Verizon DSL service sucks.

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.

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2 Responses to “Verizon DSL service sucks.”

  1. The CHZA Says:

    The reason it was so hard to get your DSL back online is because Verizon more or less has its various sub-departments fenced in. I work for Verizon DSL tech support, but it’s actually a company called Teleperformance that Verizon contracts through. If somebody calls in and says that another Verizon customer is obviously spamming them, or if their service date is constantly being pushed out, or they keep missing dispatches, I literally cannot do anything. It’s impossible to call the actual local office that dispatches repair techs and sets up your connection in the first place – we can only call a kind of sub-department, the “Provisioning Control Center,” which won’t do much of anything excepting extremely severe problems. Having your service down for over a week is not unusual, because officially, if your DSL goes down, we are required to assume the problem could be at your home (unless we actually get a specific internal error code, which I see maybe all of once or twice a month). And guess when that Verizon tech will be coming out on the day you ask for (weekdays only!) — 8 am to 7 pm. Anywhere within those 11 hours.
    For whatever reason, the assistant manager of the call center brought a small group of people in a few months ago and mentioned that when we submit repair tickets to the maintenance control office, we’re basically submitting that ticket and hoping. We have no way of knowing what their exact schedule and availability is. Seriously. So if you stay home from work on a Wednesday, that tech may not even come out. He may not have time, or he may be lazy and note “NO CUSTOMER ACCESS PREM” even if you were sitting on your front steps all day (I’ve seen it happen).
    If I were you, I would switch providers ASAP. If your line slows down and it’s not something simple like a bad modem-to-jack line or a bad filter, you’re going to be stuck on your ass for 11 hours to get it fixed, maybe. If the line goes down completely and it’s not something simple inside of your home, same story. The company is simply not built to handle problems.

  2. The CHZA Says:

    Oh also, there’s no way to officially register your complaint. Seriously. Nobody cares. I have people ask me to do that in tech support, and there is no system in place to do so. Billing has no system (Their notes consist of “PROBLEM: cx called in about bill ACTION: prov credt RESOLUTION: cx satisfied” at the very most) and I don’t even know who handles sales. Awhile ago I just stopped telling people there was no way to register their complaints. Now I simply say “Sure, I can do that for you” and just give them the ticket number of the actual call with them I was having at that moment as a “confirmation number” if they ask for anything like that and write in my notes “told cx I would note their problems.”
    Yeah, it’s dishonest, but that illusion of a resolution is the most that person is ever going to see about filing a complaint. Nobody takes complaints, literally nobody. They’ll throw credit at you and that’s about it.

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