On April 9th I was at my customer’s house (I’ll call him Jim) because his internet had gone down.
Turns out the plug to his modem was unplugged. I plugged it back in and it was working fine. I looked at the modem control panel and noticed that he was getting very slow speeds of around 700 kilobits per second. I ran a speedtest and it confirmed that his speeds were very slow. The pages we loading very slowly.
I mentioned to him that his internet was remarkably slow and it could probably be a lot faster. He asked me to find out about it, so I called Verizon DSL, which is his service provider. After a very long phone tree I got to a representative. The woman there informed me that he had 3MBs per second. I said that is was not near that speed and she looked into whether we could speed it up. Jim authorized me on the account, so I could handle it in his behalf. They said they’d call me back. Since I was coming back the next day I gave them my cell phone number and told them not to hesitate to call if they needed me on the premises. She informed me that the speed could be increased to 7MBs. I told them that that was what Jim wanted, as Jim had confirmed. I asked them if there was going to be any service interruption, and they said, at the most an hour. They said that they might need to send a technician out to see why the internet was so slow.
The next day, April 10th, I was at Jim’s house and I called Verizon. After another long phone tree, I found out that the ticket had been closed accidentally. The woman on the phone informed me that she would reopen the ticket and get it taken care of. I gave them my cell phone number and told them to call me if they needed me to be there. After much questioning and investigating on my own on Friday, I finally found out that Jim had DSL on both of his phone lines main phone and FAX. He had always just been using one of these lines (the FAX line) as his DSL line. This FAX line had a speed of 700 kps and the main unused phone line was 3MB. This double billing had been going on since November of 2006. I called Jim’s accountant to let her know, after I was told by the agent that Jim would be reimbursed for this double billing.
The Verizon agent informed me that they would increase the speed on the FAX line and cancel the main phone line DSL. They informed me that in case a technician needed to come out, Jim should be home. I showed Jim how to use speedtest.net and told him to check it periodically to see if his speed increases. He sent me an email on Saturday, April 11th, saying that the download speed was 36 kps and upload was 12 kps.
I called Verizon on Saturday and after much investigating and a long phone tree, they informed me that they were not going to upgrade his DSL until Thursday the 16th. I was very surprised. I asked to speak to a manager and he also said it wouldn’t be increased until Thursday the 16th. Needless to say Jim was not happy. I was not happy with all the time I was spending on the phone with Verizon and on top of that I had an unhappy client.
Thursday night, April 16, I received a call from Jim. His internet was down. The next morning it was down to. I came over to his house at 12:30. I thought I’d just have to turn the modem off and turn it on. I did this and then looked at the modem control panel. The internet was down.
I called Verizon and after a long phone tree, I got a rep who put me on hold for 30 minutes and then disconnected my call. I had given my cell phone number, yet he did not call back. The internet was still down. I called again and spoke with a man who said that the internet will be off until Tuesday. Tuesday! I explained to the person that my client was having a very busy weekend and needed to be online to answer emails and take care of discussion boards. Jim also got on the phone and explained this. Here I was, with a customer who was getting very upset with me for suggesting that he upgrade the speed of his network by upgrading his plan.
I spoke with Raul A. (employee 737497) who told me repeatedly there was nothing I could do. He would do nothing and would give me not real tangible explanation as to why the internet would not be up until Tuesday. I tried to find solutions. We tried the other line, the home line, but it would not work. I asked if he could give us a temporary wireless cell card and he refused. He did mention dial up if we paid for it, but then I looked at the computer and it doesn’t have a modem, as it is a new computer.
After 3+ hours on the phone at which time we also spoke with customer service rep Elizabeth, who refused to give me her customer number, as Raul told her to drop the call, and hung up on me.
Raul eventually hung up as well after he got exasperated trying to call some of the customer numbers for me.
In the end Raul confessed that it was really just an account change that needs to happen. I wonder if anyone will help me get this resolved. Today, even Jim, said to me that it was my fault for recommending that he upgrade the speed of his DSL.
I can’t go through all the details, but I did write down some of the statements Raul made during this phone time that I spent with him.
Here are some of them:
1. He kept telling me how honest he was.
It’s my experience that honesty is not something you have to tell people about.
2. He took some of the time to tell me he was just a person and not the company.
Of course this is true, but he is representing the company.
3. He told me that he would not give me his last name and instructed Elizabeth to hang up when I asked her employee number.
4. He often said no, even before he took the time to check. Many times he told me he couldn’t contact the people who were responsible.
5. Raul and many representatives told me that the system has to tell us something. I assume this is the computer. There was nothing specific that was ever explained to me, although I asked repeatedly what needs to be done. Whenever I asked him if he would call someone, he often told me he couldn’t.
I think most of us have had experiences like this. This is what we get for having these huge companies. They are running this society into the ground. They suck up all our time and force us to have these ridiculous conversations that last for hours and go in circles. It has to stop somewhere. I think the answer is to say no to these companies whenever possible. Get the word out about the bad ones. That is what I’m doing here.