I have had Verizon FiOS for a while now and it’s time for a rant. FiOS is AWESOME, if you are able to get it and drop Comcast, I highly recommend it.
This rant is dedicated to big business letting the cart go before the horse.
SO, when our FiOS service was installed, we ordered a DVR, a must have in our household. When the guy brought in the receiver from his van, it was the standard, non DVR having, plain ole’ box. I mentioned that we had ordered a DVR and that we didn’t need a standard receiver. The installer got the DVR for me, but asked if I wanted to keep the standard box as well. “Is it free with the service” I asked. He thought that it was, so I decided that we would enjoy using the same remote and menu system in the bedroom as we would be using in the den, so I opted to keep it. Yep, that was dumb.
Eventually we got our first bill and I noticed that the standard receiver was in fact, not FREE. It was $5 per month. Not much money, but money I don’t really need to spend. I called Verizon to politely discuss this with them. They notified me that I would need to schedule a technician to pick it up. Sounds easy right? They also let me know that there was a $35 fee for returning the box. The box I didn’t ask for in the first place. The available times and days were Monday – Friday 8am -5pm. Sound familiar, I have a job, and they were very familiar hours. Not only that, but the scheduling is setup for the day, not for the hour or for a four hour window or anything more reasonable, for the day, 8-5. So I figured I would keep the receiver for a while until I found a weekday that I wouldn’t be working. We got used to using it, but really didn’t need to have it around, so when I made the call to cancel HBO, I setup and appointment for a tech to come fetch the box. I canceled HBO, by the way, because Sopranos was no more and we just weren’t watching any HBO.
Last Tuesday was the day, I decided I would work from home and wait for Verizon guy to stop by. I didn’t even need him to remove the box, it was sitting on the table by the door. All he had to do was walk to the door and I would hand him the receiver, transaction complete.
HE DIDN’T SHOW UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I spent an entire day waiting for Verizon to show up so I could hand them the equipment and they never showed.
Now I used to work for Cavalier Telephone and know how it goes sometimes when techs are overbooked, but ouch it was painful to be on the receiving side of a no show.
I called @ 4:45 to check status and was told that the tech was scheduled and should be by shortly. Yeah right, didn’t happen. I called later and the guy on the phone told me that I could speak with “Encore” and they would setup for shipping materials to be sent to me so I may return the box via UPS. He forwarded me to the department….. and they were closed. Instead I got someone in marketing that was not interested in talking to me and offered no help. So I called back on Thursday, during the day, to get these elusive shipping materials sent out and I was successful in my endeavor. The materials are “on the way”. We’ll hope they get here.
Here’s the thing. I have had to endure some fairly frustrating situations to simply return a cable box, that is still sitting in my dining room by the way. Verizon must have had the conversation about equipment being returned. With Comcast, I drove it to the Comcast office on Staples Mill, quick and easy. I realize Verizon is new at the TV game and growing pains are always a factor when adjusting to new business models, but dang. It’s like Verizon is holding this box hostage at my house. I even asked if Verizon guy in Ashland could pick it up from my work. NOPE. I originally asked if there was any other way to return the box other than sitting and waiting for a tech. NOPE. I can only hope that the customer rep helping me didn’t know that there is a hidden option to send the box in, which brings me to my point. At what point does a business grow too big for the customer. Whether it’s a maze of automated phone systems or the customer service group being broken down into so many departments that simple questions lead to multiple transfers, the system is good for the business, but bad for customers. Small business is often better with customer relations, but may be limited in it’s ability to compete with big business versions of the same product. Is it possible for a business to find the mid-point and stay there? It’s like so many companies taste a little bit of success and decide to take it as far as possible. This does create jobs, which is good for the community, but it also, in my opinion, creates instability. I have seen this first hand and like to think that there can be a balance point. The thought process opens up a huge can of worms, of which there are many books written I am sure.
For now, I will watch for my shipping materials to arrive and hope the hostage situation will be over soon.