Posts Tagged "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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Do You (or Anyone You Know) Speak Verizon?

Dear Kid,

Wonderful having you home this weekend. Hope you had an easy trip back to school.

Or at least I hope it wasn’t as exciting as the NFL games this weekend. Cray-zee.

Since I have great faith that other people will be writing about football, I will graciously allow them that privilege and move on to the Topic of The Day. Which is

Talking to the phone people.

Our chat started out nicely enough.

Thank you for contacting the Verizon Wireless Chat Team. One of our skilled Chat Representatives will be with you in a moment.

You are not currently in a chat session.

All Chat Representatives are currently assisting other customers. Thank you for your patience.

Pretty much how I felt during my "conversation" with Verizon. DearKidLoveMom.comAll Chat Representatives are currently assisting other customers. Thank you for your patience.

All Chat Representatives are currently assisting other customers. Thank you for your patience.

Eventually, Kimothy came on the line.

Kimothy? Really?

Kimothy: Welcome to Verizon Wireless!  I am located in TEXAS! We are known for our BBQ, hot weather, and friendly smiles.  May I ask with whom do I have the pleasure of speaking with today?

Regardless of who Kimothy really is (ha!) or where he/she is located (pretty sure “Texas” means Jupiter), I explained the question about our cell phone catch.

Kimothy:  I am checking into this for you now, thank you for your patience.

Visitor: hello?
Kimothy: I am still here my apologies my system froze and booted me out so I had to bring your account back up.
Visitor: dang technology…
Kimothy: Yes I thought it was supposed to make things better.
Kimothy: Allow me just a few to bring your billing statements back up please.

Visitor: did you find the statements?

Kimothy moved with lightning speed (and by “with lightning speed” I mean crafted two handmade afghans and made shortbread cookies). Kimothy’s answers comments were not enlightening.

Visitor: what does that have to do with a line charge spike?

Kimothy: There wasn’t a line charge spike you were receiving a $xx.00 line access discount for your devices that you are making monthly installments on
Visitor: why wouldn’t we get a discount that month?

Kimothy: I am showing that you were getting the line access discount on all of those lines that you are paying monthly on
Visitor: so why would we see a spike that month? I’m confused

Kimothy: The discounts starts at the time the device is placed on the the device payment option, the xxxxxxxx line was did not start until 0x/xx/2015 , which between March and April that line was not getting the line access discount  as the other 3
Visitor: What? All but one line started at the same time. and all the lines showed a spike that month. why didn’t we get the discount march/april?

You’ve probably guessed that the conversation was slooooow. And by “slow” I mean we had watched the entire Colts/Patriots pregame and first half by this point in the conversation.

Kimothy went on to explain that my statement showed the discount. I went on to copy the online statement to show it didn’t. Indianapolis went on to show they know how to play football. The Puppy went on napping.

Kimothy decided to ignore me as well as the little box on the site that says “You can expect best-in-class service from us anywhere: online, on the phone, or in-store.” Kimothy apparently did not have much in the way of a challenging class.

Do you know how long Sunday night NFL halftime is?

Long enough to write a blog, have a snack, listen to the Puppy object to going for a walk and being put to bed, and for me to decide that Kimothy does not have the top Customer Service Ranking at Verizon and that Verizon doesn’t have the most user-friendly technology set up for its customer service reps.

Visitor: you seem to be suggesting something was different in just that one month.
Kimothy: Let me go ahead and compare the charges, for each line, from the bill that generated on x/xx/2015 to this bill, generated x/xx/2015. Just a moment please as I am going to have to swap between the bills and do not have the ability to have them up side by side.

As the Wonderful Gloria put it, why should it be so difficult for reasonably intelligent people buy appliances and get simple answers to questions? (I should probably mention that Gloria is WAY Above Average Intelligence.)

FACT: No one should have to decipher phone bills in the same weekend they purchase a Major Appliance.

Sometime near the end of the third quarter, Kimothy and I had this exchange:

Kimothy: Before I proceed to the most recent bill, did you have any questions in regards to the one that generated on x/xx/2015?
Visitor: So as far as I can see, you’re telling me the increase was b/c xxxxxxx. is that correct?
Kimothy: That is correct.
Visitor: and it has taken you this long to explain that to me…
Kimothy: I do understand that this chat has taken some time and I do apologize for the misunderstanding. I did not not realize you had not see those fees on the bill and were just referring the line charge, itself.
Kimothy: **misunderstand and inconvenience.** (What does that mean?)

