Friday, September 16, 2005

All Done Part II

Verizon joins the list of those with whom I am All Done. Six years ago, we paid a big stack of dead Presidents to have phone service run to our house. We paid for buried cable, repeaters, etc. What we got was 3,000 feet of buried service. Worse, it was buried about 3" in the ground right down the center of the county road we live on. So for six years, our phones have stopped working whenever heavy trucks drive down the road, it rains, our road gets graded, or for no apparent reason at all. Back in the first week of July, we started getting static on our voice line. There was a gas well being drilled on the back of the property, so some heavy equipment had driven down the road. The static got worse over the next few days, so I opened a call ticket on the Verizon web site. Their repair guy came out, switched our line one and line two around (so now the static is on our data line), left a note to call Javier Barajas at 989.732.8501 to get it fixed right, and closed out the ticket. This has been our typical experience. The tech knows that the whole installation is a hash, and rather than get bogged down in actually addressing the root problem (improper installation), they just jury rig something, close the call ticket, and run away.

I called Javier. He was working on it. They were trying to figure out how to install the line the way it should have been six years ago. This seemed odd to me; that Verizon is not aware of how to install a length of buried cable. But maybe there is some serious mojo I'm not aware of, like the sacrifice of a virgin. We wait. And wait. I call back a week or so later. The crew is waiting on miss-dig. I asked him what they needed to miss? There wasn't anything under the road other than their own wire. The crew will be there Thursday. Promise.

Silly me, I didn't ask which Thursday. I didn't even ask which year. So I wait. No crew. I call. Thursday. Really this time. They're just waiting on miss-dig. I explain again that there isn't anything to miss. There will never be any flags no matter how many times they call, because the only utility we have run is the phone line. Oh. Well, they will be there Thursday. Honest.

Well, it is now Friday, and no sign of the phone crew. So in about five minutes, we will have no phone service at our house. I'm All Done; pulling the plug on this nonsense. I've been paying $70/month for phones that don't work at all for significant chunks of time, and have never worked properly. So this is it. At some point, I will sign us up for cell phones. Alltel phones seem to work fairly well at our place. I will have to get them from the Kalkaska store and take a pass on my Munson discount. I've been to the Traverse City Alltel store several times to get information on just what the Munson discount is, and I can only assume everyone there must have previously worked for Lark Lawn and Garden, Brown Lumber, or Verizon. I don't think you could hit room temperature if you added all their IQ's together. The Kalkaska store is staffed by people that seem to actually want to sell you a phone and a service contract. Not only is that rare anywhere in America, it is virtually unheard of in Northern Michigan.

So we will be out of touch for a while. Updates here will only be when I can sneak on from work, as we will have no internet access from the house. And give ol' Javier a call and tell him I said he is an ass. I'd do it myself, but I am All Done.

I just spent 45 minutes on hold waiting for the next available Verizon representative. And of course you can do anything you need to do over the internet except cancel your service. We wouldn't want to make that easy to do. I wonder what MBA genius sporting a diploma with the ink still wet thinks that this is somehow changing my mind that Verizon is run by idiots?

And another hour of my life wasted on Verizon while I sit on hold. Monday I will be putting a stop-payment order at the bank. We'll see if they respond to that.


Uncle Jonny's said...

FYI, Somebody at Verizon was not telling the truth. All miss-dig needs is 72 hours lead way. If you call them they will respond within that time period. If they don't you are free to dig and will not be held responsible if you hit anything.

Anonymous said...

Hey Uncle Ric, this is Matt. If you get Alltel, let me know as Jen and I have Alltel. Since in network calls are free, we could call anytime! Catch ya later!

Ric said...

I have no doubt in my mind that Verizon in general and Javier in particular have done nothing but lie to me for the last six years. Which is one of the big reasons that I am All Done.