June 15, 2009

When Persistence Pays Off

If you saw my post on Saturday, you are probably wanting to know what the heck happened. I was happily minding my own business Friday afternoon, getting into the groove of blog-hopping and comment leaving and was mentally thinking up an awesome VGNO post as I was looking forward to partying like a virtual rock star. Verizon had other plans.

Hubby complained about 3:00pm that he wasn't able to get online - I shrugged it off because I was in the middle of a thought and once I finished my witty comment, hit the submit button, when suddenly I was faced with a 'not connected' error message. Our internet was down. I noticed the internet light wasn't blinking on our modem/router, so I rebooted it just in case. Twice. No luck. I immediately picked up the phone to call and find out what the scoop was, but there was no dial tone.

So the 'Freedom Plan' with Verizon we've only had for a month was not functioning. Not so much 'Freedom' here. Our main communication mode, phone and internet, not working.

I called on hubby's pre-paid cell phone and got bounced around from department to department. They and their computers kept claiming that the line was testing fine, that we should have dial tone and that our internet is showing as working perfectly fine as well.

I beg to differ.

I kept calling back.

After speaking to about 20 or more different people (some of which were extremely rude, and totally deserved me hanging up on them), I finally got to an actual English-speaking person in tech support who told us that we could take a phone out to the box where the line comes in - if we plug in the phone and find there is no dial tone right at the box, it's obviously a problem on their end. In other words, if there's no dial tone, it confirms it's their problem to deal with, you know, because it proves that we're not imbeciles and didn't mess up our own connection by unplugging a phone or something. Duh.

Of course I knew there was no problem with our 'equipment', because it was working perfectly fine and there were no changes made. We didn't even have any storms roll through here at all Friday afternoon like we'd had several times earlier in the week, so there was no cause for us to be alarmed.

We practically did a cheer on our side lawn after we discovered that it was indeed a Verizon problem - no dial tone at the box. Ha! Hubby even broke into the technician side and tried the plug on that side. No dial tone. Double Ha!

So I started calling again. And again got bounced around like nobody's business. The internet side said it's the phone people's problem, the phone people said it's the internet side's problem. I didn't care whose problem it was, they were making it my problem because they were not getting the issue resolved so I could resume my blogging activity. Priorities, you know.

I was also stressing in a big way because I've already resigned myself to the fact that I will not be able to be online during the 13 days we're in Louisiana - unless I find some random wifi connection that will give me my fix while we're there. I also have web design clients who have decided to inundate me with changes to their sites - you know, because I'll be offline for 2 weeks and they decided that suddenly they needed to have a zillion changes done before I leave.

It's one thing to be able to 'alert' people that I'm not going to be online for an extended period of time, it's a whole new ball game when I'm suddenly cut off from any form of communication with both the internet and phone being down and Verizon telling me I was going to have to wait an entire week before they would have someone come out and 'take a look'.

Yeah. That's not acceptable.

To add fuel to the fire, no less than 4 people told me that if we were a 'business' account, they would be able to have someone come out earlier. But since we're a 'residential' account, the best they could promise was Friday.

I was not happy.

I figured I had nothing to lose - and just kept calling back, figuring I'd eventually get to someone who had some clout and could get the date changed. One call had me on terminal ignore for 50 minutes before I finally spoke to a human...who was actually very nice and told me my best bet would be to call in the morning and speak with a supervisor in charge of dispatch.

So I did.

First thing Saturday morning. Of course I was too early because I called at 7:00 am. I spoke with a b*tch woman who was very condescending - who also suggested that if the account were a 'business' account we'd have faster service. I sure hope she felt the daggers I was sending her way, but I doubt it. She was too busy talking over me and then kept telling me to stop talking over her so she could finish the trite she was speaking. I finally did find out from her, though, that dispatch came on at 8:00 am, so I watched the clock and called at 8:03 am. I had to go through the whole scenario for the umpteenth time and describe in detail again what the problem was.

How difficult is it to understand that there is no dial tone at the box? Yes, I know the computer tested the line and says it's fine, yes, 10 other people did a manual test and show that it's fine, no I do not have a dial tone, no I am not calling from the number that I'm reporting because it does. not. work. Yes, I understand they have a service call scheduled for next Friday, no that does not work for me because I need it fixed now. Is there any point that I can speak to a supervisor?

I finally got transferred to a person of authority.

Another 20 minutes of being on hold...it's a miracle - they can have someone come out on Monday. Fine, I can live without the internet for the weekend, it's way better than an entire week.

So off I go to McDonald's to throw up a quick post so people didn't wonder why I suddenly stopped any form of activity, and sent a quick email to my web clients so in case they tried to contact me they wouldn't think something fishy was going on.

And then.

The phone rang about 6:30 pm - both my hubby and I stared at it like it was from mars. Hesitantly I picked it up and was shocked to hear an actual voice on the other end. It was a nice technician guy who was getting ready to head home and decided to look into our dilemma because of the multitudes of phone calls (which generated multitudes of notes on our account) and needed a few more details.

