That reply is an example of how uniformed the VZW CS people are. Their replies often sound scripted as if they say the same things to all callers having similar problems. It amazes me how some of them are so ignorant of even the most basic cell concepts.
I experienced the same issues of major battery drain. It was improved slightly after updating some apps. But the single best improvement came after I performed a cache wipe and clean install using Samsung Kies app from my PC. It backed everything up for me, just in case. After the wipe and reinstall of Lollipop, I did NOT perform a full phone restore. Instead, I let google restore all my contacts and mail. Then I re-installed all the apps I wanted to keep from the google play store. Then used Kies to restore only critical setting like network, sms messages, photos and music. I now have a perfectly smooth running S5 again and better battery life then Kit Kat!! I'll admit it was a little painful but it only took a half a day and I have learned a lot about Lollipop. It was well worth it.
I some what wonder if there job is to sell more than assist more, I've called in the past to ask a Question a not so Difficult one and the CS couldn't get what I was asking it was Later answered on here.. but what gets me more than anything is when they ask can I assist with anything else or would you be interested in an accessory.. for my phone.! my answer to both doing it calmly as I can is no thank you..
bearone ,the coding is set to always advance to the higher level OS, to go back to 4.4.4 you would need to use Odin and re-flash the ROM chip.
I'm finding that many of the tech coach folks, who are supposed to be a cut above the regular cs reps, are worthless too.
In general the best / most actionable information is provided by peers here. Newcomers may expect otherwise.
We should be able to nominate each other for things like, ahem, phones of our choice (heavily discounted of course), or say a month's free service. Peer to peer voting. The current points program is pretty lame to me. Accessories? No thanks. Really!
I do not think the support reps are paid "the big bucks". I'm thinking they just generally get hammered by people that are dissatisfied. Imagine, if you worked at your job and all that you get were problems by people that are unhappy, and very few / seldomly offered kudos.
For these forums, a few real experts from the OEM (should come with the contract to sell their devices) or the Carrier would be really welcome, but I think highly unlikely we'd see it. You never know though.