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TheStreet Open House

The Most Moronic Company Policies I Encountered in 2012

What I want: I just want my iPhone to get a Verizon (VZ) signal in my apartment.

The problem: It doesn't. Months of lame customer service results in an apologetic executive customer service ninja sending me a free signal booster. (Usually Verizon charges $250 to make their phones work with their own service!) But the signal booster has to be attached to Verizon high-speed Internet, which I don't have.

The company's solution: It will sell me high-speed Internet for about $19.99 a month, which I am willing to pay ... so long as it's bundled with a landline, which means the cost rises to a minimum $34.99, which I am not willing to pay. Because: Landline! Guess what, Verizon, the only reason I need your Internet is to have a signal booster to make my cellphone work. It would be pretty stupid to get a landline in my apartment so I can use my iPhone instead.

But the company is unwilling to budge on this even when I point out that I have outdone their Internet-landline bundle by already buying an iPhone and Mi-Fi wireless hotspot from them, each with their own service plans.

My solution: I pay my upstairs neighbor $15 a month to use their excellent Internet (better than the 0.5 to 1 Mbps I could have bought for that $34.99) and I use Skype to make calls when I'm in my apartment, costing me maybe a few buck a month. And when my contracts are up for my Verizon devices, I'm switching to Sprint (S). Or whatever.

The result: Verizon may make some short-term money by forcing Victrolas on the iPod crowd, but in the long term it's just sending its customers away by making them feel ripped off. Heck, I wanted to give Verizon my money, yet it's answer was to try to extort even more of it. Hard to believe I'm the only person planning to walk away from a company that wants to force its customers to pay more for living in the previous century -- especially when it's their solution for fixing a problem I have with another one of their super-expensive products.

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