Hey, Verizon man!
As recently as the late 1990s, I was proclaiming to anyone who would listen that I got my fill of computers at work and had no reason to have one in my home. Well, of course, I made a liar of myself, and my Luddite inclinations were overtaken by my yearning for instant information (and, admittedly, a little time spent viewing scantily-clad women). And now, I find it difficult to live without the gratification that only a mouse click can provide. Which brings me to my current problem: On Tuesday, I was passing some time in front of the TV when the power went out. This happens fairly regularly in our rural area, and I decided to sit back and see if it came back on in a few minutes, as it sometimes does. Well, before I became concerned enough to even place a call to Allegheny Power, two of their trucks were at the foot of my driveway. Apparently, one of my neighbors who also was without power wasn't in a wait-and-see mood, most likely because just a couple of weeks ago we were without electricity for nearly 24 hours. I went to work at mid-afternoon, and by the time the missus came home a few hours later, the lights were back on. Just one problem: The phone line, the one that also feeds the computer, was dead. The next morning, I made a couple of checks to determine that the problem was definitely outside my home. I then called Verizon to report my outage. Of course, they would be glad to fix my problem ... on MONDAY! It appears that in the vast comglomeration that is Verizon, they have so few service people that it will take five days to get my service restored. When I call one of the utility companies, they're always Johnny-on-the-spot. Same goes with the folks from DirecTV. Most other companies that have a large element of customer service actually seem to try to serve their customers. The phone company? For all of my various technological needs - or wants - I send them about $250 a month. That includes a super-duper satellite TV package. But do they give a damn about whether I actually HAVE the service I'm paying for? Not so much, in my eyes. I've dealt with many companies over the years, and not one has been as consistently customer-unfriendly as the phone company. Perhaps some of you have some customer-service horror stories you would like to share. I'm sure we'll all be able to relate.