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Verizonarchy

Posted on Thursday, January 21st, 2010

Dave!Who knew I'd be adding one more thing to my Anarchy List after just one day!

Earlier this week, Verizon's internet email server suddenly stopped allowing me to send emails. I called "tech support" and was told my password was probably wrong. I doubted it, since the same password has been stored on my computer and working for the past five years, but I played along. Eventually it started working again, but I surmised it was probably a temporary problem with Verizon's SMTP server rather than anything on my end.

But whatever.

Then this morning, after sending a dozen emails just fine, Verizon stopped accepting my emails once again. First I tried using the "Automated Customer Support Agent" because the thought of calling Verizon Support made me want to slam my head in a door. He's kind of stupid-robot-plastic-looking-creepy... especially when he blinks... but I didn't want to judge "his" intelligence by appearances...

Artificial Intelligence... or Artificial Stupidity?
  

Obviously getting nowhere, I called up "tech support." I wish I would have recorded the conversation. Not just because it was incredibly stupid... but because I'm screaming like a two-year-old at the end. A much abbreviated approximation of the call went something like this...

I see that you called two days ago...
   
Yes.
   
You reset your password?
   
Yes. I had to because your SMTP server stopped accepting my emails. They said I probably has a bad password even though it is saved on my computer and has worked for the past five years.
   
If we have confirmed that the password is working, then it is a Mac problem.
   
I sincerely doubt that, but hey... whatever. What do you want me to do?
   
I'm trying to tell you that it is a Mac problem.
   
Okay.
   
If you can login to Verizon, then it is not a Verizon problem.
   
Then you are obviously insane. All logging on to the Verizon website does is verify that my password is working. It does nothing to verify that your SMTP server is working properly.
   
They are the same server.
   
A web server doesn't run SMTP services. They are two different things.
   
I'm telling you they are the same server.
   
You're telling me that a web service sending HTML pages is the exact same thing as an SMTP service relaying emails? Even though they use different protocols over different ports?
   
That is what I am telling you.
   
Then you obviously don't know what you are talking about. Can I speak to somebody that does?
   
They will have the same information I am giving you.
   
You are driving me crazy here. My account has worked fine for FIVE YEARS. I entered a new password and things worked again for a day and a half. Now you're telling me this is MY problem? Well I guess I have to cancel ANOTHER Verizon account. Thanks for nothing.

As you can see, I got better support from the "Automated Virtual Assistant."

Verizon "tech support" is apparently staffed with people who have no initiative to look past the script on their screen or investigate anything that has to do with THEM having the problem.

And here's the deal... twenty minutes later, AFTER CHANGING NOTHING, my emails were being mysteriously accepted again. So yes, this is MY fault. It is a MACINTOSH problem. It was my MACINTOSH that suddenly decided to fake an SMTP error from Verizon out of the blue. No way that Verizon's flakey SMTP server could be having problems... BECAUSE THE WEB SERVER IS WORKING. And, as you know, THE WEB SERVER AND THE SMTP SERVER ARE THE EXACT SAME THING. Which is surprising, because EVERY COMPUTER I'VE EVER SEEN has them as two separate services. Unless you consider webmail, but even then the email is undoubtedly passed off to another service to actually be sent. Yes, it is possible to run both servers on the same computer, BUT THEY ARE TWO DIFFERENT THINGS!!

It's like saying your busted-ass toaster isn't broken because your microwave is working and they're both in the same kitchen.

Maybe I should send Verizon "tech support" a link to WikiAnswers. Or maybe EVERYBODY ELSE IS WRONG TOO! Maybe Verizon has some super-service that serves web, email, and video porn from the same app! ZOMG! THEY'RE JUST THAT SMERT!! That way when ONE fails, EVERYTHING FAILS! Genius!

Now, I realize the general population is stupid and you have to assume that they've fucked up somewhere because 99% of the time it's probably true. Or they're running Windows. But give me a break. I'm not some random idiot who doesn't know how to turn on a computer, so treating my like I'm the moron who doesn't know the difference between a website and email is only going to piss me off.

I hate Verizon. I hate them with the burning passion of a thousand suns. Nothing is ever their problem. EVER. It's always YOUR fault or your MAC'S fault. YOU'VE changed something. YOU'VE done something wrong. Which is why it's no wonder I finally cancelled Verizon DSL at home. Hey, my cable internet may slow to a craw for a few minutes at random intervals, but at least I am not having to deal with Verizon "tech support" any more.

Oh well.

In other news, I am totally hiring that "Verizon Automated Virtual Assistant" to write for my blog. That guy is GENIUS!

Comments

  1. Mike says:

    I’ve worked in customer service before. And it might surprise you that I did not know every answer to every question people would ask me about the products we sold. We had ten thousand items (no, seriously). However, I never lied and made up expedient rubbish to get the people out of my face or to buy something. My philosophy was, I am a lousy liar and why bother? who cares? So what and what the hell? This normally works in every situation.

