Thursday, April 08, 2010

Just Say No To.....Verizon

Bundling.  Everyone’s doing it.  Phone companies.  Cable companies.  Even people who want to sell you large quantities of meat.  It’s suppose to save you money and make things a little easier for you – but over the last two and a half weeks, I have discovered the dark side to “bundling” and if someone wants you to “bundle”….remember these three simple words:


I was introduced to “bundling” about two and a half weeks ago – when I called my phone company (Verizon) to get them to extend their payment due date because I was having problems accessing their website to pay my bill online.  A very cheerful voice on the other end of the phone had been looking at the services that I got from them and like some drug dealer in rain coat trying to get me to drop a dime on today’s best buy – she explained to me how I could save money on my DirecTV bill if I would allow them to bundle my satellite TV service with them.  The deal that she was offering me sounded too good to pass up – so, I agreed to it.  I originally called them for one thing and I ended the call doing something completely different…I agreed to become a Verizon Bundled Customer and instead of paying two companies – I would pay one and the combined cost would be less than if I would pay for them separately.  .  My life wasn’t going to change that much – oh so I thought.

First – I get the warning that my first bundle bill probably won’t come until after two billing cycles and I should pay my bills as such until the bundling package kicks in.  Ok….that’s not a big deal.  My next Verizon bill comes and looking over the bill I see that I’m only being charged for my phone service – DirecTV has yet to kick in.  I go to DirecTV and look at my bill online and according to them – I don’t exist to them anymore – they handed everything over to Verizon and I would have to wait to be billed by Verizon for my DirecTV service.  Again, that’s cool – it just means that instead of being billed for one month of DirecTV service, I’ll be billed for two months when Verizon finally gets me “all bundled”. 

So, while I wait to be bundled…I thought…I’d pay my monthly Verizon bill on line.  I pay most of my bills online, because the United States Postal Service has yet to improve on the pony express model in this area.  It’s not usual to find our neighbor’s bills in our mailbox and the magazines we subscribe to never arrive on time and the odds are pretty good that some postal employee in the local branch here has gone through the pages during their lunch hour trying reading why Kirstie Alley is so god-damn fat and Jesse James is a jerk.  So, if we can’t get stuff mailed to us on time – imagine how long its going to be for the stuff that we mail out to get to somebody and that’s the reason I pay my bills online.

When I go to the Verizon website to sign in to pay my bill – I come face-to-face with the same problem that I had before they sold me on bundling – it will not let me sign in and access my account.  I exhaust everything online trying to get on to the website.  It would show my bill – but it wouldn’t let me pay.  I click on to their “online representative chat” and that person listens to my problem and says that they can’t help me…I would have to call in to their tech people on the phone. 

Have you had to call a phone company or public utility company lately?  If you don’t have to do it – please do not attempt to do it for recreational purposes – because you’re only going to end up frustrated and when you do get to talk to a real human voice on the other end of the phone – you might start venting things to them that they really shouldn’t hear.  It’s ok to tell them that you have been frustrated with the service that you have been getting from the company to get your problem resolved…but you know your comments about the company are going to get worse when the problem doesn’t get resolved with one or two calls.  In my case – it took maybe ten to twelve calls to Verizon and I can’t tell you how many wasted hours in front of the computer just trying to access my account and pay my bill.  My frustration almost got to the point of telling the rep on the phone that Verizon was pretty close to being hanging partials of poop on the scrotum of a diseased yak – but I held my ugly comments in.

After about the twelfth call to Verizon – I finally came in contact with someone who actually knew their job.  They explain to me that some of my problems have come about because of the changes made by the bundling that weren't resolved when they signed me up for the program.  To solve the problem they're going to transfer the information in my account to a whole new account.  We decided on a new sign-on ID to enter the website – because the old sign-on was now dead and it can’t be used – so we decided on something similar sounding to the old ID.  Then – they gave me this computer generated password to use and when I got on the site, I could change the password to something I would remember.  Sounds cool.  I thank this person and now it was time to find out if this attempt at resolving my problem was finally going to work.

I sign on the Verizon website with my new sign-on ID and I put in the computer generated password and lo and behold – I finally have access to my Verizon account and I can pay my bill.  And unlike previous attempts to get them to accept my payment (the reason that I called them before they sold me on bundling) – it finally accepts my payment.  When it went through – I could actually hear angels trumpeting overhead and you know they say – “every time that you hear an angel trumpeting, it means another Verizon employee gets their wings” or something like that. 

With my bill paid…I now have the task of changing my password.  I thought that I would put in my old password as my password – because I have a new sign-in ID and I thought that the old password would work – well it didn’t.  I’m back to getting frustrated again.  It won’t accept my password now – well, it’s time to get even – I’ll vent my Verizon frustrations with my new password and I typed in the first word that came to my mind.  It work.  So brace yourself -- my new Verizon password describes the “Verizon Experience” in just one word: “Assholes!” 

So….all I got to say is this.  If you don’t want to feel your blood pressure rising and you want to avoid feelings of frustration and anger at a company that doesn’t give a shit about you anyway – don’t let them bundle your services – because they’re going to find some way of screwing things up for you before you ever see the benefits of their grand plans…and it just ain’t worth it.  

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