Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Verizon Reacts to Its Third Cell Phone Outage in December by Imposing $24/year Fee

And If the Service Gets Any Worse, They Will Raise Prices Even More

Verizon is a cell phone operator whose marketing efforts tout the reliability of its service.  That really isn’t true.

Verizon Wireless has built its reputation on the quality of its cellular network, touting its reliability over rival AT&T Inc., but a series of outages this month threatens the largest U.S. wireless carrier's image.

On Thursday, Verizon Wireless said its engineers had fixed the third outage in December for its new high-speed data network. Some customers had complained they were getting slower connections or no signal at all.

Now a normal, decent, customer caring company would be concerned about customers.  But Verizon’s reaction is to put a bill payment fee in place for customers who pay by phone (does Verizon charge for the call?  Probably) or on the company’s website.

Verizon Wireless further frustrated customers Thursday by disclosing it would impose a $2 fee on those paying their bills by phone or on Verizon's website starting Jan. 15. The company said it was necessary to help pay for "single-bill payment options."

Customers can avoid the new fee by paying electronically through their bank or by mailing a check. But some cried foul over the fee, which effectively amounts to a $24 annual surcharge. "I'm getting a little tired of businesses figuring out ways to get their hands in my pockets," wrote one customer on a Verizon forum.

And of course, like everyone else in today’s era of personal responsibility, Verizon took full blame for the problems.  Well maybe not.

Verizon Wireless called the outages "regrettable" and vowed to improve its 4G service to be on par with its more broadly used 3G service. "Certainly we've shown we're not there in some aspects," said Mike Haberman, vice president of network operations.

The disruptions "were unforeseen despite careful and diligent planning" and each incident was prompted by a different technical glitch, such as software problems, said Mr. Haberman. "When you're operating the biggest, most advanced network there are growing pains."

Verizon is descended from former Bell company local monopolies.  Looks like they haven’t quite shed that monopoly heritage completely.

Update:  Verizon has recently rescinded the charge, citing public pressure.  Amazing what competition can do for an economy.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for another fantastic article. The place else may just anybody get that type of info in such a perfect way of writing? I've a presentation next week, and I am on the look for such info.
    Also see my website :: reverse cell lookup