Friday, September 06, 2002

Currently at the beach with my mom. Weather was rough for the first week. NorEaster last Sunday followed by humid weather. Now that the front has come through, things are much drier and nicer.

Due to the heavy rains last Sunday, the POTS land lines have been trashed. It was very hard to get modem access all week. I called Verizon to notify them about the poor quality of the phone lines. The first thing they inform you is that it will be $80 if they determine it's your phone and not their lines that's the problem. Then I tried to explain to them where I was located and they were clueless. They couldn't find me in their database. They asked if this was a new location. Yeah, like thirty years ago! I finally just hung up since it was clear that they were not really interested in being notified that their phone lines were trashed. I bet because of their "we'll charge you $80" approach to customer service that Verizon now has a spotless customer service record because no one bothers to follow through an report and actual problem. This is very innovative of Verizon and must have been an award winning/promotion opportunity for the MBA genius who dreamed it up. When the Federal oversight committee asks Verizon to show them their complaint records, Verzion can proudly say - We don't have any. Little does anyone realize that Verzion refuses to accept a report of problem unless the consumer accepts Verizon's contract that they will, at their sole discretion, decide if it is their problem. This is truly American business at its most innovative! Not!

Anyway, the Verizon truck appears in the condo parking lot this morning. Amazingly, after it leaves all the phone lines perform perfectly. So much for who's problem it was.

Other experiences with Verizon include my ongoing AM radio phone at home. My home in MD (suburb of DC) has had a local radio station (WTOP-AM) on the line for about 5 months. Also, I frequently have a nasty buzz as well. I don't use phones much since I went to a cable modem with another not great company - Comcast. I called Verizon a while back about the AM radio on my phone and they went through their $80 song and dance. Verizon wants me to go out and dismantle my network junction box on my house and test things there. It's been too hot this summer to bother. When things cool I will devote a couple of weeks fighting with Verizon. Again, let's see whose problem this turns out to be.

It's hard to be sympathetic to ailing US business with this type of nonsense going on. It's also kind of scary to wonder where it will all end?

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