Monday, January 07, 2008

Their Roots Are Showing

I was trying to check out Verizon's FIOS TV offerings today. I went ahead and ordered a TiVo HD, so I'm going to need CableCards, and getting away from Comcast is always a desirable goal. So I got on to the Verizon website and they would like me to verify that the service is offered in my area (never mind that I know it is, they send me junk mail all the time). To do this verification, I am supposed to put in my Verizon phone number. Which I don't have, I've been a customer of Cavalier Telephone for years. But that's OK, they tell me I can verify availability by putting in my address. The first attempt fails, presumably because I have had the temerity to spell out "Drive" in my street name. Maybe that's not really what happened, but on my second attempt, I put "Dr". This works. Sort of. The next screen asks me to verify that address, which I do. And then . . . I get a message telling me that there is Verizon phone service at my address, and I need to put in my phone number. Which, of course, doesn't work, because it's not a Verizon phone number. But that's OK, I can put in my address. GAH!

I've also tried to put in the phone number I had before my brief move to Georgia, which, IIRC, was a Verizon number that got ported to Cavalier when I first switched. But no, that doesn't get me anywhere either.

Now according to the few screens I was able to get to in this maze of twisty little web pages, all different*, was a mention that there is an "online only" offer of "no activation fee." Leaving aside for the moment the sheer ridiculousness of an "activation fee", let us pause to reflect that I can't make an online order, because their system has me trapped in an endless loop of address - phone number - address - phone number.

* Seriously, there is one address entry page that has the values for the State drop-down list ordered alphabetically by state name (thus VT comes up before VA, since Vermont comes before Virginia), and another address entry page that is almost identical, but VA comes before VT, since they ordered the list by postal abbreviation. Nice attention to detail there, folks. Neither one lets me past the dreaded phone number lock.

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