Verizon Wireless technical support, pleasant, but ineffective

Verizon Wireless technical support, pleasant, but ineffective

Summary: Verizon Wireless support appears to be polite and pleasant. The response I've gotten is far less effective than I would have hoped.

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I've had problems with my HTC Thunderbolt since the day I purchased it. I'm constantly told that my voice is breaking up or distorted. This problem occurs regardless of whether I'm in New York, San Francisco, Boston, Orlando or other places.

I have repeatedly called technical support about this issue. Each time, I'm told that the network engineers would look into the problem and get back with me. Each time, it appears that nothing happens with the support call.

Since the telephone warranty period is just about to end and I heard complaints during my last three calls, I called Verizon Wireless technical support and asked them to do something. The agent was very pleasant, apologized for the problems I've been having and offered to replace the phone. During the discussion, she suggested that maybe I could try a different phone and offered to send me something else. I decided to try out the Samsung Galaxy Nexus since it had the newest version of Android and Lord only knows when the HTC Thunderbolt will be graced with a current operating system.

As promised, I received a package from Verizon Wireless the very next day. Unfortunately, all I was sent was the front part of the phone. The back of the case and battery were not included.  This, of course, made the device useless. It does, however, look pretty in the box.

I called support again and asked what happened. The polite, pleasant agent apologized and promised to send out a battery and the back of the telephone case overnight. I was told to look for an Email confirmation message that would contain a tracking number.

That message never came. Sure enough, the day came and went, but a package containing the back of the case and the battery didn't appear.

I called support for the third time and asked what happened. A different polite, pleasant agent apologized, looked up my order, and told me it should have shipped. He queued up the order again and told me that I should receive an Email confirmation containing a tracking number some time after 2:30 PM.

Here it is the morning of the third day and I've not received a confirmation or a tracking code. Verizon Wireless' support number isn't available until 6:00 AM so I can't find out if the third time is the charm.

As an aside, shouldn't a company that operates a telephone network 24 hours a day have support available 24 hours a day? But, I digress.

At first, I felt that Verizon Wireless was being surprisingly responsive. Now, I'm coming to the conclusion that the company's level of effectiveness leaves quite a bit to be desired.

I'll call them again at 6:00 AM.

6:11 Update

I called Verizon Wireless technical support and waded through the elaborate voice response menu.  Once again, I was able to speak with a polite, pleasant representative.  This time, the agent was able to pull up the order. She told me it has shipped. When prompted, she offered the tracking number. While I'm thankful, I can't help but wonder why the Email confirmation and tracking number messages never arrived.

I'm hoping another engagement with Verizon Wireless Support is over.

Topics: Hardware, Mobility, Telcos, Verizon

About

Daniel Kusnetzky, a reformed software engineer and product manager, founded Kusnetzky Group LLC in 2006. He's literally written the book on virtualization and often comments on cloud computing, mobility and systems software. In his spare time, he's also the managing partner of Lux Sonus LLC, an investment firm.

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4 comments
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  • Standard practice...

    For a replacement phone, the standard practice is to send out the "guts" of the phone on its own (display and electronics), you keep the battery and back cover (plus charger and cables) and send the faulty "guts" back.

    As you generally get the same device as a replacement, this isn't usually a problem. I'm guessing somebody forgot to put in that it was a replacement to a different type of device, so you got the standard replacement "kit".

    I've had that several times with my htc 7 Mozart (swapped out next day by T-Mobile). Certainly better than the Apple service, where they collect the phone the next day, but don't provide a replacement, you get the iPhone repaired (or not) back 2 weeks later - my first 3GS spent 6 of the first 8 weeks in the repair shop and I was without a phone during that time...
    wright_is
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  • Verizon Wireless technical support, pleasant, but ineffective

    I haven't had to use Verizon's technical support but I know their sales staff in the stores are ineffective. The few times I've had to do in there my experience was absolutely terrible. I dread walking into their stores.
    Loverock Davidson-
  • Really?

    Daniel, you sir are an idiot. Lets look at this from a rational perspectivie rather than that of someone that has a sense of entitlement and a low tolerance for technology. Who makes the HTC Thunderbolt? Thats right HTC. Verizon wireless simply subsidizes your purchase of a very expensive phone in exchange for a contract. The hardware is STILL HTC. So, Verizon wireless politely listens to your childish complaints and steps up and sends you ANOTHER new device from a completely different manufacturer. Do you think Samsung honors the warranty for HTC? No. Who assumed that cost? Verizon wireless did. And in return for that act of kindness and customer service, you pan Verizon wireless in this article? Well played sir. Next time you have a problem with your Toyota go back to your dealer and see if they offer you a newer model BMW. You would probably complain that they forgot to order your floor mats and you had to wait a few days.
    Cleanbow