Posts Tagged "cell phone"

Dear Verizon: It Just Cannot Be This Difficult

Dear Kid,

Once upon a time, we used Cincinnati Bell as our cell phone carrier. Things weren’t perfect, but it was easy enough to call or walk in and have someone easily and immediately address the problem.

Then someone (not naming names, but You) went to college and moved to a part of the country where Cinci Bell was, um, unreliable. Reliably unreliable.

Since you wisely believed that you should have a working communication device with which to contact your mother every now and then, we moved your service to Verizon.

It wasn’t exactly easy, but we made it happen. And life went merrily on.

Until Cincinnati Bell decided they no longer wished to be our cell service provider of choice. They no longer wished to be anyone’s cell service provider (of choice or otherwise).

So we had a conversation with Verizon.

Me: I’d like to move our service over.
Verizon: We’d like that too!
Me: My phone needs to be the main number on the account.
Verizon: Yeah, no. The Kid was here first. He stays the main number.
Me: No, I’m the mom. I pay the bill. I need to be the main number on the account.
Verizon: Maybe we weren’t clear: No. Hand over your credit card.
Me: How is this Customer Service?
Verizon: We don’t really care about customer service. Just your credit card.

And so things bumped along. Service wasn’t perfect, but at least they were difficult to deal with.

And so things bumped along. Service wasn’t perfect, but at least they were difficult to deal with.

Now it seems, Verizon has upped its game.

Kid: Mom, you have to call Verizon.
Me: What? Why?
Kid: The bill hasn’t been paid.
Me (in a show of insight and creativity): What? Why?
Kid: I don’t know. Call them.
Me: Will do.

Verizon: We don’t really care about customer service. Just your credit card.

Verizon: Please talk to the automated system.
Me: Why on earth would I want to talk to the automated system? Human please.
Verizon: The automated system requests that you enter your PIN.
Me: Don’t have a PIN. Apparently don’t have a human either. Operator please.
Verizon: It’s very easy to use the automated system. Please enter your PIN.
Me: Haven’t acquired a PIN in the last 1.3 seconds. Operator please.
Verizon: Hello, I am so sorry to hear that. Certainly we can help you. My name is Cheerful but Untrained. How may I be of assistance?
Me: I want to take care of my bill.
Verizon: Yes, I see you owe us money. We sent you a text.
Me: No, you sent the Kid a text. Which is why we have An Issue.
Verizon: How may I help you.
Me: I’d like to pay my bill.
Verizon: Yes, certainly ma’am. I understand. I can help you with that. Would you like to pay your balance on the automated system?
Me: No, I would like to talk to you and figure out why the autopay didn’t work.
Verizon: Yes, ma’am, I see. I’d be happy to help you with that. If you’ll just hold while I enroll in three weeks of training, we’ll have this figured out in no time.
Me: Perhaps we could skip right to the part where we solve the problem?
Verizon: Yes, ma’am. Certainly. But our scripts don’t allow for that. Would you like to speak to our automated system?
Me: I believe the problem is I have a new expiration date on my credit card.
Verizon: Certainly, ma’am. I’m sorry you encountered this problem and I’d be happy to help you with that. I can transfer you to the automated system so you can update your information before we cut off your service entirely.
Me: How about you just take a payment?
Verizon: I guess I could do that.
Me: Excellent. And while you’re at it, let’s get the autopay corrected.
Verizon: Yes, ma’am. I cannot do that. You need to do that through the automated system. And it will take two to three billing cycles for it to take effect.
Me: Huh? How can it take 60 to 90 days for an automated system to update an expiration date?
Verizon. Yes, ma’am. May I have your credit card number?
Me: You have the credit card number. You just need to fix the date.
Verizon: I can’t date customers.
Me: Perhaps a date with destiny.
Verizon: Is Destiny on the account, ma’am?
Me: Can I please pay this bill?
Verizon: Of course, ma’am. What is the new expiration date?….Thank you, and the security code? …. Thank you….Can you please give me the security code again? And the expiration date?
Me: Oh, goodness.
Verizon: Yes ma’am. And what is your credit card number?

