Can you bill me now?  No?

By Mike Maddaloni on Saturday, January 06, 2007 at 11:31 AM with 0 comments

I recently switched from Verizon Wireless to T-Mobile, and it had nothing to do with the mobile phone service itself. They lost me, believe it or not, due to their billing system.

Shortly after I moved from Boston to Chicago, I had a problem with my Kyocera 7135 Palm smartphone and went to the closest Verizon Wireless-owned store. They told me as I established the service out east, I would have to call them as they were on a different billing service. While I thought this was odd, I was able to call Verizon and get a new (actually refurbished) phone overnight, so I was not concerned. And when I had problems with the replacement phone, and 2 subsequent Treo 600’s, one call took care of it. Again I was content, so no cause for concern.

The clincher was when I wanted to add a phone line with a Chicago area code (the other numbers were Boston area codes) and they told me that due to 7 different billing systems, I would have to establish a separate account for the Chicago number. Needless to say, my mouth dropped, and even after telling the rep that this may cause me to leave being a Verizon customer for seven years, they said there was nothing they could do.

But there was something I could do – leave. I have been with T-Mobile for over a month, after taking more of the rep’s time than is probably typical. I moved all of my lines, got free phones, and the Internet package including the Hotspot service found in Starbucks was cheaper than Verizon’s Internet offering. Not to mention T-Mobile’s true GSM service and the ability to use my new unlocked Treo 680 (more on that later).

And Verizon’s response for me leaving? $50 off the cost of a new phone for coming back. Sorry, I didn’t quite hear that.

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