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What Big Comm is communicating: Give us your dough, get lost page 4
Verizon's ubiquitous advertising hides customer service shortcomings that made simple installation of DSL a nightmare.

  Richard Amrhine's archive
  E-mail Richard Amrhine
Date published: 1/1/2006



Since I could still dial up, I searched for NICs and found $6 ones and $2,000 ones and a lot of gibberish about what they do. It appeared to be an internal part requiring installation. I was ready to write off DSL.

It was after midnight, but I decided to call Verizon anyway, anticipating the guilt I usually feel only after I have berated someone on the phone for making me feel like a hapless idiot.

I remained calm as I explained the situation. The guy said well, if you already have an Ethernet connection on the back of your computer, you don't need the NIC. Sure enough, there is an Ethernet plug back there; the software and instruction book lied. So he says all I need to do is to plug in (you hapless idiot) and you're good to go.

In an instant I was online with DSL, but aggravation has yet to subside.

It's not surprising that people think large corporations are clueless about customer service. Verizon's DSL advertising promises Internet nirvana, but it's inability to handle two incredibly obvious issues that many, if not most, customers will face sentenced me to a month in installation hell.

Turns out my wife's older PC doesn't have the Ethernet connection and will need an NIC before I can hook her into DSL. Got that? Ought to be simple enough, but it's just another chance for Verizon to make me feel like a hapless idiot.

Hey, Verizon, can you hear me now? Good.

RICHARD AMRHINE is a writer and editor with The Free Lance-Star.

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