I've talked on the phone for 3+ hours, been to the local store, and everyone I'm spoken to at Verizon agrees that I have a valid request, but no one has the authority to help me. In 3 weeks I will terminate my service with Verizon after being a loyal customer for more than 16 years. Here is my mistake, and my request:
-I tried to set my service for overseas travel using the website, but failed to set it up correctly.
-I had verified that Italy is covered by the package when I was switching my plan using my phone while on a shaky 3g/ extended network in Maine.
I went to Italy
-I used my phone for navigation knowing I would be charged for any data overage. My Italian apartment's wifi was down, so I needed to use my cellular. I accepted this was going to cost me, but was glad I'd signed up for the international package.
-I received daily text messages warning me that my data was going over, but had an issue with the rental car streaming music (silently in the background) when I plugged in the phone. I was aware there where data charges.
- I never received any text messages telling me I was over on text or talk.
-When I was up to $300 in overage charges for the data use I drove 2 hours to the rental car company, fixed the streaming issue, and rented their mobile wifi for the remainder of the trip.
-I set my phone to airplane mode and enjoyed Italy.
-I EXPECTED my bill to be about $650 consisting of the $200 monthly charges, plus the package fee, plus about $300 in data overage charges, and 25 cents per minute for my calls while I wasn't using the wifi. This would total about $650 for my bill. I EXPECTED this and knew it was the cost of travel...
- I got my bill...... $1886.00!!!
-It turns out that I either didn't select the right option, or the 3g / Extended network I was on in northern Maine dropped before the travel plan was activated. Verizon only had me down for a data plan, and there were no warning texts sent about my phone and text overages except for 1 message when I first turned on my phone that my 12 year old read to me as we navigated to the hotel that said I should call to check if Italy was accepted for the travel plan (which I assumed I had already done).
So, I'm asking for Verizon to adjust the bill to what I'd pay if I had set up the package correctly... about $650. Italy bills Verizon for their tower use & doesn't know what package I'm on, so I feel it would be good business to honor my request and let me continue to be a happy Verizon customer.
Unfortunately, as much as this makes sense, no one at Verizon is able to adjust my bill. The manager's and representatives I've spoken to are authorized to reduce my talk overages by 45%, bringing my bill down to about $1200, but they all claim they can't do anything more for me. I've been a multi-line customer for 16 years, and in 3 weeks (when my two 2-year contracts are up) I had planned to add 2 more lines and upgrade to the IPhone 7+ (I have a 6+ now). I already cancelled my 3rd line yesterday. I am dumbfounded why Verizon would rather loose me as a potential 5 line customer over a $550 difference, which Verizon will easily earn in a few bills.
Verizon isn't loosing money to Italy.... Verizon is making money off my mistake.
I believe a good business model is to do the right thing: This comes down to numbers, and I'm a great customer. I've been told several things:
"You should have called us to set up international travel"
"You should have come into the store to set up international travel"
"Why didn't you call Verizon when the data overage texts came in? We could have fixed it then"
"I'd like to help you and keep you as our customer, but I am not authorized to reduce the charges further"
"If I reduce the charges that much, then it would be admitting Verizon made a mistake. Verizon didn't do anything wrong, so I'm not authorized to do more for you"
To add salt to the wound, when I cancelled my 3rd line in the store yesterday, I was offered hundreds of dollars in incentives to persuade me to keep the line. If there is a will there is a way, so I thought I'd put it out to the community to see if anyone has any suggestions. In the meantime, I'm shopping for my new carrier for the next 16 years.
From a loyal customer who wants to remain loyal...
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The biggest issue is that Verizon cannot verify your intentions.
Playing devil's advocate here:
Skipping the part where you say that you wanted the international package, you travel to Italy and use your phone not realizing what is going on. You get home and see this large bill then you call Verizon and say that you intended to add the package before leaving. You say you did this on an unstable 3G connection. Did you log back in to verify that you had successfully added this? Did you get the email from Verizon confirming the feature change? Had you received notification from Verizon that the change took effect and THEN you got the larger than expected bill, I could see your point. Again, Verizon doesn't know intent. You then connected to the network in Italy and they sent all of your usage and charged Verizon who has paid them for your usage. Verizon now must recuperate that cost. This is why it always best to forgo you VZW SIM outside the USA and get a SIM from a network i that country.
