Have any of you ever had to deal with Verizon’s customer service?
Are you as confused as I am?
For the past week, I’ve been dealing with Verizon Wireless customer service reps on a daily basis. Some days I talk to the people in the stores, some days I talk to people at the call centers, and some days I do both. Regardless of who I talk to, it’s like speaking with two people from different planets and expecting them to speak the same language and have the same information. But is it really that ridiculous to expect customer service and the stores to have the same information? Me thinks not.
My issue is that I received the Droid X on July 16th, the day after it went on sale (I snagged it online with free overnight shipping, hell yeah!), only to discover that the 8 megapixel camera – one of the bigger selling points for me – didn’t work. For me, this is a big deal. I lika taka da peek-shurs. Plus, I only downloaded about a thousand apps that revolve around a fully functioning camera, none of which I can use because the camera will. not. take. pictures.
Now, this phone was in high demand and sold out on the day that it was released (July 15th), so I knew there was a very slim chance that I’d be able to replace it the same day. I am one for understanding supply and demand (I read my whole damn economics book cover to cover in order to pass my final).
My dad runs a small cell phone company back in rural Iowa, and he told me that when he orders phones he generally orders a few more than he needs just in case anyone needs a replacement phone. If he needs 100 phones, he orders 106. Once those first 100 are gone, he’s “sold out” unless someone’s phone is broken and needs to be replaced. Those extra six are his cushion so he can properly serve his customers. Does Verizon practice this? No. At least not with brand new, in-demand phones, because what kind of sense would that make?
Anyway, here’s how my experience with 6 different customer service reps went.
CS Rep #1 (Call Center) – Friday, July 16:
Me: Hi, I just received the Droid X this afternoon and I discovered that the camera doesn’t work. Is it possible to get a new one?
VW: Are you on the problem device right now?
VW: Then there’s not much I can do for you. Can I call you at a different number?
Me: Well I’m at a hotel right now, and this is the only phone I have on me.
VW: Well then I don’t know if I can help you. Have you tried calling *228 to update your phone?
Me: Well I just activated it a few hours ago. Would I still need to do a *228 update? Plus, I think it’s the camera itself, not the software. The application opens and seems to be working fine, I just can’t see anything through the lens.
VW: Try the *228 update. Did you try removing the battery and doing a soft reset?
Me: No, but like I said, the app works fine. It’s the camera itself that doesn’t work.
VW: Try the *228 update and doing a soft reset and then call us back if it still doesn’t work.
Tried the *228 update and the soft reset with no positive results.
CS Rep #2 (Store) Friday, July 16:
Me: Hi, I just received the Droid X this afternoon and I discovered that the camera doesn’t work. Do you have any in stock for damaged phone trade-ins?
VW: Um…let me check. (5 minutes later) No, we’re sold out. You should try calling Customer Service and seeing if they can send one to you.
Me: I just got off the phone with Customer Service and the person I spoke with wasn’t entirely helpful. Do you know when you’ll be getting a new shipment in? Is there any way…
VW: I’m not sure when we’ll be getting a new shipment in. This phone sold out in hours in the stores and in the warehouses. We’ll get a new shipment when the warehouses have them back in stock.
Me: …I can be put on a list for a new phone once you have them back in stock?
VW: Let me check. (5 minutes later) No we’re not taking a list for new phones. You’ll just have to call back and see if we have any new phones in.
Me: Ok th…
VW: Is there anything else I can help you with?
Me: …anks. No, I’m good.
CS Rep #3 (Call Center) – Friday, July 16:
Me: Hi, I just received the Droid X this afternoon and I discovered that the camera doesn’t work. I spoke with someone at Customer Service earlier and they recommended a *228 update and a software reset, but they didn’t make a difference. I think the problem is with the camera itself.
VW: Ok, well let’s check a few things. Are you using the device right now?
Me: Yes, and I’m in a hotel and I don’t have another phone. (Just remembered that my dad’s cell phone is another phone).
VW: Is there anyone in the room with you that has a cell phone? I could call that phone.
Me: YES! Call (phone number).
VW: (Seconds later) Ok, I’m going to have you try a few things on your phone and let’s see if we can get that camera to wake up. (Had me try multiple things) Ok, now try to open the camera again.
Me: Ok…the app opens, but I see nothing but a black screen.
VW: Ok, well it’s not a software problem. It’s probably an issue with the camera itself. Here are your options…we can place an order for a new phone right now, but we would either have to charge your card and refund it once we receive the defective device, or we have to wait until we receive your defective device before we can send out a new one…and they won’t even ship out until Friday the 23rd. OR, the stores will have the phones back in stock in three days and you can go swap one out then.
