Spam (madbodger) wrote,

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Business as usual at Verizon

Our answer call service (essentially an answering machine service implemented by the telco) stopped working for no apparent reason. So I called our provider, Verizon, to ask why it didn't work. After dealing with the usual stupid automated attendant (say your number, what's your problem, does that mean "calling services"?), I got someone who didn't know whether this was a "services" issue or a "repair" issue. So they forwarded me to services (recording warning me that they'll want to review my account to upsell more services. and re-enter my phone number), who said it was because there was a "restriction" placed on my account. I asked why, and they said it was usually nonpayment (unlikely, as I use an automated bill paying service) or a mistake on their part (wow, honesty!). So they transferred me to collections (re-enter my phone number again), who looked up my records, claimed I have $15 past due (huh? my monthly bill is $34-35, and it is paid automatically), but that isn't why the restriction is there. In fact, nobody has a clue why the restriction is there, so they eventually agree to remove it, and transfer me back to Services to re-add the answer call service (again the recording warning me that they'll want to review/upsell my account, and re-enter my phone number yet again). I explain that I want to re-add the answer call that was turned off for no reason, and they want my social security number (huh? Verizon is apparently expanding their business into identity theft). Then I get transferred to nowhere and get the "if you'd like to make a call" recording.

So I try to add it online. The form shows $8/month for the answer call service, and $2/month for fixed call forwarding, for a total of $12. Huh? When I add 8 and 2, I don't get 12! But Verizon does. And they're a monopoly, so my other option, I suppose, is to go buy an answering machine. Or hack their systems and teach them some basic math. Then the next page gives a total of $10/month (uh, okay), plus $10 setup (hey, that's not cricket!), and the handy explanation (in orange): "Please note that product availability and pricing may be inaccurate." Well, DUH! And the helpful text (in bold, and orange, with a helpful exclamation-point-in-a-triangle icon: "To place an order, you'll need to speak to a customer service representative." And an OK button that brings up an alert reading the same.

So I call back, get the usual rigamarole (say your phone number, we're gonna upsell you, what do you want), get a person, explain what I'm doing, she tells me I didn't pay my bill (huh?), but forwards me to Service, who (7th time now) wants my phone number and name. They ask me if I've talked to Collections, and inform me that there's a restriction on my account. I explain that Collections told me that there's not reason for this "restriction", and said they had removed it. 5 minutes of elevator music ("With You I'm Born Again", originally by Billy Preston and Syreeta, apparently performed by 1001 Strings, and "Close To You", originally by the Carpenters, also a 1001 Strings sort). Block removed again. Tried to sell me Verizon LD service, and I'll have to re-initialize everything, but I did get them to waive the re-activiation fee and confirm $10/month, which they'll pro-rate.

And people wonder why I rant about Verizon. This sort of yak shaving happens every time I have to deal with them.

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