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Thursday, January 11, 2007

Verizon sucks my hairy balls

Back in July, before we even had a working toilet, we decided to get Verizon FiOS. In fact, the day we closed on the house, I was on the phone to Verizon organizing the FiOS account. We didn't want a Verizon phone because we have Vonage, so we became one of the few customers who have a Verizon account but no Verizon phone number.

Verizon's entire billing system is based on Verizon phone numbers. This is amazingly retarded, because they don't only provide phone service. Because of this, we can't receive paper or even e-mail bills. Our service fee is just deducted straight out of our credit card - the only record we have of our service is our online bank statements.

In October, there wasn't enough money on my credit card for the month's bill. I had maxed it out temporarily on something, probably tiles. I figured they would just charge me double the next month.

Nope. They just cut me off. No warning, no letters, nothing. We wake up, no internet.

OK, I think, I'll just call them and have them put through the payment and reinstate my account. No. There was some awful bug with my account, and it had been cancelled. A cancellation fee of $99 had gone through. I screamed at them for hours and hours, and they decided to close out my account and start a new one. I was told I would be credited for the cancellation fee and no further charges would be made. Everything would be as it was, only I would have a new, non-buggy billing account.

Recently, bills for the old account started to arrive in the mail. The first one claimed I owed $117. I tried to call Verizon about it last week, and reached a voicemail system. Who the hell puts a voicemail system on a billing enquiries line? Amazed, I left a message.

Today, a Verizon associate finally returned my call (leaving a message on my voicemail). And I received a new bill in the mail, this time for $203.07.
3:23 PM me: I am on the phone to Verizon now
leviathant: Oh
me: They finally returned my voicemail this morning
leviathant: hahaha.
me: Yeah, really.
And we got a bill from them today with an extra $86 for non-return of equipment (bringing the total we supposedly owe them to $203)
3:24 PM leviathant: Amazing
3:25 PM me: Motherfucker, it asked me to leave another message
I left a really pissed off message
3:27 PM me: I just called the technical line and tersely asked them to transfer me to a real person
I'm on hold now for billing
3:28 PM leviathant: Yeesh
3:34 PM leviathant: I demand a refund!
3:36 PM me: Oh, God, this is bullshit
still on the phone, the guy doesn't know what the hell is going on
3:37 PM leviathant: Manager! Supervisor! GET ME THE PRESIDENT
3:46 PM me: Hahah, I just yelled at him for a couple minuites, and he is cancelling all the charges.
He was like, OK, I will cancel the $86 for equipment return, but you owe $117.
And I was like RAH RAH WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT
and he was like, oh, it's $99 for an early termination
3:47 PM and I was like WHAT THE HELL, YOU CANCELLED THE ACCOUNT BECAUSE IT WAS BUGGY AND FUCKED UP
and he was like, ok, that leaves $18.04
and I was like GREAT LET'S DIG THROUGH MY ACCOUNT IN MINUTE DETAIL SO THAT WE CAN DISCOVER WHERE THIS MONEY COMES FROM
and he was like, Uh, listen, instead of wasting $18.04 of my time digging through your account (their system is hella slow), how about I just credit you.
And I said, Great, that's all I wanted, thanks.
He is doing it now.
3:57 PM leviathant: Hahaha awesome.
me: Wow, we had been getting the 15mbs service instead of the 5mbs for the last two months at a $15 discount
Lucky I called in today, because that discount runs out this month
3:58 PM and it would go up to $44.95 a month instead of $34.95.
4:02 PM me: Fuck, this is so fucking stupid
So, now he's trying to tell me that it's actually $39.95 a month instead of $34.95
and I'm like, nooooooo, we signed on when it was $34.95 a month
4:03 PM So he is trying to figure that out now
4:04 PM He's giving us a $5 credit per month for the remaining 6 months of our contract
Then it will go up to $39.95 a month
leviathant: Fair enough I suppose
4:05 PM me: Jesus, this is fucking epic
leviathant: Hope you're laying into him good, hahaha
me: I have been on the phone for 40 minutes sorting this out!
I think that's punishment enough.
4:06 PM He has credited me $234 today.
leviathant: Wow.
me: Although they should never have charged us $204 of it.
Verizon sucks my hairy balls.

Verizon should have overhauled their billing system before offering FiOS. It astounds me that I can't get e-mailed (or even paper) bills from a company that offers internet services, nor can I access my account online. This page seems to suggest that some "FiOS TV" customers can access their accounts through a mystical "account number" but when I ask the billing people about this on the phone, the account numbers they give me don't work and they aren't at all familiar with this aspect of the online account system.

The basic message here is that Verizon is fucking incompetent.
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