Verizon And The State

My parents were fighting with Verizon, trying to get them to fix our landline telephone service.   It wasn’t working for more than a month.

My parents decided to complain to the local politician, state Senator Marty Golden.  (I met him once on the subway.  He seemed decent and intelligent.  He has the “abused productive” personality type.  Not every politician is evil.  If that were true, then the State couldn’t accomplish anything at all.  Of course, Marty Golden is probably easily manipulated by evil lobbyists.)

I thought it would be a stupid waste of time, to complain to the politician.  I was wrong.

My parents spoke with Marty Golden’s secretary, and not him.  She said that there were a lot of complaints against Verizon lately.

Politicians have a special “Verizon hotline”.  If a constituent files a complaint against Verizon, there’s a special phone # to call, and then the support ticket is given priority.

A special repair agent was dispatched, to fix my parents’ phone.  My mother said that the repair guy looked intelligent and nerdy, rather than the typical clueless unionized worker.  The phone works now.

What a clever scam!  Now, the politician looks like the hero, because he fixed my parents’ problem.  Verizon also had an out.  A severely disgruntled customer got their problem fixed, rather than taking other action.  If a customer is angry enough to complain to a politician, they probably have a legitimate complaint.  Most reasonable people would complain to the politician, before trying other things.

The State gets credit for fixing my parents’ problem.  The State caused the problem, by giving Verizon a monopoly, but my parents don’t understand that.  All they know is that they complained to the politician, and their problem was fixed.  Hooray for the State!

Notice all the clever fnords at work here.  The politician is the hero, fixing my parents’ problem.  The State caused the problem by giving Verizon a monopoly, but the State gets credit for fixing the problem.  Also, Verizon has a way to identify really disgruntled customers.  If you’re angry and aware enough to complain to your local politician, then you probably have a valid complaint and you’re articulate enough to be taken seriously.

That’s a very clever scam.  Verizon gives politicians a special support hotline.  Then, when a constituent complains about Verizon, the politician gets credit for fixing the problem, and Verizon handles a severely disgruntled customer.


According to Verizon’s website, I finally got credit for my new Android phone rebate.  It was a credit for mailing in my old phone.  They made me jump through all sorts of hoops to get the rebate.  I’m very angry at Verizon.

On the rebate website, they have a “check rebate status” option.

I had 2 phones upgraded.  I was always checking the same one.  The phone I was checking said “We received your phone.”  For the one I didn’t check, they didn’t say they got it.

That seems odd.  I mailed both phones at the same time.

I wonder if Verizon configured their computers to say “If the person clicks on ‘check update status’ more than 5 times, then give them the rebate.”?!  I clicked on check status a bunch of times on the second phone, and then the other phone showed up as delivered!  That would be an amusing incompetence hack.  Don’t keep track of when the phone arrives.  Just keep track of how often the user checks their status!

One Response to Verizon And The State

  1. This is really interesting about the politician. I had a huge problem with Sprint screwing things up many years ago and was totally getting the run around. Finally they went one step too far and triggered my thermonuclear detonation switch, which is a state i very rarely can be provoked into where I drop absolutely everything I am doing and focus all my efforts on destroying the other party that has wronged me. Normally I am an easy going guy, but once I get to this point it is all over. I had tons of documentation, organized in extremely well, and it got copied and went to three state attorney generals, both federal US senators in each of my state and Sprint’s headquarters in Kansas, US representatives, better business bureaus, and state senators and representatives in my state and in kansas. Of all of them, my own state representative and senator seem to have had the most free time and nothing better to do to devote to reading my material and a massive shitstorm ensued. At one point there was a phone call from the CEO of Sprint on my answering machine personally apologizing.

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