I awoke earlier than any human should, scraped my scurvy ass out of bed, cleaned the pool, showered, and bulldozed through 45 minutes of Philly’s best combat traffic (in my universe Route 476+276+202=666). Then, right after resituating myself in my vexatious chair, my personal annoyance device (PAD) vibrates right next to my nads at 7:30 AM.
It’s probably the Ghetto Shaman trying to make bail again. I answer the call. Mrs. Winslow informs me that Verizon has just shut down our internet connection with a Martin Lutheresque bitch-note posted where my home page would normally appear. The account is suspended. Now there are only links provided where you can go to rectify this situation. Several links later, they all say I have to call and speak with someone (foreshadowing?).
Set the Way Back machine to about two-years ago. When I signed up, the agreement required that I enroll in automatic payment. Some time later I tried to have them switch to conventional billing—you know, where you actually get a bill instead of the leaches attaching themselves directly to your bank account like a lamprey, but they would not have it. Who could blame them? Anyway, the leach-attached account has plenty of cash. There are no new cards, or expirations, or other such obstructions. What the fuck could go wrong?
So I get on the bank’s web site: Verizon hasn’t hit the account in about three months. OK, so I’m behind, way behind. One would wonder why I never got an email, or a phone call (they are a phone company, right?), or a snail mail bitch-note, or maybe one of those Martin Lutheresque notes threatening my life from my web browser.
Time to call Verizon…
I call the FIOS Internet service number, as listed on that Lutheresque bitch-note. I’m greeted by a friendly, sexy sounding computer who assures me that she can help with my account, but she needs the phone number about which I am calling. Uh, this is the internet service number, right? So I hit #2. Then she wants my account #. Being at work, I don’t have it. Not that I would have had it at home either, because they have never sent me a bill, so I punch #2 again. OK, now she’ll accept my phone # as verification (even though it’s not through Verizon). I am transferred to Billing…
A real human being picks up the line. She speaks English! The agent cannot tell me why they stopped billing me. In fact, she says that I have never been on automatic billing, but if I want to sign up for their oh-so-effective automatic billing I can do so once this is all resolved. I wanted to debate the overall effectiveness of said automatic payment, but in a very effective, deflective manner, she got me off of their fuckup and onto how I can pony up three dollars on top of the amount due to use their over-the-phone payment thingie to get this problem resolved. She gives me the 14-fucking-digit account number and transfers me off to some third-party, not so sexy, phone, computer, payment thing (after giving me the “correct” FIOS Internet service number in case I need to call again (more foreshadowing?). I enter the 14-fucking-digit account number. The not so sexy system reads back the 14-fucking-digit account number. It’s correct, so I hit #1. The bitch tells me that she has no idea who I am and to go away. Lovely.
Call Verizon, Take 2:
I call the new and improved FIOS Internet service number. The same sexy computer, ironically, tells me once again, how she can help me with my account. Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice…uh, we won’t get fooled again!
Hitting the same magic numbers at the same prompts, I get to another human being who, after my recanting the whole tale, judgmentally tells me that she will conference me into the not so sexy, phone, computer, payment thingie, and she will enter the information on my behalf (because a 42-year-old, 164 IQ software engineer making about four times what she does can’t handle that). A few glip, schschsch, beep, beep, beeps later, the service agent says I’m in and I’m on my own and gets off the line. Did I mention that she gave me yet another “correct” number for FIOS Internet support?
Anyway, what’s the first question the not so sexy system asks me? “How much do you want to pay?”
After all of the hoopla, I don’t know.
I am really good with numbers. I can memorize someone’s credit card number in about 30 seconds to a minute (awesome bar trick, especially when it’s time to settle up). I also have 623 flying monkeys that I am preparing to unleash on Verizon headquarters, as we speak. Anyway, I believe that human being #1 had said that the overdue amount is ~$119, so I enter $125. The system says everything is OK so I get on with my work day. After that stress, I bulldoze back home through 45 minutes of Philly’s best combat traffic to the comfort of home.
While on the line with them, both the first and second human beings promised me that four hours after the payment went through (11:30, yeah it took that long), the service would automatically be restored. I expected that the service would be restored by the time I got back home, six hours later (fool!).
