This story comes to me from Stacie. Verizon: This is definitely not the most fair way to deal with a customer who has sung your praises for almost a decade and would do anything to have full bars in her new home. Here’s her story, in her words (with minor editing).
I have been a very loyal customer to Verizon Wireless since 2002 (just under a decade) with 5 contracts.
I love my service. I have always had good customer service.
I have always recommended Verizon Wireless to everyone. I have even had people switch from other carriers because I could not say enough about Verizon Wireless.
When the HTC Droid Incredible came out, I was so excited, (it was the closest thing to the iphone). I had a few co-workers get the same phone because I really liked it; it seemed to be a good phone. Then my husband (Don) got the Droid X. We did not keep the phones long due to the phones had battery life issues. We did not feel the carrier Verizon Wireless had issues.
I loved Verizon Wireless cell service, customer service and there is no way I would cancel my contract with them. I sold the phones and we used old phones we had.
In March I was able to get the new iPhone 4 that had just come out. I was so excited, I could not wait to get my hands on the iPhone!
I got the iPhone (a NEW 2-year contract extension); No big deal. We have been with Verizon Wireless for years and life went on.
Don got a new not-so-awesome phone the very end of July (a NEW 2-year contract extension). Once again, NO BIG DEAL. Life went on.
Well now, that ends my good comments on Verizon Wireless.
In August my husband was offered a promotion with his company, which is a good thing.
His company was flying us to Texas to let us look around the Brady Texas area.
The running joke with him and his co workers was “if the iPhone doesn’t work when we get off the plane- its a deal breaker, we are going to get back on the plane and head back to Alabama.”
When we got off the plane in Dallas, our phones worked fine. We changed planes and headed to San Antonio and our phones both worked fine; no problems at all.
We stayed the night, got up Friday morning, and headed to this small Texas town of Brady, 120-130 miles North of San Antonio. We arrive in Brady Texas, and guess what?
Of course, Don’s phone will not work at all!
We tried to call 611. No luck. We tried to call my phone while sitting in the car. No luck. So, I look at my iPhone4 and NO signal!! The phone is still working a little, enough that if I stand just right I might be able to make a call. I called 611 from my phone, spoke to a customer service person, explained that his phone will not work at all.
She said that “we can do a manual update and it will work.” I explained that it would be fine. That if we did move to Texas, I would take the phone to a local store and have it done. It wasn’t something to worry about right now and that we would be back in Alabama in a day or two. No big deal.
So, Don calls his phone from the hotel room and changes his voice mail message telling people to call my phone so we can call them back when we get to an area that has service. We are 800-900 miles from our 3 children and our cell phones are not working too great. That’s scary.
We get lucky and find a very nice home for a very good price. We decide that Yes! We will move!
That is August 27th. We start the long process of buying a home when we get back to Alabama, and it’s all good. We are going to move.
Don thinks I worry to much and think about things too much and I am sure I do, but that is so he does not have to.
I start to think about that trip just 2 weeks ago and how our phones wouldn’t work. Ummmmmm, well let me call VZW and talk to customer service, and I just *know* that they are going to say that once we move, we can switch to a local VZW carrier, get a new area code and our phones will be fine. HA HA not true.
After talking with a customer service rep on September 12th and explaining we are moving to Brady Texas, she informs me that she would let me talk with the technical support department and see what they could do to help me. The young man was very nice, informed me that there was not any service for a 200 mile radius.
All I could say was “Oh.” “Well, can you put a tower up for me?” (Laughing while I said this) He said that there had been some request for towers 2 or 3 times prior, but the orders were turned down. He did nicely offer me an in-home extension that would allow my phones to work in my home. I said thanks, but I really need my phones to work when I leave the home; I will have a home phone.
So then my saga continues.
September 13th, I called the 800# during normal business hours and spoke to a young lady. She informed me that I already knew there was not any service in the Brady Texas area, as it is a “none covered area.” So, I then pulled up the VZW website and sure enough on the map of red everywhere in the middle of Texas- known as the Heart of Texas is Brady- and there it is a big white spot, NO COVERAGE!
Then the issue comes up about my service that I DO want to keep because I love VZW, have always had great customer service, and great cell service!
I ask her what I can do, and the option is really nothing. I can keep paying for service and keep my five contracts or cancel the contracts and pay the early termination fees (ETFs). I tell her I really do not want to cancel my service, but I feel that they are giving me no choice. With a company discount through work, I pay $220 or more a month; I can not afford to pay for two cell phone services.
She offers to lower my bill to the minimum of $60.00 a month and ride out the contracts. Since we just upgraded a few weeks ago, it would be at least 14 months more. UGH! I do not want to pay for service I can not use because they do not have it for me to use.
I ask how much my ETFs will be and she says $895.00. I said are you serious? Your company does not offer service and this is forcing me to cancel my contract, which I clearly do not want to do.
The customer service girl says, “Well, Mrs.(removed), when you sign up for a mortgage and move from the home- if you have not sold it, you will still have to pay for it.”
Of course I will. My home will still be where I left it to use if I want to. My mortgage company is not telling me my home will not be there once I leave; my home will still be there for me to use if I leave! (what does this have to do with cell phones and etfs anyway?) So, I tell her I want to speak with her supervisor; she tells me she is in a meeting (of course) and she will call me back.
The next day, Amanda calls me back and apologizes for my trouble, but stands her ground that I will have to pay the ETFs of $895.00, but what she will do is turn my phones off on the 19th(Sept) between 7:30pm and 10:00 pm (great… NO CELL PHONE SERVICE FOR DAYS!!!) because this is the last day in my billing cycle. My last bill will only reflect the $895.00 ETFs.
I said, “Really? There is nothing you can do since your company does not offer the service that I clearly DO NOT want to cancel. You can not even cut the fees in half?”
“No, Mrs. (removed), we can not. It is policy.”
Well, what am I to do? She did, however, say she will note my account and on the 14th of October- when my bill is due- if I can not pay the $895.00 in full, then on the 26th-when it will be considered late- call the financial department and set up payment arrangements on the balance.
That is what the Cell phone company that I loved and promoted and did not want to end my contract with is doing for me.
Allowing me to pay them $895.00 becuase they do not offer service where I am moving to! Hats off to BIG RED GO VZW. Luv ya!!! NOT!
Anyone have any advice for Stacie and her plight with Verizon? Because I think Verizon had a major fail with a loyal customer who was only cancelling a contract because Verizon couldn’t provide what her phones needed from them- service. That isn’t Stacie’s fault. And this is a family that loved Verizon so much, that I bet had a tower gone up anytime between now and eternity, they would have gladly came back to Verizon.