Saturday, September 03, 2005

Battling the Robots

Since both the DSL and the landline are still not working, I spent most of the day on the phone with Verizon. Those pricks are worse than Apple. Almost no one could help me and I was transferred to at least ten different people and cut off twice, requiring me to start all over each time. My favorite conversation, though, had to be the one when I called DSL customer service (for the second time) and I got one of those idiotic electronic voices tries to distinguish what you're saying, so you're literally talking to a robot. Remember that during the following conversation we were at least two hours into the whole mess, and the problem I was calling about was an error during the software installation.

Robot: "Welcome to Verizon DSL support. Please say the issue you need help with; for example, 'help with installation.'"
Me: "Help with installation."
Robot: "Good news! Your DSL line has been activated and your modem was shipped last week. You may now install the DSL software and begin using the internet. This is the most updated information I or an agent can tell you. If you'd like to go back to the main menu, say, 'main menu,' otherwise, you may hang up."
Me: "Um...main menu."
Robot: "Please say the issue you need help with..."
Me: "Speak to representative."
Robot: "Good news! Your DSL line has been activated..."
Me: "Ahh!! This is fucking useless!!"
Robot: "...Please remember, this conversation is being recorded."
Me: "WELL I HOPE SO! This is fucked up!"
Robot: "...Let me transfer you to an agent."

So, for future reference, if you just swear at the robot beligerantly, you'll actually get to talk to someone human. Personally, I loved the veiled threat, as if they're going to use the tape recording of me swearing at the ether against me later.

After forty-five minutes of manually installing the software, it turns out that they sent us the wrong modem, meaning it only hooks up one computer as opposed to the three we need hooked up. Not only that, but ten minutes after I hung up, the one computer that was installed no longer recognized the DSL signal. Now we have to wait for them to send us a new modem to get the problem worked out.

This, in fact, probably has to do with the fact we can't get a dial tone inside the house. The conversation about this with the robot might have been funnier, because when it asked me if was getting a dial tone and I said, "No," the robot reponded in a genuinely sad voice, "Aw, I'm sorry to hear that..."

The Verizon people made me crawl around the outside of the house looking for the "test jack." Now, I live in a row house, which means all the houses on the block are almost touching. So I didn't find one box for the test jack, I found two identical boxes next to each other attached to our neighbors house. C and I spent a good twenty minutes following the cables to figure out which one was ours, and of course, I got a dial tone - which is really really bad news, because it means it's not Verizon's problem, it's ours. They're going to send out a repair man Sunday at $91 for the first half-hour and $42 for every half-hour after that. Nice. We're hoping our landlord pays for it, but I'm starting to get sick of dealing with this stuff real fast. We have yet to be contacted by the movers, fyi.

When I become independently wealthy, which should be in just a few more years, I plan to live off the grid. If I need something fixed, I'll buy a guide to electronics and fix it myself. I'll build a launchpad and send my own mini satellites up into space for my cellular, phone, tv, and internet service. And in a few years, my solar panels will have made up for the SUV I'm renting tomorrow.

Yup, that's what I'm gonna do.


At 1:38 AM, September 03, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 7:47 AM, September 03, 2005, Blogger CM said...

You can forget that Supreme Court appointment now that Verizon has a recording of you saying "fuck."

At 4:08 AM, September 04, 2005, Blogger Roonie said...

You are damned funny, Heather. That was highly amusing. I laughed out loud when I pictured you cursing at the phone and the robot trying not to lose her cool.

At 1:07 AM, September 07, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am living this right now. It's all so shady. I got the same story and now have to pay an outrageous amount of money to have someone fix the inside phone line since they say the outside line is fine. Keep us updated. I'm also going to try to get my landlord to pay for it. We'll see how that goes.

At 5:49 PM, September 11, 2005, Blogger G. said...

Those robot voices piss me off so much too! One that I call regularly -- I forget where -- says things like, "I'm sorry, I didn't understand you, could you please repeat that?" Like I'm somehow going to be fooled into thinking it's a real person. I know it's a robot, so why should I care if it *sounds* like a robot? Makes me wonder how much the company paid for that software.


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