Verizon Update

Just wanted to share a few new Verizon details. First, I got a call this morning from Verizon, asking if my phone is working. A call. If my phone is working. A call. Asking about the workingness of my phone.

Second, I still haven’t received the mailing label for the DSL equipment.

And finally, this amusing bit. On the day we had no phone service (Monday) I tried to put in a service request using their online form. After having to register, wade through page after page, and assure them that I had determined that the problem wasn’t just a phone off the hook, I finally got to the part where you enter your service request. But it didn’t. Instead, it told me to call their service number, which it could have done from the outset. No explanation as to why I couldn’t do it online.

I wrote to them, telling them that this was silly, time-wasting, and pointless. Why bother to have this online thing if it still means you have to call them? Why couldn’t I do it online? I’d post the text of that email, but they use one of those obnoxious web forms instead of giving you a real email address.

Today I get this response:

Thank you for contacting the Verizon eCenter, where we are committed to
helping you make progress every day.

This message is in response to your inquiry concerning your Verizon
service. You inquired about contacting repair for your service.

It appears that your inquiry was addressed by our Repair department on
July 21, 2003.

If your original request has been resolved, please disregard this
message. If you require further assistance with your account, please feel
free to respond to this email and we will be happy to assist you.

Thank you for using Verizon. We appreciate your business.

Those of you who work in customer service, let me assure you that this is NOT the way to make a customer happy. I responded with this:

Actually, if you’ll re-read my email, you’ll see that
my question wasn’t really about getting my phone
fixed, because the online service request function had
already kicked me out and told me to call a number
instead.

My ACTUAL question was “Why can’t I report a problem
online?” Why bother to have this cumbersome,
multi-menu online trouble report system if all it does
is tell me to call the service number anyway? It gave
no reason why it wouldn’t put in the request, just
gave me the number. That’s not helpful, it’s a waste
of my time.

Yes, my phone was repaired, but only after I had to go
find a pay phone to call the service number.

Just now I got this reply:

Thank you for contacting the Verizon eCenter, where we are committed to
helping you make progress every day.

This message is in response to your inquiry concerning the online
repair notification system. You advised about an error encountered. I would
be happy to assist you with that.

We apologize for the difficulty you are experiencing with our web site.
In order for us to provide a description of the problem to our
technical support specialists, we need to obtain some helpful information.
Please provide answers to the following questions and we will be happy to
forward your issue to our technical team:

* What date and time did you experience the problem?

* What browser are you using? (Netscape 5.X, IE 6.X,
etc.)

* What is your operating system? (Windows 95, etc.)

* What is the URL address you were using when you
encountered the problem?

* What were you attempting to do when you encountered
the problem? (pay a bill, register, etc.)

* What error did you receive when attempting to
perform your activity?

* Do you have any other helpful comments?

* Is there a telephone number where we may reach you
if we have additional questions?

Thank you for using Verizon. We appreciate your business.

That’s right. There’s no better way to respond to an angry customer than with a form letter that doesn’t in any way address his issue. The problem with the website isn’t a technical issue, it’s because the site is STUPID. As of yet, there is no technical solution to the problem of stupidity – quite the opposite, actually.

The beat, as they say, goes on.

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