It’s not often that I find myself agreeing with Dave Winer, but I do agree that Verizon sucks.
I recently signed up for Verizon DSL and haven’t been very happy with it.
I’m not as suprised as Winer that it filled in the Outlook Express email settings and re-branded Internet Explorer. Lots of non-tech folk probably appreciate that (the settings moreso than the re-branding). Doesn’t matter a lot to me since I use Mozilla for browsing and email.
I am annoyed immensely by their support . . . or, rather, lack thereof:
(1) Everytime I send an email from Mozilla email, I get an auto-response from Verizon with the title “URGENT: Updated your E-Mail Settings.” Of course, my email settings are configured precisely according to their instructions. Note that there’s no problem sending email . . . though Verizon seems to think there is. Trying to figure this out started the whole saga with their crappy support processes.
The email contains a link to the support page which contains a link to a form for email support. . . which leads to a dead page. See http://www2.verizon.net/contact/techsup_form.asp for the dead form. It’s been dead for two weeks.
(2) Apparently there is no way to get support by email which just dumbfounds me. The only options are by phone (and I’ve always hung up after being on hold for five minutes) or by the lame-ass “Verizon Online Support Center” which is a Flash-interfaced support app. I don’t have time to waste on hold waiting to ask a question about a a non-critical support issues. Why can’t they let me submit a real ticket via email?
(3) The Verizon Online Support Center installs some stuff that is arguably spyware (Motive SmartBridge and Visual IP Insight) that I’m not exactly clear of the functionality for. Uninstalled Visual IP Insight, but haven’t been able to figure out how to get rid of Motive.
(4) The auto-diagnosis crap built into fails miserably, again telling me that my email configuration is wrong (but not telling me why). It auto-submits a ticket, but I have no way of creating, modiftyin, or viewing what information is contained in the ticket. How friggin’ ridiculous is that?!? It’s my ticket!
(5) The Verizon Online Support Center doesn’t allow you to send email either. It only allows you to initiatie a chat session, but I’ve never been able to get a support rep on the chat. Leaving “messages” there gets no response. No surprise.
(6) Trying to just send an email to “email@example.com” or “firstname.lastname@example.org” returns a pop-up alert that those addresses are not valid. It appears that the smtp.verizon.net (or something) is blocking those messages before they’re even set. That’s simply infuriating.
I’m about at my wit’s end. I expect so much more from an ISP support team. I will probably wind up cancelling Verizon DSL because of this.
Of course I’ll have to wait on hold for 20 minutes just for the privilege of cancelling my service. Fuckers.
From the technical side, the DSL has been wonderful, it works brilliantly, the bandwidth is great, etc. It’s a shame that enjoyment of fine technology is runied by crappy attempts at automated support.
Advice or other experiences with Verizon welcome.
[Update 6:15am 7/19/2003: Comments are closed because this entry is getting lots of traffic (apparently through Google searches for "Verizon sucks") and the lunatics are starting to come out of the woodwork. However, I'm really not interested in having a googlelock on "Verizon Sucks," so we'll let this post age gracefully.]