Read all of Cenedella's Verizon horror story. I had virtually the same experience with their customer service call center today.
I'm 58% of the way through my 400-minute billing cycle - but I've used 95% of my minutes. When I called up Verizon to switch my plan, they essentially gave me three options. (compare to $50 if I stay within my 400-minute allowance)
(1) Stay on my current plan. Estimated monthly charge: $177
(2) Switch to 800 minute plan with pro-rated final month on 400-plan. Estimated monthly charge: $135 (They would bill me as if I'd used 381 minutes on a 232-minute plan before switching over to the 800-minute plan tomorrow)
(3) Go to a Verizon store, sign a new two-year contract, and switch retro-actively to the 800-miunte plan. Estimated monthly charge: $70 PLUS I'd have to deal with the same people that nearly drove Marc insane, and I'd be stuck with Verizon even longer that I currently am.
After hanging up in a huff, I called Verizon back. I asked how much it would cost me to cancel my account, and 5 minutes later, everything's taken care of. They will retroactively switch my account to the 800-minutes for the whole month, and I don't have to do another damn thing.
Meanwhile, I've wasted 50 minutes of my life dealing with Verizon and another 15 minutes writing this. If Lowell McAdam could just put a little more effort into helpful customer service, he would probably make his stock options a little more valuable.
As Marc says:
His poor leadership causes his company’s employees to not respect themselves, their customers, or their own company. When you focus on the short-term revenue opportunity rather than the long-term customer relationship, employees get the message. And as that message seeps into their daily routines – trick the customer into spending more money – it invades their hearts as well. And pretty soon, the low way they treat customers becomes the way they think of themselves.