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
    david, 15 Nov 2007 @ 1:31pm

    great video

    I had the same exact problem with Verizon. I had a Treo 650 and got sick of paying $40/month for data. So I tried cancelling that plan and just using the Treo as a PIM Phone and on rare occasions using the Treo for mapping.

    The thing is that I could never get a clear answer, much like in this call, how much that would cost. And much worse, they make it impossible to find this rate online. I looked and looked and looked - I could never find it.

    If you have a pay as you go data plan, they show you the data you have used, but they don't convert it into dollars until you get the bill so its really hard to know what you have spent so that you can manage your use.

    In fact had this same exact thing happened, that I could never get a clear answer on the rate until it was too late. Some quoted a rate that made not having a data plan make sense, actually its a horrible deal.

    #7 > good luck finding it online.

    #24 > Verizon does offer a flat rate plan, but it is very expensive - $40 / month just for data. You pay this even if your phone does not do EVDO.

    This is part of the reason why I switched to iPhone. The data plan was only $20/month. For all the people saying the iPhone is expensive, anyone with a Treo, Motorola Q, Blackberry or other smartphone on Verizon is paying twice as much per month for unlimited data as I am paying for data with the iPhone on ATT.

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