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11/30/12 | 23:42PM
Gross Stupidity as Well as Bad Service

On Oct 12, 2012, I purchased the NationWide Plus Canada Family Plan for a base cost of $120/month plus taxes, etc. After the salesperson at the Verizon store in Surprise, AZ confirmed that the location of our home had 4G coverage, I ordered a mobile hot-spot (JetPack) plan at a monthly cost of $50 plus taxes.
For three weeks the JetPack operated on 4G. After that, it would only connect to 3G network--the download speed was such that even YouTube videos would run in 5- to 7- second fits and starts, pausing to download for 5 to 7 seconds between segments. This speed is unacceptable for my online security analysis and screening.
Online help would tell me to re-boot the JetPack to no avail. Then the fallback was "Well occasionally there are temporary reversions to 3G." After 3 weeks of only 3G service, I went into the store on Nov 20) to say that if Verizon can't provide reliable 4G service (on which I based the decision to buy the hot-spot and which was specified on documents I received), then Verizon should allow me to cancel the plan with no penalty.
The manager (James Genel) of the store said he would contact the appropriate people and call me back. I expressed scepticism, pointing out that on a previous visit to the store for an explanation of Verizon's inscrutable statement of account (which the in-store person was unable to do), a promised callback never occurred. The manager absolutely promised a return call that day.
Well, he didn't call that day, nor the next, nor the next. I again drove 15 miles to the store on the 3rd day (Nov 30) after the promised call and waited 1 hour and 5 minutes to be served. After I explained all that I had been through, the agent refused to refund the cancellation fee ($165) on the basis that the device is 4G-capable. The fact that I had not been abble to get on the 4G network at all for almost 4 weeks mattered nothing!
So I gave the guy a choice (within hearing distance of another guy taking names of customers coming in the door. Cancel the mobile Internet plan with no penalty, of cancel all my Verizon services. [From my point of view in retirement, the smart-phone service was a luxury that I had not previously had. I could happlily go back to my TracFone (and use an iPad or laptop in public networks while travelling). I would recover the buyout penalties in monthly savings over a 5-month period and then be ahead financially.}
So here's where GROSS STUDIPITY set in. Rather than concede on the $165 penalty and retain my cell-phone revenue of $120 per month ($1440 over a year) coming in, the geniuses at Verizon chose to close out all my service and charge $660 in termination fees. In other words, after only 6 months they would be further ahead just in revenue, and would as well have "done the right thing" from public relations and business ethics points of view! When I tried to expain it to them, I got that "deer-in-the-headlights" look. DUH !!

Ernest Jerome - Verizon H8er ID: 57D957

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