September 22nd, 2009

Niko - Angry - Murtalize ya!

Verizon fail

I'm trying to save money and my phone bill has been incredibly high with Verizon, so I decided that in order to get the long distance I need for a better price, I'll go with Vonage.

Vonage told me that they will switch my number over no problem and they will deal with Verizon so I don't have to, that there are procedures in place and they do this all the time. I asked them point blank "Does Verizon ever get mad that folks are switching over?" They said "yes sometimes but we have a different technology that they don't offer so it's your decision with what you want to go with, we're not really direct competitors as far as technology goes." Plus, I'd have to keep my Verizon internet because that's the only net available in my area, so it's not like they're losing a customer, I'm just not going to be paying them as much.

Vonage attempts to switch my number over but apparently Verizon is giving them lip, so they have to get me on the phone anyways. I talk to Verizon and the thing about Vonage is, my Verizon line needs to stay active while the switch goes through. So what happens? They disconnect the line. Bad! I call back and say that they shouldn't have done that, because Vonage needs the line to be active to switch over. You'd think that if they deal with Vonage switches all the time they'd know this but whatever, probably this particular worker didn't know.

They then inform me that since they already disconnected the line I can not have my former phone number any longer. Whut? This isn't good, as its tied to my home business. Furthermore, if I wanted to get my old number back I'd have to be without internet for 2 weeks. Seriously? How is that even related? I mean, I admittedly don't know the innerworkings of all that stuff, but if I'm trying to switch my phone service over and keep my internet, why do they have to disconnect my internet? Also..2 weeks? Isn't that a bit excessive?

So they talk to their supervisor and apparently they're able to catch the order before it's gone completely through, so they CAN switch the line back on. Okay...they give me a confirmation number, with my Vonage help lady on the phone, so we both have this confirmation number and they said "we will keep your line open and available while Vonage switches". Vonage help lady has a recording of this through her line.

Apparently over the weekend Vonage attempted to switch it over again and lo and behold, the line has been disconnected again, against Verizon's previous statement. So Vonage lady gets both me and a Verizon representative on the line, some good ol' boy who treats me like a little girl and patronizes me while I'm trying to ask him what's going on, he starts going "now...there's nothing more we can do for you "thornwolf", may I call you "thornwolf?", since you've opted to no longer go with our phone services it is Vonage's responsibility now." Which, is stupid, because all I wanted to do was switch my number over and I wouldn't have had any problems if they just did what they said they'd do in the first place. It is effectively their fault I cannot switch to Vonage using my previous number, not mine. I told him, "You know, as a customer of both your internet services and your cellular services I do not appreciate how I'm being treated. I've tried calling you guys and I keep getting the runaround, you guys keep telling me my phone service won't be disconnected, and then you disconnect it, preventing me from going with vonage and leaving me without phone service with my number which I really need to keep as its tied to my business." He then asks me for my conformation number.

I give him the confirmation number the previous Verizon customer service representative gave me as notification that my line will not be turned off until Vonage is ready.

He says "Mmm..this isn't a Verizon confirmation number". What? Yes it is! They gave it to me last time I called them and had to sit through their horrible Verizon phone tree that kept saying "Verizon" every few minutes, it /is/ a Verizon confirmation number.

He says "No, you don't have a Verizon confirmation number, there's nothing I can do to help you, I suggest you talk to Vonage and just use their number they gave you, your number will no longer be available". What?! It IS a Verizon confirmation number!

"No..see, it can't be a Verizon confirmation number because our confirmation numbers always start with a letter, not a number." !!!!!!!!! But we have recordings of your Verizon clerks giving me the confirmation number and then saying, with both me and the Vonage lady on the phone "your phone service will remain on until Vonage gives us the go ahead to shut it off. Please let me speak with your supervisor."

"Mmm. No. Cuz see...you can talk to whoever you want but they're going to tell you you don't have a verizon confirmation number" "please let me speak to your supervisor."

After a bit of a hold, we were then hung up on.

Vonage lady says she's going to ask her supervisor if they can use the recording against Verizon as proof that they are total nutjobs and are lying through their teeth about this confirmation number and order to not shut off the line, but unfortunately as it turns out their recordings are for their internal use only.

Now, to be clear, I am still a customer with Verizon with my internet service and my cellphone service, so it's not like they're treating someone leaving their company poorly, I'm just consolidating but still using their services.

I'm still fighting the battle trying to get my phone turned back on, but other than that, any advice on what I can do about this? Should I file a complaint against that guy? I bet my Vonage lady has the names of the folks we talked to last time so I could at least get their superiors to have access to /their/ phone recordings as proof that yes, they did say they'd keep my line open and the number they gave me was indeed a Verizon number, but I can't help but feel that if anyone tries to switch to Vonage they make it this company wide joke to give invalid confirmation numbers and lie through their teeth about what's supposed to happen. I hate thinking that, but the Vonage lady said she's had this happen a couple times before with Verizon, the exact same situation, so it's gotta be some kinda internal joke, right? This is maddening.