customer service as a curse word.

UPDATE: A few hours after contacting Verizon I did notice a service improvement and soon thereafter the problem was eliminated.

verizon fiosWhen I first heard about FiOS coming to town, I got excited, when my friend across town got FiOS I got jealous. So it was with an aggressive and sometimes zealous passion that I followed Verizon’s installation online. Eventually a couple months ago the introduction of the technology began, and just recently was completed.

I even was so aggressive we became the first to get FiOS in this area and immediately I was wowed, the color on HD channels appeared more vivid and lifelike than on our previous providers system, and the connection speed was out of this world. Sure we had snags, like missing certain channels and an annoying habit of Verizon capturing our malformed url’s and sending us to a search page to serve us advertising, but it was things we could overlook.

I expected future problems, anything you use everyday will break down at some point, and today it did rather spectacularly and rather than help, Verizon’s tech support only exasperated the problem. The problems, a new channel listing, lack of easy ordering of new channels, seem minor yet annoying but the worst problem out of all three has to be the problems we are now encountering when attempting to connect to any Yahoo property.

Now you might catch yourself saying, so what they intro’d a new channel listing, go print the new one and you’re fine. I attempted to, only to find the listing offered was the old one, hours later the current listing became available but not in an easily printed version. Seeing as they fixed this in a couple hours it was a failure you could live with. The problems with ordering current tv, however are a seperate level of annoyance altogether.

First off if you don’t watch current, I recommend it highly, with that said let me reveal some details. FiOS just added current with the new channel line up, and since we had been missing the channel we immediately wanted to view it. This turned out to not be possible since it turned out we had to order it from Verizon, however they offered two ways to do just this, on the phone or by the web. I chose the web path (naturally), and to spare you some boring details, the online path ended at the same phone number I had first encountered. This was when I started to become angry.

The following day was when I started to question if getting FiOS was a good thing, say what you will about cable internet at least it isn’t blocking access to extremely popular websites like flickr, delicious, and yahoo itself, in fact the entire Yahoo network is inaccessible as of this writing. I checked every connection and computer available to me, I checked with friends and no one had the error, that is until I checked with others who had FiOS, and it turns out all of them had the error.

I didn’t want to brave the torment of a long phone wait time so I trudged into the online FiOS support, and once again to spare you boring details, let’s just say I ended up at the same phone number once again. Apparently at FiOS, customer service is a four letter word.

I figure this problem will be gone shortly however it has opened my eyes, I know very few companies fully support customer service and even fewer take it seriously but Verizon has a lot to learn from companies who have either taken innovative or positive actions in the field. In the past, companies like pownce and apple have left me very pleased with their level of support, so far Verizon has not.

Don’t let my experience turn you off of FiOS, it is in fact a phenomenal service, just right now it’s phenomenally underwhelming.

links for 2008-10-16

take on me, the literal version

Normally things like this would just go on my tumblog, since it’s rather pointless and a one off thing but it’s too fun to not share here. So here’s the literal version of A-Ha’s “Take on Me”, redid by the fine folks over at current‘s supernews (if you haven’t watched it you totally should). Also if you haven’t watched current you should, it’s the one thing I miss about time warner cable, and the only thing I hate about FiOS.

Also as an aside, current, I couldn’t tweak your player into standards compliancy. Fix that please? (or educate me on how to get it?)

links for 2008-10-07