More Fun with Verizon
by Ambrose Little
This week has been quite the ride with Verizon. So things were looking up after they resolved the two issues mentioned there. But then, yesterday, the tech was scheduled for 8-12, and he showed up at around 3-3:30p. Fine, sometimes install jobs go long, but the fella was just flabbergasted. He kept telling me how he didn’t have his phone with him today (I don’t know why exactly, but it seemed really important. He didn’t have the right equipment with him–no big deal, what’s another 30 minutes?
So he got the new router installed, and as he was leaving, he was still telling me about not having his phone. I was like, okay, well, I hope you have a better day tomorrow.
After he left, I get on speedtest.net and test. And my upload is a 2mbps. Now don’t get me wrong, that’s plenty fast for a lot of things. I lived quite happily for years with signifcantly slower; I have even lived, shock, without internet access, even with 14400baud modem connectivity. But I am, after all, paying for high speed, right? I should get what I’m paying for–it’s the principle!
So I figure, hey, it’s newly installed, maybe the router needs a reboot, so I get on live chat just to find out what the default password is (did not get it from the tech–he was too concerned about his phone; I felt sorry for him). The person told me the password, and I was in. Good, that was easy. He didn’t even ask me to ensure my cables were plugged in or nothing.
After I mentioned the speed issue, he asked if he could help more, and I said well why not. He wanted to do the Citrix form of remote assistance, and I said okay. I installed it and that was easy enough.
But I watched in horror as the first thing he did was go into Chrome settings and blow away all my history AND COOKIES. Arg! Talk about using a an oliphant to swat a fly! I should have stopped him, but it was like watching an accident–it’s going in slow motion, you can’t move, you can’t tear your eyes away, you just can’t believe it until it’s over. And frankly, I have no idea why he did that–what bearing would that have on slow upload speeds??
Then he goes to speedtest.net. Now this is where it got funny. I was getting about 80/2 (I know.. who’s complaining, right?), and when he started running the test, it was getting like 0.08/0.03. It was painful to watch. I immediately thought, ah.. this screen sharing software uses Java, and so does the speedtest app, as I recall. Not only that, the screen share app has got to be tying up bandwidth. So I suggested maybe that’s the case–”yes, of course Mr. Little” comes the reply. And yet he went to try it again.
At this point, I knew it was hopeless, so I quickly thanked him for his help and said I’d try a few more troubleshooting steps on my own and get back if I can’t resolve it.
Well, I did some tests, rebooted the router, plugged in, yadda yadda yadda. It is not my side, at least not anything I can fix. So I get back on chat, and after going through the gauntlet of convincing the rep I’d tried all the usual stuff (he was ready to email me some troubleshooting steps–I was like, what??), he tells me that “you placed the order today, it will take some time to go through.”
I said, “nooo, I placed the order on Tuesday. They scheduled to have the tech come out today, that’s how I have the newly installed router I mentioned that the Verizon tech installed today.”
“Mr. Little, I see that you are on a 25/25 plan.”
“What?? No, I just upgraded. The guy was here today, really.”
“Mr. Little, I am looking into some information for you.”
“Mr. Little, I see that the order needs to be closed by the tech.”
“What does that even mean–’closed by the tech’?? The guy left three hours ago. How do we get a hold of him to get him to close it?”
“Mr. Little, I am looking into some information for you.”
“Mr. Little, I have spoken with my Network Team. Please right-click on My Computer and click on Properties…”
“Wait, remember I told you I’m on a Mac? What information do you need?”
“Can you confirm your NIC is a gigabit NIC?”
Seriously. You think it’s my NIC, I thought? Riight..
I assured him this is a late model MacBook Pro, that it isn’t my hardware. Still, he asked if I had another computer. I said, “Yes, but none of them are anywhere near as up to date.” He replies, literally, “Just run the test on the other computer.”
Well fine, if that’s the way you’re gonna be! I grab my wife’s old netbook, update Java, and ten minutes later, confirm that no, she is having the same problem. I even go to the trouble to confirm by plugging it in that it’s not its wireless, in case that’s the next question.
After all this, you know what the resolution is? To send a tech out to my place again. His “Network Team” is telling him that something isn’t “switched to ethernet,” whatever that means. I can only assume there is some Verizon-can-access-only switch that needs flipping or something to enable the switch to the higher speed network. Why didn’t the tech who was just there do that? Anyone’s guess.
So now I have another tech coming out. At least it is Saturday, so I’ll be home anyways, given who knows when they might actually decide to show. 8-12p my big toe.
I keep saying, we techies should get some kind of guild card where we can provide our number and get past the first two levels of desktop support and just talk to someone who knows as much or more than we do about this stuff.
By the way, to be fair, I’m ranting on Verizon only because they have the best internet connections available–no other real players out there in terms of connectivity. I don’t imagine for a second that Comcast/Xfinity’s support is any better. Still, I mean.. really?!?
UPDATE (20 August 2012): So the techs came out Saturday. One of them was the same fella who came out on Thursday. He was very apologetic. Apparently the phone he kept mentioning is what tells him all needs to be done, so his not having it meant he wasn’t clear on what needed to be done. He said their printouts are crap.
Anyways, they had to run Ethernet from the ONT (their box in the basement) to the router to fix the problem (and who knows if they flipped some switches in the meantime). Anyways, it’s all good now. Amazing speeds for the price!