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questioning

Suggestion for rewarding loyal customers

Status: Acknowledged
by on ‎04-07-2012 06:14 AM

Somebody in the forums suggested rewarding customers based on tenure, which I think is a good idea.  I don't think we should necessarily have to upgrade or change our services just for that.

 

My own suggestion takes that idea a step further and I'll make an analogy with my classical music radio station.  It's a non-profit organization but I think the concept could easily be applied to Verizon.  Whenever a listener pledges money to help fund the radio station, the listener is given a choice of a reward: a free music CD or a magazine subscription or a DVD depending on how much money is being pledged.  Even for one of my local diners, I have a loyalty card which accumulates points every time I buy a meal there and when I get to 500 points, I get a free dinner.  There is also a free dessert if I get to 300 points I believe. 

 

For Verizon customers who have had the service for 3 years or 5 years for example, a gift card may be appealing to some people but I'm not sure that's for everybody.  I think that can often depend on the area where the customer lives and we are all from different walks of life.  So why not present the customer with some choices to reward the customer for loyalty, like a magazine subscription, a free DVD or CD, or coupons that can be redeemed at local retail stores or at the supermarket? 

 

Remember too that it's a hard economy and I'm sure a lot of people besides myself really don't want to upgrade all of our services at this time and/or include more things that will cost us more over the long run.

 

Status: Acknowledged
Comments
by Gold Contributor V on ‎04-08-2012 01:21 AM

With the Visa gift cards they currently use, they are giving the customer a choice. That's the whole point of the card.

 

You want a DVD/CD? Use the card to buy it.

You want a magazine subscription? Use the card to buy it.

You want money off of your bill? Use the card to pay it.

You want money off at your local stores and retailers? Use the card to pay for it.

by ‎04-08-2012 05:32 AM - edited ‎04-08-2012 02:31 PM

It sounds like an "all or nothing" to me.  So basically if you don't want the gift card, then don't expect any reward..."this is what we're giving you....if you don't want it, oh well".  Not everybody wants a gift card with so much money on it or has a need for all of that.  That's not doing me any big favors.  I don't want a gift card.  What's so terrible about allowing the customer to choose which kind of reward is most appropriate?

 

And even if it's only going to be a gift card, why not base it on tenure?  And why should something like a gift card only be an incentive for upgrading your services?  That's often the impression I get.  Why not say instead, "For 3 years of service you get a choice of x, y, or z"?  That's the basic point I was making.   I was just thinking of coupons (that I could actually use) as an example because the coupons on Verizon perks are useless for me and I really don't need another piece of plastic to carry around.  An immediate discount on something might be more sensible for some people.  There are other things that could be included as choices.  Or even this email I just got was offering a discount off of family movies on demand.  Why not include that as a choice of a reward for tenure?  How hard can that be?    

 

For my services, sure I could upgrade my Internet speed and it tells me on line that I would be paying the same monthly fee that I pay now and I would get rewarded with a gift card.  Really?  Or is there more to it than that?  Then on a separate screen, it tells me that this includes for example 24 months of free HBO or Cinemax.  Well, you know what happens with that.  After some point it won't be free anymore and then that will add even more to your bill.  I don't even want HBO or Cinemax so why should I be wasting my time with that?  If I were to choose that upgrade, I would get more TV stations thrown in.  How many more stations could I possibly need?  And then what?  My rates go up even further over the long run than they would if I just leave it alone?         

 

I am always skeptical about things like this because I just never know if there is a string attached or some other catch to it, like if you have to upgrade your service or pay more money in the end for something else.  I don't need things to be more complicated than they have to be and my triple play service is complicated enough and pretty confusing at times when something goes wrong.  There are many things that I honeslty don't have time for.

