Kim’s cell phone stopped working today so I decided to visit the local Verizon store to replace it. As I pulled into the store I noticed it was closed. A sign on the front door gave the address of the new store. No phone. No directions. No, “located across the street from…”
I called Verizon’s 411 service to get the phone number and was given the old address and and a number which I called. A recording told me that number (given to me by Verizon!) had been disconnected and was being serviced by another number. But it didn’t make any attempt to connect me. Maybe someone at Verizon HQ should notify Verizon 411 when they relocate and change phone numbers?
It was just after 5:30 pm when I finally reached a lady at the new store. I asked for directions from the old store – “just keep going for about a mile” and store hours – “only open till 8 pm tonight”. At the time I thought it was strange should tell me they were open till 8 pm in a tone I understood to mean, “We are near closing so try us again tomorrow”. I should have listened to my gut given what happened next.
I entered the brand spanking new Verizon store and signed into a computer which put me 4th in line. It was now 6 pm. I walked around the store checking out phones for a while and continued to look for my name on the monitor. I waited and waited. I was next in line but it didn’t matter because the guy ahead of me was changing his mind every few minutes. There were only three employees in the store. One worked on billing issues. One worked on technical support issues and the lady I waited for was handling new phone sales.
I gather there were about a dozen customers in the store just standing around. One Verizon employee (She wore a fancy shirt so I assume she’s the manager) stepped to the middle of the store and said, “All of you should go online to Verizon.com and submit a suggestion to get a chair or a couch so you can sit down”. Nobody knew what to say. It was odd and very uncomfortable. Why should the customers have to complain in order to get a chair? I’d been waiting so long I needed a bed more than a chair.
My name was finally called at 7:15 pm. A lady brought up my account on the computer. I asked her to show me some phones which she did. For about 30 seconds before she was called to the service desk to handle a problem. The employee who called her over came over to me and asked if he could answer any questions. I told him the same thing I told the first lady and he showed me a few phones. By this time I was worn out. I didn’t feel like renewing my contract for another two years so I left the store 90 minutes later without a new phone.
My experience tells me that AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile are no better. The customer service bar is set so low when it comes to cell service that I can’t believe I still put up with any of them and I’m beginning to question whether or not I genuinely need a cell phone. I can’t think of another company I give $2000 a year too that treats me so poorly.