by Guest Blogger, Lena West, Chief of Social Media Strategy at xynoMedia
I was trying to pay the bill via their website, but their online interface wasn't working. I was getting some sort of system error message. So, I tried to pay on the telephone, but they charge you an extra $3.50 if you want to pay on the phone because they use some sort of third party service.
I didn't think it was fair that I should have to pay $3.50 just because their website wasn't working, so I called customer service in the billing department and asked if they could take my payment for me without charging me the fee since their website was broken. Of course, you know the answer. Nizzope.
The first guy, Mike, tried to transfer me to someone in their ebiz help center and ended up transferring me out to the same queue that I used to reach him. What a genius!
Another rep then came on the phone and she tried to transfer me to the ebiz center, too. She was smart enough to stay on the phone and soon realized that she dialed the wrong phone number. Luckily the woman on the line was able to give us the correct phone number to the ebiz center.
We finally got through to the ebiz center in Tampa and the woman told me that she can't log in either and that I should pay my bill via the phone and she'll issue me a credit for $3.50 to offset the fee I have to pay just to pay my bill. You can't make this stuff up.
Sidebar: To show Verizon's commitment to their telephone service, when you call them the prompts as you about everything else BUT the telephone service, the telephone service is under a prompt called "other". Sheesh.
The whole time I'm on the phone, I'm Twittering. I check to see if Verizon has an account on Twitter and it turns out, they do. I use @Verizon no fewer than 10 times times in hopes of getting someone from Verizon's attention. No such luck. It's DAYS later and I still have not received a reply from the folks at Verizon about my ordeal.
The moral of this story is just because you're ON Twitter and you're Tweeting, as Verizon does, about your latest FiOS hotness, doesn't mean you're using the medium in a way that helps you provide quality customer service to your customers.
It's quite clear by looking at Verizon's twitterstream, that they only answer people who have something positive to say about their products. It's not as if they're not paying attention - they clearly ARE because there are LOADS of @ messages in their Twitterstream. They clearly know HOW to reply, they just don't; which, in my opinion, makes their lack of response even WORSE.
And, they call themselves a technology company? Wow. Clearly they don't know which end is up.Don't they know that you can't ignore problems??
How many of you think I'm going to forget to see if they credit me the $3.50? Not a snowball's chance. I'll chase them like the paperboy in Better Off Dead.