Fantastic work by on "Eyeless Writer" has produced this video, compiled from 56 separate calls made to Verizon Wireless, in which the same two pricing questions were asked of the customer service representatives—93% of the phone reps got one or both answers wrong. Amazing.
While I hope Verizon gets more than egg on their faces about this one, it's surely not just they who have problems with underpaid, undertrained customer service staff. The entire phone industry has gutted the part of their companies which most directly affects their customers' satisfaction.
There's a maxim my old boss used to remind us of when I was a customer service rep for AT&T, back in the era when getting a phone support job meant going through several weeks* of training: Every mistake you make generates another call from an unhappy customer. Companies must start paying the higher costs to hire quality representatives and give them the training and infrastructure knowledge of the system they need. Having a good understanding of the way the phone and data networks work and keeping all the convoluted pricing schemes straight is very difficult work that takes months or years to really wrap one's head around.
How Bad Can a Cell Phone Company Get?: Verizon Misquotes Rates 93% of the Time [EyelessWriter.com]
* Training which was being quickly scaled back; just a few years before my tour, phone reps were trained for something like six months before ever taking live calls.