Verizon vs. Earthlink – The Good, The Bad, and The Policy

good_bad_ugly.jpg  Here are two very different experiences I recently had with Verizon and with Earthlink.  Since they are both in the communications industry, it’s worth looking at what one got right and what one got wrong, very wrong.

Verizon – The Good:  I have a smartphone manufactured by UT Starcom that caries the Verizon label.  I was having trouble synching my phone with MS Outlook.  I called UT Starcom and they suggested downloading a recent software update. I did, and once it was installed the voice-recognition function stopped working.  A call back to UT Starcom left the head of tech-support at a loss for a fix.  I asked if I could download the original software that came with the phone.  He said that was not possible, so I was now stuck with a phone missing a funtion I used all the time.  Next, a call to Verizon to see if I could download the original software from them turned out to be no-go as well.  Here is where it gets good.  The Verizon agent offered to ship a refurbished phone with the original software at no charge and I would receive it in one or two days!  In return, I needed to return my old phone to them and the box that my new phone would come in would have a pre-paid shipping label.  A refurbished phone was not ideal, but I would get what I wanted, at no charge, in a day or two.  My problem was resolved with one call. Now that’s good! 

Earthlink – The Bad:  I’ll spare you all the details.  Partly becasue they are lengthy, and partly because I don’t want to relive the nightmare.  My initial call to Earthlink was to request an upgrade to their 6.0 Mbps broadband service from the 1.5 Mbps service I had.  One week after placing the order I had heard nothing. So I called to follow-up and  found out I wasn’t close enough to their switch to qualify.  Why couldn’t they tell me that when I called the first time?  Over the next several weeks I had to place a series of calls to get downgraded back to the 1.5 Mbps service, and to get a refund for the new modem that one senior rep offered me at no charge as compensation for all the hassle I experienced. (By the way, the only reason I got to this senior rep was due to a survey I filled out that gave them the worst marks possible)

Earthlink – The Policy: The first two times I called about reversing the modem charge I was told it was their policy to require a long-term contract to get a modem at no charge.  I told them the original rep did not mention that policy.  At this point I had spent about 11 hours of my time to get all my issues resolved.  I finally spoke to a senior billing rep who reversed the charge for the modem!  Ahh, so much for their policy. At this point though, I was beyond rescuing.  It just takes a while to change Internet service so I have to stay with Earthlink for a little longer.

Things Worth Noting:

  1. When it comes to customer support, do your best to have some idea what each possible resolution will cost, in time, materials, and word-of-mouth.  I imagine Verizon knew that the cost of sending me a refurbished phone would be less costly than the resources required to handle the multiple calls I would make into customer support if they hadn’t.  Also, their first-call resolution stats will look good, and they will have a happy customer.
  2. Customer Surveys – With Earthlink I must have made 20-25 different phone calls.  I recived 3 email surveys asking me how the call went.  Sounds like they send surveys out randomly.  However, I noticed that the survey requests only showed up following calls that seemed to go OK from the reps perspective.  Survey requests should either be sent to all your customers, or be sent in randomly.  Letting customer support reps decide when to send a feedback requests isn’t random, and it will certainly bias your results.  Especially if reps are compensated on survey results.

PS – Please send me email to my gmail address – my earthlink one will stop working shortly.

Photo Credit

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3 Responses

  1. broadband services these days are getting and cheaper and faster too, very soon we would have an affordable Gigabit internet ::

  2. Donation From Mr Paul Morgan
    NO. BP 102 R.Des Martyrs Cocody
    Abuja Nigeria

    DEAREST ONE IN THE LORD

    I am the above named person from Kuwait. I am married to Mr.Wiley Collins who worked with Kuwait embassy here in Ivory Coast for nine years before he died in the year 2004. We were married for eleven years without a child. He died after a brief illness that lasted for only four days.

    Before his death we were both born again Christian. Since his death I decided not to remarry or get a child outside my matrimonial home which the Bible is against. When my late husband was alive he deposited the sum of $2.5 Million (Two Million and Five Hundred thousand U.S. Dollars) in the bank here in Abidjan in a suspense account

    Presently, the fund is still in the bank. Recently, my Doctor told me that i have seriously sickness which is cancer problem. The one that disturbs me most is my stroke sickness. Having known my condition I decided to donate this fund to a church or individual that will utilize this money the way I am going to instruct herein. I want a church that will use this fund for orphanages, widows, propagating the word of God and to endeavor that the house of God is maintained. The Bible made us to understand that blessed is the hand that grivet. I took this decision because I don’t have any child that will inherit this money and my husband relatives are not Christians and I don’t want my husband’s efforts to be used by unbelievers. I don’t want a situation where this money will be used in an ungodly way. This is why I am taking this decision. I am not afraid of death hence i know where I am going. I know that I am going to be in the bosom of the Lord.

    Exodus 14 VS 14 says that the Lord will fight my case and I shall hold my peace.
    I don’t need any telephone communication in this regard because of my health hence the presence of my husband’s relatives is around me always I don’t want them to know about this development. With God all things are possible. As soon as I receive your reply I shall give you the contact of the bank here in Abidjan. I want you and the church to always pray for me because the Lord is my shepherd. My happiness is that I lived a life of a worthy Christian. Whoever that wants to serve the Lord must serve him in spirit and Truth. Please always be prayerful all through your life.

    Reply me for more information’s, without any delay in your reply will give me room in sourcing another church or individual for this same purpose. Please assure me that you will act accordingly as I Stated herein. Hoping to receive your reply.

    Send me the following information’s as per below.
    Your full names………………………..
    Address ………………………………
    Age ………………………………….
    Occupation ……………………………

    Remain blessed in the Lord.
    Yours in Christ,
    Mr Paul Morgan

  3. Thanks, awesome web log..

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