Verizon FAIL: No Customer Service for my In-laws

I hope the word FAIL isn't too contrived. Since discovering Failblog, it's working it's way into my daily vocabulary. I think it's appropriate here.

I was with Verizon for several years. I don't miss them. You can use the Google search box to the right to search for all of my rantings over the years about Verizon DSL. You could not PAY me to go back on DSL, and every time a friend gets DSL, after asking me if they should and I say no and they get it anyway and I have to help them with a Verizon DSL problem, I'm reminded of how much I hate dealing with Verizon.

In the days when I had a Verizon land line, it was little more than an open conduit for telemarketers. Despite paying for Call Intercept, which was supposed to prevent "unavailable" calls from getting through, they continued to get through. All my land line was good for was for people I didn't want to talk to to get through to me about every 20 minutes all day long. My wife and I switched to AT&T cell phones and haven't looked back. Our AT&T lines haven't been without problems over the years, but for the most part, when I call AT&T, they don't jerk me around. They try to deal with the problem and I'm gratetful for that. I do have a Verizon BlackBerry that's provided by work. For the most part, it does a decent job. Every now and again when I have to tether it, I'll get cut off and go through up to a half hour of "The Remote Computer is not responding", but my company is paying for it so what can I do? During a period when my wife's line wasn't working very well, I tried to threaten AT&T with leaving for Verizon, but now that I have my iPhone, I'm not giving it up for anything. AT&T it is.

My in-laws moved in with us this past weekend. They're pretty much consolidated on Verizon. They have Verizon cell phones, DirectTV, a land line, and Verizon DSL. Well, that did cut down. They had DirectTV installed in my house, but I will NOT allow that crappy Verrizon DSL in my house so we're sticking with my Comcast cable modem. Comcast isn't perfect, and you can search for some of my posts on that too, but as long as my cable modem works, I'm happy. Comcast leaves me alone, I leave them alone, and life goes on.

I have to admit, I'm happy with DirectTV. I'm sure Comcast's digital packages are just as good. Our cable package is about as basic as you can get without being totally basic. We tried that when Joshua was born to "save money" and it ended up almost costing us our sanity being up all hours of the night with a screaming infant and nothing to watch but Jack Van Impe and used car infomercials. It's never been a high priority for my wife and I to have a whole buttload of channels until we get our debt paid off and it makes sense to spend hundreds of dollars a month on TV. But I am enjoying my in-laws' package and we're paying for two lines and a DVR box. Very cool. DirectTV isn't a Verizon product though; I think it's more of a partner type deal.

I'm really ticked off about how Verizon jerked my in-laws around this week on their land line though. They do have cell phones, but want a land line. I think it's for the on demand channels on DirectTV, but also for convenience. Again, there hasn't been a land line in this house in almost 4 years, and I don't miss the freaking thing. (You can always tell I've been listening to Dave Ramsey when I use "freaking" a lot).

My in-laws moved in last Saturday. Verizon was supposed to send an installer on Monday. The installer showed up, then said he had to do some paperwork in his truck, and left. Bastard idiot, and Verizon sucks for hiring and continuing to employ people like that. It reflects poorly on the entire company, but somehow I'm not sure they care. Of course, every time you call Verizon, you have to navigate through that buttplug voice prompt menu system that takes freaking forever to get through to a live person. It's taken me over an hour when I had DSL and had to call tech support all the time because it was constantly offline. My in-laws went through that process and got through. They were told a tech could be out Thursday. This is for an install that was supposed to take place on Monday. They had other commitments on Thursday, so rescheduled for Friday. Well, Verizon employs such prompt individuals (or schedulers; maybe it wasn't the installer's fault) that nobody showed up today. Then, of course, they had to get back on the line and go through that assplug voice menu system again. Then, when my mother in law did get through, they needed the new number. It apparently wasn't in the system. The only place she had it was on her phone, so she had to hang up, check the number, and call back and go through that assplug menu again and wait on hold again.

See, this isn't entirely new. Verizon has been doing this all along. I bought a condo in 2000. I closed on Friday of Memorial Day weekend. I tried to schedule a Verizon tech to hook up my phone line on Friday afternoon. Apparently, he showed up while I was at the closing, which was outside of the time he was scheduled. He left a note that I wasn't there. No kidding, idiot, why do you think I booked an afternoon appointment considering I didn't plan to be there in the morning? I had to call Verizon and reschedule. They said theyd have someone out the following Tuesday between 12 and 4 PM. I took the afternoon off and sat around all day, and nobody showed up. I called and expressed my anger and frustration, and actually got a scheduled tech visit for Wednesday after I was off work.

I've love to know how Verizon stays in business with customer service like this. It's probably the kickbacks they get from marketers and also the lack of any real competition. If my in-laws hadn't just spent all that money getting DirectTV installed, I'd offer to let them add phone service to my Comcast package. Comcast ain't perfect, but they're not as screwed up as Verizon. I can't even recall a positive customer experience I've had with Verizon. Can you? I'd love to be wrong, and find that Verizon is a paragon of monolythic telecommunications comapies with excellent customer service and my experience, both personal and anecdotal, is a statistical fluke in a model that could be described as rainbows and kittens and shiny, happy, effective customer service. Somehow, I doubt it.

Do you have a happy experience with Verizon? Do you wish Verizon could dominate the world?

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