Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Verizon sucks potato mushroom gratin

I used to think I hated our old Earthlink DSL more than our current Verizon DSL, but now I realize that Verizon is just as crap, maybe more so. More on that in a moment ...

Mr. Pants and I are trying to cook more real food instead of just preparing things* or eating a bowl of cereal for every meal. So last night I decided to try Scott's Potato Mushroom Gratin. I had read through the recipe and purchased all the ingredients (refreshingly few of them!) on Sunday, but I never printed out the recipe because I figured I'd just fire up the laptop and, thanks to wi-fi, be able to reference it in or near the kitchen.

Meanwhile, Mr. Pants had decided that we had gone far too long without a major interruption in our DSL, so on Monday he decided it was time to make a change to our service plan (downgrading us to a cheaper one). Naturally, because Verizon is a gaping chasm of suck, they turned off our service Monday and we still don't have it back. (More on this below.) So it came time to cook my recipe and I didn't have access to it, just a vague memory of the steps involved. I considered putting off the cooking another night, but my mushrooms weren't getting any fresher, so I decided to wing it. Turned out pretty well--there were a few potato bits that didn't get cooked quite through, but that's easily fixed by cooking longer (our oven sucks--we often have to exceed cooking times and temperatures to get things done). Overall, it tasted good. I recommend it, even if you're a lazy cook like me.

Anyway, about the crappy Verizon crap: apparently, to change us from one level of DSL to a lower one, they have to turn off our service (or "close the circuit" as Mr. Pants keeps saying) and then turn it back on. They can't just twiddle the dial and turn it down a notch or something, which seems about as stupid as the cable guy having to come into our backyard to bust us down from standard to basic. Anyway, the really gruff and unhelpful Verizon "service" person with whom Mr. Pants placed the downgrade order didn't tell us to expect an interruption in service, so Mr. P figures maybe Verizon has surpassed Time Warner cable in entering the digital age, and thus can switch our service by changing a configuration or two. Silly man! Furthermore, Verizon clearly uses the term "customer service" very loosely, preferring that their representatives bring us surly, unhelpful suck instead.

And of course, Verizon can't turn off your service, make the change, and then turn it right back on again over the course of an hour, or even a day. No no no, this is delicate and complicated stuff and they require days of fiddling to get the new settings just right. And while many companies use a system of "tickets" to track their support calls, with open tickets signifying that a customer's issue is not yet resolved, Verizon seems to think that an "open ticket" is only for customers who are currently on the phone with a representative. Once the phone call ends, they close this ticket to signify that "that pain-in-the-ass customer is not currently bothering us." So when the customer calls back to ask where in the hell their DSL is, they open a new ticket only to signify that the annoyance is back again. And their representatives are trained to blame the customer's end first before going and checking to see if Verizon is even supplying that customer with a circuit. Mr. Pants was on the phone last night for half an hour, testing out connections on various computers under various conditions, when finally the mouth-breather on the other end got the bright idea to go check whether Verizon had even turned our service on. Of course they hadn't. So his answer to our dilemma: sit tight and wait for them to turn on our service. It's still not on, of course. Good thing we didn't get rid of cable TV altogether ...

*My current favorite thing to prepare: "Chick Parmigiana": Bake a vegetarian chicken patty according to package directions, spoon some spaghetti sauce (from a jar, of course!) over it and top with mozzarella. Stick it in the oven until hot and melty. Eat.

2 comments:

htrouser said...

If it's any consolation, Bell South totally blows too. They had helpfully shipped us our DSL modem and dangly phone bits, but hadn't bothered to turn our service on. Then we had months of bills for something like $127 each, despite the advertised monthly cost of, say, $27.95 or whatever it is. Yup, lots of fees for connecting (or failing to connect) our service, for the modem, for the dangly phone bits, etc. And the rebates we were promised didn't kick in for months after that. Urgh. Thank you for listening.

Lisa B. said...

Thank you for sharing.