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Friday, July 06, 2007

Verizon FiOS Installation – A Big Disaster, Mishandled by Verizon

It’s been a frustrating day, culminating a frustrating week in trying to switch from the Time Warner Cable service to the Verizon FiOS (Fiber Optic) Television service that I have been in the process of adding to my Internet service that I receive from Verizon currently. The summary, before reading the rest of the article and series of events is that I as of today – I still do not have Verizon FiOS TV service, my Internet service is out, and I would not recommend going with the Verizon FiOS service.

I had mentioned in a couple of articles earlier this week that I had contacted Verizon to confirm the Friday appointment at home. This is very important because one, I am leaving for a business trip to India next week and two – I needed to work from home while waiting, when I would prefer to go into the office. On both instances of my previous calls, Verizon confirmed my appointment. While they could not narrow down the timeframe from “all-day”, they were able to confirm it.

And, again on Friday morning I gave the Verizon FiOS customer service number a call to confirm the appointment. I was able to get connected faster than earlier in the week and was told that my appointment was still scheduled for some time during the day. However, the systems were down and they could not be more specific. So, I went on with my day as planned.

Around 2:00pm, I started to get nervous because I had not received the “pre-call” that Verizon requires before the technician shows up at your door – usually 30 minutes before arrival. It had not come on either phone number and I was nervous something was awry. I place another call to Verizon’s customer service department and connected with a gentleman out of the Everett, WA call center.

Very quickly, my concerns were confirmed. After asking what I perceived to be some strange questions, he asked me – Do you have television service? I responded no, I did not – but I was supposed to get it today. He mentioned then the system showed my order complete and asked if a Verizon technician came by today. I mentioned one had not, but I was expecting them at my house now. He put me on hold to give ordering, provisioning, and the local office a call.

After 5 minutes he gets back on the phone and says sorry but my order was lost and there is nothing that could be done today (still 3+ hours left in the day) and I would need to reschedule for next Wednesday and have someone at the house ALL DAY again. I told him my situation and that it was unacceptable and someone must come out today – after saying he was sorry, I asked to speak to a supervisor or manager.

After sitting on hold for 25 minutes (it was now closing in on 3:00), I was finally transferred to a supervisor. I spoke with the manager named Jason and he was both sympathetic to the situation and he said he would make a couple of calls and get back to me. I felt that while it was a long shot – there might be something that happened today.

Then 3:30pm came. Then 4:00pm came. Then 4:30pm came. Then 5:00pm came. Then 5:30pm came and still no call back from Verizon and I knew I had wasted my day at home. At this point, I am at the point where I am planning on cancelling my order and switching back to RoadRunner cable service because no company that treats customers this way deserves to be in business.

Finally, at 5:38pm a customer advocate called. She was very pleasant and asked if anyone had called me – I mentioned “no”, explained my frustration and the expectation that someone would be out today since I already had the basic FiOS service it would be a matter of minutes for my setup. She said she did not think that was possible but was working an escalation path to get a Verizon technician to my house in the morning. That was the only possible scenario in which I was willing to entertain still being a Verizon customer. She called me back in 20 minutes and confirmed that Saturday morning appointment. However, I was surprised that not even a basic offer of a free month’s worth of service was given for them wasting my time. Simply, an explanation of a “lost” order – hard to buy that in these days and times.

Everything seemed to be going ok until 6:30pm, and then my Verizon FiOS Internet service just dropped off the map. I figured it had to do with provisioning, and that because of the upcoming TV service something was going on.

I placed a call into technical support, supposedly a Dallas, Texas call center and it was an absolute waste of time. While the automated assistance (line and router test) could have been helpful, it was not my problem – however that was the one good piece of technology in the experience. Then it is on to the technical support representative. Turn your computer and your router off and on, please unplug your Verizon outside power and battery backup. Actually, pretty ridiculous given the fact that the connectivity had been rock solid with ZERO outages until this ordeal today.

Then becomes the fun part, sorry I cannot help you anymore because the systems here are down. You will have to wait for the technician to come on site tomorrow. So, I get to go through the evening without the basic Verizon FiOS Internet service I am paying for.

Too sum up this long story – I highly recommend against going with Verizon FiOS at this point in time due to their support and provisioning systems instability. In several instances this week, these systems either messed up my order or were unable to provide a basic level of customer service. If you value your time, give Verizon at least 6 months to a year to get their act together before considering the switch.

It’s amazing how a company that is this poor at serving their customers can even stay in business.


FireMission said...

