A couple of years ago, my wife fiancée Tina had a terrible experience dealing with a Verizon rep over the phone. The whole conversation happened on speakerphone and I could hear every part of it. I specifically remember the rep insinuating Tina was a liar and that she didn’t know what she was talking about. That was the end of her with Verizon. We canceled her plan that day and got her on AT&T.

Today, I went with Penny, my mother in law, to Verizon so she can upgrade her 2 year old dumbphone for a brand new and shiny iPhone 4S. I didn’t even try to talk Penny out of using Verizon because her whole family has been using them forever, she’s got a family plan covering 5 phones/users. Although I didn’t bother talking to her about considering switching to AT&T, I couldn’t help telling her that I think Verizon sucks. Big time…

We walked in the store knowing exactly what she was going to buy: a 16GB white iPhone 4S. There was no doubt in her mind that it was what she wanted, which technically should have made the sales guy’s job easier.

We checked in with the friendly guy at the door. He informed us we’d have to wait for a few minutes, which was fine since we had nothing else to do. During that time, I checked out a few gigantic Android devices that I wouldn’t want my worst enemy to use, but that’s another story.

Ten or fifteen minutes later, a Verizon sales guy named Edward came over to us, confirmed with Penny that she was indeed Penny, and asked her what she was looking for. The conversation went something like that (note that I can’t emphasize how rude the rep sounded):

Penny: I want to buy a white iPhone 4S, 16GB.

Rep: Do you already own an iPad or a Mac at home?

Penny: Yes, I have an iPad and an iMac.

Rep: Ok, I actually recommend you check out a few Android devices. They are much better phones with faster data speeds and bigger screens.

Penny: But I just want an iPhone.

Rep: Yes but you should definitely check out these phones over there. If you already have an iPad, you want to try something new, something different, because an iPhone is kinda boring.

Me: An iPhone is what?

Rep: An iPhone is boring!

Penny: No, I want an iPhone.

Rep, looking terribly bummed out: Ok, follow me to the counter.

No hello, no please, no smile, no personality, no care for the customer. Zero. None!

At this point, if I had been in Penny’s shoes, I would have just left the store, or asked to talk to a Manager because the level of customer service was as good as what you’d expect from a prison guard. Penny looked at me as I did a scary face trying to convey that this guy was a total douche, and I told her we could leave if she didn’t feel comfortable. Again, I would have just left but that’s me, and I know I can be hard to please.

We walked to the counter and waited for Edward. He showed up a minute or 2 later with an iPhone box in his hand. Still extremely unfriendly and obviously disappointed that we even considered doing business with him today, he asked for a few signatures, barely looking at us, picking up and throwing his pen every few seconds on the counter as if we were really pissing him off.

In an incredible effort, he informed us there was a $30 (or around that price) upgrade fee, then he gave us the total amount without explaining us that when you buy an iPhone, you pay taxes on the full price of the phone ($650) and not just on the subsidized price you pay in store ($200). This brought some confusion and once again, we had to extract the information out of him. It looked painful.

He put the iPhone box in a bag, handed Penny her iPhone, thanked us and said goodbye. These last 5 seconds must have taken a huge toll on him as he clearly wasn’t accustomed to show any kind of emotion, or even respect for his customers.

It’s hard to translate into words how careless this Verizon employee was. He clearly didn’t give a shit (excuse my French). We were annoying him and wasting his time, and you could tell.

I understand there are always a few black sheeps in large corporations like Verizon, and your experience will greatly vary from one store to another, but this was just unacceptable. Penny said she will call Verizon customer service and complain. I said I will just write an angry post because that’s the only thing I can do.

One thing is sure after today. I will never switch to Verizon, no matter how great their LTE coverage is supposed to be or how attractive their “un-unlimited unlimited data plan” looks like. I’d rather be doomed to use Edge for the rest of my life than give a dollar to these people.

Have you ever had a terrible experience with an iPhone carrier? If so, make sure to share with us in the comments section below.