Twelve seconds later:

Kimothy: I have not heard from you for a few moments.  Would you like me to keep this chat session open for you?
Visitor: Speechless, Kimothy, absolutely speechless.
Kimothy: I am glad that we were able to figure this out together.  
Visitor: Thanks for your help
Kimothy: You are  most welcome!

The conversation was infinitely longer, but not quite as bizarre as the Colt screw up line up at the end of the third quarter.

Sweetie, if you are going to take classes in a foreign language, I would suggest you take up “Customer Service” since that will probably be more useful to you than any other language I can think of.

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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In Which We Meet Another Rachel and Say Thank You for the Kindness of Strangers

Dear Kid,

Did you hear about my phone?

I’m sure you heard part of the story, but here is the un-abbreviated version.

Friday evening, I hightailed it out of work. And by “hightailed it” I mean left on time and made a pit stop in the ladies room.

Friday night we (and by “we” I mean the Sycamore Aviators) played football in Hamilton which is not next door. Since dad was away, I had to zip home, walk and feed the puppy, explain to him that I was leaving, explain again that I would be home later, change into football appropriate clothes, and leave.

That was where I made my second mistake.

It had been soooo warm in the office and on the drive home that I decided (without consulting that a little shirt, my inherited lacrosse jacket, a scarf, and gloves would be perfect for the evening. Unfortunately, I had not factored in the 90 mile an hour winds which made for a much chillier evening than I’d expected.

As I was driving up to Hamilton (using Option B directions as I-75 was backed up to Florida), I glanced over at my purse (which was riding quite comfortably on the front passenger seat. One little brain cell perked up and said, “Your Phone Isn’t There.” Then it promptly died, having lived a full and useful life. But its message somehow traveled to a couple of other brain cells, and I reached over to prove them wrong. Then I groped through my purse to prove them wrong. Then I dialed dad using the car interface to prove them wrong. The car coughed and tried to explain that my phone was nowhere in the vicinity and perhaps I should try again when I located it.

I taught the car a few new words (not all of which were four letters long) and finished driving up to the game. Once I’d parked (see how safe I was?), I dragged over my purse and went through it. Twice. If you will imagine the contents of my purse, you will realize this was No Easy Task to undertake even once.

Finally admitting that I’d left my phone at home, I decided to enjoy the game unencumbered by providing you with timely updates.

I did enjoy the game, especially the kick off that went through the uprights (did I mention the 453 mile an hour winds?), and the highly imaginative officiating which fortunately didn’t change the outcome of the game but did give several coaches and parents the opportunity to turn purple with indignation. (And by “purple with indignation” I mean I thought some of them were going to bust a spleen or some other vital organ as they ranted and raged at the official who made most of the creative mistakes.)

Decided to go home and get my phone before picking up Pi at the High School. And this is where it gets weird.

Neither Tal nor Booker knew where my phone was, so I decided to use the house phone to hear the ring and locate it. I call—and Pi answers.

Me: Pi?
Pi: Maybe
Me: What? (phone clicks as Dad tries to call in)
Me: Wait a minute
Pi: Ok.
I fumble with the phone, decide I can’t figure out how to talk to Dad, and go back to Pi.
Me: Wait, who am I talking to?
Pi: This is Rachel and I found your phone in the office building
Me (brilliantly): Wait, what?

The conversation goes on like this for another minute or two.

Finally, I realize that a lovely woman named Rachel (a confusing coincidence) found my phone and rescued it not knowing what Evil Forces might abscond with it. And then she was kind enough to try to find me! And to answer the phone when I called.

I’m pretty sure she called you (what with not having heard from you all weekend, I cannot be positive), she texted with Dad, she posted on Facebook—basically, she did everything except buy a billboard. (I wonder why she didn’t buy a billboard…)

Once I had this all figured out, we agreed to meet Saturday morning so she could give me my phone.

Yes, I said thank you (more than once). Yes, I am bringing her brownies. No, there are none left for me to mail to you. And YES, I believe in the kindness of strangers.

Pay it forward. Do something nice for a stranger today.

Love, Mom

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