I know vituperation towards monopolistic
November 3, 2001
I know vituperation towards monopolistic telecom companies is hardly novel, especially on the web. But, having had to deal with trying to order new service, I figured my pain should be your gain. Here then, are selected excerpts of my conversation today with Verizon Bumbler, the grumpy woman tasked with the unbelievable hardship of having to do her goddamn job by helping me order new home phone service.
The reader will kindly note, this half-hour phone call was quite unsuccessful. I hate the phone, for the most part, so it's not a terrible thought to me that I might not have phone service. But the inconvenience! Oh, the inconvenience. I should predicate this conversation with the disclaimer that I am usually unfailingly polite in my dealings with people in these regards. Usually.
[Anil waits on hold for about 15 minutes, and is regaled with "One Night in Bangkok", "The Look of Love" (the ABC song, not Bacharach) and Mister Mister's "Broken Wings". Anil has done nothing to deserve such a fate.]
Verizon Bumbler: Hello, thank you for calling Verizon. Can I have your phone number?
Anil: Umm, okay. It's [recites phone number].
VB: And what is the problem you're having with your service?
Anil: Nothing. I called to order new service.
VB: Then what's this phone number?
Anil: That's my current phone number. It's RCN.
Anil: Hey, I'm not trying to be difficult! You just asked me for it!
VB: What was your new address again?
Anil: [gives address]
VB: Is this a new building?
Anil: No. Unless you mean in geological terms. [snickers at own geekiness]
VB: Is this an RCN building?
Anil: Would that it were. But, no, it's not. I called them first.
VB: Because your apartment doesn't exist.
Anil: I wonder if that means I'll get a discount on my rent.
Anil: Well, your website shows the apartment across the hall as having service.
VB: Yes, they're in the computer.
Anil: Can I be in the computer, too?
VB: I don't see [apartment number] in there right now.
Anil: Is that something that can be fixed? Or should I just not have a phone?
Anil: I am asking because that seems to be the only solution you are advocating. I want to know how you will fix this.
VB: They may be able to fix this on Monday.
Anil: [Refrains from "pay you Tuesday for burger today" joke] Can they call me then?
VB: You'll have to call back Monday.
Anil: But I'm paying them! Can't they call me?
VB: I don't think so, no.
Eh, I don't really like the phone that much anyway.