Coming on the heals of me getting an immediate refund last week for a product sent to me, which I didn't order, and it only took 2 minutes to return on the phone, I was all too excited this morning when my experience with Verizon was even better.
I had my cable service scheduled to be shut off at the end of the month, meaning the end of the day September 30th. Unfortunately they decided to shut it off last night. My plan had been to call them before it was shut off, likely today, and tell them to continue it until October 14th. I’m moving out of my apartment, and will be away for most of the second half of October, so figured I’d save the cash, rather than have service for the 5-6 days at the end of the month.
When I woke up this morning I noticed a yellow light on my modem amongst 6 other lights which to me indicated things were off already. Being the perceptive slick-ass-mofo that I am, I was spot on. It was off. So from my bed, where I had slept about 4 hours (which is now good in a relative sense) I called FiOS to discuss.
I ended up on the phone with Shirley, who was very nice, and after a few hiccups she told me, “It’s all good…yaw service shoube back on in a few minutes.”
In my head I’m thinking, “Really? That’s it? 2 minutes and I didn’t even have to pace the room?” Wow. FiOS is good!
The second half of this story involves me calling back to tell them about how my service is not turned on, and unfortunately I didn't get to speak to Shirley, who does things oh-so-quickly.
For whatever reason FiOS cannot figure out this little issue: I have a New York telephone number, which has been connected to my bill since the day I purchased FiOS. Yet EVERY SINGLE TIME I CALL I tell them my home number, stay on hold 10 minutes, am connected to a person who cannot find my account, and then asked, “Where is the FiOS service you’re calling about located?”
“Oh, okay. We have to connect you to a New Jersey representative. Please hold while I transfer you.”
“Sorry, what sir?”
“Nothing. Do it.”
…10 more minutes.
Now I get this new guy Bob who then had to go over the entire process of installation again, from the top, because FiOS no longer even has a record that I had service! That's right. So for 2 more weeks of service I have to sit through this. Now I know I could have preempted this nightmare, but whatever. Work with me.
Me, “Let me ask you a question. Was there some law passed recently which mandated all cable companies wipe out all my information the moment service is terminated?”
“Sir, I really don’t know. But why are you asking? I could ask someone if you want to know.”
“Lets just move this along…”
“Why did you cancel FiOS, David, uhh, sir, uhhh, Mr. Weintraub? Can I call you, uhh?”
“David is fine. Lets just keep moving here.”
“Okay, let me see what I can do here…okay. Hold on. What’s your cell phone number again?”
“So are you moving within New Jersey?”
“Where are you moving?”
“I’m going to California for a little bit, then Florida, then maybe back to California. Really not sure yet.”
“Oh man, that’s awesome. Love California. Haven’t been there in like 20 years, but yeah, it’s awesome.”
“Let me check this. What I’m gonna do here is give you the same package you had, but I’ll give you trial HBO, which will be free for the time you have remaining...Hold on a second, uhhh, let me just do this. And that looks good. This should be fine. Right there. I'll just do that. Same service here. That’s good. Yep. Uhh huh. So where in California you heading?”
“I’m going to LA, then Monterey, then San Francisco, then Napa, then back out of San Francisco.”
Why I’m telling him this I don’t know, but I’m seconds away from pulling a Pete Townsend on my guitar, which I’m playing the entire time to stay chill.
“Aww man, that’s awesome. I love California. You gotta go to Alcatraz and the Hertz Castle! You gotta go to those!”
“The Hearst Castle.”
“Yeah, that place is awesome. And you gotta go to Big Sur. Place is awesome. Yeah, I went there like 15 years ago, man, with some friends. Loved it. It’s awesome.”
“Is this call being monitored for quality assurance?”
“Yeah, it is. California is just awesome.”
“So how we doing over there?”
“Just a second there. That looks good. Yep, uh huh. Yep, yep. That’s fine. Should be okay. Yep. So you’re gonna get another box in the mail to send your cable boxes back because…”
“I know the drill. Did it last week. All good. Lets just get to the conclusion here before I teach myself Stairway to Heaven.”
“Oh, sorry. Nice. I like Led Zeppelin too.”
“You’re pretty good at guitar too.”
“Getting better as we speak.”
“Okay, David, Mr. Weintra…”
“David is fine.”
“Alright, sir…everything is setup. We have you on the same package you had…”
And on and on and on and on and on…
“Let me ask you one question, and if you could answer it great. If not, no worries.”
“What's that, Dav...sir?”
“Will all the things I had recorded on my DvR still be on there?”
Why did I ask him a question?
“Oh. Shit. That’s terrible.”
“Wait. Maybe? Actually, I don’t know! No one has ever asked me that before. That’s a really good question! No one has ever asked me that! So I really don’t know. If I had to bet I would probably say no, but I’m not really sure. If you held a gun to my head…”
“Thinking about it…”
“If I was really really REALLY having to make a decision on that. Like, if I was to bet on it, I am going to go with uhhh…(big sigh)…uhhh…Gonna go with no.”
“BUT I’M NOT POSITIVE!”
“Hold on onnnnnnnne second. Let me just ask someone else really quick to be sure.”
Now because I’m on speaker phone there’s that disconnect between when two people are talking and you can’t hear the other person sometimes.
7 minutes pass.
“Hey, sorry Mr. Weintraub, but I asked my manager and he doesn’t know either. I guess you’ll find out when it comes back on. You know?”
"...and she's buy-uy-ying a staaaair-waaay..."
Lets just say this type of conversation about service, travel, and utter step by step nonsense went on for another 15 minutes.
All in all the phone call lasted 1 hour, 12 minutes, and 33 seconds.
“We’re all set here, sir. Your service should come in, if I had to guess. I’d say, and this is just a guess, about, 2 hours.”
"That's fine. Thanks."
“But don’t quote me!”
“I won’t. I’ll try to forget this ever happened.”
“Thank you sir. My goal here today was to try to help you the best I could, and hopefully you found this call….” Blah blah blah blah holy fucken kill me.
“It was fine, thanks.”
“Oh, and have a good time in California. And Florida. And remember, check out Alcatraz…”
“And the Hertz castle! It’s awesome!”
The first call was too good to be true.
Of course, 4 hours later, Verizon was in my apartment trying to make this all work.