Yea so the point of this story is that you had to go ONE WHOLE NIGHT without internet service.... Oh and somebody somewhere screwed something up and they had the nerve to actually impact you in some way. Oh and you had to actually use the phone. And i would say that 24 Hr onsite service is pretty good. and Just FYI if you have Charter cable internet and you live in St.Louis it will be a MINIMUM 3 week wait to get a tech out. Speaking as someone in the industry that has to deal with self absorbed PDA toting morons that know nothing about how this technology actually works like you. I would say that you were treated quite well.

Ken Hanscom said...

That's an interesting perspective. It signals exactly what is wrong in the industry. If the type of service I received was "pretty good" then the industry has become filled with monopolistic companies that have little care for the consumers. Sooner or later they will be out of business, or there will be FCC involvement.

Providing a service for customers is what these companies do for a living. If they or their employees are not interested in doing so, they should rethink what they are doing.

Laura said...

This is really amazing. I've seen all kinds of bad comments about Verizon on the web, but I think this is the worst story I've read.

You might also want to spread the word on, a website for reviews of products and stores that you really like (or really hate). It's at, and it's very easy and rather cathartic.

Sakenu16 said...

I agree this service is miserable and has been dissapointing in my opinion. I order this service and it was installed in my house. The next day the service stopped working. After spending a whole day working with the tech on the phone to resolve this issue, the service came back on around 7pm or so. Three days after installation I again experienced a problem with the service and on the helpdesk they tried to resolve the problem but could not. I did not hear from them until the following day saying that they needed to send out a tech on Sunday. On friday I got a call from VZ saying they couldn't come on Sunday and changed it to Saturday. I couldn't be at home but my wife was going to be there, fine they came but since at that time the service decided to work they were unable to do much (at least that is what they told my wife). On sunday the day after the techs came and the day I was originally scheduled for tech repair, the service went out during the day. Service came back at night but was slow. I called the helpdesk and now they are again sending out techs, to do what, not sure. Last time they didn't do anything, and I can't predict my service will be down or up when they come. I have 15 days to cancel so I won't get into the 1 year contract...and I am highly considering it. I never had this many problems with internet service.

I called up billing to have them set my installation date to the next visit but they said they are unable and can only possibly give me credit (although at first they didn't even want to give me credit since the first month of service is supposed to be free). I had to complain to them and say look first month of service is free, keyword is service which I don't have unless my service decides to work. In my opinion I would say to people to stay away until Fios works out all the kinks (unfortunately on suckers like me). Stay with DSL or Cable hey the speed might be slow but it works. This service is fast but in my opinion it has been unreliable. Who knows what my experiences will be if I decide to keep this service and I guess if it is properly installed.

Anonymous said...

I have had Verizon FIOS since early 2003 and never once has the internet service ever gone down. I have had Comcast in two states and it went down regularly.
The FIOS technology is solid for internet service.
Now I just switched from Dish Network to FIOS TV and have the green line syndrome on my HDTV. My sole reason for switching was to save money with bundled services. I am saving, but struggling a lot with this transistion because FIOS TV is struggling to get the bugs out. I have no significant complaint on service, but do agree that there are communication problems between the order taking place and the arriving technician. But once on site he got the correct box to do what I needed from another rep in town.
All in all, the service was fine.

Anonymous said...

well as far as i am concerned verizon is not a good company. back in late 2007 i had signed up for there fios service. we made a total of three seperate appointment to have service conected and each time no one showed up even after numerous complaints and calls. so of corse we said forget it,hree times your out! well just the other night a sales rep came knocking at our door from verizon, and of corse shes doing her sales pitch and i told her why we did not why to sign up with them i told them about our past problem. she said oh i have never heard of that happening. so i figured maybe it was just a bad time it wont happen again so i decided to go ahead and sign up again with the promise we would get a referrel credit from the neighbor signing up and a free samsung camera. well are dates was scheduled for the 30th of this month (april) i get a email from verizon this morning saying that my neighbor claimed me as a referrel,so now i cannot claim her as one. the sales rep gave us both the same deal. in disbelief i started wondering about the camera so i went on there website looking what the terms were for it, so one of the terms you have to have service installed by the 30th of april. well thats great my appointment is on the 30th. well go to get my new emails out,and wouldnt you know it i get a email saying they have changed my installation date till may 1st. so now i am in the process of cancelling there service i dont want their service now and will never ever my service. they lie,lie,lie. brighthouse may from time to time have had technical problems with their services,but it always get resolved.they have never lied to me and they have always showed up for their appoinments and their customer service is great.brighthouse has me for life! verizon you lost