Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Beyond the Blue Verizon

I hate to argue with Alanis Morisette, but it's not ironic when it rains on your wedding day, or when you hit a traffic jam when you're already running late.  But I'll tell you about something that is true irony all day long...

I have had a telephone since shortly after Thos. Edison got off the phone with his asst.  The name of the local service provider has changed, from C&P Telephone Company of Maryland to Bell Atlantic to the current snappy name, Verizon. I pick up the phone, I get a dial tone, everyone's happy, especially since we pay our bill every month.

But, of course, big companies cannot be content to just take your money in return for their services.  They all have a Department of Screwing Things Up All To Hell, and recently Verizon decided to unleash that group on me.

A nice lady called and said they wanted to come to the house and install a battery backup system, so that if we lost electrical power, we could still call and order a pizza, and she and I set a day and time for them to come and do the work.

Every day since then, I got a call from Verizon - the automated kind of call, reminding me that we were getting together between 1 - 5 PM on Thursday the 21st.  The day before, a technician called and said he would be at the house at about quarter after one the next day.  We even discussed nice places for grabbing lunch in our part of town.

So of course, the next day at 0754 hours, here comes a call from another tech, saying that HE, not the other guy, was coming to the house that day.  Being a representative of the telephone company would certainly mean that the cell phone he used to call me would be crystal clear and problem free, right?  Nope.  It was one of those deals where I heard my own words back on my phone right after I said them, and could hardly hear his words at all.

Well, whatever.  I don't care what the tech's name is or anything.  Just come and do the job you asked if you could come and do.

And that happened, and he did the job, and he was a nice guy with a lot of interesting phone information.  (You come to my house to do work, you get peppered with questions about what it's like to do what you do.)  He had me fill out a survey about how good his service was.

Two hours later, the phone rings.  It's Verizon...another automated call, asking me how the service was.  In fact, they asked the same questions on the phone that I had answered on the paper the tech gave me.  As the call ended, I was given thirty seconds to leave additional comments.  My additional comment was that for a fairly simple service call, I felt that the phone company made an inordinate amount of phone calls that I had to answer.

So, in half an hour, another phone call, another survey, this time asking how I felt about getting all those phone calls.  I answered it, all right, and then I called back the number on the caller ID.  I wound up talking to a guy at the phone company and told him I was getting tired of getting phone calls from the phone company about my phone.  He said he was sorry and guaranteed that I would be getting no more phone calls.

Half an hour later, the phone rang, and it was the phone company, calling to see if my complaint about getting too many phone calls had been properly addressed.

They CALLED me to see how I was doing with all these PHONE CALLS.

Alanis, back to you.

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