Monday, January 21, 2008

Verizon: The Hits Just Keep On Comin'

Oh my little Baby Bell, how do I love thee. Let me post the ways.

So, when last we left off, my install on (My Street) "DOCTOR," was scheduled for this past Saturday, 19 January 2008, between 8AM and 5PM. I dutifully got up at the crack of 7-ish and made sure I was ready for the guy to show up. I tidied up the bedroom a bit (because there's a TV there, get your minds out of the gutter) and made some coffee and then I waited. And waited. And, of course, waited. Finally, at about 12:45 or so, I got a call asking if it would be OK for them to come out on Sunday at "9 or 9:30". This was a tough call, I'd had plans for Saturday night for some time, but I really did want to get the installation taken care of, so I said yes. Supposedly, I'll be getting an American Express gift card in an undisclosed amount for my troubles.

Right, so fast-forward to Sunday morning. I had set my alarm for 8:15 or so, and was quite in the middle of Snooze-ville, when the phone rang at 8:20. It was the VZ installer guy, who said he'd be there in 15 or 20 minutes. A tad early, but I managed to get moving.

The outside bit of the installation took awhile, and then we got to the indoor stuff. The bedroom TV got a standard-def set top box, and that was pretty routine. In the living room, the shiny new HD TiVo got two CableCards. I had to go through the guided setup again, but after that it looked like everything was good.

Of course, it wasn't. I was getting all the channels on CableCard 2, but CC1 was quite unresponsive. I waited until today to attempt to call for service. What a nightmare.

Of course they start out with asking for my VZ phone number. Still don't have one, guys. I proceed through a few more menus asking for information, and after EVERY F'ING question, an additional confirmation prompt. Jebus, VZ, your speech reco engine returns a confidence score, just freakin' use it, mmmkay? I finally get to the part where the system wants me to state "in my own words" what the problem is. "Cable Card not working", I say. Great, I'm going to be transferred. And then I hear two DTMF tones and a recording saying "your call could not be completed, please try again later." Arrggghhhh.

I called back right away, and tried to short-circuit my way through the menus a bit, but still requested Tech Support. Again two tones and the same recording. A third attempt was rather identical.

I poked around the website for a bit, and found another phone number, but it turned out to be for FiOS Internet service, so was useless. Great website there, VZ, steering me to completely unrelated pages and all.

On my fourth attempt at calling, I pressed zero. A lot. Finally, the system told me the wait time to speak to somebody was 7 minutes, OR, I could leave a number and they would call me. That seemed ideal, so I said yes, left my number and recorded my name and waited. After nearly exactly 7 minutes, my phone rang. I said "hello" and a recording told me this was a Verizon callback, and if they had reached "Larry" to say yes. I did indeed say yes, and was promptly connected . . . . to a busy signal. And because that wasn't bad enough, they held my phone line open for another couple minutes. I'd hang up the phone, wait a bit and then try to dial again, only to hear the busy signal still going.

Finally, they released the line, and I was able to make phone call number 5. This time, the wait was going to be 9 minutes. I elected to stay on the line. FORTY minutes later, somebody finally picked up. I told her my problem, and it was all resolved within about 5 minutes.

My total time spent on the issue, nearly two hours. For the record, my rate is around $55 per hour, so maybe they owe me about two months of service for free, right?

Honestly, Verizon, is that the best you can do? Because frankly, what I went through today SUCKS, and I'll be contacting the State Corporation Commission to report your bad behavior. The reception looks good, but I think I'm more in love with my new TiVo then the program delivery service.


At 9/10/08 04:55, Anonymous pantherfan said...

Amen brother, atleast your local phone and cable company do not own the entire town you live in. Ours does!!!!!!!


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