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my journey of almost two weeks to get a new phone

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my story of how to get a new phone has many ups and downs.

may 29th, i return from belize with a broken phone (dropped it in the ocean on a scuba trip).  i go to the apple store who recommends i call verizon to see if they're going to be flexible about upgrading early to an iphone 5 rather than purchasing a refurb iphone 4.  the agent i spoke to the phone tells me he asks his superior, then informs me that i can call back the following monday (may 3rd) to get an order for a new phone.  why may 3rd? because it's a new billing cycle, which would put me just 1 month early for an upgrade (my actual due date for an upgrade is july 3rd).  he tells me he put a note in my file saying i have been approved for this 1 month early upgrade from his supervisor so it should be an easy deal for the next agent to handle.  i drive to verizon on my way back from the apple store and they tell me they do not do early upgrades and all of this would have to be done over the phone, which i do not have [ great....]

may 3rd.  i call to order my phone.  i need a billing password? what? nobody in my family knows what it is (my dad is the owner).  i ask the rep what security question does my dad need to answer to reset the billing password.  he says the security question is the last 4 of his SS.  i inform the rep that i am an appointed manager of the account and i know the SS so can i reset the password?  he says no, and that it must come from the owner himself (at this point i'm contemplating just to call and hang up and impersonate my dad to reset it).  i ask the rep if he can take my order down (black iphone 5, 16gb, renew 2 year agreement on my number) and my credit card info, call my dad at work to authorize this purchase, then use the info i already gave him to place an order.  he says yes he can do it.  i ask if he can send me the confirmation email so he takes down my email address.  3 hours later i drive to the verizon store and i call my dad who says the rep called him and it should be fedex'ed to me by wednesday, may 5th.  i call the verizon customer service to get confirmation numbers but lucky me, the verizon computers are down and service rep is unable to access any accounts for the next few hours but they are able to answer any general questions i might have.... (i never received an email confirmation but i figured if my dad said he took care of it, everything is done). 

may 5th.  no phone.  i call my dad, and he says it should be there.  i call verizon and they say my order is pending.  why?  the ToSA (terms of service agreement) has not been completed (my dad was never notified of its lack of completion).  I ask them to review the details of my order.  the order was not under my number, but under another phone number that was eligible for an upgrade.  so not only was my order held, it wasn't even correct to begin with.  i ask them to cancel the order, place the correct one under my number, and to email me the confirmation.  i complete the ToSA but again i fail to receive an email.  i call back and they say i have an incomplete order that requires the ToSA.  i tell them i just did it and they said how about you try again and we'll call you back in 5 minutes.  they transfer me to a ToSA that is for porting numbers (wtf) so obviously i declined it and hung up.  i wait 20 minutes but i never get a call.  fed up, i call again, and FINALLY i get some real answers as to what has been going on by a rep named Shelly in pendleton, indiana.

i tell shelly i was trying to complete a ToSA but i was transferred to the wrong automated machine.  shelly then informs me i have TWO open orders. [ surprise! ]  iphone 5 for my own number (order A) and an iphone 5 for the other eligible number (order B).  [ note: the previous agent was trying to get me to complete ToSA for order B and transferred me to the wrong ToSA ]  order A has a complete ToSA, and order B is pending.  i tell her i cancelled order B with the last rep and she said this cancellation must be done through the automated voice ToSA.  she said she can walk me through it on a 3 way call, and we successfully cancel that order.  but i had my doubts so i asked her to review my other order before i hang up.  she says the ToSA is complete but it the order is still pending.  [ now i'm confused ]  i re-tell my ENTIRE story to shelly about how i broke my phone, i spoke to a rep last week about early upgrade approval, and now it has been a train wreck trying to get a phone since then.  she goes through all of my notes and tells me the first rep did make notes about early upgrades (agent notes never count as actual supervisor authorization), but then when the phone was ordered, it was ordered on the eligible phone number in order to bypass supervisor authorization.  so because my active pending order could theoretically be rejected, she double checked again with her boss, and then informed me that it was HIGHLY likely my early upgrade would be DENIED.  [ i'm really trying not to break my friend's phone at this point ]

so now i tell shelly that i want to re-order the exact order i just cancelled (order B) to guarantee that i will get a phone.  we go through the automated process together to cancel the order i just submitted (order A).  then we place the order on the other phone number with the eligible upgrade.  but wait, there's another catch.  i need to know my dad's social, not the last four, but the last SIX digits.  [ are you kidding me?  the security process is getting absurd at this point ]  i ask her if she's sure since i've completed a ToSA before (order A) and was never asked that question.  she said she guarantees it 100% that it will come up.  she hangs up and dials me back to put me on a 3 way call with my dad to ask him for it, and then we go through the ToSA.  she is absolutely correct that i needed it, and finally my order is confirmed.  she is also the only rep who actually was able to get me the confirmation email of my order.  i check my credit card online, and my payment has been processed.  after 2.5 hours on my friend's phone today, now i am finally confident that i can get my phone by saturday or next monday, which should put this whole ordeal at almost two weeks.

my gripes

1. i waited until may 3rd for no reason at all when i could have just used another phone's upgrade option.  in addtion, shelly told me i could have even swapped contracts with the other number (renew + upgrade on the other number + swap => leaving me exactly with what i wanted - a 2 year contract and an upgraded phone).  this unnecessary wait probably bothered me the most.  it was just wasted time and me twiddling my thumbs when i could have had a phone on monday.

