Tuesday, September 11, 2007

OMG, Verizon, WTF?!?!

If you're wondering how I scored that sweet simian phone number -- Verizon totally owed me, and they were trying to make good.

With the boyfriend almost 3,000 miles away, clocking double-digit hours on the phone each week, the cell wasn't cutting it anymore. So in early August, after five years of wireless-only, I decided to get a land line again. I went to the Verizon website, they have an order wizard, I crossed all the Ts and dotted the Is, and I was told that I would have service set up by August 13. As part of the process, they even gave me a selection of five (totally ordinary, non-primate-themed) numbers to choose from.

The 13th came and went -- no dial tone. As my phone was about a dozen years old, I figured that was the problem, and borrowed one that my folks weren't using. No dial tone. I ordered a new one from Amazon... no dial tone! So on the 17th, I call for service, and I'm told that my line was turned on, as scheduled, on the 13th, and they'd closed the order. But they can't get through to me; when the woman in the service department calls, she gets a recording that my number is not in service. So she files a repair ticket, and assures me that the line will be working by Monday the 20th.

No dial tone. And when I call again for service, I can't access my account! After about an hour on the phone and many transfers to multiple departments, I discover that they'd changed the phone number on my account, which is why I couldn't access it anymore. They wouldn't even tell me the new number until I got escalated to a manager.

It took three weeks, a service visit to the house, a bucket truck, and several more phone calls to Verizon before I actually got a working dial tone. However, they had no problem sending me a bill, a full two weeks before my phone was actually working. After all that grief, they gave me a free month of service, and the phone number of my choice, to make up for the fiasco. Good work, I say, apology accepted.

And then...

The broken dial tone reminded me that I had no idea how to access my voice mail. It had been weeks since they'd set up my account, they sent me a bill right on schedule, but I have yet to receive some sort of welcome pack with critical info such as what number to dial to pick up my messages.

So I call AGAIN, they apologize AGAIN, and give me the set-up info. This morning, I dial in, I have one message. This message:
Good afternoon, this is Verizon with good news about your recent home voice mail order. You can begin using your home voice mail as soon as you set up your voice mailbox. You'll need your access number, which is [silence, NOT redacted, they just didn't say it]. At your earliest convenience, please call Verizon for important information about how to set up your home voicemail. The toll-free number to call, anytime day or night, is XXX-XXX-XXXX, and at the main menu, press 6.

It is Verizon's goal to provide you with outstanding service. If we can improve our service to you in any way, please call Verizon toll-free during normal business hours [note they don't say when their business ours are] at XXX-XXX-XXXX, where a representative will be happy to help you.
OMG, Verizon, WTF?!?!

Okay, I get that the recording was meant for a person who actually answered the phone, which I had not.

But they're VERIZON, the phone company. You would thing that they could have set up their automated message system to not leave a message on voice mail when calling about setting up voice mail, and instead trigger a command to either:
a. call back later,
b. call my alternate (cell phone) number, which they have asked me for multiple times and should have on record with my account.

Regardless, they have given me the best phone number ever, so I guess I'll forgive them this one more time. Sigh.

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