05 May 2017

The Criminal Syndicate known as Verizon

Increasingly there are many US corporations that are prima facie immoral. Their business practices are openly dishonest and in working for them you cannot maintain your integrity. You are necessarily part of the planned obfuscation and manipulation of consumers.
These businesses operate boldly under the banner of caveat emptor. They are not looking out for you in any way shape or form. You are a 'thing' to be exploited and squeezed. If you don't scrutinise the fine print, ask the right questions and in every way watch your back... that's your problem.
Their goal is clearly to entrap you, to snare you into signing a contract that they will resist freeing you from.
Such has been my experience with the mobile phone industry and yet it is but one of many such examples. I am committed to using a burner flip-phone. I will not sign a contract with a cellular carrier. I will go without a phone before I do that. They are without a doubt one of the most dishonest lots I have ever encountered.

About a year ago we attempted to eliminate our traditional land-line by going to a cellular base that we could then plug a standard telephone into. Our area is monopolised by Verizon, one of the most evil and immoral companies I have ever encountered. They were just as bad back when they were Bell Atlantic.
If I want to have a mobile phone (that works at my house) I am forced to deal with Verizon. In order to cut the horrendous costs of maintaining a landline in a rural area I let myself be taken in for a moment and I ventured into the Verizon Wireless store and purchased a cellular phone base. This means our home phone would now be pegged to a tower rather than an actual land-line. The idea was that this would be cheaper than signing up for an actual mobile phone which to be honest... we don't really care about having.
It was a nightmare. The thing didn't work. The signal was too weak. It was miserable to talk on. They lied about numerous hidden fees, the free trial period turned out not to be a trial period... nor was it free. When I attempted to return the worthless device and break the arrangement it was clear that their policy was to do everything humanly possible to renege on their promise and somehow manipulate me into keeping the contract.
Frankly it got quite ugly. And they played a host of games (threats, attrition etc...) trying to break me. To cancel I had to set up passwords (which didn't work), we had to call a district manager, the tech department and at every step they kept trying to manipulate me into capitulating and keeping the worthless device and the contract to which it was attached.
The sales girl who sold it to me just flat lied on several points and the one I dealt with on the return grew frustrated and defeated and clearly just wanted me out of the store. After awhile I heard her on the phone over in the corner arguing with her manager effectively saying that I wasn't going to budge. I made it clear to them they would not receive a further dime of my money. I would rather end up with a bill at collections, which I would also refuse to pay, than facilitate their criminality.
I'll take the loss and the hit to my credit score. I don't care but I won't pay them any more.
It's still not resolved. I did end up with about a thirty dollar bill which was indeed sent to collections. I won't pay it on principle. Sue me. I won't fight it but I still won't pay. Put a lien on my house. I don't care. I won't pay these criminals.
If I ran my business the way they do, everyone would (rightly) proclaim me to be a shady huckster. But for some reason in our society if you have a storefront with a light-up sign and run adverts on television... you're somehow viewed as legitimate? Big retailers, let alone hospitals, insurance companies etc. can lie and cheat with impunity but if I as a sole proprietor or small business owner operated in such a way when it came to services and billing, people wouldn't stand for it. It's interesting to note how people have been conditioned. It's part of the Consumerist lie.
Did I mention how many hours of my time were wasted? I had to make multiple trips to the store which is thirty minutes away.
As I left the store the final time the sales-girl who I think at this point was a little ashamed turned to me.
She said, "I am so sorry."
I replied, "I'm sorry for you. This is all a big scam and you're part of it. If you can't see it then you've hardened your heart or seared your conscience. If you had any moral integrity or contrition then you wouldn't work here. You seem like a nice enough person, but I have to really question that if you work at a place like this."
And I walked out. I was glad that there were other customers in the store, all watching and listening. Hopefully some of them had second thoughts, but I doubt it.
My heart wasn't always in the right place during the exchange but I am thankful that though I was obviously less than pleased I did not turn mean or lose my temper... unless you consider my final comments to be 'mean' spirited. I don't think they were. I think I was being honest with her.
Verizon is not a company that a Christian can work for. I'll say that again. Verizon is not a company that a Christian can work for. If you work there, you need to quit and find another job. You're working for criminals pure and simple.
And yet Verizon is by no means alone. This sort of thing is becoming commonplace and yet ironically I find that many Christians who have embraced 'worldview' thinking have rather than actually apply Biblical ethics and values to their decision making... have instead used this erroneous teaching as a blanket or even a blank check to do whatever you want as long as you're doing it with vigour and zeal. Keep your eyes closed to what's going on around you or keep telling yourself that you're going to transform it... even as you 'cash in' on the corrupt machine that you're plugged into. They slam the 'introverted individualism' of Separatism and yet they live out such an ethic in the name of worldview. They pretend to be 'clean' while they swim in the sewer, help it to prosper and profit from it.
It is astounding.
The Verizon Wireless store is located in a little strip next door to H&R Block. Criminal row I call it.
And yet to be honest I feel this way about most of the US retail and service sector. Verizon wins the Especially Egregious reward but they're really not the different. With them it's just easier to see. I've encountered literally dozens of people who have had terrible experiences with them and few even question my designating them as criminal. Most heartily agree and yet everyone continues to just shrug their shoulders and do business with them.
Since then and in fact just recently we were finally able to solve the problem. After some false-starts and fruitless research I found a burner phone that piggy-backs off the Verizon cell-tower network.
It was a day of celebration when I called Verizon and canceled by land-line. That too was a fight. They were persistent in wanting to know why. I stuck to my line.
"I no longer require Verizon's services, thank-you."
"Are you moving?"
"I no longer require Verizon's services, thank-you."
"Can I perhaps offer you some better service plans?"
"I no longer require Verizon's services, thank-you."
It went on for quite awhile before she finally gave up and let me cancel my service. Their land-line end of the business is hurting and I don't feel sorry for them.
So we now have a burner flip-phone that costs us $25 a month. At last I am happy. And, there's something satisfying about the fact that the phone uses the Verizon network and yet they're only getting pennies for it.
I have to laugh when I hear Evangelical leaders like Albert Mohler and James Dobson suggest that if we could just get more 'Christian Worldview' thinking out into the marketplace we could really see some changes in our society. Verizon represents the harvest of the very system fools like Dobson and Mohler would promote. They are utterly blind to what makes our society tick and clueless when it comes to understanding the depths of sin and its effects on societal values. The love of money is the golden calf of the American Church and the 'doctors' turn out to be the poisoners.

Good-bye Verizon and good riddance.