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Verizon sucks

June 19th, 2003

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 “support@verizon.net” or “help@verizon.net” 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.]

Greg Personal

  1. anthony
    June 21st, 2003 at 12:31 | #1

    Well, hopefully you got the “modem” with an ethernet connection and not a USB one. USB is not a viable networking option, IMO. Presuming you did, you only need to use their wackjob software for setting up the service, and maybe not even that anymore. Once you have a username (usually your verizon email) and password, you can use either off-the shelf software (XP even has it built in) or a little Linksys router. I recommend the latter – you can pick up one with a 4-port hub and a wireless AP built in for less than $100 now.
    I will note that I had an awful time with Verizon – they got into this tailspin of clerical error that had them turning off my service every month, but only the service techs (who had the error) knew it was turned off. I ended up getting the 6 months I did have service that year for free.
    If you already have cable, I would also look into a cable modem. I fired Verizon entirely (here they also do local phone service, having formerly been Bell Atlantic) and picked up cable/internet for just a tad more than I was paying for phone/dsl service.

  2. Meada13
    July 9th, 2003 at 17:15 | #2

    Verizon sucks so bad! Where to even start??!!

  3. July 9th, 2003 at 22:14 | #3

    I am generally even-keeled, and can deal well with stressful situations. However, today my ordeal with Verizon pushed me over the edge. And when I went online searching for sites discussing how much Verizon sucks, I found this one. So I felt like posting a letter I am hand delivering to them tomorrow about my experience with them today.
    [Posted letter deleted. This is a place to comment on weblog posts, not re-publish four page letters. That's what your own weblog is for. --Greg]

  4. Jay
    July 11th, 2003 at 12:55 | #4

    My story sounds like every other one out there. I call up to have a second phone line and DSL service installed on June 19,2003. I set an appointment for July 2, 2003 between 8am and noon. They tell me to call back on July 1, 2003 to confirm the appointment. When I do they say they don’t set the appointments to 8 am on the morning of the appointment. I call back the next day and they say that the ticket said anytime that day. I tell them I’m on vacation and I came home from the beach to be here and I was planning on going back down in the early afternoon. They tell me don’t worry you don’t have to be there that they can install it without going into the apartment. I receive a VM that evening saying they were to busy and they would be out first thing in the morning. The next evening I received the same vm saying they would be out the following day. On July 4, 2003 I receive a VM from someone named Joe who seemed pissed that I wasted his time because they now need access to the apartment to install the phone line. I call on Monday July 7,2003 and informed that they would not be able to get out there to the next day. The tech arrives but crosses the lines resulting in dropped calls so they come out the next day and the phone lines are finally working. I was told that I could have temporary dial up service while I was waiting for the DSL to be established, after being put on hold and passed around from Dept. to Dept. I finally get a supervisor on the phone who says she going to conference in another dept to try to straighting this out. I asked if for some reason we get disconnected to call me back, she said no problem. Another ten minutes goes by while on hold and an automated message comes on informing that Verizon offices are closed and to call back in the morning. I had just spent close to 2 hours on that call and she never called back. I started asking for names and Ids from the people I talked to, they would all give me there first name but some wouldn’t give there last name or extension or ID number citing that it was personal. This breeds a corporation with no accountability. They just pass the buck to someone else and you wait on hold again.
    So I call up to see how long DSL will take. Originally I was told that it takes 3-5 days after phone service is established, but now they’re saying 8-10 days and due to FCC regulations that it can’t be sped up. Whats that crap!! Today I call up to check on the status and no one can find a record of me ordering DSL. After be passed around from Dept. to Dept. I’m finally told that the order was held up for some reason and they would now push it through.
    I should have this already and they are now telling me at least another week. By my estimates I have made approximatly 25 phone calls, and been on the phone close to 30 hours, the majority of that time maybe 90% of it on hold. For this I get $40 dollors off my next phone bill of $100. I should get a couples of months free. It’s like working a full time job dealing with Verizon but you pay them.

  5. susan
    July 16th, 2003 at 00:15 | #5

    Actually, three Verizon technicians turned up at my doorstep within a week. The first guy got the DSL working but turned off the neighbor’s phone downstairs. The second guy turned on the downstairs phone but swapped it for my number. The third guy got them switched back.
    Installation was a disaster. My PC went into an endless cycle of voluntary reboot, get to Windows banner, re-boot again.
    The ethernet connection worked for several hours, then stopped. I had to uninstall the software, physically remove the ethernet card, and reinstall to use the USB port. (Did anybody imagine that I might want to choose a connection type? I think Verizon assumes too easily.) The USB connection also worked for several hours.
    I cancelled Verizon DSL when the phone “support” clerk suggested that dust in my PC was frying all cards. According to him, “It happens all the time.” In his world, I’m sure it does. As I could identify their modem as common to both cases of non-service, I figured the “support” clerk was wrong. I could also imagine software as a potential cause of the non-connection. “Dust” just wasn’t high on my list.
    Thanks for the info re: Motive and IPInsight. Just deleted that crap now. Common courtesy and good-PC-hygiene would require that a software provider uninstall all his toys when the user chooses to remove the program, wouldn’t you think?

  6. Really?!!
    July 18th, 2003 at 21:41 | #6

    [Post deleted for over-the-top vulgarity and failure to provide a valid email address. If you're going to use my comments to randomly curse and insult people, at least have the courage to put your name on it. Cowards. --Greg]

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