Thank you for your comments sprmankalel. I agree that I made some mistakes and understand how stupid it appears that I would ask Verizon for a billing adjustment. However, I did think I was on the international plan. I wasn't given any texts saying I was being billed overages for voice or texts, only for the international data (which is what I had expected to pay in addition to the package fee). Trust me that Italy doesn't know what packages Verizon has their customers on, Italy charges the same fee for my use if I'm on a package or not. Verizon is merely pocketing the difference and I'm asking them to not do that based on my 16 year loyalty and intention to remain with the company. I can switch to a lower cost plan for a family of 5 from another company, so why would I continue with a company who doesn't appreciate loyalty?
You missed my point.
Why should Verizon take your word that you intended to be on the international package? How do they know that you wanted it prior to leaving? There is nothing to indicate that you didn't just leave and then decide when you got the bill that you should have gotten the discounted rate.
I wouldn't expect them to eat the cost of your travel usage. They may work something out and take some of the charges away but I wouldn't expect them to only charge you the package price plus your overages.
You are not loyal to Verizon. You have simply stayed with them for so long because you felt like you received the best value for the price you pay for services. If, at any time, you felt differently you would have switched carriers. You can't play the "I have been a customer for xx number of years" card. I have been a customer for only 6 years. Is my business worth less because you have been a customer for 16? Length of being customer is not a reason to give you a $1200 credit.
I do see you point, and hope you will appreciate my response as not argumentative. Verizon can see that I did change my plan, but only the data portion. They can see this order in the system, and I did get confirmation of that. I didn't realize it didn't include voice and text. I was not aware that I was incurring overage at $1.79 per minute vs. the included 100 minutes and 25 cents after. When I went to the store to discuss the matter, I was told I should have "called or come into the store" to set up the plan as the website ordering can be tricky. My issue isn't with the fact they wont adjust the bill, it is that the 5 representatives I've spoken to say they understand the confusion and want to adjust the bill, but they simply are not authorized to do so.
And as for the 10 year difference between your account and mine, which adds up to more than $30,000, I disagree, my account has earned more value than yours. Where you may be lead from company to company to save a penny, I choose to stay with a company knowing that I receive good service, good communication, a website that is (supposed to be) easy to navigate, and I am appreciated as an honest customer who pays my bills on time. Once you have established longevity with a company, you will have that on your side, too. In the meantime, you will have to pay your way there; even if it means passing up some really good offers from other companies. Six years is a great start to that relationship.
Verizon knows I trust them, that's why I've stayed. I was trusting them to not charge me for some extra money in their pocket that they are collecting from MY error. There is no blame. Apparently they have to admit a mistake to not charge me, and I'm not claiming Verizon did anything wrong except for not having an easier process for setting up an international plan. That's my ignorance as you pointed out; I should have double checked my email and read it to understand there was no voice or text included, or logged back in to double check it went through, but I didn't- stupid mistake. But they do have a record I changed my plan (only data) before I left.
And as for the 10 year difference between your account and mine, which adds up to more than $30,000, I disagree, my account has earned more value than yours.
What a very condescending response. You automatically assume that because you you have 10 years more with a company that you have paid more? You have NO CLUE what I pay for my bill every month. Therefore, you don't know for sure that you have amassed $30K more in services than I have. You don't know If I am on a business account paying $6,000 per month or on a pre-paid account paying $40 per month. Do you? You most certainly don't know what carrier, if any, I used BEFORE I started using Verizon. I knew you would think that your business is worth more than someone else's business. I really didn't have to ask.
But they do have a record I changed my plan (only data) before I left.
Exactly! They have a record of you changing a data plan. They have no record of you changing anything else. They still DO NOT KNOW your intent to have changed the voice plan as well.
I still stick by the fact that you processed the request so Verizon is not responsible or accountable to "fix" anything. The website is for users who know what is happening and processing your own transactions online mean that you take full responsibility of all charges.
For something as important as the correct plan for international travel, I would absolutely plan in advance and ensure confirmation of the international plan having been applied, via a stable network or over the phone, before I left. I have never had the luxury of traveling overseas, but if I did I would plan ahead. I've been with Verizon since 2001 so I, too, have been with them for 16 years, although I don't feel my happiness as a customer is more important than anyone else's.
As a long time customer with an apartment in Italy, you should be aware of the need to make sure all your plans are in order, as it would seem this is not your first time traveling internationally. If I'm wrong about that, I apologize. It doesn't make sense that they should treat it as if you activated the voice plan because there is no evidence to suggest you did. You added a data plan, but not everyone uses voice and text service when they travel. You didn't add the right plan, or didn't make sure the change was confirmed before leaving, and now you want Verizon to pretend you did.