Thursday, October 13, 2005


This will be short. No matter how many people have been burned by Verizon — and the number is roughly equal to how many angels can stand around on the head of a pin complaining — a long rant would be boring and, ultimately, sad. For it would lead to thoughts of how the problem is not Verizon itself, but customer service these days in general and outsourcing and offshoring and the economy and the work ethic and oh it’s not like it used to be.

Still, it’s astonishing that Verizon has done it to me again. I was told to hang around at my new place from 8 a.m. to noon on Oct. 5 for a Verizon phone installer, who was a no-show. At about 5 p.m., when I called to complain about the lack of installation, I was told the installer had indeed shown up. At my old place. He installed two lines there.

I noted to the customer service rep, if one can “note” something at that volume, that in setting up the appointment I had explicitly asked that the installer speak with me before or at least after doing his work, and that I still wanted that to happen when Verizon came to correct the mistake. The rep, Cathy LaMarche — give her a call at (508) 502-1267 — blandly assured me that the installers are required to talk to the customer at installation.

She did not explain how two lines got installed at my old home while I was at the new one.

This required chat failed to happen again this time, yesterday, something I learned upon calling to complain that, once again, kind of, Verizon had failed to show up to install my phone lines. This call took place at 4:53 p.m., when I pointed out that I’d been told to be at home between 1 and 5 p.m. I counted down with the customer service reps.

“Will your installer be here in four minutes?” I asked one.

“Will your installer be here within the next seven seconds?” I had to ask the next one.

It gets weird. I was told that the installer had already been there. I was told there was no request on my file for the installer to speak with me.

I plugged in my land-line phone. No signal.

Later, upon the departure of one of three people who’d been in my apartment during this phone call, a brochure was discovered outside, taped to the door. It was from Verizon.

It said, on the cover, “Outstanding Service.”

It also said Technician IS2 had been at my home at 5:30 to take care of my “telephone service request.” This means the installer was there while I was on the phone complaining. He was there when I'd been told he’d already been and gone.

It’s a half-hour later than the latest time I was told to be at home to meet the guy. Is it the start time? The time he left? Was he there for 31 minutes? Or one? Obviously the time given was more than a half-hour after I called Verizon to complain he wasn’t there. In fact, I was on the phone with Verizon for an hour, two minutes and 44 seconds — the digital call log being one of the prizes of cell phones.

Twice I haven’t had to be home while Verizon workers came and did work for which they insisted I be home. Twice they’ve screwed it up. And one more twice:

Inside the brochure, I’m told to “Please refer to this number when contacting Verizon.”

And I’m told, “If you have questions or concerns relating to this visit, please call ...”

Neither number has been filled in.


Anonymous said...

I'm confused... do you have phone service now? Did the guy put a phone outlet on the outside of your house? Did he ring the doorbell? WTF?

Scape7 said...

I may have phone service, but I have no dial tone. So whatever phone service I have I sure can't use.

I can't imagine what good a phone outlet outside the house would be, so ... yes, I assume Verizon did just that. They seem to be going for things in the "perfectly useless" category.

There was no ringing of the doorbell. Or knocking. There were three of us a meter or two away from the front porch and door. Not a peep.

Brian Wanamaker said...

You just got serviced!

There was no ringing of the doorbell. Or knocking. There were three of us a meter or two away from the front porch and door. Not a peep.

That's... that's just amazing. You should move to Japan; you could still complain about not fitting in, and have a new rant on the lack of space, but the service here is the best of anywhere I've been. Consistently.