What’s Hot/What’s Not: 05/15/11

What’s Hot:

Savannah Guthrie – Guthrie is headed to the Today Show.

Mike Huckabee – Everyone wanted to know what Huck would do in 2012…

What’s Not:

Mike Huckabee – And as usual for these sort of hype driven things, the payoff didn’t come close to matching the build up. Worse, there was Donald Trump at the end.

Olbermann vs. Schultz – It used to be that O’Reilly wouldn’t mention his MSNBC antagonist by name. Now apparently Olbermann isn’t mentioning Ed Schultz by name. Olbermann put out a special comment defending Michael Moore and attacking Ed Schultz after Schultz took a few shots at Moore over his Bin Laden commentary.

To S-Bomb or not to S-Bomb? That is the question! – Martin Bashir deliberately dropped an S-Bomb on the air when he read from an internal Goldman Sachs email. It caught me off guard. Heck, it seemed to catch Bashir’s guest Matt Taibbi off gaurd. Most anchors normally self-censor themselves because you just aren’t supposed to talk like that on the air and are civilized enough to come up with an appropriate euphemism that will get the point across. But I guess in Bashir’s mind it’s ok to drop an S-Bomb if it’s a quote. Some may feel differently though. I just can’t see Brian Williams doing that on Nightly, can you?

Verizon Wireless – Oh yeah…it’s coming here too. I’m not going to just inflict my misery upon my Twitter followers…blog readers will get it too. To recap for the uninitiated:

1. I won a Motorola Xoom. The Xoom has Wi-Fi capability but to really make use of it you need an over the air continuous wireless connection. Therefore I went down to Verizon to sign up for a low end data contract. This Xoom is only designed to work with Verizon (there are European versions which aren’t carrier locked). Verizon got me up and running really quick and my Xoom works just peachy thank you.

2. I wanted to set up online bill paying via my credit card. That means I needed an online account, called a My Verizon account. And here’s where the trouble all begins.

3. When I was at the Verizon store, I was told I would be emailed all the info needed to set up my online account. Well three emails came in and none really told me what I needed to know.

4. I call Verizon and tell them my story. The service rep says I need a temporary password and they’ll email me one.

5. Nothing comes.

6. Two days later I call Verizon again. I explain the situation and how I never got a temporary password. The support rep does some digging and comes back and tells me…that it was sent to my Verizon phone number. Just one problem…I don’t have a Verizon phone number. Oh sure…one is assigned to my Xoom for account reference purposes but the Xoom can’t make or receive calls and therefore can’t receive SMS messages that contain temporary passwords. I ask to have the temp password emailed to me. But the rep says they can’t do that. The only thing they can do is send it out via snail mail. You read that right. In the 21st century Verizon Wireless has to resort to snail mail instead of email.

7. Five days later, the snail mail arrives with the temporary password. Only it doesn’t work. I try three times. I end up locking myself out. There’s a nice little message that comes up on the web page saying, “You’re locked out. You need to request a new temporary password which will be sent via text message to your phone” Great. Been there, done that, got nowhere.

8. I call Verizon again. They delete the account so I can try and re-register on the site. I get quite a ways into the registration process right up until I get to the point where the web page says a temp password will be sent via text message to my phone.

9. For the next hour I get bounced around to various departments and various customer service/tech support representatives make attempts at fixing this problem. At one point I’m on hold and listening to all these ads being broadcast through the phone while I wait and one of the ads is for…get this…the upcoming iPhone 4 launch in February. Yup…three months later and Verizon hasn’t cleaned up it’s out of date ads. HA! Meanwhile all the tech support ultimately fail at a solution…they don’t have the ability to add/modify a password on my account.

10. The last representative says that the only solution is to send me another temp password via snail mail. Wonderful.

11. The next day another snail mail letter arrives from Verizon containing a temporary password. No way it could have been from the day before. But now I get what happened the day before. I was using the wrong temporary password. The one that arrived second was the one that was good. But I had no idea two were on the way.

