Wednesday, March 2, 2011


Yes, they deserve a title all to themselves.

Yesterday was my scheduled day for Verizon phone service to be installed at Zoe's home.  When I placed the order, I was given a service time of between 8 am and 5 pm on March 1st.  Yes.  A brutal amount of time to spend in a space under construction.  However, you do what you have to do.

A week after placing the order, I checked with Verizon to confirm the date and times.  All was confirmed.  Always worried that the technician might be early, I arrived at the space at 7:30 yesterday morning, armed with my briefcase, reading material, a phone that we could use to test the lines and my cell phone.  The construction foreman and workers welcomed me to the space and I set up my little work area in the window line.

The morning went quickly.  My insurance agent came by with papers to sign for my supplemental life insurance.  The construction project manager came by with laminate samples for me to review and select.   The core drill guy showed up and drilled the cores (love to Mark, Ron, and Jesse - fondly remembering our core drilling status meetings at Smith).   I (fortunately) received two deliveries of clothes at the store (from Velvet and from Graham & Spencer).  I received notification that my signage permits had been accepted and what I needed to bring to City Hall to continue processing.  And, the building inspector came by and signed off on the building and electrical work so now the wall close-in can begin today!  A thumbs up day so far.

At around 2 pm, I started to get worried.  All of the construction people were gone for the day and I'm waiting all by my lonesome.  I called Verizon and was assured that I was still scheduled for the day and they would definitely let me know if anything changed.  I went back to my reading/people watching.

By 4:40, I started to have that growing sense of doom.  I placed a call again to Verizon and was transferred at least 9 times before I got someone who could give me any information.  I spoke to people in Utah and Pennsylvania who could not even understand why I had been transferred to them.  And each person asked me the same questions.  Hmmm...  Maybe spend a little less on sending me Fios advertisements every other day and invest in some good customer service programs?

When I finally got the last person, it was about 5:20 (yes - I had been bounced around and put on hold for 40 minutes).  I was told that the technician that had been assigned to my install had been called off on a medical emergency and no one would be coming today.  That they would likely roll over my appointment to today.  I explained to the person on the phone that I had other commitments today and that I had to have a more precise window than 8 am - 5 pm.  She assured me that someone would call me back within an hour or two to reschedule the appointment.  Has that happened yet?  What do you think?

After coming home and gathering my composure, I followed up with a higher level person in Verizon Business and am waiting to hear from him.  As soon as customer service opens, I will try to contact them again.  While I certainly understand that unforeseeable things happen, the fact that no one contacted me to let me know that I would not get service yesterday is truly outrageous.  If it is possible to be less of a fan than I already am, I am there now.

Some fun facts gleaned from my day yesterday:

  1. There is a 4 way stop just outside Zoe's home.  Hardly anyone comes to a complete stop.  Even the car with a student driver sign on it!
  2. Union Street Public House (across the street) was visited by no fewer than 4 beer trucks.
  3. There are an awful lot of white vans with ladders on them driving around Union Street.
  4. I saw some of the same dogs walked at least 3 times.
  5. The King Street trolley truly does run every 20 minutes
  6. There are some talented parallel parkers out there
  7. The on/off valve for the fountain in the courtyard of Zoe's home is located in my space.
  8. Firehook Bakery has a big mom/kid event on Tuesday mornings (complete with a guy with a guitar).  I may need to visit some Tuesday morning and invite the moms to my store!


  1. I don't buy it. That is what they tell people so that they won't complain. I got the exact same story from DirecTV when their guy never showed for an installation. When I called them back, I told them not to bother at all, and I switched to Verizon FIOS.
    Luckily for me I haven't needed them to come back out to the house.

    The problem is that this installation and service business generally is not well run regardless of which company you choose.

  2. Verizon really was a complete and utter disaster. I have (thus far) been pleasantly surprised by Comcast. They were already out yesterday to do the site survey - 24 hours after I had placed the order. Hoping the positive experience continues!