 

It wasn't that long ago either when a customer service rep was just offering me this gift card out of the blue when I called with a question about something else.  That sounded strange to me.  Was he just offering this to me personally?  Something like that should be offered as something standard like in an email or snail mail based on a customer's tenure, not necessarily as part of upgrading your package and it should be across the board to reward loyalty and I think it's just plain weird to only offer that when a customer happens to make a phone call to 1-800-VERIZON about something.

 

I really don't care either way.  A coupon or money off of something doesn't necessarily make me jump for joy.

 

But in summary, there should be rewards based on loyalty and not just extra upgrades and it should be broadened to include other things besides a gift card.    And can a gift card like that literally be used anywhere?  I'm not too sure about that.  It's not exactly free money.  

by on ‎04-08-2012 08:25 PM

questioning - somegirl explained this better than I can, but here's another way of looking at it:  Don't call it a gift card; a gift card sounds like you have to spend it in a store or restaurant, etc. Rather it's like getting a check.  It's money.  If you applied it to your FiOS bill, you could just figure out how much lower your bill would be, e.g., a $240 gift card for a one-year contract would represent a reduction of your monthly bill by $20. 

 

The trouble with gift cards and rebates is that the consumer has to remember to send in the rebate request and  remember to follow up if the reward or rebate is not received, which has happened to me very often.  I believe that the companies count on a certain percentage of customers not mailing in their rebates, not following up, or not using their gift cards. 

 

But the FiOS gift card only requires a tiny effort, and it's MONEY.

 

I only hope that they're still offering the card when my contract is up and that it's for a large amount.

by lizasmom2000 on ‎04-09-2012 01:51 PM

Verizon has never, to my knowledge, offered a reward for being a loyal customer. I have (or shall I say had) been one since FIOS came to my area in 2005 or 2006. I have never been offered anything when renewing my contract or calling for specials other than a $10 discount off of the service bundle cost or maybe a month or two of a couple free movie channels.I have been a triple play bundle subscriber for years. Any discount that they offered me was only a slight offset to the price increases so really not a discount at all. 

I often suggested to Verizon that they reward long time customers by letting them renew under a new customer offering package one time for every 3-5 years of remaining a customer.

I have made that suggestion literally everytime I have called in for something related to my account.

The reps have no power to make that happen or to pass on feedback from customers to someone who can do something.

Sadly, today after being a loyal customer who pays on time and renewed multiple times, I had to cancel  because I can no longer afford their prices. The worst part is that Verizon is claiming that I am on a two year contract despite confirmation from more than one customer service rep in the past month that my contract expires on 4/12/2012. So now, not only can I not afford the service (which is truly the best quality service from a technical perspective, never a down day) but I now am being told that I will owe an early termination fee.

Loyal long term customers cannot get a break with Verizon. They are not interested in retaining you for the long haul. I have even had Verizon employees at their stores tell me that the best thing to do is to cancel your service then call in for the new customer offerings after 3-5 business days. Isn't that ridiculous??

Be forewarned please....before you elect to agree to a contract. Go month to month or find a service provider who does not require a contract. Also be forewarned that once you have FIOS service, you cannot downgrade back to DSL or a lower cost option. Once you have FIOS, you will always have to purchase FIOS if Verizon is your provider.