Me: I think I’ll try my luck with the stores. Thanks for your help!
CS Rep #4 (Store) – Monday, July 19:
Me: Hi, I’m wondering if you have any of the Droid X phones back in stock yet. I received one on Friday and the camera doesn’t work. I spoke with a Customer Service rep that said you should have the phones in stock soon.
VW: Um…they said we’d have them? Let me go check. (A minute later) No, we don’t have any in stock.
Me: Ok. Do you know when you’ll be getting a new shipment? When I spoke to the CS rep on Friday, he said three days, but I don’t know if that’s today, tomorrow, or Wednesday.
VW: No, we have no idea. We’ll get them when we get them, I guess.
Me: Ok. Can I be put on a list for when you have them back in stock? The one I have is broken, so I just need to swap it out for a new one.
VW: Um…let me check. (Minutes later ) No we’re not keeping a list. Have you tried ordering one over the phone?
Me: No, the CS rep I spoke with on Friday said they’d have to charge my card or wait for my current phone to arrive before they could ship it out, and even then they wouldn’t be able to ship it until the 23rd.
VW: Oh ok…(awkward silence). Well you can call back on the 23rd if you’d like. We might have them in then.
Me: …Ok, thanks (…for the permission the check back)
CS Rep #5 (Store) – Tuesday, July 20:
Me: Hi, do you have the Droid X in stock? I was told that the stores would have them sometime this week, and I need to trade in mine because it’s broken.
VW: Nope and we probably won’t have them until August.
Me: What? I was told by customer service that you’d have them within three days of Fr…
VW: Here’s how it works. The people that ordered their phones on the 15th got them on the 16th. The phones that were ordered on the 16th will ship out on the 23rd. Anything ordered after that won’t arrive until the beginning of August.
Me: Oh, well I’ve been dealing with CS rep after CS rep to try to get this issue resolved. Is there…
VW: Try back on Friday. We may have some in, we may not. No one knows.
Me: …anything you recommend? Is there a list I can…
VW: No, why would we hold a phone we could sell? That would cause a lot of problems. If you check back and we have them in stock, we can hold one while you drive to the store to pick it up.
Me: …be on for when you do have them in stock? But you don’t know when you’ll get any back in?
VW: Nope. Sorry.
Me: Verizon doesn’t order more phones than they need in case their customers need to exchange them?
Me: Ok, I guess I’ll try…
CS Rep #6 (Store) – Wednesday, July 21:
Me: Hi, I received the Droid X on Friday, and I realized that the camera didn’t work. I’ve talked to the stores and Customer Service multiple times and it doesn’t seem like there’s anything that can be done except to wait and try to get one when they’re back in stock…whenever that is. Can you help me?
VW: Sure. Let me look into your account.*typey type type* Ok, I see that you’ve called a few times about this. No one has been able to help you?
Me: Well I’ve talked to about 50 different people and they each give me a different story, so I don’t know what to believe, so I just keep calling.
VW: Ok, I’m sorry you’re having problems with this. I see that you have the warranty that covers manufacturer defects, so we’ll be able to replace your phone for you. Hold on while I check to see if they’re in stock in our warehouse. *typey type type* Yep, we have them in stock. I’ll put in an order for your new phone and you should have it in the next 1-3 business days, so by Friday or Monday.
Me: *stunned* Really? Are you going to charge my card?
Me: Do you have to wait to receive my defective device before you send out the new one?
VW: Nope, it should ship out tomorrow.
Me: Wow…is there anything I need to do?
VW: When you get your new phone, it’ll come with a pre-paid postage label to send your old one back. Just make sure you send back everything that came with it and you won’t get charged for the new phone.
Me: Um, ok…great!
VW: Did I answer all of your questions?
Me: Actually, you’ve been the most helpful person I’ve talked to since this whole ordeal started. Thank you!
So after six customer service reps, some rude, some helpful, I’ll finally have a fully functioning phone on either Friday or Monday…if that Customer Service rep was right.
But hey, Verizon? You need to work on your internal communication. No one seems to be on the same page with information regarding the Droid X. Also, mention to your store reps that they should probably stop interrupting the customer when the customer is asking for help.
Just to clarify, I’m not mad at Verizon, and I’m not writing this to convince people to switch over to any other network. I have been with Verizon for four years now and I have been completely happy with their wireless service and their customer service. I’m just a little confused as to why everyone in that company seems to be in the dark regarding the Droid X. It’s just a phone. It’s not the holy grail of wireless communication. Let the public in on your secret, or at least let your customer service reps in on it!
If this is happening now with the Droid X, what’s going to happen when Verizon gets the iPhone in 2011? Mayhem. Utter Mayhem.