Verizon, are you kidding me?!?

Om just posted on GigaOm that Verizon is rolling out new 7Mbps DSL for residential customers.

Frustrated with my pokey 3Mbps service, I jumped at the link Om posted to the Verizon press release, which includes a link to this URL to order online or get more information.

I didn’t expect to be able to get the $39.99/month rate as an existing Verizon DSL customer, so I tried to call the number under the link to get more info:

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My eyes aren’t playing tricks on me, right? That number is 1-888-927-1111 (even though the press release gives a different number). Well, call it and you hear a recording that says something to the effect of “If you wish to get information about a home loan or car loan, press 1, if you want to set up a vanity phone number for your business, press 2…” and so on.

Huh?!?

Okay…so now I call the number on the press release (877-483-5898). It’s at least a valid Verizon number, so we’re making progress. Or not. After 5 minutes of going through the voice menus, none of which includes the option to upgrade service to existing accounts, I finally speak to a human who can’t pull up my account at all based on my phone number (which is both Verizon landline and DSL). I repeat my number 4 times and she says that I must not have a Verizon landline. “So I’ve been imagining my Verizon Freedom Plan bills to it for the last 10 months?”

She: Sorry, you’ll have to call the local New Jersey office. Me: Fine, what’s that number? I get it. I call. After going through the voice menus that can’t recognize me saying the word “home” no matter how many different ways I try to pronounce it, I hit “0” a few times to get into a queue for a human. At this point, about 25 minutes have no elapsed since I read the GigaOm post and I haven’t gotten one bit of useful information or goodness forbid, ordered a service upgrade.

45 second conversation with a Verizon CSR and what’s the upshot? No, the new 7Mbps service is not available for me. No, she has no idea when it will be. No, she has no idea when FIOS will be here either.

I really really wish companies would stop “announcing” services that they deliver to 3 customers as if it were anything more than smoke & mirrors. If you put out a press release that a service is available, and the general public can read said press release, then service should actually be available. How hard is that? The press release says that New Jersey is included in this “expansion.” No reason I should have to waste 30 minutes of my time to find out that for whatever reason, my address in New Jersey doesn’t count.

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13 thoughts on “Verizon, are you kidding me?!?

  1. We know consumers want faster and faster connection speeds to the Internet and that’s why Verizon’s 7 megabits per second (mbps) High Speed Internet service is now offered over 1.6 million phone lines in the U.S. That is the reason a Verizon news release was issued yesterday to alert the public of the growing availability of our 7 mbps Internet services offer.

    We’re grateful you use our 3 mbps Internet service Judi, and we wish you were among the customers who could get our fastest, copper-based Internet service. We’ll continue to expand our 7 mbps offer so more customers can have the bandwidth needs they desire. To receive the 7 mbps service, a consumer needs to live within roughly 8,000 feet of a central office provisioned to deliver Verizon’s fastest, copper-based Internet service.

    In the meantime, we’re sorry to learn of your experience on Wednesday. No customer should have to experience that amount of inconvenience when they simply wish to inquire about upgrading their broadband service. We let you down, and we pledge to do a better job.

    We’re updating the incorrect toll-free number that appeared on our Website promoting the 7 mbps service. The correct number for people to call to find out if they live in an area where the 7 mbps service is offered is 1-877-483-5898 as listed in our March 12 news release. In the interim, customers can also inquire about our High Speed Internet service by visiting http://www22.verizon.com/Content/ConsumerDSL/.

    We want to offer the most choices for broadband service, and our 7 mbps tier makes us more competitive with cable. So in tandem, our fiber-based FiOS Internet service and our copper-based High-Speed Internet services represent great news for consumers who want a reliable, high-value alternative to their existing Internet services provider.

    Bill Kula, APR

    Director-External Communications

    Verizon Communications Inc.

  2. In Italy (and hopefully US in a couple of weeks) we are successfully selling Sitofono, a click to call service to help businesses to quickly and easily get in touch with customers. The problem is to see if businesses are really interested in doing that. Big enterprises and provider like Verizon maybe don’t really want to do that but hope to get a satisfied business by letting him talk to a machine. It’s not going to work.

  3. This is indeed amazing that verizon which is considered to be the best of all internet service providers is offering this much speed for more satisfaction of their customers.

  4. Judi Sohn says:

    Thanks for taking the time to post a reply, Mr. Kula.

    So let me get this straight…because I’m approx. 3 miles from the switching station (~ 15,000 feet…and it took me FOREVER to dig up that info), are you saying that I won’t ever be able to upgrade to faster service? Is it in your plans to expand beyond that 8,000 line? Why wouldn’t you be clear about that so consumers can make a more informed decision about their service?

    Personally, I don’t care that 1.6 million customers now have the service if there’s no chance that I can be one of them. 😉

  5. Judi Sohn says:

    I would, but I honestly don’t remember. The regional place gave me the number which I jotted down on scrap. Sorry.

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