As you already read, I started my week without The Tubes. If you ever get the chance to do this while you are at home, I would almost recommend it. I was too busy otherwise to even notice and I was able to leech little bits of internet here and there to check email and upload an episode of THCS.
The reason my internet was turned off was for non-payment. No pay, no play. Totally understandable. It was the getting it turned back on that was difficult.
I’ve been a Verizon FIOS customer for almost 2 years now. I switched to them the day they were available in my neighborhood primarily because of the internet speed they offered. Back then, it was 15k down, 2k up. Cable was close, but not on the upload speed (which I need to Skype and other things). As it turns out, fiber makes everything better. TV is better, especially High Def. I get 1080p with full surround on the network channels, 1080i for on demand. Cable can’t touch that.
One thing that I didn’t know about FIOS is that the entire operation, while being part of the enormous Verizon Network, is run out of a run down rental trailer on an empty dirt lot somewhere on the East Coast. And they have a billing system that I can only describe as being on par with an overly complex system requiring multi-part forms and many #2 pencils.
So, non-payment and my service was disconnected. Was I notified in anyway? A little reminder perhaps via email or phone? A note in my mailbox? Nope, none of that. That’s fine, it’s their business and they can do with it want. The tricky part came when I tried to get service back.
First call lands in Everett, Washington where I get a very nice girl on the line that is very helpful in getting me the information I needed to get my account current and service resumed. Except once my account was turned off, it was removed from the system so I had to start a new account. Odd, but ok.
I then called the pay by phone service which is run by a third party, probably renting a cubicle in the offices on the east coast. I think I pressed every key on my phone twice to get a payment made only to find out that it would take 3 days to credit my account.
Payment made, confirmation number in hand, I call back to my girl in WA. She returned my call but I wasn’t available and she didn’t leave a message. Not a problem as I was busy that day too.
Next day I start with the phone calls in earnest. First to the billing department. Again I got a really nice person on the phone who was able to find the payment I made after about a hour of searching through the hand-written forms for the confirmation number. She then sent me to the order department.
For Verizon Phone.
The person there very politely transferred me to the correct department to get my order started again. She too was very nice and extremely helpful. Until I gave her my social, which popped up flagged, as it is supposed to do, since I flagged it after the last time the house was broken into. The person there was more robotic and had a bad connection, but I found out what they needed to verify that I was, in fact, myself after about 2 hours.
After it was verified I once again got to the order department. This time a great guy in Seattle was able to help me out. True geek this one was too, running a 50/50 connection at his house to support a WoW server (dual quad core processors, SLI video, liquid cooling). We hit it off right away and he hooked me up.
To avoid having to repeat the mess I have listed above, he was able to bundle my FIOS service with my cell phone. Besides getting me out of the nightmare that is the Verizon FIOS billing system and into the much more user friendly Verizon Wireless billing system, it also saved me $22 per month on my service. Sweet!
Bonus #2 is the speed bump I received. Bonus #3 will be the speed bump I will get in January to 50/50 for the same price that I am paying now, and I have the option of getting 100/100 if I want too. Sure it’s a bit spendy, but 100mb up and down is pretty dang fast.
Bonus #3 is that I again have interwebs at my house.
I must say that while the FIOS billing system is a true pile of crap, the people they have manning the phones were excellent. All of them were very understanding and apologetic for the ridiculous system for billing I had to deal with and they all did everything they could to make it as easy as possible. It was refreshing.
In case you missed it, this is why I have FIOS.
On the wire
Not too shabby. Not too shabby at all.