Jason’s fuel gauge was stuck, and he unexpectedly ran out of gas in the middle of Wyoming, 23 miles from the nearest town. When he tried calling for help, the operator asked, “Would you like to be connected to Verizon Wireless Roadside Assistance?” Sadly, Jason said yes. He writes,
Here are the morals of this story:
1. Never EVER travel without extra fuel.
2. If someone ever says to you, “Can I connect you to Verizon Wireless Roadside Assistance?” They are making a direct threat on your life.
So yesterday I drove from my home in Casper, Wyoming down to Loveland Colorado. Its about a 250 mile drive South down I-25. I was driving a 2003 GMC Yukon XL. I passed Chugwater Wyoming at about 11:00, checked the fuel gauge and decided that half a tank should get me into Cheyenne, 45 miles away.
23 miles later the needle of the fuel gauge finally unstuck and dropped to E in about a second and a half. Then the car sputtered and died. I was out of fuel with no sign of civilization for 23 miles to the North and 22 miles to the South. I raised my hood, hoping that some kind soul would stop and perhaps offer a ride.
I had been in and out of cellular service for the last two hours. In that time my phone was trying desperately to find a signal, which drains the battery at a horrendous rate of speed. I had one bar left on the battery so I went looking for my car charger. I didn’t bring it. I don’t know anyone in Cheyenne, so I dialed 411. The operator answered and I asked her for a tow truck in Cheyenne, Wyoming. She said to me, “Can I connect you with Verizon Wireless Roadside Assistance?” I said, “Why yes you can, I didn’t know Verizon offered Roadside Assistance.”
So she connects me. I spent the next 15 minutes punching in my credit card number, my phone number, the last four digits of my SSN etc. etc. etc. Then I finally get a live person on the phone to help me. Goes like this:
Her: Thank you for calling Verizon Wireless Roadside Assistance, how can I help you?
Me: Hi, I’m out of fuel on I-25 23 miles North of Cheyenne, Wyoming next to mile marker 30. Can you send some fuel out?
Her: I can help you with that, are you in a safe place?
Me: I’m on the shoulder of I-25, I’m pretty safe.
Her: Ok, where exactly are you?
Me: …. Interstate 25 southbound, mile marker 30, 23 miles north of Cheyenne Wyoming.
(No shit, this was her next question.)
Her: Are you at home?
Me: What? No, I’m next to I-25 in the middle of nowhere.
Her: Could you meet someone at your home?
Me: Are you serious? Lady, I’m broken down in the middle of the prarie here!
Her: I understand sir, is there a mile marker or an exit near you?
Me: Yeah, like I said, I’m at mile marker 30.
Her: Ok, is there a town nearby?
Me: Yeah, Cheyenne is 23 miles away.
Her: Ok, what is the zip code there?
Me: How the hell would I know the zip code of Cheyenne Wyoming?
Her: Sir, I can’t do anything without a zip code.
Me: Can’t you look it up somehow?
Her: Please hold.
Fifteen minutes go by, my phone is beeping its battery death rattle in my ear.
Her: Sir? Are you still there?
Me: Yes I am, but my phone is about to die, is someone on the way?
Her: I can’t find a zip code for Cheyenne. Oh, wait, let me try this one….
I’m on hold again. Three minutes pass.
Her: Sir, what sort of service do you need?
Me: I don’t care, send a tow truck, or a locksmith or a taxi or anyone that will bring me fuel!
My phone dies.
So I figure she’s got someone on the way and I wait. Its 12:30pm at this point in time. I took some pictures to pass the time.
I also picked up some of the bottles and cans from the roadside, carried them a few hundred yards off the road into an empty field and had a little target practice.
Four hours pass. No help has arrived. Finally, someone stops, this is the first time since I’ve been there. He let me use his phone, I called my voicemail. I had a message from the Roadside Assistance bitch that went like this;
“Sir, I was unable to find any services in Cheyenne. Thank you for calling Verizon Wireless Roadside Assistance, have a good day.”
She left me to twist. A 12 hour walk in any direction, she knew full well that I couldn’t call anyone else, she just left me out there.
I then called 411 again and asked for a tow truck. The operator said, “Can I connect you to Verizon Wireless Roadside Assistance?” I told her to go have sex with herself in a tirade of swearing that can only be described as Yosemite Sam uncensored.
One hour later Doug’s Towing from Cheyenne was there, he collected $150 and I was back on the road.