I was all set to blast Verizon for manipulating my parents into buying their DSL service when my dad gave me the surprising update: Verizon had admitted to making a mistake and fully refunded my parents’ money. Yup, you read that right. Full refund.
Here’s the story in brief. My parents have had trouble with Comcast in their neighborhood (it works great in mine) and decided to make the switch to DSL when Verizon told them it was available. Unfortunately, when they made the switch, Verizon’s broadband proved flakier than Comcast’s. They lost their Internet connection constantly and nobody could explain to them why the service was so unreliable.
Fast forward to a few weeks later and some savvy support technician finally figured out that my parents’ house was outside the recommended distance from a Verizon hub. In other words, they’d been sold a service that was virtually guaranteed to fail.
As I said, Verizon ultimately admitted to the mistake and gave my parents a refund. I was thrilled by the outcome until I stopped and thought about it some more. How low are my expectations if I’m satisfied with several weeks of frustration that in the end don’t cost my parents money? Of course it shouldn’t cost them money! They weren’t the ones who made the mistake.
Hopefully more broadband competition will improve customer service, but I’m worried about what lengths the cable and telecom companies will go to to sign us up for their triple-play bundles. I know that once I’ve penned a service contract, there’s nothing like the dread of dealing with a customer support phone loop to keep me locked in place. Not a happy, customer, but unfortunately still a paying one.