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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Can you hear me now?

It's now been about 24 hours since Verizon called my out-of-service landline to tell me the problem we reported had been fixed the previous afternoon.

Of course, I only found out by calling my voice mail, since the phone didn't ring because the line was still dead. And there was a Verizon tech, the third in three days, in my basement trying to solve the problem two of his colleagues had failed to fix.

Even though they reported that they had.

This started in mid-August, after a thunderstorm. Verizon dispatched a tech the next day to check outside. We couldn't stay home between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m., the only option offered, because we needed to clear the decks for a vacation.

Thanks to cell phones, we could also wait until last Thursday to actually schedule a four-hour window to be home to receive a tech. She came, sat in the truck for 15 minutes before ringing the bell, surveyed the tangle of wires and said it would be fixed. The problem, she said, was in a manhole. A work order would be placed and no one needed to be home.

Friday arrives and the call comes from a different Verizon tech. Will someone be home to let him in? Mrs. OL turned around from her trip to work to let him in. After worrying about having to hire a police detail to oversee his job, she was dispatched to hers.

Only to be called back because he needed to get back into our basement to get the tools he had forgotten there. On to the manhole and a solution.

Friday night arrives and guess what?

No dial tone, so another call to Verizon "customer service" and its truly annoying series of voice prompts that tries to sell you video on demand before allowing you to get to the repair people. Another "customer service" agent offered us another four-hour window. The one thing the company will not waive, she says, was the four-hour window wait.

Tech No. 3 arrives and surveys our basement, reports everything is in order there and starts to do what I can only assume the previous two did not. He traced the lines into neighboring building, which we come to learn is the central point for a series of six brownstones.

You think someone at Verizon would have already known that?

Tech No. 3 finds a nice neighbor to let him into the other building, carefully test lines and wires and says it's up to the "central" office to actually jump start the line. That should happen the same day, but call him back on his company cell to let him know.

Excellent service from one person notwithstanding, I endured voice prompt hell today to be sure the trouble ticket was still active and was informed that not all "central" offices work on the weekends. How does that make them central?

But, we were told, our phone will be absolutely, positively working by 2 p.m. tomorrow.

Great. Maybe state regulators will be able to call me about the complaint I plan to file tomorrow.

Mrs. OL and I have pondered endlessly why we even bother with a landline anymore, a discussion that will gain new focus.

But a word of advice to anyone who listens to Verizon's claims of great service for FIOS. Remember another four-letter word that begins with the same letter before you deal with them. That's certainly what they think of you.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bah! That's nothing. I'm on VZ tech visit number 6 (week 6) and it's still not done. Number 6 told me the same thing #2 said: it's a problem in the manhole. Tech visit #3 propped the front doors open and let burglars in who stole a laptop and cash.

September 13, 2009 12:22 PM  
Blogger Outraged Liberal said...

Yep -- I bow to your much bigger horror.

September 13, 2009 12:40 PM  

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