Ariel let the Verizon CSRs convince her into risking second day off work, and… the Verizon tech still didn’t show. While she was waiting, she amused herself by calling Verizon in the hopes of reaching someone who could help her. She did not have much luck.
Ariel’s list of Verizon CSR responses is nothing short of wonderful, but this one is our favorite:
-“You can call me (800) 567-8932″–Employee 1220” (when I called the number, there was no real person there, but an automated message: “Don’t wait to meet new and exciting people, call now!” Does this mean one of your employees works for some sort of pornographic hotline as well as Verizon? Well, there’s an interesting twist on customer service, but doesn’t it strike you as inappropriate that this was given out to a customer who only wants DSL service restored?)
Verizon, we called the number you gave Ariel and, sure enough, got the message she describes. We recorded it in case any of our readers are interested in Verizon’s new dating service. Good job, Verizon. By the way, your actual number is (800) 567-6789. Just in case you want to make note of it.
Ariel writes (to the CEO of Verizon):
The President of Verizon (if such a person exists)
140 West Street
New York, NY 10007
Dear Mr./Ms. President of Verizon (if you exist),
As I write this, it is my second full day waiting for someone (a scheduled “dispatcher”) to actually address my Internet problem caused by your horrific service.
I am convinced that this person will never show up. That he or she is something like the Sasquatch or the Yedi. Maybe the Tooth Fairy. Except the Tooth Fairy is much more reliable.
Since I have no Internet service and nine hours trapped in my apartment waiting for you (eighteen if we count last week’s waiting too, but really, that would be pedantic, wouldn’t it?), I figured I would write out this complaint so that I can snail-mail it to you. The good ol’ Pony Express never disappoints.
I have spoken with countless representatives at your company for the past six days to resolve my problem, but for to no resolution, it seems. There is NOT ONE PERSON at your company who is willing to help a customer. This is disgusting, disgraceful, and appalling.
I am sending a copy of this letter to FOX News’ “Shame, Shame, Shame!” series, as well as to consumerist.com, The New York Times and Consumer Reports.
Allow me to explain my problem for what feels like the millionth time: my phone service inexplicably died on Wednesday, August 1st. I was told by Verizon representatives that I would have to pay a minimum of $91.00 for someone to resolve this problem, which your company admitted it had caused itself. Aggravated though I was, I accepted this answer, as I was simply relieved and astounded that someone actually agreed to fix my problem.
Furthermore, I don’t believe in negotiating with terrorists.
As I mentioned, a representative promised that “someone” would come to my home on Friday, August 3rd, leaving me without phone or Internet service for three days.
I accepted this. After all, I grew up in the 80s. I know what it’s like to live in the Stone Age.
I took off from work on Friday, August 3rd, in order to wait for the repair person to fix my phone and restore service (there was no dial tone). I should state here that, like the seven people, who, like me, are not billionaires in the United States right now, I do not have the money to take days off from work. In fact, I am a New York City schoolteacher who has taken on a summer job teaching inner-city students simply so I can pay my own bills. After all: waiting for phone service and repairmen is just a part of life, like the SATs or poor healthcare. You dread it, you live with it, and you expect it.
What I DO take issue with, though, is that I stayed at home waiting for repairmen to come, and even though everyone at Verizon knew this was about as likely as finding a diamond in my epiglottis, no one had the decency to wake me up from my dream world where a company fulfills its promise to the customer.
No one came, but at approximately 1:20 PM on Friday, I received an automated call that said my phone service had been fully restored. A miracle! Hallelujah! YIPEE!
But of course my service had not been fully restored: my DSL line still did not work. I called customer service, and after waiting on hold for forty-five minutes, someone was finally willing to help me. I followed all of his advice, from unplugging the modem to unplugging and plugging wires in to unplugging the wire from the jack to everything else he requested. I would have made a souffl
if he thought it would help my DSL line. And I don’t cook.
Still, no dice.
So I called again. I had to go through the exact same process, with your representative refusing to believe that this was something I could not fix, with your representative refusing to acknowledge that this was something I had already done with another representative.
Truthfully, with an Ivy League education and a masters degree, really, couldn’t I fix it myself?
