To Hell and Back: My Descent into the Inferno of Verizon Wireless Customer Service
I survived seven hours of Verizon Wireless Customer Service, but barely, and I will never be the same.
Listen, you don’t have to read this — reading about a customer service debacle is about as interesting as hearing someone’s dream. I just needed to write it in order to process what happened to me this week, and because I told Verizon Customer Service over Twitter that this piece was coming. I don’t think they believed me. So here it is.
I know we all have a story like this; I know I’m not special. Or at least I think we all have a story like this, in which a large corporation that has its customers by the short hairs — because they provide our phone or our internet — pretends to engage in “customer service,” but instead the endeavor results, in the end, with our screaming bloody murder. And if you’re me, crying uncontrollably. Meanwhile, they chirp “I realize this must be frustrating for you.”
To be fair, sometimes I do think it only happens to me; my friends make it sound like that’s true. Either my friends are lying, ashamed that they go through the same ordeals, or something is wrong with me. And to be even more fair, when I look back at my descent into the hell that is Verizon Wireless “Customer Support,” there are a few moments where I could have done better. There are moments where I could have turned back.
That said, this week I spent a total of eight hours on the phone with Verizon Wireless “Customer Support.” It started innocently enough. My friends had reported that I sounded pixelated and “machine-like” when I spoke on the phone. Assuming that my iPhone 11 was on its last legs, I jumped on the website to look into upgrading. I opened the chat box and asked a simple question: “If I buy a new phone in the store, can someone there help me transfer my data?”
Let’s pause for a moment and reflect on this question. It’s a simple question. I think we can all agree that it requires a yes or no answer. But instead of answering, the person behind the chat, AG, (I was later given her name and employee number, which is…weird) wrote “how are you today?”