[OPINION] Verizon: Wrong Number!

Alert — and angry — “06880” reader Lawrence Weisman writes:

For reasons not relevant here, I wanted to change my cell phone account from one provider to another, while retaining the phone number I used for many years.

I went to the Verizon store in Southport. After an hour and a half I was told by the sales associate that an account had been opened, and my number would stay the same. She even placed a test call to that number to confirm it worked.

But when I returned home after a brief surgery, I discovered that in fact my number had been changed. No one had been able to reach me in my absence.

I revisited the Verizon store. The same associate reviewed the paperwork. She assured me she was not at fault — but alas, she did not know how to solve the problem.

I then spent almost 4 hours on the phone with what is euphemistically called “customer service.” I listened to elevator music (with the phone on speaker long enough for me to shave and shower), only to be told that nothing can be done to remedy the situation.

However, I should rest assured that the department involved was not at fault. That was followed by the requisite: “Is there anything else we can do to be of assistance today?”

So, Verizon has established to its satisfaction that the sales associate was not at fault, the department involved was not at fault, and they are therefore absolved of all responsibility.

I am stuck with having to inform dozens of people, credit cards and internet providers that I have a new and unwanted phone number. And I have no remedy, beyond sharing my outrage and frustration with your readers.

23 responses to “[OPINION] Verizon: Wrong Number!

  1. So sorry you had to go through that…enraging and your report is seems so calm and collected…I’d be a cardiac patient had that happened to me….after heart surgery, I’d then get to the head honcho at Verizon with the name of the clerk who first “served” you.
    Then I’d change carriers.

  2. Janette Kinnally

    Sorry that happened to you. That would really upset me too. I have had bait and switch happen with Verizon too when i upgraded my phone. They say one thing and then something else happens.
    But if I was you, I would send a letter/email to the CEO of the company. I assure you his assistant reads all of them and then they will pass you on to a sales manager in corporate to address and help you with a solution. The second is to contact Will Haskell and Jim Himes. Their job is too help their local community and represent us. They are very helpful when you reach out to them. Usually one of their reps work with you to help you resolve your issue. They helped me a couple of times over the past two years. They are very proactive with their vocal constituents in this area. Good luck!

  3. …and the most duplicitous part is when the sales associate placed a test call to your phone. She would have had to have dialed the new number to do so, but failed to inform you of that fact.

  4. Ernie Lorimer

    Go back to the original provider, and see if you can reclaim the number or reactivate your account. Usually they retire it for a time to age it out. Then port it to Verizon.

  5. Larry, it takes time to port a number – from a few minutes to a few days depending on the exchanges involved. As Ernie suggests above, check with your previous provider. Unless you gave the previous provider verbal permission to port and abruptly discontinued their service, your old number may still be active.

  6. Eventually you’ll be able to call your old number and talk to the person who answers, and maybe convince them to switch with you. Eventually someone will get that number.

  7. Steve Taranko

    Go to Consumer Cellular. Not only will you save money, but they have great customer service. They are recommended by AARP and top rated by Consumer Reports.

  8. First, the store in Southport is really not a Verizon corporate store. I never go to VAR stores, only corporate locations. Second, if the number didn’t port and you are still paying your bill with the other provider, your # is probably still with the old provider., Third, you can contact Verizon’s executive office for escalation. Fourth, you can file complaints with state attorney general, consumer protection, and fcc. If you act quickly, I think you will find a solution.

  9. I’ve had problems with that particular store myself. My solution was to switch to Google Fi. Unlimited everything for $75 per month including my phone and iPad. In two years I’ve never had a customer service issue.

  10. So sorry for your experience. Agree with Mr. Stein and Lassoff–have also had problems at that particular location. Fortunately, I guessed they were telling me the truth, and I left before making the change.

  11. (Typo: NOT telling me the truth.)

  12. Dan,

    Go to the Elliot.org site. In there you will find the person or executive people to get things straightened out with Verizon. Don’t email everyone. They recommend start with contact to the person/department they suggest to address a problem.

    Okay links:



    Executive Contacts
    Primary Contact
    Nancy Clark
    Senior Vice President & Group President – Consumer Sales & Service
    One Verizon Way
    Basking Ridge, NJ 07920

    Secondary Contact
    Ronan Dunne
    Executive Vice President and President of Verizon Wireless
    One Verizon Way
    Basking Ridge, NJ 07920

    Chief Executive
    Hans Vestberg
    One Verizon Way
    Basking Ridge, NJ 07920

  13. I had similar bad experience with Altice. Does anyone have email contact information other than Bridgeport Altice store? Thank you. Mary Condon

    • Good luck with Altice! Unless you have a business account. Even with a business account everything is a struggle and takes a very long time to resolve. I think we need some regulation around foreign companies being able to buy critical infrastructure / telecom. But you can try contacting their us-based execs and filing complaints with state regulators to get their attention. Quite a shame what that company had become. I was one of their first cable modem beta testers back in the 90s. They had a good thing going.

  14. Mary, go to the Elliott.org site. Click on the contacts tab. Find the “Cable companies” tab, and you should be able to find Altice there.

  15. For both Altice and Verizon, some specialized support is also available on their dslreports.org direct forums, e.g., https://www.dslreports.com/forum/ooldirect

    I’d second the suggestion about Google Fi, particularly if you do any international travel.

    • Unfortunately that “secret” no longer really works and pretty much is abandoned since Altice bought CV. There was actually a newsgroup that Wilt Hildenbrand used to frequent. Wilt was the man. I could call or email him and issues would be resolved quickly. when I was a beta tester for their first cable modem I would actually provide feedback directly to Wilt that was acted upon to improve their offering and network. I used to help his teams trace issues across Fairfield county and pushed them to add back bone bandwidth, redundancy, and split nodes to keep service working nicely. May he RIP.

      • Agreed, Wilt was a treasure.

      • Agreed, Wilt was a treasure, a model of what customer service could be and a measure of how far Altice has fallen. The Yahoo group is gone (as is Yahoo Groups), but the dslreports site is a partial replacement

        • He was also a fellow boater. When I received the news I was so sad and in shock. He was an example of outstanding technical know-how and customer service, a model executive. I actually think a bit of his professional skills rubbed off on me. The DSLR group has been around probably almost as long as the Yahoo newsgroup and used to be a decent medium to send non-techies to for assistance. I can tell you from my experience since the Altice acquisition, that DSLR direct forum has not yielded a single solution for me or others that I know of, so stopped referring people there.

  16. Larry Weisman

    I very much appreciate all of the advice and suggestions from 06880 readers. I will follow-up on them.

  17. I suppose everyone has his or her own notion of what hell might be like. MIne is confronting a serious problem with recourse to nothing but an irrational bureaucracy. I regard Franz Kafka as the scariest horror writer who ever lived.

    While it’s no help to Mr. Weisman, my sympathy goes out to him. I hope he gets his problem fixed.

  18. Never go to those physical outlet locations. They will tell you anything you want to hear to make a sale (work on commission). Only deal direct with corporate.