Verizon Wireless Apparently Still Can't Train Its Sales People In Basic Math

from the add-your-0.2-cents dept

You may recall the story from last year about Verizon Wireless' dubious math skills. What kicked off the story was a guy traveling to Canada with a Verizon Wireless EVDO account. He had asked how much the roaming charges would be, and was told 0.002 cents per kilobyte -- which is quite reasonable. However, when he got his next bill, it was quite a lot bigger than he expected. That's because Verizon Wireless actually charges 0.002 dollars per kilobyte. When confronted on this, hilarity (or frustration, depending on your point of view) ensued. Even when being explained the difference in dollars and cents clearly, Verizon Wireless customer service reps continued to insist that 0.002 cents per kilobyte is the same thing as 0.002 dollars per kilobyte. The publicity backlash convinced Verizon Wireless to refund the guy's money (though still demand he not use their logo on his blog about the story). Either way, you would think that this widely talked about event would have Verizon Wireless careful to train their customer service reps on the difference between dollars and cents. Not so, apparently.

Broadband Reports points us to a guy who clearly has way too much free time, who decided to check up on Verizon Wireless, calling the company 56 times to ask about two separate data rates. Out of 56 customer service reps he spoke to, a grand total of one gave him the correct info on both questions. 52% answered both questions incorrectly. All in all, he received 22 unique answers, with many underquoting the actual rate by a factor of 100. However, as he noted, that didn't stop nearly all of them from immediately then offering him a two-year contract -- which you could claim was sold to him with false data about what he'd be paying. He put together a nice video to highlight some of the incorrect statements from Verizon Wireless CSRs:
So, is it reasonable to ask when Verizon Wireless is going to start teaching its customer service reps math?

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  1. identicon
    Wizard Prang, 15 Nov 2007 @ 7:48am

    You pay peanuts, you get monkeys

    Not a diatribe against call-center staff; most of them don't do it for the love of the job.

    It gets worse... some employees at Fast-food restaurants cannot make change without a computer-controlled till yelling at them to give the customer 21c.

    Frankly, the innumeracy of many young (and some not-so-young) people scares me.

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