2003-07-16 - 12:34 p.m.
Apparently Verizon doesn't like my money.
I am waiting on my second service call in as many weeks. The first one required I wait one day without a phone, and then sit at home from 8 am to 7 pm the next for a technician, who phoned at 6:30 pm to say he wasn't going to come that day because it was "too late." I am afraid my phone call to the repair centre at 6:35 probably blistered the ears of the poor bloke who answered it, but I was angry, and sick of being yanked around.
When the tech finally showed up, at noon the day after he was supposed to visit (this is 2.5 days without a phone, for those of you keeping track), he pronounced the problem to be an internal one and traced it to a downstairs jack, which he then disconnected. The dial tone reappeared, the angry little woman was reassured that this really ought to do the job, and he departed.
Yesterday (15 July) I got up, did the normal morning chores, helped the Viking out the door, and sat down to read my email. All is well. I shifted tasks to do some sewing for Pennsic (about which more anon) and, having made good progress, decided to take a short break and do a little web surfing. The modem picked up and dialed. There was a long silence. It occurred to me that I didn't hear a dial tone. Hrm.
The computer was properly hitched up, so that was not the problem. But when I lifted the phone downstairs, there was no dial tone there, either. The phone was also connected to the jack properly. Upstairs, again no dial tone. A check of the NID outside revealed that there is a dial tone, so it is probably another inside problem. Drat.
Back inside, I hooked up the elderly cell phone which I almost never use and called the repair centre, again. When I finally got a real person on the line, he was sympathetic but could not get me a tech until sometime between 12 and 5 pm on 17 July. I was unhappy but refrained from snarling until he cheerfully told me I can also file these requests on the Verizon web site. That would be great, if I could get to the website.
This morning, with the aid of the elderly cell phone, I attempted to call Verizon about a change to our service, unrelated to the maintenance calls, which the Viking and I had been discussing for some time. Quite simple, really. I navigated the system, got to the point where I should have been able to reach a real person, and was told by the cheerful recorded voice, "Due to call volume, we are unable to answer your call at this time. Please call again later, or visit our web site ..."
I drove over to Maman's house. She generously let me use her phone and computer to check voicemail, email, etc. Maman has quite a new and zippy computer, very nice. I tried the Verizon web site, and just as I got to the point of being able to find out what I want to know, the computer froze. Twice.
Insert primal scream here. I'm not sure there are enough vowels in English to give a phonetic representation.
It's time to find a new local carrier. Ah, the little joys of deregulation.