January 18, 2010

Verizon: "We Record You, but Don't You Dare Record Us!" -- and a FiOS Order Canceled

Greetings. In FiOS Scamming the Elderly a couple of days ago, I expressed my extreme displeasure at the horrendous (whether legal or not, yet to be determined) sales techniques used to pressure the elderly father of a friend of mine into signing up for FiOS services (on a long-term contract) that he didn't want or need.

Since that posting, I've discovered more subterfuge -- they even signed him for FiOS TV after he explicitly told them that he already had cable TV and wanted to stay with it.

Today I finally reached Verizon, and after fighting my way through the usual impediments and multiple transfers I successfully canceled the order. I hope.

Verizon won't provide written confirmation that the order has been killed, and simply tells you to use the original order number for reference. We'll see if his existing, non-FiOS Verizon phone service ends up being disrupted, and I've told him that if any Verizon crews show up at his house, just send them packing back to the depot.

I plan to pursue the issue of the tactics used by the Verizon door-to-door hit squad. Verizon reps I spoke to today refused to reveal whether or not such workers were Verizon employees or (more likely I'll bet) contract workers on commission.

There was an amusing aspect to canceling the order. I felt it appropriate to record the call, so that I'd have a proof of this order activity in case there was an "issue" regarding the order's status later on.

Complexities of individual state laws regarding notifications of recording aside (one-party vs. two-party states), my policy is to always notify the other party when I'm recording a call.

Imagine my surprise when I discovered that the Verizon reps I talked to absolutely and indignantly refused to continue the calls when I told them that I was recording. This despite the fact that virtually the first words out of the Verizon phone system are "call may be monitored or recorded."

So, being a law-abiding, ethical citizen, I stopped the recording and so informed the reps. Their hesitation to continue the calls was unmistakable. "Did he really stop recording?"

The technical term for this attitude on the part of Verizon is of course referenced by the acronym CYA. They want to record you for their protection, but heaven forbid if you desire to record them for the same reason.

But given Verizon's sleazy FiOS sales practices, the fact that they behave similarly disrespectful of their customers' concerns at the call center level shouldn't really surprise anyone.

It's almost as if the long gone but widely despised General Telephone sometimes still lives on as a ghostly spirit in aspects of its descendant Verizon.

Cue the theremin ...


Posted by Lauren at January 18, 2010 01:09 PM | Permalink
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