Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Troubles With Verizon DSL

Irregular blogging lately, due at least in part to a constant running battle with the incompetents at Verizon. Taking advantage (I thought) of a good offer in April, Wonk finally decided to go broadband at home and cease taking advantage of his esteemed employer's T-1 line. I was notified on April 24 that the service was good to go, but as of yet, I have not even been able to make a connection.

Tried the CD in the self-install kit: dead end, no contact, continuous loop and suggestions no help. Tried the cheesy online help, etc.: ditto. Keep in mind that not only am I NOT computer illiterate. I started out in technical writing in the 1980s writing repair and use manuals for a line of telephone test equipment, and am familiar with most if not all the current terminology. As always, I figured I'd do my best to fix the problem myself before going to the tech support desk at Verizon, since they'd trot me through everything I already did anyway, so I figured I'd save some time on the inevitable phonecall to tech support, realizing I'd be on perpetual hold anyway.

Out of options, called tech support finally last week. Was told I had to be in front of my machine, which I was not. Called 'em again and was. Tech support tried to go into the machine, but no go. It is entirely possible they forgot to hook some necessary hardware onto the line, so they dispatched a support guy to the house yesterday scheduling him for "between 8 AM and 1 PM." Could we get a narrower window than that? "No, we don't control that part of the operation, and they don't tell us anything. But he'll be there for sure." Guaranteed? "He'll be there for sure."

Right. After missing a workday and after making several phone calls, each of which gave me a different arrival window, I escalated to a supervisor who tried to help. No dice. I was trapped in the house for 12 hours, afraid to use the phone and unable to leave the house, which, of course, would trigger the Murphy's Law of repair guys which is, go to the bathroom or leave the house for 5 minutes and that's when the guy will show. And leave.

Mrs. Wonker is now home waiting for Godot. 70-30 against his showing up within the latest promised window of 8 AM to 12 noon. I've informed Verizon that if the dude doesn't show, I'm outta there and want a refund. My guess is that Comcast service is crappy, too, but their local office is 2 miles away, and I'm sure it will take me less than two months of no service to find out.

One of the things that has constantly amazed me about my life is that when I was an impoverished grad student years ago, every vendor in the universe wanted all the money I didn't have. Now that I'm a bit better off, I have a lot more money to give the vendors. Except that now, I guess, I can just piss off.

Life remains a mystery.

I'll keep you posted. But it is depressing when the private sector proves even less efficient than the Federal government. Thanks, Verizon.

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