Friday, September 23, 2005

Verizon Sucks

I came home yesterday to find that I couldn't go down the alley to my garage* as a truck had blocked it. I parked in front, which I hate to do because it gets so hot, and then you get the dew in the morning. I got in, and didn't feel that familiar rush of cool air. It was about 87 degrees in my house.

I called my roommate at work, and he told me that the air conditioner had been off since noon, and the power had been on and off, and that Verizon and their contractors had to cut off the electric. He didn't call them to find out what was going on, he went out to speak to the mostly Spanish-speaking men in the alley during their furious digging.

When I called, Shaniqua told me that she had no idea why anyone from Verizon would want or need to cut off my electricity. All in a tone that spoke of my extreme ignorance for calling the phone company about an electrical outage. I told her that in the near-100 degree heat that I'd need to have it back on very soon. She promised to find out what was going on, and that she'd call me back.

Meantime, I called my brother who lives just down the way to ask if I and the cats could come stay with him in his cool, cool house. He said yes, so then I went outside to say to the men in the alley, "?CUANDO?" to which one of them replied, "Thutty minute." Usually that means three hours, right?

I went back into the house, packed up the cats (pushing one of them into the cat carrier butt first cuz she won't go otherwise) and got ready to put on my shoes. Just then the refrigerator came on. I went to the kitchen to look. Yes, the refrigerator had started, but the microwave still had no power. The ceiling fan came on, so I wandered the house turning off switches.

The electrical poltergeist visited the television and started to turn it on and off very rapidly. I went to unplug the surge protector, which I thought was supposed to eliminate things like that. I went into the kitchen again, and the microwave had reverted to its facist but active state. (After the power goes out, it won't let me microwave unless I reprogram the clock.)

Then, finally all the house had power. I turned the air conditioner back down to cool off, and finally got it to a decent temperature around eight pm, and there was another surge and the power went off again for a minute but came back on. In the dark. With no workmen anywhere near my house.

Today, my phone has no dial tone. I decided to forego the massive consumption of minutes that my cell phone would experience during an eternal hold, and went to the website to send them an e-mail. Once there, they encourage the troubleshooting option.

I went through the troubleshooting steps, found out that I'd done everything already as I 'd suspected, and came across the following:

The text around the image tells people to

1. Open the Network Interface Device. You may have to remove a screw first.
2. Open the latch inside the box. Unplug the line that is not working.
3. Connect a working telephone to the jack on the Network Interface Device.

I don't know about you, but I'm uncomfortable with the phone company telling every idiot (including me) that has internet access to go outside and mess with the phone equipment. What the hell are they thinking?

I submitted a "repair request" and got an automatic response that said:

Thank you for contacting the Verizon eCenter, where we never stop working for you.
We will respond to you within one business day.

I am just in awe, really, really impressed with the customer service that tells people to go fix their own crap and then promises to respond in a day. Who'd like to join me in a toast to Verizon?

*Our suburb has mostly rear garages, and alleys that run behind the houses to access them


Apathy Bear said...

Sounds like that roomate of yours is pretty inconsiderate. A thoughtful roomie would have left a note explaining the power situation - but, no... you had to call to find out!

sxKitten said...

Hmm ... I wonder if Telus uses the same Network Interface Device. Of course, our beloved telephone service provider is on strike at the moment, so if I screw things up per Verizon's instructions, they're going to stay that way for a while.

Thanks, by the way, for increasing my Spanish vocabulary by about 10%. You never know when it might come in handy :-)

Diva said...

I had a problem with Verizon in my area a few months ago. I had static on my line and it got worse, so I called their number and opened a ticket with their automated service. They read me similar instructions over the phone. They said they would send a service tech the following Monday and then I never heard anything again. So, I opened a service ticket with them online and got the same little diagram you show here. Somebody finally came to check on it, and it turned out to be a problem with the line (it's all overhead here, an older neighborhood). So I took 1/2 day off work for nothing.