Thursday, May 25, 2006

Verizon DSL Hell

The worst customer service I've ever had has been with Verizon Online DSL. I have been without an Internet connection at home for the past week. Each day, I have called Verizon's tech support to try to resolve my broken connection.

When I first signed up with Verizon about 6 months ago, I had many problems with installation as I wrote about last February. They had sent me the wrong modem for my area and it took many phone calls to finally figure this out. The result was that I was asked to use, not the Westell 6100 modem that they sent me, but an old Fujitsu modem that I had from my previous DSL provider. That worked fine until last week when the modem stopped syncing up with the central office.

The fist tech support person told me that I'd need to call their billing department the next day to ask for a modem replacement. When I called the next day, the billing person told me that they could send a replacement for the Westell modem since it was still under warranty, but for them to send me a Fujitsu modem, I'd have to pay them $99. I told them that it is unacceptable for me to pay for a modem when it is supposed to come with the service. They told me that the Westell should work anyway and that I should open a trouble ticket to find out why it isn't working. That began the string of phone calls to Verizon.

Every time I called, it was as if the person had no idea what was communicated in the previous calls. Each person made me go through the same troubleshooting steps of checking multiple lines and ensuring all phone in the house had the proper filters. Even though I told them each time that I've been through that, they still made me go through it because it was their procedure. Several times, they concluded I had a real problem and that it wasn't just that I was too lame to figure out how to connect my modem properly. The next step was that the next day, I was supposed to expect someone to call me to setup an appointment to have a technician come to my house to troubleshoot. The next day I would either not get a call, or I would get a message on my voice mail that said I should call them back. When I called back, they said that my ticket was closed because they couldn't get a hold of me, and I had to start all over! Can you believe that?!

Finally today, I was able to answer the phone when they called. It was around 3 PM and the guy said they need to send someone to my house to troubleshoot the problem. I asked if they could wait until the evening and they said that normally they can't schedule anything for after 5 PM. I said, could you make an exception today and come at 6 PM? The guy said okay, so I made arrangements at work to leave early and got home at 6:15 PM. Worried that I missed the technician, I called Verizon to make sure they were still coming. The lady told me that I should just be patient and wait because sometimes they are late. I didn't find that hard to believe. I insisted that she find out of they were still coming and she transferred me to another department.

The guy I got transferred to told me that he had no record of anyone scheduled to come out to my house! I couldn't believe it. I had to miss some meetings at work just to rush home for them, and they didn't even plan to meet me at all! I was furious. I layed into the guy a little and told him that I needed to explain to someone else how upset I was. He transferred me again to someone new.

This person sounded more senior and empathetic and identified himself as Ray from the London T-Set Group also known as the supervisory escalation team. Ray apologized to me and said he would try to find out what my problem was. He then put me on hold for like 30 minutes while he phoned the Verizon central office in my area to ask questions. When he transferred back to me, he told me that the central office was swamped today and that he would need some more time to track down the right person. He said he would call me back in a few minutes. I figured it was unlikely that he would call back, but he kept his promise and called about 20 minutes later. Guess what? He said that he learned that I was sent the wrong modem and that I really needed a Fujitsu rather than a Westell 6100. Surprise surprise. I was back to where I started. He told me to call their billing department tomorrow and request a new Fujitsu modem be mailed to me. I told him I already asked for one a week ago and he said that he was writing extensive notes in my file and that I shouldn't have any problems. Not feeling like I had any other options, I agreed to call tomorrow to request the new modem.

On a whim, I decided to walk to my computer, unplug the Westell 6100 and try the old Fujitsu modem again. Lo an behold, it actually synced up. 3 green lights! It was working again! I have no idea why. I have a feeling the modem never broke, but actually the connection was severed and when this guy Ray called the central office, they must have noticed and reconnected it. Of course I know little about DSL technology so I don't know if this is really plausible.

Anyway, I am back online now, but I am still going to call tomorrow to ask for the Fujitsu replacement. If I don't, I'm afraid this will happen again in the future and they will tell me to use the Westell modem they originally sent me.

All I can say is, Verizon Online DSL support SUCKS - but I'm thrilled to be back online... for the moment at least.


gbdarren said...

Man, I'm glad I haven't experienced that. I work from home twice a week, and I would die if my DSL was down that long.

Ken Weiner said...

Next time, I'll call you. Hopefully it is a long time before I have to go through that again.

Anonymous said...

I've just had this experience! My internet was working perfectly fine Thursday morning and then POOF! I called Verizon's tech support number after ALREADY doing everything I knew they would ask me to try (i.e. restarting the modem and computer, changing the cable out, hard resetting the modem...). I waited 25 mins for a technician to answer. The technician spoke through 7,589 miles of white noise from New Delhi and instructed me to do steps 1-3 before asking me to wait on hold while he investigated the issue...he then told me that I would have to have a technician come to my home and fix the issue. We scheduled a day and time. Day comes, I rearrange my schedule to wait for a techie. Time comes, no show. No call. I call them, no definite answer why they had not contacted me and no clue why they haven't fixed the issue. Anyone else's nightmare would end there but mine persists for a week...they call to tell me they'll be calling me...they still have no answers and no consolation. I'm sure some other company would've loaned us a pocket wi-fi spot but this doesn't even occur to this monster of a company. I'm leaving Verizon for Hughes Net.