I used to work in a call center that answered calls for VZW customers. I am also a customer. The information given is a firsthand account of how you are treated and why you are treated that way. I check the VERIZONPATHETIC website (Post: Why You Are Lied To) at least once every 3 days to see if I can provide people with information that can assist them in receiving at least adequate service from a company that you are paying WAY too much money to.
To begin, when you call VZW you are likely speaking to someone working for one of their business partners. I worked for Xerox Business Services, LLC. There are other affiliates as well but I won't mention their names for fear of allegations that the information was protected in some way. Where I worked was a horrible place to be because you could be punished for telling the truth and rewarded for deceit.
To begin, your rate of pay was called Achievement Based Compensation (A.B.C.). The factors in determining your rate of pay were the average number of seconds you were on the telephone for that day (You as a customer are not worth more than 485 seconds) and the number of failed surveys that were received out of your last 20 surveys. A rep would normally receive only 1 survey per day. Every time you failed a survey you were supposed to be 'written up' for it. You had to pass all surveys for the next 90 days or else you were supposed to be 'written up' again going from verbal to written to final to terminated. I provide this information as it ties in directly to the reason WHY you are intentionally lied to.
You are lied to intentionally and unintentionally as well. The training received at Xerox Business Services, LLC for this project was a joke. There was one occasion during training where a woman could not pass the tests that were given after reading the training material. The trainer decided that the best course of action was to give her a paper with the answers on it. There were 3 topics for us to be trained on and she had 3 documents with answers on it. The tests were not even difficult as I only gave a cursory examination of the training materials and passed each test the first time around (You had an unlimited number of attempts. The aforementioned woman was just taking too long for the trainer). So, as you can see, individuals are not properly trained and if they do not know how to do their job then how can they assist you?
I will start with the intentional lies. As I stated, a rep's pay is based in part on passing surveys. The surveys are pass/fail. If a customer indicates that a rep did NOT resolve the reason for the call then that rep fails the survey. As a rep generally receives only 1 survey a day they are on pins and needles until they receive it. Before their survey: "Oh, you want a $10 credit because you heard static when you were on a call? Sure sir, no problem. I'll get right on it." After their survey: "I'm sorry sir but I cannot do that for you. Would you like some bonus minutes?" That is how you are treated. A real life example is a call that came in to one of my former colleagues. A customer with unlimited data had upgraded her phone after 6/28/12. This meant a loss of their unlimited data, no question about it. The store rep told her she could get it back if she called in to customer service (according to her). A call center rep where I worked told the woman that it was true but she had to call back after 3 days for that to happen. The customer
called back on the 3rd day and her call came back to my center just as her original call did. The second rep saw the notes and spoke with the original rep and asked if she told this to that woman. The 1st rep stated that she had. The 2nd rep asked why and she replied, "Because I hadn't gotten my survey yet." This is a perfect example of why you are lied to intentionally. A salesperson lies to you in order to get the sale because even if you bring the telephone back, there is a restocking fee and this keeps some people from returning their devices. I cannot comment on whether or not the salesperson gets to keep their commission. The call center rep lies so that they do not fail a survey (There is a dispute process in place which is more like a kangaroo court as Xerox worked to keep costs down by ensuring that your failed survey stood and your rate of pay was reduced). By lying, the 1st call center 'passed the buck' to the subsequent rep as he would have to deal with an escalated customer who would argue the point that she only purchased the phone because she was told she could get her unlimited data back and she could not return the telephone without paying a restocking fee.
The unintentional lie results from a lack of training and dissemination of information. I will use myself as an example in this case because I still feel extremely bad for the customer that I had inadvertently damaged (financially). The gentleman had called in because he had gone over his minutes. I could upgrade his plan to cover those minutes as he was still within the bill cycle where the overage had occurred. He had a special 'Friends & Family' (F&F) feature on his plan even though he only had the 700 minute family plan and F&F was not offered for plans less than 1400 minutes. I told him I could bump him up to 1400 minutes and set a future plan change to knock him back down to 700 minutes and he would keep his F&F. Everything went well until I tried to put his F&F back on his 700 minute plan. The system would not let me. I called the Loyalty Department which had originally put the feature on
the plan and was told that it was no longer a valid code that they could add. I sent a request to the corporate office and stated SPECIFICALLY that I was to blame for the loss of this man's F&F feature and it should be returned because he did not ask for this change. I was told that they could not do anything about it but I should offer him something comparable for a year. Of course, after a year then he would have been paying additional costs that were not warranted. If the tone of this post now seems angry it is because it is! It was MY fault and I WAS WILLING TO TAKE THE BLAME!! VZW did not care. They would make money off of him even though he lost his F&F without agreeing to have it removed!!! That is actionable in a court of law. You have a contract and someone inadvertently makes changes to your account WITHOUT your approval and VZW says 'Give him a sucker for his boo-boo and let's move on'. I do accept responsibility but since I did not have a list of features that could NOT be re-activated I operated on the belief that they all could, especially if a feature was removed in error. Maybe someone should contact the F.C.C. about this.
Now that I have calmed down, I will address your calls that are escalated to a supervisor. Those of you that believe that you are speaking to a sophisticated individual with an open mind need to think again. My former supervisor felt it was more important for her to get some water from the break room than it was to address your needs immediately. She then proceeded to talk to my caller for a couple of minutes, then put her on mute for approximately 10 minutes while she discussed office politics with her fellow supervisor before getting back on the telephone and telling the caller that after thoroughly researching the issue she could only offer half of what the caller was seeking. My supervisor reviewed nothing after initially looking at the account yet she made this woman wait on the telephone for 10 minutes! I reported this directly to Verizon Wireless and yet my former supervisor kept her position and there did not appear to be any additional protections put in place to protect you, as customers, from this type of treatment. I have also sat and watched as they toyed with customers as well. You tell the supervisor that you want to escalate the matter above him/her and then they get someone else on the line to speak with you. What I observed on numerous occasions is the supervisor getting someone who is at the same level as they are and putting them on the telephone. I have heard that second person say that they are a "Senior Supervisor" when in fact they are NOT. Where I worked honesty was not a virtue.
You see, there was no "Senior Supervisor" at my call center. The supervisors answered to the Operations Manager who answered to the Assistant General Manager who answered to the General Manager. If you wanted to go beyond that you would need to get in touch with the Executive Relations Team (E.R.T.). I used to tell customers how to get in touch with VZW executives once I found out that their complex issues that were escalated to the supervisors were being mishandled (i.e. They were being lied to). At one point you could go to Verizonwireless dot com and input the following in the search box: "Executive Leadership Team" and it would give you a way to communicate with VZW executives who controlled your area. I tried this recently and it appears to no longer yield results. You can try it yourself to see if it is up and running again. Who knows, they may have taken it down because I gave the information to too many people.