Did we change anything like phone, modem, etc.? No - in fact the internet was working perfectly fine as I was in the middle of blogging when it went out. The nice technician guy discovered in a very short time what the problem was. Because he cared enough to look into it. Bless his heart!

According to him, while the line tested fine and there appeared to be a signal, it was only traveling 500 feet. It wasn't leaving Verizon's property. Someone had pulled some module out and put it in backwards, which made the computers and the human testers think there was a legitimate signal.

Huh.

So it wasn't us being ignorant and changing our phones and having something unplugged and obviously that meant that we were telling the truth when we physically took a phone out to the box and plugged it in and claimed there was no dial tone. Huh.

He said someone wasn't doing their job, and it was a really good thing I kept pushing for an answer - he said that if I hadn't been persistent and called as many times as I did, most likely Verizon would have made me wait until Friday. I thanked him profusely and he told me to have fun and go ahead and blog away. And so I am. :)


22 Random Sassy Comments:

blueviolet said...

Now that was a nightmare! I'm glad you kept after them. But, what a rude bunch of employees they have.

Yaya said...

Bless that man!

Yeah, I would have lost my mind. I too call repeatedly until I get a person who will help me! And I too probably have notes a mile long on me at every place I've ever called! Lol! My husband knows if we need something such as this that I am the one to call because I don't back down!

Buckeroomama said...

I feel your pain! I totally hate it when I call and I get bounced around and no one takes ownership of anything. Glad you persisted! :)

Megryansmom said...

Well your persistence paid off and you saved the world. Well pretty close! Care to call North Korea today and tell them to settle them selves down a bit?

annie kelleher said...

wow... that sounds like the nightmare runaround comcast gave us when a delivery struck hit the cable line. they told me SIX weeks to fix the cable and the internet - i think i went into withdrawal ON THE SPOT. i had to call beloved at work and beg him to intervene. i dont know what he said, but he got them there within a couple days... i remember blogging about my experience too!!!

PinkNote said...

I've got you an award. Pls do visit moy blog site..=)

Lorielle said...

So sorry you had to endure this! I have never had any trouble with Verizon - but I just have cell phone service with them. Charter Communications on the other hand can suck my big toe.

Hit 40 said...

OUCH!!! I feel your pain and frustration. None of the random reactions to click fit this post!!

Martha in PA said...

Don't you hate when that happens! I am glad it was resolved earlier than anticipated, I would have missed you this week!

Jenn@ The Crazies said...

So glad you are back!! What a mess but thank goodness for decent human beings!!

Stacie said...

What a nightmare. Glad the technician came out there and got it all figured out. I would be lost without my internet! Have a great Monday!

Justine said...

Okay, that is just utter bullshit. NOW you should call and speak to a supervisor and have them take something off your bill. Not only for the internet/phone down-time, but for all the calls you had to make just to find a helpful person. Ugh, I would have been STEAMING.

Justine ;o )

Lizzie said...

wow, that is quite a story! i hate calling internet, phone, companies. well i hate calling any utility companies :) i am so glad it all got figured out in the end

Stacie said...

I really enjoy reading your blog so I am awarding you two awards! They will be on my blog shortly!

I am Harriet said...

Shows you what happens when a company get too big. Or, thinks they get too big. Good for you for standing up to them!

Stesha said...

The phone company sucks! All of them. At least you got a nice tech.

Hugs and Mocha,
Stesha

God's Not Finished With Us Yet... said...

Hi Stacy! Wow, this sound like a nightmare! I had this issue once but with my Comcast Television Cable that shut out right in the middle of a great movie I was watching. They sat on the phone with me giving me instructions to reboot it over the phone, but I told them over and over that I already did this twice and it didn't work, so they sent a technician out later the next week and he got it to come on but it wasn't a clean picture. He couldn't figure it out and he was very lazy and didn't seem to care either. Drove us nuts. So on this post I totally empathize with you and your frustration over this! That's just ridiculous; makes you wonder where all the old school customer service took off too?

Anywho, Sarah here, commenting on your blog from MBC. Thanks for following my site!

God's Not Finished With Us Yet... said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
pehpot said...

Oh it really pays to be persistent. I am so glad that your problem with your connection are now OK


Make or Break

Casey said...

Dude, remind me not to cross you! I'm glad you got them to fix it so quickly, being out of internet is the worst feeling ever. I suppose there are worse pains but you know what I mean.

JAN'S PLACE said...

I would of been furious as well, actually I have been furious as well!

We went through something similar,.. check the phone out at the box... unplug and plug the phones back in... than.. I am sorry we will be out in a week.. what?! We have a business, that means they have to be able to reach my husband, he is always on call!



The came out after much escalation, and finally fixed their problem!

I feel your pain and frustration :(

Equidae said...

just reading the post I was getting all heated up...my God! so far haven't experienced such bad service