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How Verizon Wireless and Poor Customer Service Saved Me $400

I’ve written previously on the upside of bad customer service at TJ Maxx (it saved me money because I left before spending it). I experienced that again today at the Verizon Wireless store on Jefferson Blvd. in Culver City.

I have one of Verizon’s PDAs – the XV6700 – and I just hate it. I have hated it for almost a year now. The battery life is pathetic, so I bought an extended-life battery, which makes the phone feel like a damn brick. The battery cover slips off sometimes too. I was so fed up with it today, I decided to stop into my local Verizon store (where I have bought my other phones) to see about changing. I was fully prepared to pay full retail, even though they must be smoking crack to think these phones are really worth $400 when they are largely made in China. The full-retail price is a scam.

The gal at the door put my name on “The List” for customer service. No other names were ahead of me. The two agents were busy with customers. I looked at phones, read all the specs, and my hair grew about half an inch while waiting patiently for them to finish up. One did, then took a phone call. The gal with “The List” told me I’d be next right after the phone call. I’m not sure why I came after the phone call when I was on “The List” before the call came in. I watched this guy wander across the store – I gather for more information for the person on the other end of th ephone. He wandered across like he had cement in his shoes, very casual and relaxed. Now I’m starting to get irritated.

Out of the back of the store comes some other guy who stands around looking bored and generally useless. Maybe it wasn’t his job to take care of customers (ironically, he’s probably the freaking manager). The guy on the phone hangs up, wanders over to the bored guy and they start casually chatting.
Enough. That was 45 minutes of waiting. I told the girl with “The List” that I was leaving because they seem more interested in casual conversation than in customers. She nods and says, “Ok.”

OK?

OK.

I defected from AT&T some years ago because of their poor customer service, now Verizon Wilreless is imitating that poor customer service. With the iPhone coming out soon – a very attractive temptation – and only Cingular getting the exclusive – they should be particularly cautious about alienating customers.

UPDATE: Dumped Verizon for AT&T and the iPhone

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