by ‎04-09-2012 07:09 PM - edited ‎04-09-2012 08:14 PM

To AnnJ - yes thank you, and I understand that.  It *is* confusing when you normally think of a gift card being only usable at certain retail stores instead of anywhere but that really wasn't my point.  I'm the kind of person who is very detail oriented and who reads all the fine print before thinking that I'm getting something great.    I'm still skeptical of Verizon's Visa gift card and what you described would concern me even more.  One poster on the forums lost his card and it's basically like losing cash.  Once it's gone, you don't have the same protection you would otherwise have from losing a credit card.   Sure it may be easier than forgetting to follow through on a rebate and which has happened to me many times as well but I definitely don't think this would be better either.  I feel the cons outweigh the pros on this "money card".  Is the Visa gift card printed with your name on it like a credit card?  If it isn't and you lose it, anyone could just pick it up and spend it and you would have no ground to stand on for trying to reclaim it.  Without any identification, that could be a security risk.  Most gift cards I have seen have no identification feature on them.  And when you use it, do you swipe it like a credit card and do you have to sign for the purchase so a record is created?  If there is no record of your purchase with your signature, that's really not secure.  And I understand from what I have read so far that there is no monthly statement.  Seriously, if you're not afforded those protective features like you would have on a credit card, that could make you even more vulnerable to possible theft.  If it were me, I would have a lot of questions before accepting it and attempting to use it.  With all that goes on now-a-days with identity theft, I would be hesitant.  It wouldn't hard for a cashier to steal money from your balance on that particular card and without any monthly statement or on line statement to check it against, it would be harder to keep track of your remaining balance.  Theft among retail cashiers is more common than most people realize.  I don't trust it.  The whole thing doesn't sound right to me.  To me, that card sounds like a lot of money to carry around at once and I don't know...it sounds just as risky as carrying around the same amount of cash in dollar bills.
 

That's the very reason why this should not be the only reward available to customers.  Even something more secure like the same amount of money already put on a Bank of America debit card with periodic statements and an account would make more sense.  Even travelers' checks would be a lot more secure than that.  Sure not many people use travelers' checks anymore but think about it...they're are a lot safer to carry around, you can keep a record of them and call American Express if you lose them and plus, you can cash them out at your bank a little bit at a time so you're not carrying around as much cash at one time.  And better yet, give me some other choices wouldn't require me to receive so much money.  A free "pre-paid" magazine subscription or a supermarket coupon would be safer for me.

 

Don't get me wrong.  I enjoy Verizon very much and I am very satisfied with what I have, particularly compared to the cable options I have seen.  It just doesn't seem like all of the practicals have really been thoroughly considered for this type of reward.  I would take some time to think this through before accepting and using a card like that and hence, my reason why I don't think it should be the only reward for everyone.

 

So please Verizon, don't send me any cash like that.  I will not accept it and if it's sent to me, I will return it to the sender without any hesitation.  It's too risky and to me, that's just as bad as sending dollar bills in the mail. 

 

 

by Gold Contributor V on ‎04-09-2012 11:28 PM

...so take the card to the bank and deposit the funds into your account. Then you don't have to carry it around.

 

I just can't see how anyone would think that a CD worth $20 is better than getting $150. You could lose a CD just as easily as the card. (More easily for some, since I know I don't keep CDs in a wallet in my purse that I never let out of my sight.)

 

Why would you complain about not being rewarded, and then in the same breath complain about wanting a lesser reward?

by ‎04-10-2012 03:19 AM - edited ‎04-10-2012 09:38 AM

"..so take the card to the bank and deposit the funds into your account. Then you don't have to carry it around....I just can't see how anyone would think that a CD worth $20 is better than getting $150. You could lose a CD just as easily as the card. (More easily for some, since I know I don't keep CDs in a wallet in my purse that I never let out of my sight.)...Why would you complain about not being rewarded, and then in the same breath complain about wanting a lesser reward?"

 

Lose a CD if you receive that in the mail?  Not likely at all in my case because I don't carry CDs around outside the house.  Take the card to my bank and deposit it?  No.  I'm not comfortable with that.  That's still carrying around a large sum of cash in my wallet even for a little while and like I said, I don't think that's secure.  You can't assume that everyone is going to think about this the same way that you would. 

