Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Verizon Wireless President and CEO

Mr. McAdam,

First, I hope this note finds you well and in good spirits.

I should give you my back-story before getting to the meat of my issue with Verizon Wireless. I was a long time (8 years) customer of T-Mobile with multiple lines of service and always on the bleeding edge of phone technology. I’ve been an IT professional since 1986 and the mobile arena is exciting to me, especially now with the advent of the Android open source operating system for mobile devices.

I have owned 2 HTC Dream devices as well an HTC Sapphire device. On November 13th, I began my relationship with Verizon Wireless. My impetus was simple, I need 3G coverage and T-Mobile was not delivering in my area or in many of the areas I do business. My first contact with Verizon was EXTREMELY pleasurable and, quite honestly, very surprising. I called and ordered 2 HTC Eris devices with the $30.00 unlimited web plan as well as the 1400 minute voice and unlimited text family plan. I also ordered two lines for the kids with a Motorola slider and a Samsung slider. The first surprise was the CSR. I originally had ordered the cheapest free phones you offer, but she immediately pointed me to better phones that were also free on a new line. The phones we ended up with were satisfying, except for my Eris, which with the amount of always-on work I do, was miserable on battery life. I tried all the tricks that have worked before with various Android devices to extend battery life and never got it to a point that I could make it through my day without a charge. Finally, on December 14th, just before the end of the 30 day worry free period, I called in to a CSR to request a change. I was determined to stay with Android, but also could not deal with my battery situation. I told the CSR that I wanted to change from an Eris to the Motorola Droid handset. To my surprise, again, the CSR not only told me that it wouldn’t be a problem, but that it would not cost me anything to make the change. I was shocked and asked three times (I didn’t want a charge showing up on my account that I didn’t expect). I even asked about the $35.00 re-stocking fee. I was assured that there would be no charge and that the device would be delivered on Wednesday by 3pm! Imagine my excitement! This was the third time I had a great experience with Verizon Wireless CSRs. The second time was when I asked for a received a credit of $99.00 for the second Eris during the BOGO period. Oh, and the original CSR waived all activation fees on my four new lines of service, a savings of another $110.00!!! So Wednesday, December 16th, I am excited when Fedex shows up with my package from Verizon Wireless! I open the box and IMMEDIATELY my heart sinks! Here is what I received…

There is no battery, not charging or data cable. The only thing in the box was this BROKEN Droid. By broken, I mean the sliding mechanism scrapes and the shiny rear underside (you can’t really tell from the pics taken with the Eris) is scratched so badly that it no longer shines. My first call to Verizon after this arrival was less than satisfying. I was told that the original CSR made a mistake and sent me the wrong device, I should have received another Eris as a replacement. When I told them about the call I made on the 14th, I was told that she made an even bigger mistake and that there was no way I could receive a Droid in exchange for an Eris without a charge. Now, I HAVE a Droid that your company sent me. I then spoke to a supervisor who told me the exact same things, except that I could give Verizon $300.00 and wait until I sent you back the Eris to receive $165.00 back (I would be spending $199.00 + $35.00 re-stock - $99.00 that I already spent on the Eris). I mentioned that this was NOT my screw-up and that I should not be held responsible and would like to speak to a manager. I was told that a manager would call me back that day, the LAST day of the 30 day worry free period. Well, that call never came and I am sending this broken droid back to your company and after my initial 2-year contract is up with Verizon (and there are MANY more Android phones from all carriers available), I will leave Verizon and keep sharing my disappointing story with as many people as I can get to listen. I was prepared to spend money on the 14th of December when I called to order the Droid in exchange for my Eris and up until December 16thwhen I opened the box containing my new Droid, I was a very satisfied customer. This is not the case anymore.

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