there's only been about a month or two where I found myself near the limit of my plan. So I pretty much took it in stride. Last year however, while at a Verizon store with a friend who was getting new service, I mentioned the whole incident of losing my unlimited to the sales clerk during casual conversation as he went through the motions of activating service for my friend. He said he could help me out a little and make up for a little of that once he finished the activation. So I waited patiently to see what he had in store.
Upon finishing, he pulled up my account and said he could change my plan to this "Customer Loyalty Appreciation" Plan. It would nearly half the price of the current plan I was on at a cost of only $69.00 a month plus taxes for Unlimited T&T and 2GB of data for one year. I had a 4GB plan at the time and I hardly used half of that recently because of wifi and I figured the 2GB would be fine. I specifically asked if anything was different with the features and he said the only thing that would change would be my bill dropping. I agreed and he quickly and courteously swapped my plan and I left pleased. I carefully read through my plan on My Verizon after arriving home that night and was pleased to find that there were no surprises in the fine print. I went to bed happy with my new lower bill. About a month and a half later I found myself in need of an internet connection to my computer and upon attempting to hotspot my phone discovered that I was being instructed to go the website or call to setup my hotspot for use. I was angry but the cheaper bill started to make more sense to me so my surprise was very little. So I proceeded to the link to activate my hotspot but it took me to a random page on the VZW site that had no mention of hotspots for my phone. After exploring every page of the site and still not finding anywhere to activate my hotspot, and after searching through my phone menu for another place to activate it, as well as trying a few dozen more times to get it to go to the connect menu, I surrendered. So I called the phone # listed on my phone only to find myself at the automated voicemail menu. I was short of time at this point so with blood boiling I went about my business and didn't have time to call in for a couple more days. When I did, I was informed that there is no hotspot services on my plan, not even if I paid extra for it, and was immediately offered to change back up to a plan that had hotspot at a cost higher than before he changed it to this so called Loyalty scam of a plan. After much protest and expression of my anger at being lied to, which fell on deaf ears, I requested a manager. I was told that supervisors don't come to the phones and was asked once again if I would like to change my plan. I hung up and mumbled to the air that I was finding another carrier when my contract was done.
I tend to get over things after a while and when my contract just completed a few days ago, I walked into a Verizon store and inquired about the Edge program with intent of trading in my iPhone 5 that is flawless aside from the battery life and getting the new iPhone 6. The Edge plan was explained to me and it was verified that I was qualified to use it, but we ran into trouble when they didn't have the phone I wanted. I checked online and there were several left at the Best Buy which happened to be across the parking lot so away I went. After standing in line for nearly an hour and a half, I told the salesman which phone I wanted, he went and collected it from the locking cabinet at the back and proceeded with the computer tasks. When we started with my account info, it came back that I was unqualified for the Edge plan when less than a couple hours before, at Verizon's own store, I was qualified. So I was offered a discounted price and a two year contract to which I didn't even reply...I just stood up and walked out. I have checked My Verizon and to see if it was a fluke and it will only offer me a contract discount or full price and there isn't any reason why I should not be qualified. Upon calling Verizon's customer service, I reached a rather dimwitted lady with a thick foreign accent who only seemed to know the phrase "I'm not sure". She took my info for a call back after she checked into it, but that call never came and that was a few days ago. So, Verizon, it's one, two, three strikes you're out. I don't need to be constantly deceived and misled, and I will not spend one minute more trying to fight to give my business to a gang of incompetent slackers who apparently are only there to serve as a privacy fence between myself and a small army of greedy stock holders. Your attention to customer satisfaction has fallen...apparently all the way to the bottom line. I'll have a tracfone before I'll put up with any more of Verizon's crap. T-Mobile is offering to pay early termination fees for your customers to come to them...I should say I won't have too much trouble getting service elsewhere.