August 4, 2005

Two Tin Cans And A Piece Of String.

A few days or weeks ago I mentioned that we were in the process of abandoning our AT&T/CallVantage service and switching back to Verizon, mainly due to difficulties we were having with the emerging VoIP technology. Well, I gave AT&T one more shot and they replaced our VoIP box and corrected the issue. The service is working *beautifully* and I couldn’t be happier.

During this slight drama, Verizon called back and told me that they couldn’t transfer my service as quickly as they had initially promised (2 days from the day I placed the order). It would take two to three weeks instead. In addition, they would need to send a technician out to the house to do some wiring. (Why, I don’t know). They told me that they could send a tech out on either August 11 or 12 between 8 and 5. I asked her which of those two dates it would be. The rather snotty woman with the strong New York accent told me that she couldn’t pinpoint the date due to scheduling so I would have to have someone home 18 years of age or older those two days to meet the tech. I informed her that as a telephone man myself, I’m sure that if they turned the dial tone on to the house, I could handle it from there. She told me that was unacceptable (and she used the term “unacceptable”) and that I would have to have someone home to meet the tech at anytime during that 16 hour window. I could not provide a cell phone number for them to contact me, I had to be home.

Martha Stewart gets an ankle bracelet, I get the threat of a Verizon tech.

I told her, very sweetly, that I would call back to reschedule after I checked my work calendar. (I hadn’t cleared the trouble I was having with AT&T at the time).

Then AT&T went ahead and fixed our service so I just spent 20 minutes trying to call Verizon to cancel our pending order.

After three attempts to call customer service and being thrown into Voice Jail twice, I finally banged on the phone buttons enough times to make the phone system have a heart attack and throw me to an agent. That’s after I had punched in my ten digit phone number three times, said “AGENT” at the voice prompt, typed in my phone number, said “FUCK YOU” to the voice prompt, announced my phone number, sexuality and had the cat meow into the phone at the third voice prompt and then typed “6” repeatedly until someone resembling a human being spoke on the other end.

Mr. David Sharpinski inquired as to why I was calling after asking me my ten-digit telephone number. (Never mind I had entered it into the keypad at three or four prompts beforehand). I told him that I wanted to cancel my pending order, and gave him the order number they had provided me when I originally called. He needed to verify my name, address and SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER. I refused to give my SSN to him, save for the last four digits. He said he needed it to look up the order. Apparently, your telephone number has nothing to do with your telephone service. Verizon would rather abuse the use of your social security number and use that. “It identifies you.” was his explanation. I responded, “Well so doesn’t my lack of hair, hot temper, height, weight, personality and loads of charm, but I don’t think that’s documented on my order, is it?” He wasn’t amused, but went ahead and cancelled the order and ended the call with “If you ever need Verizon’s services, please don’t hesitate to call.”

Moral of the story. If you can’t get your service to work properly through Verizon, don’t bother calling. Buy some string and pull some cans out of the recycle bin. It’ll be much easier.

* If you want to abandon your landline, I HIGHLY recommend AT&T/CallVantage or any other VoIP service to use over your internet broadband. You don’t get screwed with outrageous charges like the phone companies do and the customer service is much better.