I was an Ameritech customer before Verizon bought them, and have been a loyal Verizon customer ever since, to the tune of $235 a month. Never paid a bill late, never asked for a reduction, never pushed for an early upgrade. Talked about how great it was to have never had a customer service complaint. I guess that's because I never called customer service. Either that or it's gone straight downhill. Based on most of the comments I've read, the latter seems to be the case.
With our last upgrade, I went through Radio Shack because they had the best price on the phone my husband had to have. Did all we needed to do to upgrade. No one every mentioned the $30 upgrade fee in the store. Because the rep was new, it took two calls to Verizon to complete the upgrade, transaction and activation. No mention anywhere of a $30 fee by either of the two Verizon reps we talked with. The change in plans offered gave me a lot to think about, I went through the potential new billing in detail not once, but TWICE with the Verizon rep, settled on a shared 2gig data plan with 1400 minutes, and unlimited texting for our five phones plus blackberry service for me. I was adament that my corporate service (blackberry enterprise server) absolutely had to be maintained. This was a Friday. No problem says the rep - and guess what, your bill will be a few dollars less per month than it was before!
Awesome, I say. A great transaction. What a great company.
Saturday morning - yup. No blackberry. Thinking I needed to work with IT at the office, I wait until Monday, because Verizon assured me that there would be no changes - after all, I didn't upgrade MY phone.
Monday, talk to IT, who sends me to Verizon. Yup, they turned off the corporate email. "That will be $45 a month to add it back." WAIT. You told me this was included in the new price of $230. Now it's $275? "We're sorry, but yes." So because YOU, Verizon, decided to take away my old plan, my bill now is going up $40 a month? And now I'm stuck because I've renewed for another 2 year contract? Why didn't you tell me this when we upgraded? OH - I get it. Because then maybe I wouldn't have upgraded!
The rep was oh so very sorry. Worked with me to make changes to the plan, tells me that she's got the price back down to just under $240 a month for all lines, shared data and the blackberry. Spent 40 minutes on the phone with her. Great. Thank you. I appreciate it.
3 weeks later - and too late to return the upgraded phone or make any changes - I get my bill. $333. I dissect it, take out the non-recurring charges, find the $30 upgrade fee and learn that my new bill is now going to be $285 a month. What happened to the $240 the third call got me to? Beats the heck out of me. Verizon's response is pretty much "this is what it is, take it or leave it." Won't budge on the $30 fee that no one ever mentioned.
The rep keeps me on the phone for well over 30 minutes to "help me consider options to reduce my costs." Does her magic and excitedly tells me that the end result will only be $303 a month! $303? How is that better than $285? Is this some kind of new Verizon math? Good Lord woman, leave it alone before you make it worse!
I asked for a manager, got a floor supervisor, who pretty much tells me the same thing - it is what it is. I threaten to leave - "we are very sorry you feel that way but it's your choice." Could give a crap that I've been a customer for 15 years. I don't have an iPhone. That's probably why.
So where am I now? Trapped into a 2 year contract with a company that I now hate. Facing roughly $800 in early termination fees for our 5 phones combined. I guess I sit it out, don't upgrade anything else, and move when I can.
My other option is to non-renew 3 of the phones when they come up in 4 months, then take the two remaining down to absolute bare bones minimum service and stop using them until those contracts run out.
I can go to US Cellular, which multiple people I know personally rave about, who will give me 5 free phones, unlimited shared data, more minutes that I can use, unlimited texting and corporate email for $224 a month, all in. I can go to Sprint or AT&T and match Verizon's pricing, which I will do just to move, if I need to.
Verizon - I hate you now. You don't give a rats patootie about your customers, and I hope it comes back to bite you right in your stock prices. I am so done with you, first chance I can be.