In a sad moment of my personal history, I admit that, brow-beaten and badgered, I was reduced to tears by one of your representatives. Literally. (Feel free to check, as I’ve been told countless times that my “calls may be recorded for quality assurance”, though “quality” seems to be an odd choice of words, don’t you think?) Only when confronted with a crying customer was the representative willing to “transfer me” to someone else, who claimed to be a “supervisor”. The supervisor, amazingly, agreed to send out a “ticket” so that someone would come to restore the DSL service.
So, lesson learned: there is at least one way you can get service from a Verizon representative. Be ridiculed by them, cry, and then take another unpaid day off of work so that your inner-city students can fall even further behind rather than receive the supplemental class work they so desperately need.
Today is Monday, and as I write this, no one has come to my home to fix my service.
Shocking, I know.
Frustrated and disgusted by your despicable business practices, I decided that the best way to spend my wasted unpaid day at home away from my students was to call your company and find out what on Earth I would have to do to receive service of any kind. At this point, I’d even take terrible service if I felt at all like my problem was being addressed. Over the course of the day (and that means six phone calls to your customer service team, with a wait time ranging from 20-35 minutes each time. FYI: I have Windows XP, and a Westell modem that is model number 327W. I have entered this information into the phone about sixteen times, so believe me, I know.)
I have received the following comments from various members of your customer service team. I use the word “service” merely as an idiomatic phrase here, as the word implies that your company actually cares about its customers, which, we can agree, it clearly does not.
-“Oh yes, the dispatcher is on his way!” (no dispatcher)
-“Can I call you back?” (no call back)
-“You can call me (800) 567-8932”–Employee 1220 (when I called the number, there was no real person there, but an automated message: “Don’t wait to meet new and exciting people, call now!” Does this mean one of your employees works for some sort of pornographic hotline as well as Verizon? Well, there’s an interesting twist on customer service, but doesn’t it strike you as inappropriate that this was given out to a customer who only wants DSL service restored?)
-“There’s no record here of a dispatcher supposed to come to you today.”
-“There’s no ticket out for your problem.”
-“There was a ticket out but it was canceled.”
-“What happens is that the ticket is cleared if Verizon says they can fix it without coming to your home. So I guess your ticket was cleared.” “But the problem is still here!” “Uh, sorry.”
-“The dispatcher will be there before five!”
-“There’s no scheduled appointment for you.”
I ask, no, make that I beg to know: WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOUR COMPANY!?
I have taken my second day off from teaching summer school (losing money that I literally don’t have to spend) waiting for people who will never provide me with service, talking to liars, miscreants and buffoons, wondering whether I will be able to teach my students tomorrow at all or if I will need to take more days off simply dreaming of imaginary magical “dispatchers”, the mythical sugar plum fairies of Verizon. Hey, you know what? Maybe I’ll go eat some rainbow gumdrops too and then ride my magical unicorn off to a wonderful wireless world filled with four-leaf clovers and centaurs!
Verizon, the sad fact is I’d be better off if Harry Potter came to fix my DSL. At least Harry–a fictional character–doesn’t disappoint people.
The best part of it all? In a moment of true weakness, I asked one of your service representatives if they could at least look up Time Warner’s number for me so I could switch my service, which I couldn’t do because my DSL works about as well as our non-existent plan to get out of Iraq. What was the customer representative’s response?
“We don’t have Internet.”
At least this is fair, then. Pretty hilarious for an Internet company, right?
Pathetic is more like it.
I’d like to point out that now it is 4:59. No one is here. No one will be here. After three hours on the phone with your “Complaints” office and “Executive Office”, I have been told by everyone that “no one is coming today” and they are “sorry”. “Someone will come tomorrow.”
I’ve heard this one before.
So, Verizon, this is me congratulating you. Why, you ask? Because your tagline, “We never stop working for you” is astoundingly accurate. The fact is you never actually started, so it would be hard to stop, now wouldn’t it?
I apologize if this letter has taken away any of your precious work time. I realize that some people are allowed to go to their jobs to earn money so that they can afford to live, while others simply have the misfortune of waiting at home for narwhals, unicorns, and imaginary service-people to fix their telephone lines.
Please accept my sincerest apologies, and excuse this disruption to your schedule.