Verizon FiOS Customer Service Fail


Before we begin, today’s discussed will be focused on Verizon FiOS, the fiber-optic service provider, not Verizon Wireless, the cellular telephone service provider. Differences will be explained as we go.

Woke up this morning to a complete lack of communication. No internet, not telephone and no cellular. This is that big of a deal for me because I frequently forget to pay my bill. So, the calls start at 6:30, but of course, Verizon doesn’t open their customer service phones until 8:00 AM local time. Something I do not understand because I talked primarily to people that were in the Central and Eastern time Zones today and I’m pretty sure their day does not start at 10AM.

Moving on.

To make an excruciatingly long story short, after talking to 10 different people from 3 departments and 6 call centers, I finally get a Verizon Wireless employee on the phone. She helped me, not only with the wireless portion of my bill, but also guided me through the nightmare that is the Verizon customer service department until I was finally able to get a person on the phone that could help.

Start Time: 8:30 AM
Finish Time: 10:30 AM

It’s a amazing how a company can be so completely different. On one hand you have Verizon Wireless. I dial 611, get a person (every time) that helps me with whatever problem I have (every time). Not a script reader, not a person in a foreign call center (I always ask), but a person that has been empowered by VZW to assist customers with whatever they require. Brilliant.

On the other hand we have Verizon the Telephone Company. They still run things like they did back in the day when everyone had telephone service, rotary phones and nobody had heard of cable teevee. They have bureaucracy. They have numerous departments filled with people that can’t help because it’s taken care of in another department. They are still using equipment left over from the GTE days (one of the employees in one of the call centers I spoke too told me this). They do not have a system in house for accepting payment. They are, in short, antiquated.

And, to make matters worse, they have a billing system that doesn’t work, or they have employees that don’t know how to make it work correctly. For example, I signed up for the One Bill service to consolodate my FiOS and VZW service onto one bill. Saved a few bucks in doing so as well. But, as I mentioned above, I am wont to forget to pay the bill. With VZW, you get a text message that says your bill is due when you start getting late. Still forget? No sweat. 3 minutes with an automated system to make a payment and everything is good to go in about 5 minutes after that. No so much with One Bill.

Miss a payment, *everything* gets turned off. No real warning. Then, when you try to get try to make payment, unless you have the _special_ phone number, it’s a frustrating experience, getting bounced from department to department, repeating account information and the last 4 digits of my SSN until, finally, someone directs me to the pay-by-phone “service” that costs $3.50 to use after you enter (I’m not kidding) almost 40 digits into the system.

So, today’s top tip. If you are a VZW customer and a Verizon FiOS customer, skip the One Bill service.

You can thank me later.

By Don

Lead bottle washer at, host at and tech guru for the MotoringFile family of sites.

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