Preparing to shoot a few segments of Big Jon in 5 for BEER2WHISKEY in our upstairs studio at Barley's Taproom in downtown Greenville. That's owner Josh Beebe preparing for his closeup.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Texas Cagematch with Verizon

I am in a running battle with Verizon. I switched my cell service from AT&T to Verizon in late August. I wasn't particularly unhappy with AT&T, but they don't offer a full-keyboard phone that doesn't have a $15 to $20 extra data fee per month attached to it. Your 12-year old probably has a more advanced phone than I do. I'm not interested in surfing the Web, watching a movie or accessing my e-mails from my phone. I want to make calls, receive calls and do a little texting. That's it. I know, I'm a dinosaur.

In any event, AT&T doesn't, or at least didn't in late August, offer a cell phone with a complete keyboard that didn't require extra bucks for a data plan. I had been receiving some Verizon solicitations; so I got online (using my old-fashioned desktop PC) and checked out what they had to offer.

Indeed they did have an LG model with a full keyboard that doesn't require an extra data plan. The phone was free with a two-year service contract at a rate about the same as I was paying at AT&T. They also advertised free activation. I thought, why not?

I wound up getting a call from a telesalesperson to hammer out the details. Although this took more time than my last approval for a home-equity line of credit, I put the sales person on speaker phone and worked as the clock ticked away. After about 20 minutes of this nonsense we reached the summarizing portion of the sales call. I glazed over as the sales person reiterated everything we had discussed only a few minutes earlier. Among the information she restated was that activation was free. I would be charged for it upfront, but the $35 fee would be credited back to me on the third monthly bill, if not before.

I have the third monthly bill in my hand and the $35 credit isn't on it, nor has it been on either of the previous two bills. Hey, 35 bucks is 35 bucks. I e-mailed Verizon's customer service on 12/14 requesting an update on the credit. My answer arrived on 12/15 from Verizon's Shaniqua informing me that after an exhaustive search of my records, she can find nothing about waiving the $35 activation fee. Case closed; get lost; don't let the door hit you in the fanny on your way back to AT&T.

I replied to Shaniqua's e-mail suggesting that she probably could have cut her research time simply by reviewing Verizon's marketing promotions during August, or going back to the recording of my conversation with the telesalesperson that Verizon claimed to be making. Either avenue would support my claim.

Negotiations are ongoing....

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