Dear Verizon: It has GOT to be easier than this.

Love, Mom

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Dart Wars | Week 2 Is Here!

Dear Kid,

Dart Wars is a Big Freakin’ Deal here. I know this because teenagers are actually using their cell phones to have conversations. Talking conversations, not just texting. DearKidLoveMom.comWelcome to Week 2 of Dart Wars.

As a reminder, Dart Wars is a Big Freakin’ Deal here. I know this because teenagers are actually using their cell phones to have conversations. Talking conversations, not just texting.

I know. Shocking. Who would have thought?

Dart Wars involves teams (of up to 5 players and a sub) using Nerf guns to shoot players on an opposing team. No shooting on school property. No causing anyone to be late for school. No shooting at work. No breaking into homes (although you can shoot through an open door—or be invited in). Each series goes from midnight (12:01am) Monday morning to midnight (11:59pm) Friday night. Unless there’s a tie in which case there’s a shootout on Saturday.

Dart Wars also involves high emotion, unfettered outrage, brownies, yelling, middle of the night forays into enemy territory, stakeouts, cookies, strategy discussions to rival Pentagon briefings, hiding, caffeine, Twitter taunts, overuse of the garage door, and exhaustion.

Teams have to buy in to play Dart Wars. After Week One, losing teams have the option of buying in again to stay alive and continue playing. I believe after this week, elimination is permanent.

Pi’s team is still alive and in play, after a victorious Week 1 (they had 2 kills [it should have been more but the judges ruled against them]) and no one their team was shot.

Victory! Triumph! On to Week 2!

Love, Mom


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Strange Text from a Stranger

Dear Kid,

There was a text message on my phone this morning.

It was sent at a not-unreasonable hour last night. Even if it had been sent at a ridiculous hour it wouldn’t have mattered because I typically don’t bring my cell phone upstairs with me. (Translation: in case of emergency, you should probably try the house phone.)

The text was from a number I didn’t recognize.

It read:

Hey boy where u at?

You might want to read that twice. I did.

My first reaction was to giggle. Not very much, but a little.

My second reaction was an urge to text back something like “I don’t think you meant me since I am most assuredly not a boy. I am, however, sure that you would never have passed High School English with a sentence like that.”

I do not want to live in a world where everything I do and say is recorded. That is not something I am willing to support or live under. Edward Snowden DearKidLoveMom.comMy third reaction (final answer) was to write a blog.

Now I’m sure whoever sent the text was not targeting me in any way. I’m guessing it was a case of mistyping a number. It didn’t feel obnoxious or threatening or any of those other adjectives that might cause someone to get upset.

I’m equally sure the writer was not aiming for the Queen’s English (the area code was decidedly US) and I recognize that we live in an area of the country where “Were’d you git that at?” is perfectly acceptable conversational English (it just makes me throw up in my mouth a little every time I hear it).

I’m can even talk myself into believing that the term “boy” referred either to the writer’s offspring or BFF.

I was watching a comedian last night (don’t ask who, I wasn’t really paying all that much attention) who was talking about finding out more about his dates by scrolling through their computer browsers and email texts. Funny, but a little scary when you think about it.

My point is not that one must always talk as though one were dictating Shakespeare.

The point is that you can never be 100%, absolutely positive who will see what you’ve written.

Who knows, you might even inadvertently send a text to someone’s mom who will then write about it for the whole world to see.

Love, Mom

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Dad Dents Car Door with Butt

Dear Kid,

You’d best sit down for the News of The Day.

Yesterday, Dad dented the new car with his butt. Inevitably, this caused Pi to discuss Buns of Steel in great detail (and much hilarity).

Apparently, Dad used his posterior to close the car door, and somehow his muscularity cause such force as to dent the Imprezza.

Are butt prints, like finger prints, admissable in court? DearKidLoveMom.comI don’t know how one non-hulk-like human can butt-close a door and leave a dent. I wonder if a butt-dent would be admissible in court (the way fingerprints are)….

