Verizon Technical Support: Ignorant or Incompetent?

On Jan 6th I got a Blackberry 9930, and after activating the phone the internet/ data functionality did not work.  When I attempt to access the web, I get the following error: “Browsing over the cellular network is not included as part of your current service plan.  To browse the web, you must use Wi-Fi or contact your service provider to change your service plan.” My service plan does include web browsing- my wife uses it on her smartphone.  Called tech support on Jan 7 and was told it would be working within 8 hours.  Called back later that day and was told up to 72 hours.  Called next day (Jan 8th) and was told up to 5 days.  No one can tell me what’s wrong or give any updates, and the time to repair keeps getting longer and longer.  Phone tech support does not seem to know anything other than form troubleshooting, which has not worked (if they tell me to remove the battery one more time, I think I’ll lose it).  Their ignorance is very frustrating.

9 Responses to “Verizon Technical Support: Ignorant or Incompetent?”

  1. Dan says:

    Every single time I call tech support I specifically ask for some sort of ticket or reference number, the supporter’s name, their supervisor’s name, and the date/time I called. I keep a pen and paper notebook log specifically for this.

    I explain to the person on the phone with me that I’m just trying to keep track of everything so that if I have to call back with the same issue, I can expedite the process without wasting my time and theirs. Believe it or not, the techs usually respond well to that (they don’t exactly love being on the phone with us for 20+ minutes).

    No matter how mundane. I do it every single time. It honestly has saved me a lot of time on repeat calls, and if someone ever gives me the line of “Well we don’t have a record of you calling” I can regurgitate all of the information so fast that their head spins and they hand me to somebody competent.

    Worth the investment of pen & a notebook.

  2. Pitt says:

    I have a trouble ticket number: NRB000005895567 Doesn’t seem to help.

    “Have you tried turning it off, and then turning it back on again?”

    Yes. 1992 called, and they want their troubleshooting flow chart back.

  3. Pitt says:

    Update: The service began working properly at approximately 7PM last night. I’d sent an email to customer service (approximating the above post) and received the following reply around 4PM yesterday:

    ************

    I am sorry to hear that you are having so many problems with the data connection. This definitely should not be the case. Based on the ticket that was filed, it is taking longer because it was assigned to our System Performance team. I did do a little more research into your issue and I did find a discrepancy.

    I noticed that your line of service was missing one crucial element. It was not coded to correctly communicate with the BlackBerry servers. All BlackBerry devices must be enabled on the BlackBerry Internet Service to function properly. I have added that code to the account for you today. Please dial *228 and choose Option 1 on the phone to program this change into the phone. After the phone resets itself, you should have access to the browser. If for any reason you are still having a problem, please do the following:

    1. Press the BlackBerry button (Menu)
    2. Scroll to and select Options
    3. Select Device
    4. Scroll to and Select Advanced System Settings
    5. Select Host Routing Table
    6. Press the BlackBerry button
    7. Select Register Now
    8. Power off the device and pull the battery for 30 seconds

  4. Pitt says:

    The conclusion I’ve come to is that email is the best way to get competent technical support. The phone jockeys seem to be worthless.

  5. matt says:

    If my experience working as a contractor for Verizon is still relevant, odds are that you were dealing with a subcontractor of a subcontractor in a call center somewhere who was not allowed to speak with anyone who actually maintains the cell network, and who was both undertrained and didn’t have the organizational power to actually do anything to solve the problem.

    When I was doing DSL support with them, we actually had no way to communicate with the company proper besides a web form. That’s a fun thing to explain to an angry customer who just got his phone inadvertantly disconnected.

  6. matt says:

    Also — a Blackberry? As a personal phone?

  7. Pitt says:

    Both, actually. I need a phone for work (which work will pay for) and my own use. My wife has a Casio ruggedized smartphone which I considered initially, but I find that I actually really hate touchscreen keypads. Since emailing and texting is the majority of what I’ll be doing, it serves the purpose well. Yeah, the screen is a bit smaller than a regular smartphone, but I don’t really care. It’s worth it for the regular qwerty keypad. All the other buttons are actual press-down buttons too, which I prefer. Also, battery life is supposed to be better than other smartphones.

    And yes, I know BB has their own apps and they aren’t as well supported as the Droid/ iphone ones, but again, don’t really care. Also, after all my rebates I got the phone for 40 bucks out of pocket. I really like it.

  8. matt says:

    I had physical keyboards on my last two phones (Palm Treo and a Samsung Epix), and it did take some time to get used to the onscreen version. I’ve found that with the help of autocorrect, I’m able to type at about the same speed on the iPhone as I could on the others.

    I was just surprised that you’d buy a Blackberry for home use; they’ve got a great platform, but a lot of the features are corporate-focused. If you’re using it for both, though, that makes sense.

  9. Pitt says:

    My main concern was what I’d been hearing about gov’t agencies and corporate entities dropping their BB contracts. But the worst thing that happens if BB goes under is I have to get a new phone. *shrug*

    I just don’t like non-responsive touch devices in general. The power button on my TV is like that, and I’m never quite sure when I touch the button if I’ve actually turned it on, until the electronics catch up and the picture appears. I rented a new Ford Taurus a few months ago and absolutely couldn’t use even the radio without the car being stopped at a light so I could concentrate on the overly complex and non-intuitive MyFordTouch. I really just don’t understand the point- to me it’s being all futuristic simply for futurism’s sake. Have people gotten so lazy now they just want to rest their finger on a screen to activate a feature, rather than having to actually depress a button?

    Since Verizon got the kinks worked out (which turned out to be all on their end, and had nothing to do with the phone) I’m very pleased with my 9930. Katie’s been using her Casio for about 6 months now, used my BB once, and already prefers it over the Casio. I really hope RIM stays in business, I like their product.

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