Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Verizon Part V: The BBB gets involved

So, it’s not news that the BBB has a complaint on file regarding Verizon Wireless from me. (At least it’s not if you follow me.) There will hopefully soon be a series of emails posted here to show everyone the process I’ve gone through. I’m in the middle of these emails as I type this, so I will hold until complete resolution before posting them all. However, I have decided to post Verizon’s response to the filed complaint. Doesn’t help much, but here you go anyway:


On March 12, 2010, the business provided the following information:
March 12, 2010
Better Business Bureau of New Jersey
1700 Whitehorse - Hamilton Sq. Rd. Ste D5
Trenton, NJ 08690
Re: Complaint dated March 4, 2010, filed by Mr. <NAME> / Case #: <###>(Verizon Wireless Customer Account No. <###>; Mobile Telephone No. <###>)
Dear Ms. Bocchicchio:
This is in response to the above-referenced complaint filed by Mr. <NAME>, received by Verizon Wireless on March 4, 2010. Mr. <NAME> informs of his dissatisfaction with Verizon Wireless' new data plan requirement imposed on a majority of the handsets currently offered. Mr. <NAME> indicates that as a paying subscriber, he should have control over which device he selects and not be limited to lower-end devices that do not require a data plan. He is requesting that Verizon Wireless provide the consumer with the option to block services that they may not use or want, as opposed to forcibly imposing the requirement of a plan.
Our records indicate that Mr. <NAME> established service with Verizon Wireless on <DATE>. Please be advised that as of January 18, 2010, activations of 3G Multimedia phones began requiring the subscription of a data plan of $9.99 or higher. However, subscribers have been permitted to maintain their current equipment at a Pay-As-You-Go rate or with a data block, as in Mr. <NAME> case, so long as the equipment is not exchanged or upgraded to a device requiring a data plan.
The new data plan requirement was made available to consumers as a method of permitting 3G Multimedia devices to function in their largest capacity, all the while eliminating the occurrence of individual $1.99 megabyte charges. Currently, activations of 3G Multimedia devices will require a data plan of $9.99 or higher; however, Mr. <NAME> feedback is certainly appreciated and valued, and can rest assured that it will be forwarded to the appropriate department.
It is our hope that we have adequately clarified our position regarding the above mentioned concern/s. Verizon Wireless regrets any inconvenience this matter may have caused. Should Mr. <NAME> have any questions regarding this response, he may contact the undersigned at (866) 673-9561 between the hours of 7:00AM and 4:00 PM PST.
Adrian Heredia
Executive Relations
Verizon Wireless - West Area

Though they didn’t really address the issue appropriately enough for me, it seems – based on their summary – that they at least do understand the issue. But don’t get me wrong. That doesn’t even begin to start giving me a more favorable opinion of them. If anything, it makes me more upset that they understand the problem, but still choose to do nothing to resolve it.

1 comment:

  1. Gaffi,

    No, they did not address the issue, the merely explained what the charge is for. In my opinion, VZW sort of put themselves in this position that they are in - let me explain.

    They used to give you a month of free total access to all their services (except subscription services like VZNav) with the hopes that the user would somehow get hooked on the service and/or forget to call and cancel it after the initial 30 days. People that cancel it then aren't told to delete all the applications used while in the trial period and guess what? Those applications ping the system looking for updates or subscription updates and that is what has incurred the "phantom" access and the minimal MB fees. But, in VZW's defense, they do explain that when a person intentionally accesses the internet with a phone that is capable, they will be charged appropriately. But, for the ones that aren't told about leaving the apps on the phone, it's money in their pocket.

    Worse yet, VZW has now penalized all of their users for their failure to properly explain how and why the billing for data happens, hence the $9.99 data plan. It took me months of calling and complaining about phantom data fees until I finally reached a service rep that explained why I was being charged. That only came after a month of not using the phone for anything except for calls. Trust me, they know what your phone is doing and they don't want to give up all the secrets. VZW knows what apps you've loaded, how many times it's accessed and what you are retrieving from their system. If they didn't, how would they know what to bill and not bill?

    So, in closing, they give you the accessibility and the means, but, then when there's a few choice people that don't understand it or are inept, we all get billed for it in order to "provide us with a better phone experience." I am baffled by why we as consumers cannot purchase the product/service we want, rather than being told "here's what you can do whether you want it or not and you will pay for it because you want a nice phone." Let those that want it, pay for it. Let those that abuse it pay for it. Allow those that don't want it be an option to not have it. And for God's sake, tell your customers what and why your phone is costing you so much rather than say "yea, that's weird", or "Sir, you will just have to pay your bill."

    Verizon should be a little more honest with its customers by telling them that the phone they have can and will access the system. They should be telling us that those fun little apps will cost them in the long run. And, to clarify my opening statement, they give you the access, service and means and there are those that use it inadvertantly or unintentionally. Whose fault it that? That may be debatable, but, a little honesty goes a long way if they tell you how that phone in your hand really works.

    Still here, Gaffi. Watching and waiting.


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