So, Alltel / Verizon has taken a cue from Darth Vader and decided that unilateral contractual changes without consent are okay despite their initial statement that as a customer who does not consent to the changes, I was perfectly within my rights to opt out.
With Verizon's purchase of Alltel, a number of changes have been implemented. These changes affect the service provided to former Alltel customers. Those changes are generally minor, but there are a few points of contention that make the contract changes unacceptable.
1.) A number of Virginia markets are being divested. That means that calls to Alltel customers that were once unlimited and free will now be out of network calls, burning up the minutes we've purchased for our plan. This change affects the scope of what is being offered by Alltel.
Granted, this does increase the number of in-network people, but that is irrelevant. If I am counting on free in-network calls to specific people, giving me ten people I don't call as a substitute for one person i -do- call is no substitute at all. I find this to be a major contract change one that I am unwilling to tolerate.
2.) Alltel offers an anytime plan change option. This option allows us to change our plan at any time without incurring additional contract requirements. Since the merger, the number of Alltel plans available locally is zero. Alltel says that my only option is to incur another two year contract by switching to Verizon. Excuse me but what part of anytime plan changes without additional contract obligations did they miss? Hell, their hold music still offers the same thing, so I know I'm not imagining things.
This is the second of the unacceptable changes. My thought was to drop service (if I cannot argue #1 successfully) to the absolute bare minimum, but they've removed that option by removing all Alltel plans from my market. My choices are to switch to Verizon with a new two year contract, or to wait until my current contract expires.
What I've done so far:
I've posted to Facebook and Twitter some corporations monitor traffic for negative press. More importantly, though, I've contacted the Better Business Bureau and I've sent a message to their corporate office to complain about the level of service (the reps on the phone have been inconsistent at best, and dishonest at worst) and the lack of actual escalation procedure. I am also going to continue to spread this tale of epic customer service failure far and wide, until such a time as Alltel / Verizon contacts me with real resolution options or I bash them relentlessly and vocally for all time.
I am also doing some research and I may report them for ethics violations concerning the merger. If nothing else, it'll give them something else to have to spend money on.
Virginia Beach, Virginia