    The funny part was: NOT one time did anybody get angry and shout and get hysterical. Why? Because when I had to tell somebody I didn’t know the answer I would always add.. “Sorry about that. But I’ll do my best to find out for you.” Maybe that sounds hokey but if I said that.. AND I honestly tried to follow through usually people seemed pleasantly surprised even when the answer wasn’t what they wanted to hear. Verizon shouldn’t either train their staff so they know every answer, know how to explain it clearly or hire people who aren’t too cowardly to be honest.

    • Dave2 says:

      What Verizon needs to do is not tell their CS agents to stick to their stupid script at any cost. This guy wouldn’t budge off of his rhetoric, even though it was CLEARLY not the solution to my problem. He was beating me over the head with the “fact” that a web server and an SMTP server were the same thing, and if one was working they both were working. Well, that may have been true in that my PASSWORD was working… but it clearly wasn’t the reason their SMTP server was refusing my email. But, unlike your work ethic, trying to find an actual answer was simply not on this guy’s radar. On top of being useless, his stubbornness in sticking to an “answer” that wasn’t to my problem made me furious as well. Some tech “support” that is. Such encounters destroy a company’s standing with their customers.

  2. Pardon me while I laugh at your misfortune and your reaction to said misfortune. That’s what nemesisisisis do.

  3. RW says:

    Don’t you love how the US has become a “service economy”? We do it so well!

  4. Finn says:

    I think I had a comment, but then I saw your header and lost all train of thought. Hey – You’re not supposed to eat the big pink mint!

  5. Sybil Law says:

    Dude.
    That would make me CRAAZY. Or, crazier.
    However, it was funny to read about… for me. :)

  6. Iron Fist says:

    If they did develop a super-futuristic computer that does everything, that would explain why I was unable to access my video porn yesterday, right around the time it sounds like you were having your email issues.

    Also, that Verizon automated assistant looks vageuly like he’d be the virtual equivalent of Disapproving Man. No wonder he disdained you so much!

  7. Walt says:

    Dave:

    That’s to funny. I hate to laugh but it just brings back memories of my days working at a teleport. There is nothing worse than dealing with idiots and trying to get an answer when you already know what is wrong, it just kills you! I’m surprised they didn’t create a trouble ticket to at least humor you.

    But that customer service behavior is everywhere these days. I had the auto parts clerk tell me “they don’t make air shocks for my car,” even though it has them on it now. If the screen doesn’t say it, it must not be true!

    • Dave2 says:

      I weep for the future. It used to be that when companies treated you badly you would go to a different company. Now… they’re ALL like that, so you’re just jumping from one bad situation to another.

    • Dave2 says:

      I weep for the future. It used to be that when companies treated you badly you would go to a different company. Now… they’re ALL like that, so you’re just jumping from one bad situation to another.

  8. Lisa says:

    I have this same problem with Charter. “Do you have a Windows computer we can use to re-set your settings?” My favorite was when Linksys asked me if I had a friend who had a Windows computer they would let me use so they could re-set my router. I almost lost my mind. I don’t understand how these companies can continue to treat Macs like a passing fad that will never take, so they don’t have to bother to provide service for them. I’m stuck with Charter for Internet service because there are zero alternatives where I live, but for everything else I’ve learned to go with only Mac friendly companies.

  9. They should totally turn that Automated Virtual Assistant into a sex doll.

  10. A. Lewis says:

    Why does it turn me on when I see you flipping me off?

  11. whall says:

    I am designed to read your blog one sentence and DaveToon graphic at a time, could you please ignore my improper use of a comma in my comment and re-post?

  12. Poppy says:

    One of my co-workers at my former place of employment had to call up an ISP at 5pm on a Thursday for the president of the university because his laptop emails stopped working. She was on hold for 45 minutes. When she finally got a person on the phone he told her to go to the ISP website and enter “keyword IMAP”. She said she had already confirmed the account settings, they were working before, and he kept saying over and over again “keyword IMAP”. … That was his only advice.

    It was an ISP-side issue, of course, which resolved itself eventually.

  13. Bug says:

    Auto-dude is creepy…almost like a Ken doll…yikes!

    P.S. Verizon sucks, then again most companies do these days.

  14. sp says:

    Hi Dave,

    I had the same thing happen to me and I have an AT&T account. I have a PC and was using Outlook (yes, poor me). AT&T’s internet tech support was actually excellent and they spent some time researching my problem and called me back to tell me that they thought the problem was with my Outlook. They said they discovered that this problem wasn’t out of the ordinary, and suggested that the fix might be to reinstall Outlook. I did, and haven’t had a problem since. I know you are on a Mac and this might not even apply to you, but I thought I would mention it.

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