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Can you hear me now? How about with an ice pick through your skull?

October 11, 2007

Well, I’ve pretty much had it with Verizon. I’ve already detailed the horror story that was getting DirecTV to come and simply mount a damn dish on the roof of my building. Here’s part 2 in the nightmare that has been getting TV/internet set up at my new place.

Originally, I’d called Verizon to set up a FIOS connection at my new apartment. This appeared to be no problem. The CSR looked up my address and it qualified, according to her. [NOTE: It was also during this call that I placed an order for DirecTV, as per this website…this order never actually went through, so all my troubles actually did start with Verizon] I had some reservations about this, mostly because I know that Verizon basically has to re-wire your entire pre-existing phone system with new optical technology. I live in a split level apartment building. There’s us on top, some other dudes on bottom, and one guy who lives in like a closet at the back. From what I read, Verizon has to replace the entire copper wire-based NID with a new optical NID. The likelihood that the other 3 people in my small building have home phone service? Pretty small, not many young people do these days (at least through a typical phone line). But Verizon won’t poll a building to see who uses it, they just WILL NOT rip out and upgrade an NID for personal reasons. I presume that property managers could order it, but our property manager/landlord isn’t exactly that proactive.

Considering my reservations, I called FIOS back. This was the first of many callbacks. I get a nice gentleman who explains that…well, wait…there’s some kind of error on my order. Something about an address check failed or something. Terrific. He seems fairly confident that this was a data entry mistake, so he forwards it to someone who has account modification access to change my address (there was a slight anomally, but I didn’t think it would matter). I call the next day, and get another nice lady. She says it looks like there never WAS a problem, and the order is scheduled to be installed on the 4th. Great, I think, maybe there are separate NIDs in this building.

I’m still not satisfied so I call back a few days later. Yet again I’m jerked around by these dicks. This CSR informs me that FIOS is not even available in my area and that my order was actually canceled (nice of them to call and tell me), but I can get the 3.0mbps DSL. FUCKING UGH. Fine, whatever, at least it’s something, and I won’t have to deal with Comcast. Plus, for $25 a month it’s not a bad speed. Also, it’s a self install kit, so nobody has to take time off from work to sit around while the installers do their thing. Great, finally I’m getting somewhere.

Oh, christ. My activation date is precisely TEN days after I put in the DSL order. More sitting around waiting like it’s 1970 (no internet and only OTA TV, as our satellite still isn’t here). Our service ready date was yesterday, 10/10. I get home and there’s a Verizon truck in our back yard and a guy working on the line. Progress, right? WRONG. He’s up there for a good while after I get back, at least an hour, which is a bit ridiculous considering all he really has to do is flip a switch of sorts. Bad sign.

I go to turn on the PS3 and play my Capitals dynasty (5-4 OT loss to the fucking Leafs, 4 unanswered goals by them including the OT winner…this really helped my already salty disposition) until after 6pm, which is the recommended time I plug in the DSL modem and connect. 6pm rolls around and I’m expecting the worst. I hook it up and it naturally can’t get a connection. I notice my cell phone has a missed call and a new voicemail. At this point the writing is basically on the wall. The VM is the installer telling me that someone needs to be home to help him figure out which phone line it is (SELF INSTALL KIT MY ASS)…oh and we can’t get the “1.5mbps you signed up for” (remember, it was actually 3.0mb) and that I might be able to get a 768k signal if I call them and ask for it.

For those not technically inclined, let me tell you: in the year 2007, if you have a “broadband” connection that’s only 768kbps and are paying any more than 8 dollars for it, you’re getting royally screwed. Especially when you live in a freaking enormous metro area. I’m talking Enumclaw style royally screwed (to get this reference you merely need to read the 2nd to last paragraph).

At this point I’m absolutely incensed. We’ve waited this long only to have the unearthly incompetent Verizon tell me that it’s basically not going to happen. What a load of shit. I called Comcast and fumbled through their phone menu (ok, dumbshits, a lot of people are going to use a billing phone # that isn’t the area code they want service in…give me another option other than waiting 5 minutes until the computer voice gives up asking me for it and directs me to a CSR) for a while until a guy answers. I tell him I want the 6mbps package, and I’m prepared for the worst since I’m not bundling. Whoa, what? Current promotion is $36 for 12 months. He doesn’t even mention bundling with TV/phone, let alone nag me about it. Ok so it’s going to be cheap, but when can they get here?

Unbelievably, they are coming TODAY. More incredibly, they gave me a small 3 hour window as opposed to the usual 8am-5pm bullshit. I think I may hug the Comcast guy when he comes. Maybe I’ll offer him a beverage, let him borrow my car, something nice.

Some companies really need to learn the difference between customer service and customer indifference. I’m still milking my family’s Verizon cell plan for all it’s worth, but something like this is nearly enough to make me pay the $150 cancellation fee and pick up an AT&T contract AND pay my own bill. Verizon has lost any respect I ever had for them.

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