(Photo courtesy of Hulaskirtschase Blog)
When the news came out that Verizon ranked highest in customer care based on a J.D. Power survey, I couldn't believe my eyes. After all, everyone knows that the mohemoth that is Verizon is one of the least customer friendly companies in the entire world. Just try calling their customer hotline to figure out a simple problem - you are guaranteed a roller-coaster ride of frustration and anger directed at the the incomptenece of their customer service representatives. So how could a company with such a dismal reputation among cell phone users in the US rank highest in a reputable consumer survey?
Much has been said about Verizon and its not-so-customer-friendly practices beginning with their draconian return policy and finishing with their ridiculous hidden fees. To make things even worse, Verizon has also capped its "unlimited" data plans angering customers across the US.
Having a Verizon contract can be a real nightmare if something goes even slightly wrong with your phone or wireless service. In that respect, Verizon isn't any different than all of the other major wireless companies. It's the same old outsourcing of call centers to India where the low-payed employees are not allowed to veer off-script and provide you only with robotic answers such as "Verizon is doing all it can to provide you with the best possible service".
So knowing all of this, how could Verizon rank highest among all American wireless providers in terms of customer service? As always, the answer is hidden in the details.
First off, it must be admitted that in the world of a mobile quasi-oligarchy, where just a few companies control the entire market, customer service is fairly poor across the board. As consumers we've significantly lowered our expectations about customer service from major companies. Talking to automated messaging systems has become the rule and talking to real humans on the phone is quickly becoming a thing of the past.
(Photo courtesy of JD Power)
Just take a quick at the chart above and you'll notice that the differences in ratings on this 1,000 point scale are actually fairly slight. Verizon scores just four points more than its neareast challenger T-Mobile. Obviously, the Verizon people will be sure to use this information for their own corporate propoganda and most of the news media simply regurgitates the results of the survey without any in-depth analysis. Given the fact that J.D. Power does not disclose its survey questions and specific research method it's difficult to say how representative this data is of consumers in America as a whole.
So out of curiosity, what do YOU think about Verizon and their customer service? Please share your good and bad experiences with them in the comments!