Depends on what you call a call

My Comcast digital phone service has been out off and on for about a month now. By "off and on" I mean that it's usually out of service when I need to use it, but works fine on the days when I could call from work to complain about it.

Friday night: no dial tone. Monday morning: dial tone.

This morning, however, there was no dial tone, so I called Comcast when I got into work.

And got the customer service rep from hell.

First off, he kept repeating everything I said, but in an accusatory/hostile tone.

For example, I said I'd been having problems with my phone since the beginning of November, and then he said that his records show there was a service ticket opened on November 5th. But he didn't say it like: "Oh, I see, you are right." He said it like: "What the hell are you talking about, the beginning of November? My records show it was November fifth, you moron.

And then I told him that I tried unplugging my phones and plugging them in again but that it hadn't worked. And he said, "Well, you should try unplugging your phones and plugging them back in again." And I said, "I just said that I did that." And he said, "Well you can't just unplug them and plug them back in again, you know?"

And it went on and on like that, only with lots more annoying details. At one point I asked to speak to a supervisor and he told me "no."

Then, because I was so pissed off, I decide to switch my phone service back to Verizon. I went online to check the rates and the packages and the calling areas and then I called them.

And got the customer service rep from hell's bitchy mother-in-law.

This one argued with everything I said. She actually argued with me about the meaning of the word "call."

Do you think I'm kidding?

First I told her that I want the Verizon Local Package with the 5 cent regional and long-distance package. And she tells me that the regional calling plan won't allow me to make calls outside of the town I live in and a handful of ones nearby. And I say I'm sorry but I have no idea what you are talking about.

So she quotes a fee structure of one cent to connect and one-and-a-half cents a minute. I've been online, so I know that she's describing the flat rate plan and I say no, I don't want the flat rate plan, I want the Verizon Local Package calling plan. And then she says that, no, I wanted the flat rate plan. And I say that no, I want the next one up, the Verizon Local Package calling plan. And do you know what she says? SHE TELLS ME THAT THE TWO PLANS ARE THE SAME.

So, I ask, why is the Verizon Local Package more expensive than the flat rate plan? And she says that's because it comes with extra features. There was more, but to be honest I'm getting annoyed again, so I'm going to skip ahead to the part where she tells me that with the flat rate plan (which, by the way, we have already established that I DO NOT WANT) I cannot call certain areas. And I say, "Surely you don't mean I *can't* call them? But that there would be an extra charge to call them? Because it would be a regional toll call?"

And, get this, she tells me I am wrong.

And I say, "So, what are you saying? That if I have Verizon phone service there are areas that I won't be able to call? That the call physically won't go through?"

This is where she tells me it depends on what my definition of "call" is.

"Oh," she says, "I just meant you wouldn't be able to call them if you don't have Verizon as your regional phone service carrier."

"HUH?" I say. I'm calling to sign up for Verizon phone service. Why are you telling me that I won't be able to make phone calls if I don't have a service carrier?"

And she says: "Well, you know, some people choose not to have a service carrier at all. But they can't make calls outside of their calling area. At least not for free."

Seriously, people, do you have any IDEA what she's talking about at this point?

So I say, "Listen. The plan I want is called the Verizon Local Package. It costs $26.95 a month. On the web site, it says it allows me to call towns in my local calling area for no additional charge. It says that those towns include xxx, xxx, xxx, xxx, and xxx. I know this because I went online and entered my phone number and this is the information that came up on the web site. Please sign me up for that service."

"Well," she says. "The information on the Internet is wrong."

Yes. Of COURSE it is. How stupid of me.

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karenology said...

Ha ha, I love phone service reps. At least you got to talk to a human (however cross and stupid). I always have to shout at the automated voice that never understands what I am saying for twenty minutes before I get anywhere with SBC.

Mr. Fun said...

But, but...everything on the Internet is true.