Friday, May 11, 2012

another customer service story (lyn)

Dealing with Verizon could cause a girl to go on an eating binge.  Fortunately, my healthy obsession (at least I hope it’s healthy) prevents me.

The Problem
For the past few months, my answering machine (in the phone) picks up immediately when someone calls, despite my having set the phone to pick up after two rings.  I assume I need a new phone.

I spend time researching the best phones. I have lots of criteria. I find one I like and put it on my Amazon wish list.  Other things have had priority, so I haven’t yet gotten around to buying one.

Yesterday, out of the blue, I try to resolve the problem of my phone picking up seconds after the first ring.  I call Uniden.  Surprise. Surprise.  They tell me it’s a Verizon problem. 

Thursday, around 10am
I call Verizon.  I’m on hold for 18 minutes.  Finally, I get Dan.  He’s very helpful and tells me, after some research involving my hanging up and his testing the line, “It appears the wires in your area are wet.  That would cause both static (which I also have) and the immediate pick-up of calls.”  This is great news.  I won’t need to buy a new phone.  I wish I hadn’t waited months to call.  After additional research Dan says, “We can send a technician out to your area tomorrow.  You don’t need to be home because the technician will be fixing the wires outside your home.”  Even better.

Thursday, 2:08 pm
I receive a voicemail from Verizon asking if I’d rather schedule my appointment between 8 and 12 or 1 and 5.  Huh? I call and relay my conversation with Dan.  This time I’m told, “Dan was incorrect.  On further investigation it appears that the wires outside your home are not wet.  They are fine. We’ll need to check the wires within your home.”  Frustrated, I schedule an appointment between 8 and 12.

Thursday, 7:07pm
I receive an email.  “This is a friendly reminder regarding your scheduled repair appointment on Friday May 11, 2012.  The technician will be arriving before 7pm.”  What?  No need to be home morphed into need to be home between 8 and 12 and is now stay home all day until 7pm.

I call Verizon.  I get an unctuous and argumentative Jeff from Albany.  Finally, after listening to his ridiculous defense of the three conflicting Verizon messages, Jeff tells me that I am the second person scheduled so someone will definitely be at my house by noon tomorrow.

It’s a perfect weather day.  Sunny and 70.  I’m inside waiting for Verizon to show up.  By 12:30, no one has arrived.  I call and ask to speak to a supervisor.  I’m on hold for an agonizing 17 minutes, listening to awful music, without anyone coming on to say they are sorry but someone will be with me shortly.  Finally I get Lori from Brooklyn.  “Yes, ma’am.  Are you calling about today’s repair?  Someone is schedule to be there this afternoon, by 7.”  I feel like I’m in a Twilight Zone episode.  This is my fifth contact with Verizon, and every single time I get a brand new time frame!  I explain the problem and Lori says she’ll call me right back.  She does, 90 minutes later.  She tells me I’m that last one on today's route.  That means they might not get to me at all.  I almost start crying.  Lori is empathetic---either that, or she just doesn’t want to hear a grown woman cry.    She puts me on hold, calls the dispatcher and probably says something like, “Listen.  I think this person is a nutcase.  If you don’t get to her house soon, she could have a nervous breakdown.  Can’t you PLEASE move her up on your list?”  Because when Lori comes back on the line she says, “The technician will be there soon.”  I hang up and within five minutes, the doorman calls up, “Verizon’s here.”

So this very nice, and competent man arrives.  He checks my wires.  He checks the building’s wires.  He tests my phone.  His conclusion:  it’s the phone!  

I'm right back where I started.  But at least now I know not to get FIOS.

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