Lucky for Verizon, I like my car

Today, I can understand how these things happen (link from Consumerist).

A man in his 40s, upset with his cell phone service, drove a Mercedes Benz into the front door of the head offices of SK Telecom.

In early March, I called Verizon to change C3’s service from DC to our new office in Alexandria, VA. We were moving the week of March 26th. I ordered new phone lines, and switched our Verizon DSL to the new office, upgrading the account at the same time (up to their 7.1MB/768K service). I was told that the voice phone would be activated on March 14th, and the DSL on March 26th. Someone needed to be on premises for the DSL, but not the voice activation unless we wanted internal wiring done.

The phone was activated on March 14th. On March 26th, one of our folks hung out at the office all day as we were expecting our new furniture. Verizon never showed. But they did ship a self-install kit the week before. Nothing worked. We found out that our upstairs neighbors inadvertently cut our phone lines while doing their own construction. We got that fixed, and then the VA-based folks used the self-install kit to get online. It was a little dicey for a few days, until they figured out that the wireless channel needed to be changed off the default 6 due to interference.

This past Monday, the office calls me to say that the internet stopped working. They had a connection to the router, but they weren’t online. They did all the usual troubleshooting steps. They call Verizon. Seems our DSL order was in the system as “cancelled.” Huh? It was listed as a “truck roll” and the technician marked that they didn’t have access to the premises on March 26th, so the order was cancelled.

The facts:

  1. Someone was on site all day on March 26th
  2. The DSL was working for over a week, the same account that supposedly never existed
  3. They shipped a self-install kit…so why the truck roll to begin with?
  4. Even if someone did try and go to the office and no one was there, why wouldn’t they call or email me? I left my direct number in New Jersey as the contact when I placed the order, and they emailed me since then to confirm that service was to begin on March 26th.

I call Verizon myself. First of all, that automated voice-recognition system is evil. “If you’re calling about your white page listing, say listing. If you’re calling about a repair problem, say repair… I’m sorry, I didn’t understand you… ” I’m calling for none of the above, so I press zero. “Before I can transfer you, I have to know why you’re calling…If you’re calling about your white page listing…” I learned that if you keep pressing zero, the #$@%^ automatron eventually gives up and you go into the human queue.

I find out that the only way to get our DSL working again is to re-order it. Fine. Takes 7-10 business days. Are you kidding me?!? Somehow Verizon was able to turn the service off with a switch, and now they have to “roll a truck” to turn it back on? I ask to speak to the person’s supervisor. No, can’t do that. I ask him if he signs his own paychecks, since he doesn’t have a boss? Finally he agrees to put me in the “escalation” queue. Over an hour on hold, and he finally comes back and assures me he will follow up and call me by 2 pm on Tuesday. I got his name, couldn’t get his direct phone number or email address. Each time I have to explain the whole mess all over again, as the notes left on the record aren’t right.

Next day at 2 pm, I start again. This time vowing to stay on the phone until resolution. Takes not 1, not 2, not 3, but 4 transfers until I get someone who is willing to show accountability. By this time, hours later (burned through 2 cordless headsets), the person who can expedite our order to re-establish service has gone for the day. Nice lady (won’t mention names here…these folks are doing what they’re told to do) gives me her email address and promises to try again first thing tomorrow (today). At 10 am, I email her. She says she’s working on it, and we get our DSL re-ordered. Installation date: Wednesday, April 18th. 5 business days instead of 7. Oh gee, thanks. Nine days with no internet in our office, because a technician took a coffee break (I guess…still don’t have a straight answer) instead of doing his job on March 26th.

Like I said, lucky I love my car or the folks in the local Verizon office should be moving away from the window.


3 responses to “Lucky for Verizon, I like my car”

  1. That’s a very similar experience to what I went through when trying to get Verizon Business DSL set up at home in Redmond about five years ago. (We wanted business-class DSL because it was faster.) They canceled the order multiple times and screwed it up all kinds of ways beyond that. It took me weeks to sort it out, but it got better and better once I started taking very careful notes of my phone calls — exactly who I’d talked to and when — and repeating that list to every person I called.

    Not a fun experience. I never want to go through anything like that again.

  2. Hope you put that Verizon mess in a letter and mailed it to the CEO. Snail mail still makes some things happen. You’ll have your DSL by the time the letter gets read but I’ll bet you’ll hear from someone who can make things happen and you’ll get some free service for a month at least.

    I so agree with how easy it is to cancel something and how hard it is to turn it back on. All about $. Plus I think the Verizon guy is related to the delivery guy who sneaks up and puts the ‘no one home’ notice on my door when I’m home all day waiting.