20 October 2006

Now, about the wonders of the Verizon/MCI merger

The story so far: MCI is having to disconnect some DSL services via loss of contract with *someone* and it is *not* shifting over to Verizon. Thus, the phone call last week that MCI was shutting of my DSL service in *two weeks*.

I phoned them about this wonderful concept, and they asked if I had gotten an email on this previous to the phone call. I had NOT. As one alien said after asking Retief why, as a Groaci Ambassador, he did not have 5 eyes on stalks and only had 2 that were sunken into his head, and he replied 'Birth defect', this is what the alien said:

"Oh! So sorry!"

Now, with that bit of loverly work here are things I was NOT offered:

1) A roll-over to a Verizon DSL account. This, you would think, would be a *natural*. Plus do it at a lower price. Offer Fiber Optic to the premises or when it will be available. Lots of *natural* pathways there. ZERO of them were offered.

2) A rebate for disconnecting services without efficiently contacting me *first*. That, while un-natural, was something MCI *used* to do.

3) An apology.

So, facing a looming deadline I contacted my *previous* provider that had a somewhat higher cost but the BEST Customer Service I had ever encountered for a technical service provider: Speakeasy.

I had tried to get a better package from them some years ago when MCI offered a low cost integrated package, but they couldn't do so as I was not a Verizon customer and they could not configure the local loop without Verizon. Much venom at Verizon.

When I heard of the merger, I knew it would bode no good. I was correct. Things went more or less normally, with MCI having their normal, unscheduled, unplanned, unexplained service outages. But it was the cheapest and I only could quibble that the 95% uptime had the 5% downtime on WEEKENDS. Much vitriol both before and after the merger as they seemed to happen more frequently *after* it.

So, having contacted Speakeasy, which I had kept an email account with as I *knew* they were going to be a future provider after I moved, they took the 'CAN DO' attitude on getting me hooked up. I mean Verizon and MCI had *merged* so I shouldn't have the local loop lookup problem this time, right?


What cropped up is that Verizon and MCI do NOT share that information *between* them. Thus screwing over customers that had *trusted* MCI to do a half-way competent job when it was MCI. Luckily the install service ticket for Speakeasy is at one's account and can be checked online. And Covad has cropped up this very same issue *again* that I had when MCI first offered its package and Speakeasy could *not* get account information out of Verizon OR MCI.

Today those suckers are the SAME COMPANY. And I looked up the handy-dandy 24 hour technical service number for MCI and called them and asked if they could transfer my information to Verizon, being the same company and all. Could they?


Then I asked if they, this MCI portion of this clueless critter, *could* supply Covad with this information.

"Hold on a moment please."

A short wait.

"Yes, we can."

I asked if I could have a PHONE NUMBER to have Covad contact them.

"Sure its 1-800- *pauses* could you hold on while I make sure I can give out this number?"

Apparently I was asking the location of the Ark of the Covenant from a mere customer service rep that handled the federal database on warehouse registries. I assented.

*Deadly cheery musical interlude*

"Yes, I can. Here is the number..."

Which I withhold as the Ark is surely nearby this wonderful number where MCI actually can confirm a simple technical fact that *should* have been routinely handled by Verizon.

I had heard the horror stories of Verizon technical and customer support. You are a supplicant to a corporation if you task them with anything, and those corporate gods of inefficiency and incapacity reign supreme and must have sacrifices performed, by you, so that you can get what they offer. As I have run short of goats to sacrifice to the Altar of Verizon, they are losing me as a customer and I will pay *just a bit more* for being treated as an adult.

A competent adult.

Surely trust misplaced, but better to *start* there than the other way around.

Now if I could only find a USB WiFi device with Win 64 drivers, I could exploit my neighbor's open access point in comfort.


If I knew I was going to be around here longer, MCI aka the evil empire of Verizon, could kiss off and lose me as a customer forevermore. I would take to that mountainous terrain of freedom with small and dedicated providers and fight against this mighty array of forces that Verizon wields: The Army of Incompetence.

Its Legions are endless and evergrowing.

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