 

Complain about not being rewarded and then wanting something lesser?  I'm not complaining.  I like Verizon and I was simply offering a suggestion.  Perhaps you view a CD as something lesser but I don't.  I treasure my CD collection with all of my favorite music and CDs last forever.  To me, that's much longer lasting than any amount of cash that could be sent to me which can be spent and gone in a short period of time.  There needs to be a reward for years of service and I think Verizon should let the customer choose what is most practical for his or her needs.  That's not a hard concept.  This $300 gift card is not practical for me, in my view and therefore, is not for everyone.   Even if the same amount of money were given on a pre-paid debit card that can only be accessed with a pin number that has an account and a monthly statement, that I feel would be a lot safer.  And yes, even travelers checks in the same amount would be safer so it would be easier for some us to cash a little bit at a time.   But not everybody would want that either and that would be the whole point of letting the customer choose.  You would have your gift card, I would have my free CD or coupons or whatever, and everyone would be happy.  I would much rather have my discount or free item already given in advance so I wouldn't have to get that at the expense of having a large sum of cash sent to me.  That's my preference which shouldn't bother anyone who feels differently.  We all have to learn to live and let live.  The kind of reward each person wants is each person's own business.   

 

We're going to have to agree to disagree, sorry and I've said more than enough.  You have your view and I have mine so it's time to let this go already.  Everyone is different.  Everyone's needs and preferences and circumstances are different so no one can assume that everyone would treat this the same way.  Imagine how boring life would be if everybody were to think the same way about everything.  There is nothing wrong with disagreeing. 

 

 

by ‎04-10-2012 02:36 PM - edited ‎04-10-2012 05:19 PM

To lizasmom2000 --- I can understand the frustration of what you're describing and even though I like Verizon Fios as a product, that's the one thing that was overlooked before we were forced to go digital.  What if certain people can't afford cable or Fios?  Then what?  I think the whole industry is lacking in affordable options for a lot of people. 

 

I'm curious.  If you were to cancel everything, would that mean unsintalling all of your service and then reinstalling all the wiring after that?  How long of a delay would that be and how long would you be without service?  And yes, that would seem silly to expect any customer to do, cancel everything, uninstall everything(?), and then sign up all over again for the same thing at a lower price.  I understand why Verizon and other cable companies can't allow their customers to start over at the new customer rates without interruption of service but there should be some kind of reward or discount that the loyal customer can choose from.  And isn't it better to offer more affordable options?  It doesn't seem like any of these providers care.  To me, that seems pretty symptomatic of a corporation that has gotten so large.   Al lot of these corporations have yet to convince me that they care about the long run and keeping faithful customers. 

 

I guess sometimes we do what we have to.  I don't know if an HD rooftop antenna would be an option for you. 

 

I happen to know that Cablevision has a department for saving customers from canceling their service, which I guess means offering an alternative service or perhaps allowing the customer to cancel one and keep the other two components of the triple play.  It doesn't seem like Verizon has that.  It just seems like customer service has taken a nosedive among most of these corporations and I think it's unfortunate the way customer service is viewed by these corporations as an expense.  I don't think that's right.  I wonder at times if any of these corporate giants are going to survive forever with that kind of mentality.  It's a shame the way our country has been reduced to this.  Corporate giants have taken over everything, making it harder for smaller businesses to compete, and leaving fewer choices available for customers.

 

by Moderator on ‎06-21-2012 06:21 PM
Status changed to: Acknowledged
 
by scoratz on ‎10-10-2012 10:47 AM - last edited on ‎10-10-2012 11:15 AM by Moderator

Dear Verizon,

 

                Since the day your FIOS product became available I have been a loyal subscriber, not to mention wireless phone service also.  Yesterday I contacted your company because I received an offer from Optimum for a bundle for $79 per month for 2 years with a Free DVR for a year.  I was shocked and completely  flabbergasted that the best counter-offer I received was a new bill that would only be $3 cheaper per month.  I wasn’t even expecting a match, but at least a comparable offer to show that your company cares about my loyalty and business.  I am left to gather that you would rather lose my business altogether than make an acceptable counter-offer.  This has been bothering me to no end for the last 24 hours and moves me into the direction of your competition.

 

My hope is that someone reads this from point of view of a customer that left Optimum after 10 years because I value your product.  However, I am left to understand your loyalty and value to me as a customer is not reciprocated!

 

Thank you for reading,

Stephen{edited for privacy} 

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