If Verizon Wireless is noticing a slow-down in new customers, it might not be competitors T-Mobile, AT&T, or Sprint that merit the blame. Instead, Verizon is directing their potential customers to call the wrong number from the Contact Us page of their mobile site.
Visiting www.verizonwireless.com/support/contact-us/ from a mobile browser lists the numbers to call for Customer Service and other departments. The Consumers Sales number given as (888) 256-4646 is incorrect. Worse than incorrect, it is directing people to call a scam phone number. (The desktop site redirects you to http://www.verizonwireless.com/wcms/contact-us.html which does not list the incorrect number.)
The correct number for Verizon Consumer Sales, at the time of publishing, is (800) 256-4646. When you call the listed 888 version of the number (not recommended), you are greeted with an automated recording. It first asks if anyone over the age of 50 lives in your household. It then goes on to explain that you have been selected for a short 3-question survey and you will be given a Caribbean cruise to show their thanks. The survey continues using the 1 or 2 keys to respond to the questions if you want to go on a vacation in the next 6 months, if you are over the age of 21, if you prefer to find the best deals when you plan a vacation, and prefer to travel with all of your family or make it a romantic getaway. You have now earned your cruise with $59.99 dock fees per person and you are prompted to press 1 to accept and be connected to a representative.
When I tried calling again later to confirm it was still a bad number, I received the message:
“You have dialed a number that is not available from your calling area.”
Trying from a separate number again (same calling area), I was again able to reach the Caribbean cruise survey.
I alerted Verizon customer support to the issue over Twitter last night and on the phone this morning with customer support. It appears the company has taken down the page, no longer providing any phone numbers to mobile customers that cannot sign in to a Verizon account. While Verizon is responding to customer questions on Twitter @VZWSupport every few minutes, I received no response to my notifying them nor after they confirmed the issue and changed the page.
It is unknown how long the incorrect number was listed on Verizon’s website or how many individuals may have fallen victim to whatever the long term scam was (credit card theft with guise of paying port fees?). Even with low tech transfers, this can serve as an example to be vigilant even when browsing the websites of trusted companies.