2.  never getting confirmation emails i asked for from other reps.

3.  getting transferred to the wrong ToSA.  (however, shelly told me this mistake is easily made because different ToSA share similar numbers)

4.  the phone call i was supposed to get 5 minutes later after completing the ToSA came like 45 minutes later.   (i was already on the phone with shelly so i never bothered picking it up.)

5.  agents saying they'll do one thing then change the plan, which makes it confusing for all parties.  if there's a notes section, please be thorough in documenting AND reviewing it.  it also does not help at all that there is no direct line to speak to specific agents so that the customer and the service rep can work together efficiently and effectively.  in my situation, i do not currently have a phone (nor do i have a land line for them to contact me at).  there has to be a way for me to effectively place an order ONCE through and PERFECTLY.  this is literally the most frustrating customer service experience i've ever had. 

positives?

whoever shelly in indiana is needs a raise/bonus/promotion.  she actually SOLVED my problem in one sitting.  she also seems like the only person who actually knows how to process and cancel orders.

cliffnotes

-you can swap contracts and their phone upgrades

-verizon has the worst system for placing orders over the phone.  avoid at all cost if you have to.  and if you have to, hope some girl named shelly in indiana is the one picking up your call.

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Re: my journey of almost two weeks to get a new phone

Member

oops for the dates i meant june 3rd, june 5th

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Re: my journey of almost two weeks to get a new phone

Expert

Yes you could have used another line's upgrade to get a phone, but contract would have been renewed on the original line where the upgrade came from. You can't swap contracts.

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: my journey of almost two weeks to get a new phone

Sr. Leader

lazyidea wrote:

-verizon has the worst system for placing orders over the phone.  avoid at all cost if you have to. 

I disagree. Yes, if you do not have the answers to simple questions they ask you to complete the order it could be a problem. These are answers the account owner SHOULD know. I have multiple accounts other than Verizon who have a spin on these same questions for security, such as 1st 3 numbers of SS#, 2nd 3 numbers of SS#, last 6 numbers of SS#, etc... These are questions to protect the ACCOUNT OWNER from fraudulent activity on their account. As soon as someone has fraudulent activity appear on their account, they will complain about the lack of security. I am HAPPY for this example to demonstrate how hard it is for someone other than ME to place an order on MY account Thank you.

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Re: my journey of almost two weeks to get a new phone

Not applicable

I feel for you.

But I just go into the verizon corporate store next to my home walk over play with the phones and test them out for sound, email, web browser, text messaging and then walk over and grab the manager (I know him) he sends a young girl over to get my selection and I add on accessory items and we walk to counter and I pay total invoice, I get a receipt and I drive home.

of course I am the account owner and know my ssn so no issues there. The total process is less than 20 minutes.

I also check the receipt for wrong plan information or charges. If they are on my receipt I get them removed pronto.

I know the process was more trying for you since I would have taken the account owner with me. But we live and learn.

Verizon is a large company problems do arise.

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Re: my journey of almost two weeks to get a new phone

Member

security questions was the least of my issues, hence, it did not make my gripes summary.  the account owner authorized the order over the phone easily, but somehow some way the order still failed to go through.  only one agent, the last agent, stayed on the line while the ToSA was being done  1. to check that she was transferring me to the correct ToSA, 2. to check that the ToSA was successfully completed, and 3. so she could me the confirmation numbers i needed to track it.

i had difficulties with completing the ToSA, simple required task for an authorized purchase, not once, but TWICE.  the ToSA did not go through on the order on june 3rd for whatever reason.  and when i was transferred to the wrong ToSA line in my own attempt to authorize a purchase on june 5th, i can see this error being replicated numerous times limiting the efficacy of an automated system when agents don't stay on the line to confirm that the final step goes through.  i even tried getting the confirmation number on june 3rd, but when i called, the verizon system is conveniently down rendering any form of follow up useless.  as a consequence, the lack of ability to have a single agent managing the case turns into a telephone game through the documented notes with agents unaware of what has been done previously and the reasons for managing a case a certain way. 

another huge frustration i didn't highlight in my gripes is that none of this can be resolved in person at a verizon store.  fortunately for those who live next to a corporate verizon building, it is easy.  for the rest of us, it isn't quite so.

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Re: my journey of almost two weeks to get a new phone

Member

this is not what i was told by shelly

perhaps an admin can confirm/deny this.

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Re: my journey of almost two weeks to get a new phone

Expert

A search on this community will likely find multiple confirmations from other customers and the occasional VZW rep.

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

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