Is Verizon Wireless really as bad as customers say?

My wife wants us to switch from our current cellphone company to Verizon because they have a great monthly rate for two phones and 2000 minutes. I had an uneasy feeling about Verizon because of the bad reports from angry customers in past years.

I Googled "Verizon Wireless complaints" and got about 672,000 hits, which might indicate they still have a problem. One of the first  sites I looked at was my3cents.com which has 142 complaints about Verizon Wireless. Most of the complaints were about poor customer service and shoddy billing practices.

On the other hand, reports from organizations like JD Power, Consumer Reports, and the FCC rate Verizon very highly. So who do I believe? I tend to look at the source of information and that would indicate that customers have enough problems with Verizon that it would take a giant leap of faith to switch to that company.

"Consumer Interest" organizations are dealing with massaged data and are subject to pressure from influential organizations. I would not be at all surprised to hear that the wireless industry acted to moderate the findings of such groups.

When I see hundreds of complaints about shoddy practices, deceptive claims, and indifferent customer service, I figure that this is only the tip of the iceberg. There are probably thousands more that grumble quietly and do not know where they can make their complaints heard.

And what about the people who are happy with their Verizon service? I am sure that there are hundreds of thousands of customers who live in a strong signal area and never roam enough to see interrupted service. There are also hundreds of thousands of people whose equipment functions perfectly. For them Verizon is totally satisfactory.

The true test is what happens when something goes wrong with your phone, your billing, your service. This is when you see the problems behind the shiny facade.

I live in Southwestern Virginia where the mountains make coverage spotty and I work under circumstances that cause my phone to drop on the ground and get knocked about a bit. I have had to go to my current carrier and get replacement phones and loaner phones at times. They were very obliging. I don’t get the feeling that Verizon has the same level of customer oriented service.

I want to see if anyone in Southern Virginia has GOOD things to say about Verizon, their billing, or their customer service. I am only slightly interested in their coverage. It is the service component that interests me the most.

Any comments?

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