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What Big Comm is communicating: Give us your dough, get lost page 3
Verizon's ubiquitous advertising hides customer service shortcomings that made simple installation of DSL a nightmare.

RICHARD AMRHINE
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Date published: 1/1/2006

By RICHARD AMRHINE

continued

I decided to call. After pressing 10 buttons in attempting to reach a human, I was told the lines were full; call back later. Good-bye.

This is not good PR, I thought.

After repeating that scenario at different times over the next couple of days, and experiencing the same result, I became certain that this was not good PR.

A flier for Verizon DSL came in the mail with a new phone number on it. I tried it and finally got through. And I was told that I had indeed received the wrong equipment. I needed a different type of modem from the one I was sent.

Fine, but what about the router? The router is the different type of modem, said the representative, in a tone that suggested she felt she was talking to a hapless idiot. How was I supposed to know that? Also, she would send a UPS label for the return of the original modem. If I didn't return it in 30 days I'd have to pay a $100 equipment fee or they would haul me off to Verizon jail.

The big day

Finally, I-Day (Installation Day) arrived. I had the right equipment, and my phone line was ready. I shoved the installation disc into the computer and followed the required steps.

Ha, I thought, you'd have to be a hapless idiot to mess this up.

Then it happened: A message appeared stating that my computer would need a network interface card before installation could proceed. A what? This is a nearly new computer, and it can't accept DSL?

As a last resort, I looked at the instruction booklet. On page 9 in print I couldn't read without my glasses and a magnifying glass, I discovered that PCs would need the NIC, but Macs do not.

This is a time when one wishes he had taken an anger management program so he could take the textbook and throw it through the computer monitor. Why was there no heads-up about this? I'm pretty sure there are many other people with PCs, just as there are many people with more than one computer at home.


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