In other news, he also broke my iron yesterday. It’s not like the iron gets a lot of use in our house, but I’ve had it longer than I’ve had Dad, so it was a little sad.

In other breakage news from yesterday, Pi’s phone turned on but refused to light up the screen. Since actually being able to see the screen is important for sending and receiving communication, she didn’t think this was such a fab idea.

I will spare you the details of failed cell phone resuscitation (you’re welcome) and skip right to the “we went for new phones today.”

Replacing our phones mostly wasn’t voluntary. Cincinnati Bell decided they no longer wish to be in the cell phone business. So we knew we were going to have to switch carriers, but hadn’t planned to do it quite yet.

That's a butt that could dent a car. DearKidLoveMom.comPi and I drove up to the Verizon store, walked in, and were greeted with “Hi Pi.” It was the general manager, and he didn’t call her Pi, but he did greet her by name. The general manager of that location is the father of a football teammate and proudly introduced Pi to our sales dude as “our kicker.” Being “our kicker” gets you pretty darn good treatment. Still doesn’t make buying new phones phun.

Several years later, we walked out with enough to technology to compute pretty much everything we might ever want—and even the ability to phone home. Dad is displeased with the cell case we chose for him and has gone back to See About Alternatives (my money says he’ll come back with exactly what we got him).

I still can’t believe he dented the car door with his butt.

Hope you’re having a good Saturday.

Love, Mom

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Customer Service? Not So Much

Dear Kid,

Customer Service can be wonderful, easy, and painless.

Last night, it was none of those things.

I was locked out of a website that I needed to get into. After trying several different magical incantations, I gave up and called Customer Service. Since the Help Desk was going to be open for another 30 minutes or so, I thought things would go smoothly.

Calling Customer Service DearKidLoveMom.comThe first automated message really, really, really wanted me to fill out a ticket on the website. Yep, the same website that I wasn’t able to get to. I declined the invitation.

The automated system punished me by playing music. Not just bad music (that was predictable), and not just music interrupted every 47 seconds by a message (I’ll get to that in a minute), but music of varying volume. In the space of 6 seconds it would go from regular volume to undetectable by human ears, making me wonder if a) I’d been cut off, b) I was in spot with bad reception (even though I hadn’t moved), or c) if I was being transferred to a Helpful Person. I, of course, immediately assumed that a real person would answer the phone during one of these sound deficits and I would have no idea, the person would then hang up on me, and I’d have to call in again. Which would be awful. Especially because the help desk was only going to be open another 23 minutes.

The message which I heard more times than seems reasonable: “Thank you for your patience. Please try using our knowledge library by logging onto We look forward to helping you.”

This was clearly a bunch of hooey. Not only do I not have patience in this sort of situation, they clearly didn’t look forward to helping me. 13 minutes until the help desk closes.

Since a few thousand polite invitations to use the website didn’t work, the automated system switched tactics. The music changed from Bad 1980s Music (Designed to Soothe) to What My Least Favorite 3-Year-Old Niece Recorded Over the Weekend (Designed to Annoy). Where the first batch failed to reach its goal, the second succeeded brilliantly.

I was, indeed, annoyed. 7 minutes left.

(And I thought I didn’t have a blog topic. Ha!)

Did I mention the crick in my neck from doing the ear-shoulder-phone-hold so that I could document the process (and by “document the process” I mean “type”)? I was

With EXACTLY 42 seconds until the help desk hours were over, “Adam” answered the call. I’m pretty sure that’s not his real name since he stumbled over it. I’m also pretty sure that “Adam” and his friends were all sitting around waiting until the last possible second to take the remaining calls for the day. (Seriously, who waits on hold for 33 minutes and 18 seconds these days? Yes, I looked. I had to know.)

I explained my problem to “Adam.” He punched a few buttons. No change. He punched a few more buttons. All fixed.

Very glad to have it all fixed. Very un-glad to have the worst “hold” experience on three continents. (I actually wrote that on the survey they promptly sent me.)

Hope no one keeps you waiting today.

Love, Mom

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