My oldest daughter greets me with a hug and a kiss, and proceeds to complain to me about the mean woman on the computer who won’t let her play any Wubzy games. The woman in question is an image, on that Lutheresque bitch note, of some anorexic blonde, standing, working on a laptop with one hand while holding it in the other (like that’s realistic).
Lovely, Verizon’s fuckup is costing my Baby Face quality Wubzy time. I release the flying monkeys…
Call Verizon, Take 3:
I call the new, new and improved FIOS Internet Service Number. The same sexy computer greets me, telling me how she can help with my account, and asks me for the phone number I’m calling about (this is the internet service number, right?). I did the keypad hokey-pokey (not the McDooris variety), and got back to billing where I proceeded to tell Winston the story of Alice’s Restaurant Massacree, in four part harmony, with full orchestration…anyway, so he gives me yet another correct FIOS support number, and I’m being transferred to…wait, I’ve been disconnected.
Call Verizon, Take 4: (they must really value my call, because they keep me calling back)…
After all of the same bullshit, again, I find out this is no longer a billing issue since the payment went through, and it is now a support issue. She’ll transfer me.
At this point I had switched to my cell phone (AT&T thank you very much). It’s much more mobile while doing dinner, bath, pre-bed, posting bail for the Ghetto Shaman, etc. I’m hearing static on the line. I don’t get static on my cell phone at home. There is a cell tower about 200 yards away. I could throw my phone at it and hit the damn thing, which I was about to do. The tower is cleverly disguised as a tree, by the way. Granted, I have never seen a Douglas Fir with branches only at the top and pumping out 80,000 μW/cm2 of RF Radiation. I’m waiting for my neighbor, Cleetus, to try cutting it down for Christmas. Anyway, I’m being transferred overseas (the Kobyashi Maru has set sail for the promised land)…
I end up talking to Dipti (yeah, US-based support has shut down for the day). He asks me for the phone number…GOD, um VISHNU DAMMIT! I go through the whole thing again and the phone gets silent….for a minute or two (no exaggeration)…he asks me again about the phone number… *sigh*… He can see my account, but he can’t do anything about it (another fine product). He’s going to transfer me to FIOS Internet support (isn’t this the “correct” number?).
After being on hold for, I don’t know, forever and a week, I was greeted by the friendly, sexy sounding computer, who assures me she can help with my account. I ‘bout threw my phone through the window.
Verizon Call, Take Xanax…er, I mean 5:
Yet another new and improved support number. This time it is one intended for Verizon engineers. There is no voice or anything available here, except who I should call when I cut into a customer’s electric service (mental note…).
Verizon Call, Take 6:
Some guy asks me what state I live in.
TAKE FUCKING 10…
Come on, Cleetus. Grab an axe! Christmas is coming early this year…
I bailed. I had a beer, a shot, played a certain relevant George Thorogood song and got the kids bathed and to bed.
The next morning, I woke up earlier than any human should. I scraped my scurvy ass out of bed and checked the laptop. There was a DNS error: that’s actually a good sign. I bring down the entire network, bring it back up, and I’m greeted with The Daily Discord when I open the browser. Reading it made me want to go back to bed. Have you actually read some of that shit? *shudder*
So what is the lesson here? The best I can come up with is the Military Industrial Complex is trying to shut down the Daily Discord, or maybe Wubzy. I’m sure it’s one of the two. I mean, really. How stupid can these people be? They built the largest fiber-optic network on the planet as well as one of the largest wireless networks—not to mention they have one of the largest bank balances on the planet. They have more cash and power than God, Allah, Buddha, Vishnu, and the Ghetto Shaman combined. I spoke with people named Marianne, Dipti, Winston (who the hell has a name like Winston?!?!?), Caneeshwa (I’m sure I spelled that wrong), and Ming Lu (wasn’t that a dynasty?).
It’s a world-wide conspiracy! But that 15 megabit fiber is soooooo sweet. Now that it’s working, I’m almost sorry I encouraged Cleetus to try chaining that fake Douglas Fir to his pick-up truck tonight.
I think they’re fucking with my post right now. We don’t have people this beautiful.