This is a great read from Funky Brown Chick
This story touches me on a personal level because my uncle (a successful business owner) is going through the same thing right now, and its costing him money.
I was without internet service for approximately 1.5 weeks because Verizon did not repair my DSL internet connection. I could not submit articles that I’d planned to submit; I missed billable hours at work; I used up extra cellphone minutes; I couldn’t receive calls and I had no access to my home phone because I have VOIP / internet phone; and I endured countless hours of mental anguish while trying to convince Verizon’s customer service department that they should provide me with the service for which I am paying.
It should be possible to hold large cable, internet and telephone companies liable for mental anguish — or, at the very least, lost wages — when they dick you around and provide extremely poor customer service over extended periods of time. Instead, what usually happens? You get company credit or vouchers that can only be used to purchase more of the shitty service that pissed you off in the first place.
It seems so completely unfair. Patient’s Bill of Rights. If you’re a patient in a hospital, you have certain rights. Same with the Taxicab Bill of Rights. But, what about telecommunications? What’s my recourse for all of the bullshit that I went through with Verizon? And, unfortunately, (as horrible as my experience is) it’s not just Verizon and it’s not just me. I don’t know anyone who *doesn’t* have a story that goes something like this: Comcast told me to remain in my home from 8am – 5pm so that they can repair my cable, but then they never even bothered to show up or they showed up *after* the time that they said they would.
So, now what? I’m pissed off. And, I’m sure — at some point or another — a few of you have been in a similar situations and *you’ve* been pissed off. What’s the recourse? Is the Better Business Bureau still functioning? Does anyone even bother reporting anymore? A reader, ingredient_x, suggests that I do what people always do when they receive poor service: spread the word. Word of mouth, he says, is “the only recourse customers actually have that’s the least bit effective.” Okay, so, I’m doing that. I use my two lips to ten fingers to tell anyone who will listen how horrible my experiences with Verizon have been.
Another reader, Error Boy, suggests that I report the incident to Consumerist.com, and I just did that. I hope they write about it and include it on their site. And, actually, you should check out their site if you haven’t already. The theory goes like this: Neither I nor you, individually, may not affect the way that Verizon and other companies do business; but, if enough of us join together, it’s like we collectively rise up and bop the folks in these large companies over the heads with our laptops and yell: “please do something about your shitty customer service!” Stories like this one give me that “pissed off / laughing / borderline madness” feeling that only comes when you realize that someone else has got a story that’s just like yours, and you feel like you know *exactly* what they’re going through. Like, this guy’s story.
So, here’s where things stand: my DSL is up and running, and I’m still with Verizon for now. Needless to say, I’m going to call them again so that they rightfully credit me (i.e. DSL out of service, VOIP out of service, etc.). So, then what? I could switch providers sooner rather than later; I haven’t ruled that out. At the same time, I want to do something to register this complaint officially and more completely. And, I want to do whatever I can to actually make them change the way they do business. If you’ve got any ideas, feel free to forward them to me via email or leave them in the comment section. I feel like I’m at my wit’s end.