Monday, August 13, 2007

Rant of the day

OK, you do the math here…got my cell phone bill and didn’t understand the $49 data charge…so I called for an explanation. Was told that one of my lines had gone over the prepaid text messaging and had been changed to upgrade from 500 to 1500 messages. Seems like a non-problem to me (it’s my son’s phone and he gets to pay any ‘extra’ charges he incurs). So what’s with the $49 charge? Well, since he didn’t realize he was over the 500 till he got to 827 messages he needs to pay that overage….ok, not happy about the fact that my son didn’t pay close attention to his texting (the kid doesn’t even have a girlfriend, who is he communicating with?!?) but I understand the need to charge for the overage….but hey, it says here on the bill that I am being charged for the difference between the 827 and 333 (not the 500 I paid for). When I point this out to Verizon employee #1 (to differentiate this person from the supervisor I eventually ask to speak to) he goes into Verizonspeak and patronizingly tries to explain how the system works…..not interested.

On to the supervisor (or as I said to employee #1 – give me the guy who makes the big bucks so I can yell at him). Supervisor (hereafter referred to as SV) gets on the line and we start over. I once again explain that while I think their text charges are steep and that if you add to your plan mid-month it should cover the overage, I will not argue those points. I would however like to know how they can justify charging me for the 167 texts (500-333) that were included in the original …already paid for… plan. SV says that because my son changed plans in the middle of the month, Verizon prorated the texts over the month (giving him so many per day) and then upped his plan. In other words, as of the 17th when he switched, he was only allotted 333 texts…. say what? But texts aren’t bought by the day, they are bought by the month, I argue. I am allowed to use up my texts in the first week if I choose to do so. Yes, says SV, but when you change a plan it is prorated to spread them out over the month. You mean, it’s prorated to give Verizon the biggest profit? ……pause here because there is a moment of silence on HIS end of the conversation (probably conjuring up ways to get ahold of some sort of weapon). He does continue by saying that if Sam had called and talked to an operator instead of doing this on the computer, they would have explained that he could do it as a single charge for the month and just add on. At this point my mouth literally drops open and I’m shaking my head….what??? Why would ANYONE do it any other way??? Why isn’t the computer just set up to do it without the prorated nonsense? I ask SV if that seems right to him? Doesn’t it just seem common sense, that if you have already paid for 500 texts you get to keep them, and that taking them away (by prorating them) is just plain WRONG. It’s not about common sense, he tells me, it’s just the way it is…..(I kid you not, he said that…"it’s just the way it is"). But, isn’t IT that way because your company set IT up that way, again, to give them the biggest profit? You figure, 9 times out of 10 when this happens people will just pay their bill. And when you have people (ahem...Sam) who use 1257 text messages in a month, it should come as no surprise that these people will choose to make their changes online rather than on the phone. See the 1257 texts, that’s a person not really into talking to people...that's a clue.

After a half hour on the phone, SV finally tells me that Verizon does have a policy of crediting back the text charges (once) when people unknowingly go over their allotment and bring this to their attention…..whoosh…that’s the sound of the wind being taken out of my sails….I’ve just worked up a good indignation here and you’re telling me you’ll give me a credit? Talk about a let down.

So, happy ending….I guess. I’m still a bit peeved that Verizon is continuing to do business this way. I’m sure that as we speak, a lot of folks are writing checks for charges they shouldn’t have to pay. And all it would take is a simple change to the computer system….a change I’m sure Verizon is not in a hurry to make.


Tesa said...

haha I don't know how many times I had this convo either with the landline company or cell dorks lol..........they don't even understand their own policies sometimes lol

jules said...

Oh my God Maureen. You are my hero. Again, I feel compelled to tell you, you're brilliant! How do you think so fast? I can never come up with responses like yours while I'm ON the phone. It's only hours later that my brain kicks in, and well, what good is it then?!
Thank you for your "rants"! You're such an encouragement to me.

Maureen said...

Well Julie I certainly was on the phone long enuf; I had plenty of time to think up LOTS of responses....and it helps that I have had SO many Verizon 'episodes' lately. I am getting to know the way their 'brain' works (using the term loosely here). Thanks for the encouragement...I actually told the guy that as frustrating as this situation was, he was giving me a great story!

Nancy W. said...

Again - ANOTHER reason we need to quit Verizon. I can't believe the way they do their billing. You are so on top of it. I hate to admit that I hardly look at the bill. But it always seems way too high. I think we're still planning on changing to ATT.

Maureen said...

Well, I'm switching as soon as my contract is up!!!