Sunday, March 13, 2005

Verizon wireless: The best of service, the worst of service

When Janet and I got cell phones a few years ago we selected Sprint because of their true nationwide calling plan (no roaming charges). Janet was still in Miami and we knew that we would both be originating calls from a variety of places around the country often. However, the service to key spots, like my office, is not good. Calls are of poor quality, or the phone doesn't ring at all.

So we're switching to Verizon. Unfortunately, it looks like service is going to be terrible in another sense. Last Saturday, we spent an hour at their store on Wisconsin Ave. without speaking to a sales person. There were two people whose job it was to take our names and control access of customers to the sales staff. These people seemed to have little else to do. To avoid wasting time again we decided to order phones and sign up over the web, and seem to have successfully done so. However, it was hard to get information. At one point, we got a salesman on the phone but he hung up on us when he learned that we weren't going to place our order with him ("I work for commissions," he said). It's clear that Verizon has no idea how to run a business when it comes to customer service or sales. This is reminiscent of trouble I've seen at AT&T and USAir. I fear the worst but there is no good alternative. With any luck Verizon wireless will be bought out sooner rather than later and the company that acquires their transmission system will treat us better!

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