As we've reported here earlier, Verizon and other Telco's have been spending bundles of money on misleading ads to promote legislation in Congress that would eliminate net neutrality. They are also promoting "TV Freedom"--legislation to let the telco's compete with the cable companies for television service.
We have no problem with so-called TV-freedom (is a duopoly free?)--after all, the cable companies, like Comcast in our area, are competing to provide local phone service.
Unfortunately, we just found out where all the money for those massive lobbying/media campaigns has come from: the telephone repair budget.
Yesterday we lost phone service after one of our typical nasty summer thunderstorms roared through. (We also lost our cable TV, minutes before the end of the Italy v. Germany World Cup game.) In the past, that hasn't been a big deal.
But yesterday I tried to reach Verizon for nearly an hour (on my cell phone) to let them know our landline was out. First, the "automated assistant"--you know, the lcomputer lady who never understands what you are saying and loves to ask you to repeat yourself--was "having problems." (Who does the automated assistant call when she needs repairs?)
Then we had to wait forever for a live person (do they really have any?), only to be cut off after 20 minutes. So, after saying some bad words, we tried again. After another 25 minutes, we gave up and decided to try the option offered us on the recording--go to Verizon.com. (We could do this because Comcast had already restored our cable service.)
So we go on the net and make our repair report. And guess what? Verizon promised on the internet that they would have the problem fixed by . . . July 10.
Wait a second--July 10 is next Monday, for gosh sakes. Is that really the best they can do? We're hoping they do better, but as of now it's been 24 hours and no sign of telephone service. (But lots of their ads on our television.)
Meanwhile, callers to our house get a busy signal. That's nice: instead of a message saying our service is out, they get the impression we are simply hogging the phone; they keep trying and getting more and more pissed--not at Verizon, the true culprit here, but us. Thanks, Verizon.
It's no wonder folks are signing up for Comcast's telephone service (one of the main reasons we haven't--so far--was a perception that there would be more phone outages on an internet phone; maybe that's no longer true!)
(Today's Wall Street Journal had a nice piece on how consumers are using the web, including blogs, to expose companies for bad service. We here at XCurmudgeon are happy to do our part!)