12. So now I wait for the next snail mail password to show up. But even after it shows up, I’m still going to have to wait just to make sure any more don’t show up after it (which would cause a repeat of what happened with the “bad” password before).

I’m just laying this all out because Verizon Wireless sucks. Their networks may be ok. Their hardware may work. But they have created an interal system which is incapable of properly handling support issues for products that aren’t phones. I wish I had the power of a Jeff Jarvis, who was able to publicly humiliate Dell Computer into submission, but alas I do not have that kind of power. But it still feels good just to write about this idiotic setup Verizon has and the clueless support reps that work there and how nobody told me all this was going to happen when I originally bought my data plan. That’s just crappy customer service all around. End of rant. For now.

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14 Responses to “What’s Hot/What’s Not: 05/15/11”

  1. I’m thinking that Brian Williams, had he experienced something similar getting his Motorola Xoom working, might very well drop an S-bomb about Verizon Wireless on Nightly.

    Your only hope is to somehow get Ted Nugent on board. He’ll either write a song called “Verizon Sucks” or he’ll threaten their towers with M-80s strapped to arrows launched from his Bear Archery bow.

  2. missy5537 Says:

    Spud, maybe you should have “Susie” help you with your Verizon issues.

    When the little boy asks “is she expecting you?”, we’ll tell him, YES!

  3. laura l Says:

    Hey, Susie wouldn’t be letting this sh|t happen.

  4. Verizon Wireless has a ‘Contact Us’ thingy on their website and I submitted a link to Spud’s Verizon Sucks post.

    Maybe Susie will read it… since they got rid of What’s-His-Name, they prolly can’t hear you now.

    Sung to the tune of I Dream Of Jeannie: “Ver-I-Zon, it bites the big one”

  5. So maybe I should rethink getting an iPhone from Verizon…

    Yes, they suck, but my family gets a big discount on our plan. A friend of mine has a touch screen phone from Verizon, but the touch screen stopped working. They told him to take a hike when he tried to get a replacement. So much for customer service.

    Someday computers will surpass humans and take over customer service. They will be really great at it too, until they launch all the nuclear weapons to eradicate humanity like in Terminator.

    As for Savannah Guthrie, I think she’s a bad choice for Today. Someone like Contessa Brewer would have been better. Guthrie is good at the Washington stuff, but I don’t think she’s cut out for the morning fluff crap.

  6. joeremi Says:

    I set up a Verizon internet account at my job, and was rewarded with a truly awful email account. They suck verily muchly.

  7. My Verizon Droid quit working just like R2D2 did after getting zapped. Had a new replacement from a Verizon store at no cost a half hour later. With that 22% corporate discount and with my baker’s dozen of kids using the Verizon-to-Verizon feature, I’d be dumb to change to another carrier.

    Verizon still sucks, just less so than does AT&T.

  8. Um…who or what is “Susie”?

  9. joeremi Says:

    Um…who or what is “Susie”?

    Dude, do you watch cable news? She’s a little girl in a Verizon commercial that runs constantly on FNC and MSNBC.

  10. Wait…you expect me to watch commercials?

  11. Maybe if they had Soccer players as celebrity drivers in a NASCAR race, and they ran the Susie ads there, Spud might’ve caught ’em.

  12. Microsoft tech support isn’t any better. I installed Windows 7 64-bit Service Pack 1 in late February on a like new Dell computer I’d bought on eBay a few weeks earlier. It ruined my computer and I had to buy a new one…direct from Dell. I’ll only buy brand new computers in the future.
    My favorite part of that Verizon ad is the boy that asks Susie’s dad “is she expecting you?” and stares at him with his arms crossed and lips puckered like a hot-shot receptionist. If only I could have Susie’s luck in business.

  13. It ruined my computer and I had to buy a new one…direct from Dell.

    That’s impossible. Operating systems can’t “ruin” a computer. They can make the computer unusable…BUT…there’s a simple solution…reinstall the OS.

  14. missy5537 Says:

    “Reinstall the OS”? For me, that would mean getting a new computer! But I guess you’re a systems guy, Spud.

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