Service Not Included

Among the extraordinary benefits of the technological age are the opportunities it gives business owners to provide exceptional customer service.

And exceptional customer service is the surest way to separate yourself from the competition. A subject I blogged about a few weeks ago.

Of course, any opportunity to excel also offers a company the chance to demonstrate, in ever-more spectacular ways, the scope of its customer service shortcomings.

Tonight, I wanted to activate call forwarding on my home phone. A service that my Fios package summary says is included.

After a 30 minute odyssey through the swamp that is Verizon’s web site (the more you struggle you more you find yourself in the same place) I finally hit the button that said, “Have a Question? A live representative will help you.”

What followed was a 40 minute descent into madness.

It was not that the representative did not want to help. It was that he had not been trained to help.

So, when you decide to offer your customers’ service, I have but one word of advice.



A Verizon Service Representative will be with you shortly. Thank you. (18:10:00)

Agent Dean has joined. (18:11:00)

Dean : Chat ID for this session is 07230911976. (18:11:00)

Dean(18:13:11): Hello. Thank you for visiting our Verizon chat service. How can I help you place your order?

You(18:13:55): I want {to activate} call forwarding.

Dean(18:14:16): I will be happy to help you with that.

You(18:14:20): My account summary says it is part of my package already

You(18:14:26): Verizon Freedom Essentials $49.99


Call Forwarding - Busy/Don't Answer



You(18:14:48): Is that true?

Dean(18:15:14): Included means you are not required to pay additional charges for this features.

You(18:15:43): Great. But it doesn't work.

Dean(18:15:48): You can add your calling features and then click on the next button to proceed and then on your Review order page click on the check out button to to proceed.

You(18:17:01): When I do that it adds $5.75 amonth to my bill.

Dean(18:18:37): Okay, it means this feature is not included.

You will see your calling features charge on your order page. On the Review order page click on the check out button to proceed and then fill all required information then click on the next button to proceed.

You(18:19:51): So 'included' means 'not included'. I see that's very clear.

Dean(18:20:16): No, you will see charges on your order page it means this feature is not included.

Dean(18:20:41): To add this feature you will need to complete your online process.

You(18:20:59): So the statement on my account summary page is not true?

Verizon Freedom Essentials $49.99


Call Forwarding - Busy/Don't Answer



Dean(18:21:09): To proceed with your online process click on the check out button and follow the online prompts.

You(18:23:18): So, pay $5.75 a month for a service that is already included in my agreement because it's not included? Just so I'm clear. Is this a one-time deal or are all Verizon packages structured like this?

Dean(18:24:03): NO, for included features there is not additional charges, you may add other additional features along with your included one.

You(18:24:41): My included one is 'call forwarding.'

You(18:24:56): But you're telling me there is an additional charge for that.

You(18:25:02): Which is it?

You(18:25:13): If it's 'included' there's no additional charge.

You(18:25:26): If there's an additional charge it's not included.

You(18:25:39): In which case, why does it say it's 'included'?

Dean(18:27:20): Thank you for your patience, I was checking on your questions.

Usually call forwading option is chargable so it is not included.

You(18:27:50): But it says it is included on my account summary.

You(18:27:54): Verizon Freedom Essentials $49.99


Call Forwarding - Busy/Don't Answer



Dean(18:29:19): Would you like to add call forwding feature with your service?

You(18:30:50): My account summary says that it is included.

You(18:31:13): Verizon Freedom Essentials $49.99


Call Forwarding - Busy/Don't Answer



Dean(18:31:28): After selection of your features you will see your package /calling features charges on your Review order page before you check out.

You(18:32:06): Dean - you have spent 20 minutes not answering my question.

Dean(18:32:57): I apologize for any inconvenience, I am not intend to provide you any kind of hassle.

You(18:33:00): This is a waste of time.

You(18:33:16): My account summary says Call Forwarding is included

You(18:33:26): If it is included why do I need to add it?

You(18:33:43): And if I add it why should I apy more for it if it is included?

You(18:33:49): Can you answer that?

You(18:33:56): If not, I give up.

Dean(18:34:52): Let me inform you, Your current features reflect as Existing features ( not included features)on your order page.

You(18:35:49): What?

You(18:36:19): When is an Included feature not an Existing Feature?

Dean(18:37:39): Included means you can get however, it does not mean that you have selected those features and you already have those features. However, let me send you a separate link for calling features so you can get better idea.


You(18:39:30): This takes me to the Verizon home page

Dean(18:39:50): Yes, select home phone option then select calling features options.

You(18:40:07): Do you have a link to the AT&T residential phone service website?

Dean(18:40:49): I can assist you for Verizon services at this time.

Then enter your Zip code and then click on the submit button to view all calling features.

You(18:40:49): There is no Home Phone option

You(18:41:46): I don't need to know whether Call Forwarding is available. I need to know why, if it is included in my account summary, it is not a feature I can access.

Dean(18:42:16): Are you able to see Red bar below the Verizon logo?

Dean(18:43:42): I understand your concern however, it might be an error since usually these feature is chanrgable.

You(18:44:21): There are no words to describe this experience.

You(18:44:25): I surrender.

You(18:44:29): Verizon wins.

Dean(18:46:31): Again I apologize for any inconvenience.

You(18:46:31): I'll just leave a note on the fridge and hope anyone who calls sees it.

Dean(18:48:46): Let me provide you a contact number if you want to call our local Verizon business office.

Dean(18:49:12): You can call us at our local verizon business office at 1 + your area code + 890-7100.

Dean(18:49:22): You can call on this number between 8 AM to 6 PM from Monday to Friday.

You(18:49:33): Thanks, but no. I've aged enough already.

You(18:49:38): Good night.