Meet Dr. Herman I. Libshitz, a retired radiologist and potential Verizon customer who would like DSL. Sadly, Dr. Libshitz was informed that he could not use his name in his email address or as his user name because it has “shit” in it.
He tried his best to escalate the complaint with Verizon, but had little luck. First, he called the help line:
“We called their help line, and got a wonderful young man in the Philippines who told us:
” ‘We can’t install it because your name has – in it.’ “
I asked the doctor how I was going to print that. He said, “Just say it’s a word contained in Libshitz.”
He had no luck with a supervisor, so he called the billing disputes number and reached another supervisor who promised to investigate and have someone contact him because ” the only person who could help was in Tampa, and that man would have to call India to get them to change the computer code.” No one called back.
Finally, he got a letter informing him that he could not use his name as a username because it didn’t comply with Verizon’s policy.
It took calls from the Philadelphia Inquirer to get Verizon to deal with Dr. Libshitz and his “questionable” name, and that’s what bothers him. He told the Inquirer that what he wants “is for these people at least to stand at attention to explain themselves. I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to get to Verizon. . . . You cannot get to them. They are insulated from things like this.” Unless you work for a newspaper, that is.
Here’s Verizon’s official response:
“As a general rule (since 2005) Verizon doesn’t allow questionable language in e-mail addresses, but we can, and do, make exceptions based on reasonable requests. The one from Dr. and Mrs. Libshitz certainly is reasonable and we regret the inconvenience and frustration they’ve been caused.”
Daniel Rubin: When your name gets turned against you [Philadelphia Inquirer] (Thanks, Will!)
(Photo: Maulleigh )