The $5,280 Lesson or My Verizon Rant
Let me start by saying back in 2007, I was THRILLED that Verizon, specifically Verizon FiOS was being offered in our area. Since the dawn of time (that would probably be around 1995), I had been a Comcast customer and their custom service stunk (big time). I was so HAPPY to have a choice of providers when it came to cable, internet AND phone. It may be hard to believe it now, but this was a BIG deal. There was a waiting list to get FiOS installed. (Can you believe it? A WAITING list?) I believe we were the second house on the block to get it that spring. I sang the praises of Verizon...they were great!
Leap forward to May 2021. I've done a complete turnabout. I've been a loyal customer (and not just to FiOS). I've always paid my bill on time. (Which of course has gone up over the years; as of today $100 more than when I started keeping records in 2009 and no, I am not getting any enhanced services, as a matter of fact quite the opposite.) As I previously mentioned, I sang their praises. What have I gotten in return? Royally F...well I'm not going to say it, but you get the picture. I have committed (conned) into two more years with them, but I can tell you the when May 2023 comes; things are going to change (we're already making plans) and I'm writing and sharing this now so that others don't get...well you know what I'm going to say.
Let's get down to the story (because you know there is a story). When you sign up for FiOS (or whatever provider you are using), you usually sign a two year contract. If you are a NEW customer they give you a great deal. You're thrilled; and you should be. When the time comes to renew your contract, well things aren't as good. You end up paying more and maybe getting less. You go on their website to try and figure out what package might be best for you. It's like navigating a road map, but you're blind. (Is that inappropriate?) It's impossible to find out all the information you are looking for (and that's done purposely). In order to get X you have to also agree to take Y & Z (and probably a slew of other options) that you don't want or need. There's nothing that fits any individual needs. You take what you can get; even though it isn't really what you want. That's the way it goes.
I've been living with that and for the most part it's been okay. Not great, but okay. My bill has gone up, but I dealt with it. Then for the month of December 2020, my bill went down (some sort of Covid related relief). Then it went back up. Then it went down in April. (Maybe this should have been a warning.) Then nothing...
May rolled around and I realized that I hadn't gotten a bill. Usually I get an email (which is forwarded to me from my husband's email account) and a text. (Forget the paper bill...those stopped and I'm not sure if I requested it or not.) I waited, but nothing. Because I am a diligent customer (or maybe you'd say OCD or anal retentive) I scheduled my regular monthly payment for around the same time of the month I usually pay. And I kept waiting for my bill.
Monday my payment went through. Still no bill. Mentioned it to hubby, who decided to log into our account...which is when we discovered...
Our contract had EXPIRED in April. We never got a notification. We never got a bill. We got NO COMMUNICATION AT ALL from Verizon. AND there was an added balance due because apparently the bill went UP and since I didn't get the bill, I didn't know! LOVELY!
Hubby got on the phone with a Verizon rep, who said the bill HAD been emailed, but never opened. (Okay.) I don't think there was any answer for why we never got notification of the end of the contract or increase in cost. Tried to find a plan that wouldn't significantly increase our cost and guess what? There wasn't one!
Hubby gave up and tried to figure out an answer on line. He's the tech guy, but Verizon's website is "webbier" than a spider's. Just like a spider lures in the fly, so do Verizon. He found what might be comparable to what we currently have and signed up for it. It was more, but it wasn't until AFTER he clicked the button that the additional fees popped up. Buyer beware, right? Well it's hard to be aware of anything when fees are concealed and camouflaged that they are more stealth than Harry Potter's cloak of invisibility. What he thought the cost was going to be ($20 more a month than we were paying in April) actually turned out to be $50 more a month thanks to taxes and additional fees that are not included in the "total" when they give it to you online. (And before you ask...no we are NOT getting anything "better" than before.)
I'm TRYING to be philosophical about this. If I look at the big picture, this is nothing. (Ok, over $5000 is not nothing, but...) This is not life and death. It IS however, pretty deplorable. It is NOT how customers should be treated. I know that I should not be surprised that a giant corporation treats its customers so shoddily, but hey, I'm an optimist.
What I can tell you is that although I may be paying Verizon for the next two years, I definitely WILL NOT be after that. (And after some further research I may be paying that early termination fee and getting out.)
I'll admit that I've got an emotional attachment to my landline. The house phone number has been around longer than I have and I will NEVER forget it. I also have emotional ties to "cable," after all my family was one of the first to sign up for it when I was a kid. (I remember when HBO was not on the air 24 hours as well as when Mtv made its grand entrance with music videos.) However, Verizon has ruined it for me. They didn't have to, but they did.
Thanks Verizon, for turning a loyal customer (one who’s loyalty goes back to childhood and beyond for my family...we knew you BEFORE you became Verizon) and burning me so badly that I’ll never go back.
That’s my story…that’s my warning. Do what you will with it, but remember the “total” isn’t always the total. That Z in Verizon stands for Zap...as in, Verizon is out to zap your wallet until what's left is ZERO.