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Goodbye Verizon, Hello OptimumVoice!

We finally switched our land line phone service from Verizon to OptimumVoice’s VOIP service. Verizon has the worst customer service one could ever imagine. First, they gave everyone a hard time while laying fiber optics for their new FiOS service in our apartment complex. They provided less than a day’s notice that they would need access to the apartments and garages for installation. Secondly, they did not show up for installation as they promised while residents had taken a day off work. Thirdly, they left garages wide open without any security person guarding it like they promised they would. And last but not the least, they did not even install fiber optics cables in most of the apartments. When asked, they said it was not necessary at the moment and they will install the cables in the apartments when the residents actually want the service!!! So much for taking a day off for a service that you don’t need. A lot of residents complained to Verizon about this, but complaints fell on deaf ears. While speaking to my neighbors about this, some feared that as a result of these complaints Verizon might retaliate by cutting off their phone service and ask them to switch to FiOS. But this was laughed off as a conspiracy theory. Oddly enough, within a week of this saga, five of the neighbors’ phones went dead, including mine! Our worst nightmare with Verizon’s customer service and repair begins. When called regarding the phone service, some of us were asked in a round about way if we would like to make the switch to FiOS – déjà vu! Verizon would set an appointment, but their service technicians will not show up on time, technicians will call at times other than when the appointment was set etc. After going back and forth for few days a technicians shows up, but is not able to find the problem. The follow up technician is able to find the problem, but not able to fix it. Three weeks later a lady technician fixes the problem within an hour. However, the phone goes dead within 24 hours! Talking to all the technicians we knew where the problem was; it was in the line between the two switch boxes in our apartment complex. Apparently, one pair was shorted and they had to switch to a spare pair. So with this knowledge we call the customer service again and tell them that the problem is external and that the technician should be able to fix it without having to come in the apartment. Nevertheless we go back and forth again like last time. A technician finally arrives after a week and fixes the problem – someone had cut our wires, literally cut the wires at the switch board!!! Less than a week later the phone goes dead again. A call to customer service again, technician dosen’t show up at appointment time and leaves a message for us to reschedule, and the following morning Verizon leaves a voicemail (we were able to retrieve the voicemails because the number to access the voicemail is different than our phone number) that they have fixed the problem when they have done absolutely nothing and the phone is still dead!!! Enough is enough!!!

Meanwhile, Cablevision our cable TV and internet service provider, has been trying to woo us for over a year now into switching to its Triple Play service at lower rates for the first year. Simple math showed that we would indeed save some $$ if we switched not only now, but even after the rates go back to normal following the promotion (provided their rates remain the same). We set an appointment with them for today. The technicians show up on time (actually before time). Within half an hour we have a working phone we get to keep the same phone number due to number portability. And guess what? Four of our neighbors in our building have switched to OptimumVoice after going through the nightmare with Verizon. The voice quality is crystal clear and we couldn’t be happier having a working phone. If Verizon continues with their tactics, they are bound to lose more customers. Googling for “Verizon Sucks” provides 117,000 results – enough said.