|Finally back on line...
||[Dec. 6th, 2006|03:09 pm]
|||||Jim White, Wrong-Eyed Jesus||]|
Unload your stock in Verizon right now.
What? You think I'm kidding? I've driven several internet service providers out of business simply by contracting for service with them. Sure, Verizon's big...but it's just a matter of time until they force me into switching by going tits up...
Yeah, so I had to switch to another provider, as Toad will no longer serve residential clients...sigh. The STBX and I have been fighting over our internet service for years. He kept wanting us to switch to Comcast or Verizon because they were cheaper, had great deals. And I, partially because I can just be a contrary bitch, but mostly for good reasons, was happy as a clam paying extra each month to have the service with Toad. I always thought that perhaps the contrary bitch was a good part of my reason, but now that I've been dumped into the cold, hard world of large-scale internet service providers...waaaaaaahhhh! I want my Toad back! Sure, they had issues. Sure they cost $20 a month more than any of the big guys. But when I called with a problem...I got a person. Not a machine that made me enter my account number and then....after interminable time on hold...had to give my account number again to whomever finally answered my call. Why did I have to enter it in the first place if you were just going to ask for it again? Is that to weed out folks who don't have an account who are...what, making prank calls? What kind of socially stunted middleschooler is going to wait on hold so he can pull the "Prince Albert in a can" phone prank on you?
Anyway. Toad had people who spoke English. Well. Don't get me wrong, as someone who can barely speak my own language, I'm always impressed by people who can speak a second language well enough to perform a job function in it. But, look, I live in a very globally diverse area. I spent years working in gourmet and specialty food where you learn to understand accents of all types. Heck, I majored in business at Penn State where mastering understanding a foreign grad student's accent was part of passing most undergrad courses! But really, put a "pissed-off" meter on the phone line and transfer people who've reached the end of their rope to a native English speaker so that not being understood or not understanding doesn't add to our frustration. Plus, then I've got to feel GUILTY for getting angry because of someone's accent making the whole thing hard, even though the poor bastard is just trying to make a living and is probably a very nice and helpful person and way smarter than me to boot, since they speak at least one more language than I do...but if I have to repeat myself one more time, my head will pop right off. I mean the poor guy is trying to give me my user id which is a long string of letters and numbers and he's being very diligent about saying "v" as in "victor" and "z" as in "zebra" except that when he reads off the corresponding "as in" word, I'm constantly suprised, 'cause I've already written down a whole different letter. Sure, my luck to get a user id that's filled with "v, e, z, b, u" and other letters that are very hard for non-native speakers to say...
So...Verizon promises a seamless transition. (Cue appropriate background music now) Oh, c'mon, it's not like I really believed it. So, my old service goes down and...shocker!...nothing happening from the good old folks at Verizon. I finally am reduced to going to the library to check my e-mail...and find that Verizon has sent me an e-mail telling me that service will be delayed.
Hell-oh-oh? I don't have internet service thanks to you. If I hadn't been smart enough to contract a coupla extra months of ToadMail service...I would never know that it was delayed, you f-nuts! But okay, a coupla days...I'm off to Raleigh to work Camelot Christmas anyway. So I come back to another e-mail (again, by driving to the library, which limits you to 60 minutes a day of internet access) that extends the date yet again.
So, thinking, hey, I've got a couple of hours to kill...why not waste it on the phone with some poor overseas schmoo who runs through his scripts which really don't have a solution for some crazy bitch who wants to know exactly what the hold up is...who finally gives in to my request...okay, murderous rage-y, spitting angry, one step from a bell tower and high powered rifle demand...to speak to a supervisor.
Of course while I'm waiting for Supervisor Angela to get on the line, I'm treated to a recording that tells me that "some customers who are having trouble signing on may need to download a microsoft patch. Go to the website and..." Yo, once again, you bloody f-whits, if I can't sign on to the internet, I can't download a solution, can I?
I explain this to Supervisor Angela, before we get to my problem, and she says "I understand completely." I say "I don't want understanding, I want the problem to be fixed. I'm very results-oriented." "Let's talk about your unique problem" Supervisor Angela says and I suddenly realize that I've been transferred to the hostage negotiation team. At this point I know I'm screwed and am just going to have to wait however many days or weeks or whatever, until Verizon gets its head out of its ass and realizes that if they just flick the switch to "on" I will actually get service.
(Note: This is even more frustrating because my Toad service was actually running on Verizon's service. They just contract wire traffic and provide some software, access, and gods bless them, customer service. So, really, Verizon has been providing me with internet access for threee years...but now that I'm paying them direcly, suddenly it can't be done.)
But now it's become a moral battle for me. I just want someone to say "Oh, we had to wait until Frank got back from vacation, because he's the only one who can start your service, and well, he decided he needed an extra couple of days in Bermuda" or "Golly, I don't know what the problem is, but we'll get you hooked up by next Wednesday, I promise." And I did get fed some lines about clearing up noise on the lines, and some guy in Peoria needing to blow his nose and something about gerbil entrails needing to be properly aligned. And then I get yet a third service date for this coming Friday.
At which point I say "Hey, Angela, do you hear that dripping noise?" "No, m'am, I don't hear a noise." "Huh, well, it's the sound of my brain tissue liquefying with frustration and pouring out of my left ear. Wait let me switch the headset over so you can hear it better." "Um, m'am, I understand your frustration. Is there anything else I can help you with?"
Do you have a bucket to catch said brains? Well, then you've done all you can, then.
And she ends with "Thank you for choosing Verizon." Which results in me screaming "I didn't choose it, I had it thrust upon me and since the first moment I contacted your company, it's been pissing me off and now probably given me a brain tumor, so perhaps I should be thanking you"
But of course, Angela had wisely hung up before I really got rolling. But my cats were impressed as hell and all of the fur kids found something really pressing to do in another part of the house.
Do you want to know what I said when I got an automated phone message the next day, telling that my service date had been moved forward another three days? How about when I went to the library and got yet another notice this one saying that my service date had been moved forward 2 days. Okay, now the automated system can't even agree on what damned date! So, now as I'm considering my options -- this journal aside, I run my BUSINESS via e-mail and since I'm out cooking during the very hours that the library is open -- I get another phone call this morning that says "Hey, your service is up and running, you may run installation now." Which is 4 days ahead of when the phone system thought I was going to get it and 3 days ahead of when the e-mail system thought I'd get it. And I'd be glad except, of course, it's almost 2 weeks after I was originally promised. Plus of course, you KNOW the installation didn't go smoothly and I've spend most of the day on it...and really didn't have time for this entry...but pressure must be bled off in some fashion and I'm single for the next two nights.