Month: June 2013

Verizon Support is a Joke

Introduction

Below is a story of my attempt to upgrade my internet and all the fun along the way.

I recently graduated college and moved back home temporarily as I start my job search. Upon moving back in I discovered my parents were still using the same crappy connection we’d had for years. On a good day, we’d get 3.1 Mbps down (that’s 400 kb/s for us normal folk). Most days we’d be getting 350 kb/s and that is when no one else was using the internet in the house.
We’ve had Verizon DSL since it was first released in our town, which was 1997. It was the fastest internet available in town at the time and it was great. Unfortunately those speeds don’t really transfer over to the modern-day. We were upgraded once to the speeds we have now at least 5 years ago. Since then, we’ve seen no changes.

Signing Up

Fed up with the speeds, the other night I got access to our online account and searched around for plans. Turns out there is a plan that includes home phone with unlimited local calls, regional toll calls, and 3 features (caller id, call waiting, and voicemail) and a faster internet connection (7 Mbps) for a lower price than what we were already paying. Customers for 16 years and we’ve been paying more than we had to for crappier service! Thanks for the heads up, Verizon.
But that’s capitalism, right? Why would they be kind enough to let us know we could pay less for more? This isn’t Walmart or anything, though after this ordeal with the customer service it might as well have been.
It didn’t take much thinking to realize I should do this upgrade as soon as possible. I got the go ahead from my parents, who are the account holders, and I added the bundle to my cart. As soon as I did that it magically jumped in price to $55. How wonderful. It seems that whoever coded that portion of the website did it so that the Double Play bundle comes up as the Triple Play and there is no way to get around that. I spend an hour talking to a gentleman named Peterson in the online chat. He tells me that I’ll be getting speeds 7 times faster than what I’m currently getting for $44.99. At the end of it all he can’t help me and recommends I call billing support. 
Peterson kindly informs me how I’ve been shafted for 5 years.
So I call. Upon calling a woman informs me that the price of $44.99 is actually false. Really? That price is false? Mind you, I am still in the chat with Peterson. So I ask him.
Peterson seems to disagree with the phone support rep.
But maybe Peterson is a little tired from being in the online chat all day. Maybe he’s confused. So I go back and check the advertisement on the website.
Source: http://www22.verizon.com/home/highspeedinternet/#plans
I kindly inform the phone support rep she is either wrong or lying to me. She “doublechecks” something and discovers that I was right all along! Two hours later I have the order placed. It comes out to a little over $50 with taxes and fees. I tweet about it and get a nice response from Verizon support.
Spoiler alert: JB was never there when I needed assistance in the future.

The “Upgrade”

Next morning: I wake up around 9am and ahoy! No internet. Okay, so this must be them upgrading. Should only take a few hours. I get back from work at 8 and still no internet. So I call. One hour later I’m told that I’ll have internet by tomorrow morning. Then he says end of the business day. Then he says tomorrow by noon. Then he corrects himself yet again, settling on “end of the business day”. Maybe he was a new guy, or maybe he just didn’t have a clue. Or both. He also lets slip that the connection to my house is good for 7.1 Mbps so I should be getting that by the time the upgrade is complete.

So now it’s Friday, today. I wake up and still no internet. But that’s okay. I go to work, come home at 8 and low and behold there’s still no internet! So I call again. I might as well have Verizon support on speed dial at this point. They say “midnight at the latest”. I wait until 10. At this point my parents are fed up. I have a phone that I tether to my computer to access the internet. I offered it to them to use, but they wanted the internet they were paying for. They call and the support rep says “midnight, maybe tomorrow morning”.

Well, he shouldn’t have said that. As someone who has worked in phone support before, “maybe” is never the word you want to use. That’s not going to make a happy customer. Aggravated my mother continues to speak to him and 10 minutes later the internet comes on. How magical! So I run a speed test.

Thank god I upgraded my internet!

Holy cow! Look at that, they upgraded me from 3.1 Mbps to 4.06 Mbps, and my upload speeds remained the same! Somehow this doesn’t seem like the “7 times faster” I was told about.

Still on the phone, I ask why I’m not getting the speeds I was promised. The gentleman looks into it for a half hour, calls me back, and tells me that it’s been forwarded to the networking team. I should receive a call back withing 24-48 hours. I’m going to bet on the 48 hours.

Closing

Why Verizon support does not use some sort of code or ticket system is beyond me. Every time we called we had to deal with the same automated messages, the same hold times, and the same basic troubleshooting like “is the computer connected to the router?”

There is no continuity in what support reps will say. There is no organization.

The fact that we had to become noticeably aggravated by the ordeal for anything to happen is the worst part of it all. I tried my best to be polite and patient with the reps, but apparently that wasn’t enough to see any real action take place. Instead it was a seemingly endless ride of transfers, holds, scheduling, and “maybe”s.

I tweeted at Verizon and Verizon support a few times since the beginning of the ordeal. JB has yet to get back to me.

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Absurd News | Ear prints, Wikileaks leaks itself, an update on the pop-tart gun kid and more!

I try to share my favorite absurd news articles of the past week every Friday. These last few weeks I have not, as I was busy graduating college and getting a job. However, I’m back at it! 

The news articles highlight the absurd, hilarious, and just plain weird people and situations from around the world. I typically try to stick to American news, but I usually end up posting a few articles from other countries too. I also try to stay away from celebrity news and politically-driven stories.

Here are my favorites over the past month:

Florida man tasered after naked marriage proposal at wrong house


Valedictorian’s mic cuts out when he starts talking about freedom of speech
http://www.burlesonstar.net/localnews/ci_23411906

Pyschic’s performance cancelled due to “unforeseen circumstances”
http://thedailyedge.thejournal.ie/derek-acorah-unforeseeen-circumstances-942707-Jun2013/

Robber arrested after police find his ear print on 80 front doors
http://www.articlesuponarticles.com/2013/05/man-arrested-after-police-find-his-ear-print-on-80-front-doors/

Captcha makes it impossible for the blind to sign petition supporting copyright treaty for the blind
http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20130529/12100423240/white-house-makes-it-impossible-blind-to-sign-petition-supporting-copyright-treaty-blind.shtml

Wikileaks leaks documentary script about Wikileaks
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/05/24/wikileaks_leaks_documentary_transcript/

Woman kicked off plane for refusing to stop singing Whitney Houston song
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2323692/I-love-youuuuuuuuu-Woman-kicked-plane-refusing-stop-singing-Whitney-Houston-song.html

Movie theater hires man in full tactical gear with a fake gun as publicity stunt
http://www.abc17news.com/news/movie-theater-publicity-stunt-triggers-officers-to-respond-to-active-shooter-situation/-/18421100/20089958/-/66o97fz/-/index.html

Big rig carrying fruit crashes on freeway, creates jam
http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-big-rig-crash-20130520,0,2642136.story

UPDATE: Boy who bit pop-tart into gun shape & got suspended from school received a lifetime NRA membership
http://finance.yahoo.com/news/8-year-old-suspended-over-gun-shaped-pop-tart-gets-lifetime-nra-membership-142034921.html

App Recommendation: Rando [Free]

I’ve been using this app for some time now and have really enjoyed it. The concept is really simple: take a random photo and get a random photo, from anywhere in the world. After you’ve done it a few times it’s interesting to scroll through all your photos and see the different places they came from. I’ve noticed that the app is very popular in South Korea, as well as the UK and Brazil. Best of all, out of the 100+ photos I’ve received, not a single one has been NSFW.

TL;DR: Simple & fun – take a pic, get a pic
Price: Free
Links: Android | iOS