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Verizon Makes Recommending Service Blocking & Bill Credits a Fireable Offense

verizon-logo-470x310 Not that I am really surprised but David Pogue over at the New York Times learned that Verizon has implemented a new policy for its customer service representatives. Under this new policy employees will be sanctioned if they suggest that customers block services like SMS and data to avoid incidental costs. I know that my brother blocks SMS because he was racking up a bill for SMS messages he did not want to receive. Now Customer Service reps are told to direct people to buy plans for data and SMS to avoid such costs.

On top of that customer service agents are told to avoid crediting charges unless the customer first asks for such a credit and even when they do they are only supposed to issue an initial credit. Not the best customer sevice move but its worthwhile to know as a Verizon customer that you need to request the credits and know that you must request these services be blocked since they will not suggest it to you. I you have a friend, family member, or significant other who is getting hit with these unwanted charges on Verizon make sure to let them know that they must ask for credits and have the ability to block such services.

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  1. Interesting decision. One of the few ways carriers can distinguish themselves in a positive way and garner customer loyalty is by superior customer service.

    In one company I worked for there was a manager who would berate his reps if they presented customers with options that would save them money, saying, “Remember who you work for.” What he didn’t understand is they were remembering who they worked for, but understood that the short term gain in not giving the customer the savings would do more damage in the long run – customer would be less happy with them, less likely to consider the rep and company an ally who they were safe doing business with, less likely to coninue to do business with them for the long term, and less likely to recommend them to their friends and relatives.

    Considering the cost of acquiring a customer you’d think they’d have a better understand of the value of keeping clients happy vs hoping customers are oblivious.

  2. After forwarding this to a a friend of mine who is Verizon Market Manager his comment was that this was total BS and definitely NOT policy…

  3. For the record: We do not threaten to fire anyone for offering customers data blocks. In fact, we encourage our representatives to do the right thing for our customers, including data blocks, which we created for this very situation. We do ask our representatives to make sure the customer understands the effects of a data block so that they do not unwittingly block other services that they might wish to continue, ie. ringtone, music download. We don’t want to fix one problem and create another. Remember, we have been a leader in customer satisfaction in the wireless industry for many, many years because of our commitment to customers.

    • Inadvertent data usage has been a longstanding issue for VZW customers, enough so that the FCC initiated an investigation into the situation. I have been the victim of multiple charges of $1.99 per MB because a family member unintentionally navigated to the wrong screen on a phone that supposedly had data blocks in place — fortunately, VZW Customer Service reps have been reasonable, for the most part, in reversing these charges. One of the issues is that, for whatever reason, “full” data blocks on a line prohibit video messaging on a device on the VZW network — VZW’s “solution” to this is now to REQUIRE a minimum $9.99 per month data plan for any phone capable of video messaging. Current users will discover this as soon as they attempt to “upgrade” one of their teen’s phones which is grandfathered not to require a data plan.

  4. PS – I am a spokesman for Verizon Wireless. To learn more about our commitment to customer satisfaction, see:

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