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Yep, Verizon has officially made my blood boil! [with an update that makes me hate Verizon slightly less]

On Thursday evening, the first day of "The Verizon Plan," the kid and I walked into a local Verizon store ready to make my soon-to-be 7th grader a smartphone owner. A woman greeted us, and I proceeded to tell her exactly what we wanted:
  • the new plan for two smartphones for $20 each monthly
  • one new smartphone for my kid, a Galaxy Core Prime, which I wanted to pay for outright
  • 1 gig of shared data for $30 monthly
Nicole mentioned a cool phone case she had, and I told her we would look at it, but we had already found something on Amazon we liked. Then she went to the back to get the stuff.

After a few minutes, Nicole returned with the phone, a case, and a cover, and explained the plan she recommended, which contained 3 gig. I said that I had yet to use 1 gig in any given month, and my child would be using wifi only at home, so there was no need to spend the additional money ($30 versus $45, not including the 20% off the bigger plan with my Pitt discount). She then mentioned the $7/month phone payment plan, and I told her, again, we would be paying for the phone outright. She kind of looked at me as if I were crazy, but I said it was a gift for my kid, and I just wanted to pay for it now. [FYI: The payment plan is not a bad deal; there is no interest for those 24 months.] The case/cover she brought out was about $40, so we declined, knowing the fancy one J wanted was about $6 on Amazon, and highly rated.

Once she started checking us out, I said to Nicole that I did not think I would still get my 20 percent monthly Pitt discount, since our plan was only $30 (I read it had to be $35), but she said that I still would. So that was great news. And not even 10 minutes later, we were out of there.

Unfortunately, later that evening, I logged into Verizon, and discovered two highly irritating things:
  1. There was a $40 activiation fee that Nicole failed to mention.
  2. I was not, in fact, going to get that 20 percent discount.
The next day I called Verizon Wireless to complain. I told the woman I spoke with that there is nothing on Verizon's site about the fee on the FAQs, at least where you would expect it. I also said that CNN Money wrote an online article saying there was no activation fee. I then told her it is sad that I knew more than the salesperson regarding the discount. The woman was quite apologetic, and she ended up knocking off $15 from the fee. I felt better, but I still was not happy.

Later that day, J received a text from the Verizon store wanting to be sure we were 100 percent satisfied. I texted back, explaining we were absolutely not satisfied, and explained why. Today, J received a text back, and Nicole called my phone a short time later. She also was apologetic for not knowing about the activiation fee or that I could not get the discount. She said we were there the first day of the plan, and they were still learning about it. She then said she had good news. She could up me to the 3 gig plan, and I would pay only $1 more a month. I was still pretty sure I would not need the extra 2 gigs, but for $1, I said sure. I also said I would be happier if I did not have to pay the fee. But she did not offer me any discounts.

About 30 minutes later, I logged back into Verizon, and discovered that my new 3 gig plan was $36 (45 less 20 percent). $36 is not $1 more than $30 I was paying for 1 gig. I was so incensed. So I called Nicole back, and left a curt message, saying just that. A short while later, she texted me back saying she would switch my plan back.

She offered no apology whatsoever. Sigh.

I always thought Verizon had decent customer service, despite what others said. I now have a completely different picture of Verizon.

I would highly discourage anyone from switching to Verizon. I am going to check out AT&T. If they have a similar plan, I may bail. But if I have to pay an activation fee there, I guess I will stick with Verizon, though I will continue to loathe them.

I also intend to call Verizon on Monday to complain again.

Not cool, Verizon. Not cool at all. How sad is it when a customer knows more about your plans than you do, and it is even sadder when one of your people errs not once, but twice, and nothing is done.

UPDATE: As soon as I finished this blog post, I received an email linking me to a Verizon satisfaction survey. Verizon could not have had worse timing with that. You better believe I nailed them, and in great detail. Within an hour or so, I received a call from the store manager and then a text about an hour after that. He said he was completely unaware of what happened. He apologized, and he agreed to drop the $40 fee. Equally as important, he said he talked to Nicole. I would feel bad if she got in trouble, but after her second screw up, that cannot go unnoticed. He asked if there was anything else he could do. I had half a mind to say, "How about an iPhone 5S for half off," but honestly if this never happens again to anyone else, then that is worth something. I certainly won't get back my hours of complaining, blogging, checking Verizon's site, filling out the scathing survey, and talking to various people. But I do feel a lot better. I still don't love Verizon, but I am willing to forgive them.

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