Today I have tale of a terrible customer service experience, and in what I’m sure will be a shock to everyone reading this, that experience was had at the hands of a telecom company, specifically Verizon. So I wake up and check my email and see that I have the normal monthly email from Verizon that my bill is ready, but there’s a problem. It’s $60 higher than normal. I get on support chat with a Verizon CS rep with the call sign “Cameron”. Long story short, I read the wrong fine print and you only get an auto pay discount for debit card and direct bank draft payments for post paid accounts and credit cards are only for post paid. So my bill would be going up by $30 a month($10 each line)[Side note: I moved it to credit card, because I’m moving all automatic payments away from direct access to my bank account over to credit cards which are them paid off pretty much immediately, so in case of billing errors I have better protection and recourse]. Normal telecom fuckery that you expect from these awful companies, but that’s not even the point of this post. We then move on to the normal customer vs cs rep banter. I say that this is stupid, it doesn’t cost them close to $30 to process a credit card over a debit card and he does the awful company minion thing where he assures me it does and it’s not nearly all gravy in Verizon’s coffers at my expense. So like any other time I’m arguing with a cs rep for a telco, I’m looking to see what their competition offers and it turns out that AT&T’s auto pay policy allows credit cards and I can get pretty much the same price but with the auto pay discount and maybe even cheaper the way the figure their veteran discounts. So I ask the guy what info I’ll need to port my numbers to another carrier. He of course doesn’t answer my question and spews some nonsense about how Verizon won’t make compromises to compete with cheaper carriers(mind you AT&T and Verizon has practically identical service at very similar prices). I then decide to circle back around to the issue of even if I switched auto pay, that should be a $30 increase in my bill instead of $60.
This is where our story takes a turn from normal awful customer service expected from a company like Verizon, to what I think may be an angry CS agent trying screw up a customers account. So for reference what the line items on by bill were $65 charges for each line(they were $55 previously) and then $65 - $55 charges for each line. So effectively $20 per line and I point that out. I think “Cameron” thinks he has a “gotcha” moment and I imagine him fist pumping the air and already planning how he’s going to log into reddit and post on /r/talesfromtechsupport about how he pwned a stupid customer(I’m referring to “Cameron” as he/him throughout this because of this particular image in my head even though I don’t know if they’re a male for female since Cameron is rather gender neutral name) because his exact comment was “Oh my! You think that $65.00 - $55.00 is $20.00?”. And then about 30 seconds later “Cameron” leaves the chat I abruptly find myself chatting with some one new. I’m assuming he noticed his mistake and quit in a fit of rage and/or embarrassment. I don’t think that’s the end of “Cameron” and I’ll explain that in a moment. From here the chat with two more reps went more normally(two, because the first rep “Cameron” rage switched me to was sales and they had to switch me back to CS). From the other rep I learned that the extra $10 per month was because I changed my auto pay setting in the last few days of my last billing cycle so they back charged it for the whole month, never mind that I paid that bill with an auto pay debit card. Just more general telco fucker you’d expect from a company like Verizon(and I fully expect it from AT&T at some point too). I half heartedly try to get them to give me to autopay discount even for a credit card since it’d save me what would turn out to be about an hour of switching service, but I didn’t try to hard since this seemed like a good excuse to leave Verizon anyway. I had wanted to switch away from Verizon so I could try out some other phones like the F(x)Tec Pro 1, Pinephone, or even a KaiOS phone, all of which I can’t do on Verizon(at least if I want more than just data based on my skimming of forums about those phones). So the plan to switch was set, but as I said, I don’t think “Cameron” was done with me.
For the following, I don’t have proof, this is more supposition based on the attitude of “Cameron” and the timing. As soon as “Cameron” rage quit the chat, I got an email saying that paperless billing had been turned off and I got a text saying that my phone number had been removed from my Verizon profile. I did raise these issues with the other CS reps and got mostly shoulder shrug equivalent responses. Someone screwing with my account without my permission was final straw in me being done with Verizon. Fast forward to later that evening when I’m at the AT&T store getting new service and my numbers ported over and the salesman needs my Verizon account number. No problem, I’ll log into my account using the exact same credentials I used this morning. They’re saved in Bitwarden, so they’ll be exactly the same. They don’t work. Verizon has no record of that id/password combo. Reset my password? My security question has changed and now asks what my first concert was. I don’t go to concerts. They need my phone number and billing zip code. Nope. I guess my billing zip code has changed. Someone has utterly fucked up my web account. I had authorized no changes. Luckily I was able to call Verizon and get my account number over the phone with my PIN. I don’t know if it was because I locked out my account trying to login or if it was linked to previous screwing with my account but the poor AT&T sales rep had to call in to do every port manually. But it’s done an I’m done with Verizon. I don’t care about the stupid auto pay policy or even the money in general, but the troubles I had afterwards just stink so bad of either a rogue angry CS rep or just a totally broken system that I think Verizon is joining small list of companies I can’t see myself doing business with again, and I’d even give Comcast another shot if I needed to.