Doctor At St. Francis Vs. Verizon On Employee Discount

by Categorized: Customer Service Date:

Today’s Bottom Line column:

Buying a smartphone would be Droid-or-iPhone simple if not for the mystifying, mesmerizing, incomprehensible, interminable fine-print contracts.

Throw in an employee discount into the negotiations and you’re looking at a potential customer-service quagmire.

When a physician at St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center recently purchased an iPhone through Verizon Wireless, he thought he locked into a 20 percent state-employee discount on the $30-a-month data plan. (Dr. G, who asked that TBL not use his name, is technically a state employee who works in a facility owned by St. Francis.)
As a 10-year Verizon customer, Dr. G figured it would be an easy transaction. As a mobile-phone customer, he probably should have known better. After being told in four phone conversations with three Verizon representatives in early December that he qualified for the discount, he activated the phone.
Then, when he called Verizon about an unrelated matter, he heard something quite different: Verizon offers no employee discount for a data plan to any employer. And discounts for new data-plan subscribers were discontinued last July.

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