Comment from: Zozi [Member]

Just a quick Verizon followup from today, 3/26/10, nearly a year after my first similar posts…

Last night I went home and found that my internet wasn’t working. I called tech support and after the usual hold I got somebody to tell me that the account was suspended. Without being able to confirm it, I was told that seemingly this was due to non-paying (I have always paid all my bills in full, on time). I was also told that nothing could be done to this (to activate my internet connection) at that time (it was 11 PM), and that the issue needed to be addressed during normal business hours.

I took the time and called today. I was on the phone for an hour and a half (!). Somehow I was connected to FiOS support first (I selected the option that I wanted a new service, hoping that would give me quick access to a live person, assuming their incentive to sell you “new” services), but then when asked about the type of service I just dialed zero.

Interesting, I still had to hold 20 minutes despite the hope of quick sales line. Nonetheless after 20 minutes I did get a live person, albeit a FiOS one.

After some 5 minutes on the line (asking all my account information etc), she determined I needed to be transferred to the DSL people. BTW, she offered, so that next time I don’t get connected to the wrong area, a “direct” line to DSL (800-567-6789). Very nice, I said, that actually was the number I called in the first place how I managed to get to her…

After another 10 minutes of music (which wasn’t too bad, at least for the selections, the quality was sub par), I now got the usual outsourced accented gentleman. We started chatting in a friendly tone and after a little while I learn from him that he is actually sitting in the dial-up department. He courteously offered, however, to transfer me to the DSL department. Not only that, but he even helped me further than that. He actually went ahead and offered to disclose the DIRECT number to DSL (800-567-6789).

Unfortunately, at this point, my friendly attitude waning, I declined, citing the fact that was the very number I called (and always call), yet managing to get to all sorts of departments around Verizon, with the only common denominator being they can’t help me. The outsourced gentleman, with apparent modest to moderate communication challenges related to the us of the English language, unfortunately did not understand exactly why I would decline his help offering this secret direct number, so he said it anyway.

As calm as I was earlier, this was getting a worthwhile experience. My cognitive self-therapeutic efforts focusing on not becoming frustrated, showed some wear and tear at this point.

Now more transfers… I finally get to the DSL folks, which, on the surface, you would think is a good thing. Right? Wrong. After another almost 10 minute hold and getting to another outsourced gentleman (who sounded exactly like the previous one), I had to painfully realize that no real progress was being made.

My account is suspended, I am told, therefore the billing department should be working with me. Great.

Another transfer, this time a non-outsourced voice, hurray. Of course the hold time adds on again. After share my convoluted story, which includes the fact I moved my voice part of the account to VoIP (Vonage) and I suspect this caused the issue in the first place (and all I want is internet only, restored right away, something I previously had been told was possible).

Unfortunately, the billing person is confused, challenged, frequently puts me on hold to look into things. As the situation is getting more and more hopeless for him, he even cautiously tries the “t” word (transfer), which by that time, had become my rage trigger.

Increasingly seeing no way out between his intellectual limits and the complexity of the situation at hand, the line gets dropped. After 90 minutes total.

I call back. This time I use a different approach. How about if I pick the “cancel” account option instead of trying the sales lines. In fact I did not have to fake it. At that point I was determined to do it too (i.e. cancel it for once and all).

Surprise! I get somebody on the line in less than 5 minutes! So I share my story for the 6th time in the last 90 minutes. Another surprise: the person speaks English well (understands almost everything I say), plus, as an added bonus, actually he is almost semi-competent. Huge contrast with all the earlier folks. Makes me think if they pay higher for the “cancel my account” reps as that is of even greater relevance than the new sales and definitely greater than customer support. If I can give you one advice then, if you have a problem and want to get somebody on the line quickly, go for the account cancellation option…

The guy relatively efficiently reviews notes, maps out the situation, and it becomes clear what had happened. My act of moving the voice away from Verizon did not automatically activate a “dry loop” (I wonder why they call it that way) DSL only subscription under the same account, but somehow caused suspending my account.

There is some complexity regarding how the still technically open DSL subscription from a discontinued DSL+voice subscription, in the context of moving the voice to another provider, plays out, so I won’t further complicate this technologically heavy post. Enough to say that my internet service was in “limbo” (that’s the exact word the guy used), so we needed to make some decision.

However, it could not simply re-activated. If I wanted it back (in a “dry loop” manner), I would have to do the entire setup.

Why is that relevant? DSL tends to be a bit more complex than cable. My situation is even more complex, because I opt to not use the Verizon DSL modem as a router (which is the routine setup), because I use my own (gigabit) router and use the DSL modem solely as a bridge, which requires some special account setup, which is a nightmare.

When the guy revealed that all my account settings are now erased and if I wanted to have my internet reactivated (without voice; i.e. “dry loop", I just can’t stop it, I think I am obsessed with the term), I would have to do the setup from scratch.

OK. At this point my decision matured to the point of no return. Cancel my account. I felt bad, because all day this was the time I spoke to the most competent, and nice sounding gentleman, who was actually helpful and was top of the situation. He was classy. Once I told him I just wanted to cancel, he acted properly.

Of course, I am writing this post before I see any further development, letters, bills, etc, so I’m pretty sure it is appropriate for me to say “to be continued"…

03/26/10 @ 19:26

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