Anonymiss in DC

{June 19, 2009}   Verizon WIRELESS makes me hostile

Dear Verizon Wireless “Customer Care”,

I get that we’re in a recession and all, and I get that you’re a business, and that the point of business is to make money, but I don’t think either of those things are an excuse for being obnoxiously cheap and flagrantly proud of it.   I see right through you.

I am a Verizon Wireless customer on the “America’s Choice” plan. We pay 59.99 per month for the first two lines, plus 9.99 for the third line.  We share 500 minutes. On top of that, we pay $5 for each line to get 250 text messages. So that’s $84.98. Not too shabby. Especially since my sending text messages costs you ABSOLUTELY NOTHING– meaning you get 100% profit. Sweet.

But let’s not get into texting yet. Right now I want to discuss my attempting to upgrade to the  enV3, only to discover that that phone is not compatible with my current plan.

Not compatible?! How does that happen?

Oh, right. My current plan is cheaper than the plans you’re offering now. So rather than grow a pair and tell me that you’re going to charge me $10 more per month, you stop making phones that I can use. Your agent proceeds to assure me that I’m not being coerced in any way to change my plan. It’s my choice. I can use the older phones out there if I want to. And, really, you’re saving me money, because this new plan gives me 700, instead of 500 minutes, monthly.

Small request? Next time,  don’t insult my intelligence.  Just be straight with me. You’ve got me. I have to “upgrade” or there will be no phones for me to use.  Take the extra ten bucks, and leave me alone.

Now let’s talk about the text messaging, because this is where it gets even more ridiculous.

Right now I’m paying $5 per line per month to get 250 messages for each of the three lines. Let’s review why that is. A while back  you got tired of letting me pay 10 cents to send and 2 cents to receive, so you started charging 10 cents to send and 10 to receive, and then, patting yourself on the back for your brilliant idea to offer customers the convenience of text “bundles”,  you decided if I didn’t buy a bundle, you’d charge me 20 cents a message– period.
Except you didn’t tell me, so you can imagine how happy I was to get my wireless bill that month. (Thanks for the update on that, by the way!)

But never fear: luckily for me, an ever-friendly customer care agent told me I could sign up for the text messaging plans, and he graciously applied them retroactively so we could avoid having to pay 20 bucks for having sent a measly 100 text messages. How generous! What excellent customer service! Quite the bastion of corporate kindess, aren’t we?

And so it was. Cha-ching! From there on out,  $5 a month per line for 250 text messages. Text messages– which cost you nothing! Zero! Zip!

I am SO thankful to you for your infinite kindness and consideration!

Admittedly, today, I want more texting, since everybody texts these days. It’s just plain easier. And your agent du jour has great news for me: “It would be cheaper to get unlimited texts,” she says. In fact, the whole family can have unlimited text messaging;  we just add 30 bucks to our monthly bill, for a grand total of 109.99/month. “How does that sound?” she says sunnily.

“Expensive,” I say, calculating that that’s the equivalent of $10/line for unlimited texting.  “How about unlimited texting for just MY line?” (That would be $5 more than what I’m paying now..)

No can do, she says. “We do offer unlimited but it is for all lines. We only have plans that will give all  lines unlimited.” If I want a plan for just one line, I can choose from the following: $5 for 250, $10 for 500, or $15 for 1500. No unlimited.

“What?! I say. “So it’s all unlimited or nobody unlimited? Why do you guys do that?”

And your agent responded (seriously): “It is all that we have to offer.”

Well you know what, Verizon? It’s not all that you have to offer. It’s all that you choose to offer. There’s a weighty distinction there. Let’s cut the crap.

I pointed out to your ever helpful agent that for $109.99, Sprint’s Everything Messaging Family plan will give me 1500 (as opposed to 700) minutes, unlimited text messages, unlimited mobile to mobile, and free “night” calls starting at 7 instead of your usual 9 pm.  Then I asked: “What is the advantage of staying with Verizon?”

And she said the following (I sh!t you not; I almost blew a gasket):

“You’ll enjoy America’s Best, Most Reliable Wireless Network.”

Now really, I get that you want to make money. But for God’s sakes, stop insulting my intelligence by making me pay more and than pretending that you’re cutting me the deal of a lifetime.  Stop telling me you’re giving me choices when you’re not. And most importantly, when I ask you, seriously, why I should stay with you when someone else has a better deal, do not read me your company slogan.

Love and Kisses,

Anonymiss in DC

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