[FoRK] F*ck you Verizon

Ken Ganshirt @ Yahoo ken_ganshirt at yahoo.ca
Sat Oct 23 14:18:09 PDT 2010

I sympathize with you. I hate bad customer service. I hate it even more when there seems no plausible excuse for it.  I wish more customers would do more to help eliminate it. That especially includes taking our business elsewhere.

Which brings me to a minor technical quibble: "monopoly"?

I thought you had done away with communications monopolies in America decades ago, even before we followed your lead and got rid of them in Canada (it has been at least twenty years since the telcos up here had a monopoly on anything). Am I wrong? Are there still some communication services and/or products that companies like Verizon have been granted monopoly licensing on, even to this day?


--- On Sat, 10/23/10, Stephen Williams <sdw at lig.net> wrote:

> From: Stephen Williams <sdw at lig.net>
> Subject: [FoRK] F*ck you Verizon
> To: "Friends of Rohit Khare" <fork at xent.com>
> Received: Saturday, October 23, 2010, 3:59 PM
> Could you screw up a customer
> experience any more?  I am SO glad I will be done with
> them and that I've moved as far away from them (for local
> services) as possible.
> My rented out house in Virginia had Verizon FIOS
> TV/Internet...
> First, their bill has, at the very top, an account # like:
> 85 9000 555555555 01 under a heading of "Account Number".
> It also has a heading of "Phone Number" (even though there
> is no phone service on the account) with that 9-digit
> 55555... number.
> On the second page of some versions of their bills, they
> have another field called "Account Number" that only has
> that 9-digit number.
> So, when you call them, their first question is: "What is
> your phone #?"  To which I can only answer by giving
> them my Sprint mobile or Google Voice #.  Since many
> companies immediately ask you for a call back #, this is
> ambiguous.  If you give them the number shown on the
> bill as "Account Number", they still cannot find the
> account.
> So, you give them the full account #.  Then, most of
> the time, they STILL can't find the account...  Or even
> with SSN.  Or contact phone#s (which haven't changed in
> a decade).  Or the street address.  Sometimes you
> have been routed to the wrong part of the country, sometimes
> the wrong department.  Even with other PII information,
> they often go through several people and many queries just
> to find the right account.
> All this when they have multiple pieces of information that
> are all unique and would seem trivial to find in a Sqlite or
> AWS database or something.
> So, as the account is closed and they owe me money, I
> attempted to get a look at the last ebill.  After
> digging up the long acct. # to reset the password, the web
> site is forcing me to merge "all of my accounts", by which
> they mean the web account login and the email account
> attached.  But the email account was never used. 
> The web flow forces you to type in the email password (for a
> closed account!).  When I try to reset the password,
> they point out that a security question was never set up on
> the account, so I have to call back M-F  7-7 EDT...
> This is why monopolies must die.  Their whole billing
> and account apparatus should just be junked and a
> replacement hacked together in a few weekends.  Add
> this to how much they held back high-speed Internet until
> they could roll out their own, and it just sucks all
> around.
> Compare this to Apple or Amazon or even Target.  Or
> Sprint for that matter.  At the Apple store in San
> Jose, they don't even have cash registers or visible
> printers.  The reps find someone to help, pick and hand
> the items to you, swipe your credit card in an iphone
> encased in a reader / laser scanner case that makes it about
> 1" thick, then reach under a nearby table to (magically)
> grab for the falling receipt.
> sdw
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