My new cell phone arrived before 3:00 PM yesterday as promised by FedEx. (Still disappointing that TracFone didn't ship when promised.) When I received the phone I immediately initiated the process of "porting" or moving my phone number from my malfunctioning phone at Verizon to my new device at TracFone. I quickly found out how difficult it was to deal with Verizon and have yet another tale of the meaning of customer service.
Last night I received an email from TracFone telling me they needed an account number from Verizon in order to complete the porting process. To the best of my knowledge Alltel / Verizon never issued me an account number outside of my telephone number — another way they treat pay-as-you-go customers differently from contract customers. So I set about trying to find an account number. I found nothing in my Alltel / Verizon records. Next step, look online at "My Account" on Verizonwireless.com. Uh-uh. No such luck. So, checking on how to contact them, I found a "Customer Service" phone number and –lucky!– I was calling within service hours! Verizon's customer service contact, as it turned out, consists of a phone-answering robot that offers no possibility of reaching a live person to ask a simple question like "what is my account number." Push the "wrong" key too many times and it hangs up on you! Now, instead of having a few regrets, I'm happy to be dropping them!
So, extremely angry and frustrated at dealing with Verizon, I telephoned TracFone customer service and told the rep that I wished to terminate the porting and activate my new phone with a new number. I was told it would be 24 to 48 hours. Oh well, it's better than a protracted battle between a company that won't help me and a company that can't. Yes, please, cancel the porting and activate my phone as soon as you can; Monday won't be too bad. I shut down my computer and got ready to head off to bed. Surprise! Marco at TracFone, called my land line at 11:00 PM and not only terminated the porting process for me but activated my phone. Took 20 minutes or so. So after wrestling with Verizon's stupid robot and nasty Web site for about an hour, I left that company feeling ignored and abused. TracFone, on the other hand, was easy to reach, did what I asked as best they could, and delivered service much faster than expected.
Thank you, Marco!