Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Why Phone Companies Are Out To Drive Me Insane

I’m pretty sure I’ve ranted about the craptastic phone service before, I just can’t find any of these rants. Until we switched over the Verizon FIOS, every year EVERY STINKIN YEAR our phone lines would die a horrible death. Every year EVERY STINKIN YEAR we’d deal with appointments, technicians not showing up, or showing up at the wrong day/time, and one year we had them forward our calls to my cell phone, except they botched the number and were forwarding all of our calls to a Mitsubishi dealership. I hope they enjoyed all of the telemarketer calls.

Then came FIOS and angels sang from on high, bluebirds landed on our shoulders, rainbows appeared (RAINBOWS, I HATE RAINBOWS... chill out, its a South Park reference), and we had no problems.... or so we thought.

So on thursday I go into work and my work phone is dead. Doornail dead. Voicemail is equally dead. How odd (and peaceful) I figured it was a glitch that would get fixed. Around noon when I needed to call someone, it had become annoying. My officemate’s phone worked. Walking up and down the halls asking I found that it was JUST ME. FINE, I go upstairs to talk to someone and use their phone to call the helpless moron desk. I confirmed my number, confirmed that it was dead so asked that they send me e-mail instead of trying to call me (you shouldn’t have to remind a help desk that if your phone isn’t working, you shouldn’t call there... but the helpless desk is truly helpless), and went about my day without a phone... how special. I figured that when I came in on Monday, it would be fixed.

On Friday I check the mail and there’s a nastygram from MCI (our old long distance carrier) who is informing me that they’ve just cut off my long distance because I didn’t pay them $29 that was way waaaaaay past due. Um... I didn’t know I owed them $29, nobody sent me anything, not even a Christmas card, so how the hell was I suppose to know that I owed them $29, especially since we switched over to FIOS a few months ago, they shouldn’t even be handling my long distance. Of course, the number on the nastygram was closed, so I figured I’d call them on Monday from work.

Just out of curiosity, I went online to Verizon to check my bill... except I couldn’t check my bill or my services or anything, because they told me that my stuff wasn’t available... for some reason. They suggested that I should call them... except they were closed. Fine, I’ll call them on Monday from work as well.

Monday... my work phone is still dead, dead, kaput. Sigh. I walk upstairs to check my e-mail (if you are wondering why I can’t do that from my desk, well, I’m not going into the whole thing that I do, just trust me when I tell you that I can’t check “normal” e-mail from there.) There’s an e-mail from tech support asking me to confirm my phone number... the phone number I confirmed with the help desk minion on thursday... the number that is in all of the corporate address books, pseudo stupid company facebooky-like things, and in my e-mail signature line... same number. I e-mail the person back and confirm its the e-mail, log off, walk downstairs again.

Few hours go by, I go back up and check my e-mail, and there’s a response from tech support. What jack is my phone plugged into. Sigh. Sign off, walk downstairs, look at the jack, walk back upstairs, e-mail the tech support the jack number, log off, walk back downstairs, collapse in exhaustion.

Few hours go by, I go back upstairs, check my e-mail, there’s a response from tech support that says:

It seems that your phone was deactivated by mistake. I’ve reset your password and contacted a support technician to come reactivate it.

Oh... gee... so you are able to deactivate a phone without any sort of owner interaction, but to reactivate a mistakenly deactivated phone, you require a person to come do something... and my name isn’t PEGGY.

I dial in remotely to my voicemail, reset my password, rerecord my lame “I’m ignoring you and won’t return your call anyway, but humor me and leave me a message that I’ll laugh at and ignore” message... ok, its a bit more professional than that, but not by much, and then to my amazement... there’s a voicemail waiting FROM TECH SUPPORT! Some guy mumbles his name, rattles off a number and tells me to call him. I write the number down, dial it.... AND ITS NOT IN SERVICE.

I e-mail the tech support person a rather... nice.... response pointing out that my name isn’t Peggy and by this time I’m VERY angry and they should send the tech straight to my office to fix my phone ASAP as I will be waiting and sharpening some scissors.

I spend the rest of Monday cutting little paper tech support dolls and hacking off their limbs... ok, I just worked, but I thought of cutting little paper tech support dolls and hacking off their limbs. At the end of the day, no tech person. Before I leave, I go upstairs, log into e-mail and respond to tech person with: “Is the tech person coming today, this week, or this month?”

Tuesday morning I get to work, and lo and behold... my phone still isn’t working.

I go upstairs, log into e-mail and there’s a message from the tech person from yesterday saying she’s escalated the problem and I should hear from someone within the hour... except 12 hours have already gone by and my phone still isn’t working. I respond with “I’m still waiting”.

An hour later the tech guy shows up, punches 4 buttons and my phone works. He tells me that he JUST got the help desk e-mail and was scrolling through it thinking “oh man, she’s going to tear them a new one”, because he knows me very well.

Now that my phone worked, I called MCI and said WTF? MCI has been taken over by Verizon, and Verizon was suppose to be my long distance carrier, but apparently they are now Verizon, but still MCI, but not really, and frankly I began to drool with each explanation. I told them that I would just go yell at Verizon, paid them their stupid $29 and hung up, called Verizon.

First of all, I would like to say this to Verizon customer support: It is not a good idea to play the Muzak version of “Wind Beneath My Wings” over and over and over again while irate customers wait for a real person to pick up the phone... I’m just sayin.

I got a technician named “Hope”. Seriously... HOPE! Hope was very nice, and when I told her that I wasn’t getting bills, I couldn’t access my account online, MCI was still my long distance provider, WTF? She proceeded to read off my bill to me... line by line, each individual charge. I DON’T FRICKEN CARE WHAT MY BILL SAYS I CAN READ, I COULD READ IT FOR MYSELF IF YOU WOULD SEND ME ONE!!! Then I went on about global warming, why Keith Olbermann should be hung by his testicles (if he has any) and the annoying hang nail on my left hand until I nearly passed out from not breathing. Luckily I had closed my office door before I dialed. Hope was actually very apologetic (I’m sure she was cutting little paper doll customers as she spoke) and said she would make some adjustments based on all of the trouble I was having. She knocked off the FIOS installation charge, bundled my services into one for cheaper, and gave us faster internet for the lower bundle rate. Sweet.

The last thing she did was transfer me over to the official long distance permission to transfer service from one provider to another person, who asks you to verify information while being recorded, because apparently there is a lot of long distance carrier fraud going on and they have to make you verify everything on a recording... and yet will just tell you a password or PIN just on a whim... whatever.

So, now we have faster internet, a bundled service, didn’t have to pay for installation... how much you wanna bet I still don’t get a bill and can’t log into my account online... I’ll save that for next month.


Huffle Mawson said...

If you don't get a bill, they can't make you pay it! That's the law here.

I would pay serious amounts of cash for my work phone not to work... unless I want to make a phone call. That's different.

HR Human said...

About 4 years and 1 move later, my phone company told me that I had neglected to pay them around $300. I still haven't paid it as they cannot send me documentation.