August 8, 2009

Apparently It Takes Verizon 3 months (or more) to fix Their Billing Error

Over a month a go our internet modem broke and I had to call Verizon to get a new one. They shipped out a replacement in a couple days and it worked fine. They didn't ask about the old modem and so I assumed they didn't want it back since it was 3-4 years old and broken. But sure enough on the next bill there is a $100 charge on our bill for "unreturned equipment" that they didn't ask us to return and couldn't possibly make any use of. SO I called them up and asked about it and the guy said they'd fix it and credit my account. OK good. But not so fast.. I get the next bill and there is still no credit. I call them up and ask about it and I'm told that it was processed wrong after the first call and they'll have to do it again. But then they tell me that it could take a month or two to get fixed. The original bill was July. Now they are still not fixed as of August. It might take 2 more months so that could be October.

How could it possibly take up to 3 months to process a $100 customer refund? The first month was apparently due to an error. Well ok fine, so they should be able to fix that but they're saying it could take 2 more months. I'm not thrilled about this as you might imagine so I tell the customer service guy that he ought to let his supervisor or whoever know that I wasn't thrilled about this taking them so long. I understand its just their internal bureaucracy that caused this so I'm not blaming the customer rep. He starts to go into explanation about why it would take them so long about having to go to another department or whatever. I'm not really concerned with the details of exactly why they can't do a simple thing in a reasonable timeframe. But I also point out to him that their competitor Comcast is mailing me stuff every other day (it seems like) to get me to sign up with them at discount rates. To which he replies something along the lines of "but you won't get the same excellent service from them as you do from us" kind of claim. I was a little shocked that he tried to make that argument at this point in the discussion. I'm very amused by it in hindsight. Granted, Comcast isn't the best service in the world and I've seen many people who outright hate them. But the customer rep who just told me that Verizion can't commit to fixing their own simple billing error within a month then has the audacity to brag about their excellent service? Someone wasn't paying attention and it wasn't me.

Verizon has had 3 individual customer service people in a row now do a poor job in my mind. The first person incorrectly billed me for the old broken modem. The second rep. incorrectly refunded the $100 charge. The third rep. decided to stick to their sales script in response to mention of Comcast and claim Verizon's support is better after witnessing their support fail miserably. As a company Verizon has failed since it is unable to refund me within 3 months which is a failure of their processes.

This is an example of how poor service can drive someone away. I'm very seriously considering switching to Comcast at this point. In fact I can't really give a good reason for why I haven't called Comcast already.

If you're going to run a business then make sure your customer service keeps people happy. If it doesn't then its guaranteed that you'll lose customers.

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