wenhaver (wenhaver) wrote in bad_service,

oh verizon, just sell me a phone!

Sometime Sunday morning, my toddlers decided it would be fun to grab my cell phone and give it a bath. I waited for it to dry out, but it's dead. Ok, time for a new phone. I have replacement protection on the thing (mainly because, well, toddlers), but I didn't have the number or whatever to call and make a claim.

First, I needed to get Verizon's CS number. Normally, I just use a shortcut from my cell phone, but cell phone == dead, so I need to look it up. I hop into their website. They want my zip code. I enter it. It errors. I enter it again. It errors. I enter my mom's zip code. It errors. Ok, so their website is hosed. I google for it.... and it is harder than you'd think to get something as simple as that fraking number. Finally, I get it and get through to a rep.

The rep is really nice, gives me the number and mentions that "oh hey! you can get a new phone at new customer pricing!" Well, that sounds better than paying $50 for a refurb. Only, wait! The website won't even let me browse their phone list. So I decide to just go to a Verizon store and look to see what they have.

Verizon store #1 - after waiting forever and ever, a rep finally gets to me. Ok, sure, I'm in a hurry cause it's my lunch hour, but that's not their fault. I'm deciding between two phones, and the rep checks to make sure they're in stock. Neither is. I decide on a phone anyway, and he calls over to the next nearest retailer, which is about 5 minutes away. He talks to a woman and tells her to put aside that phone for me. I think hear him say "no, it's a renewal, but at least she's buying accessories". Uhm, ok. I know that they make more money on new contracts, but still. Is that really appropriate to ask in front of a customer who has been with Verizon since before Verizon was called Verizon? That turned me off, but I still need a phone, so off I go to the other store.

I should also note that they had promised to match the web price for me, which just meant a $50 instant rebate instead of a $50 mail-in rebate. He told the woman at the other store that, as well.

Verizon store #2 - I'm debating forgetting the whole thing, because I'm running a really long lunch. But decide that having a phone for the weekend is worth it, especially considering that I don't have a land line at home. Run in and find the woman the guy at the first store told me to ask for. I explained that I had been sent by store #1, and told her which phone I wanted. This woman... ugh. She wandered over to her computer and sllllooooowwwly pulled up my account. Then she had me explain to her again what I wanted to do. When I mentioned (again) being sent over from the other store, she just looked at me with this really vacant expression on her face, as if she didn't have the slightest memory of a phone call that took place less than 10 minutes previous. This whole time, she's been smacking her gum, too, which was just loud and gross.

Anyway, she wanders around and looks for the phone. It seems that she never set it aside... and how could she, when she didn't seem to remember taking the call! Anyway, she couldn't find it, and needed to go "in back" to look. Time passes. More time passes. I'm just about ready to leave when she comes back out, and starts wandering around behind the counter some more. The she looks up at me, and says "oh, sorry. the last one's going out the door with that guy". WTF?! That guy was signing contracts and stuff when I first got there! So either 1. you never really had that phone to begin with; 2. or you decided to sell it to the dude who wanted a new contract because you'll make more; 3. you're just barely smart enough to walk upright, and have no idea what's going on around you. I'm betting on 3.

Then I asked her what the web price was on my #2 choice phone. She said "oh, there's no web price for that phone". I smelled BS, as there's ALWAYS a web price for every phone, and I just walked away. ((I finally got the website to work, and there IS a web price on that phone. Grr)). If she couldn't match it, that would be one thing. But don't lie to me and tell me there just isn't one.

Once I got back to work, I called the insurance people. 5 minutes later, I've got a claim filed and I'll have a new phone Monday.

I'll more than likely stay with Verizon, as I have ok service with them otherwise. But I'll NEVER go to that retail location again. In fact, I think I'll make sure their website is working correctly and order anything I need straight from there.
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