Compare and contrast, plus a heads up

It is astonishing the difference in customer service between Verizon and DirecTV.  Lately we have been the victims of all sorts of technology failures: we have poor cell reception in our house; the DirecTV connection in our living room stopped working;  my primary desktop PC is dying a slow death;  and of course our Internet connection has been both slow and intermittent.  The tech that came by yesterday was able to diagnose what was wrong with the DirecTV connection in our living room pretty quickly based on what I told him about the differences in signal strength between the two boxes.  Imagine that.  He actually listened to what I was saying.  So he quickly found and fixed the problem (the jack in the wall had gone bad) and now we (meaning Kelly especially) can watch TV in the living room again.

Of course, the Internet connectivity problem continues to plague us.

I cannot help but feel like the problem with our connection is affecting our job searches, because we can’t get on the internet to look for work if we can’t connect.  It also means that e-mails are getting delayed.  I am currently trying to see if I still have my old cable modem, but I don’t think I do.  We can also buy a new one for pretty cheap at MicroCenter, but obviously the less money we have to spend the better.   In the event that we decide to change Internet Service providers, my old Verizon e-mail will no longer be valid, obviously.  So if we do indeed switch (which is highly likely at this point), I will post a replacement e-mail as soon as I can. I will probably try to come up with one that will stay the same no matter who our ISP is.

One thing that has really surprised me is how little Verizon cares about solving our problem.  I have begged and pleaded for someone to figure out what the problem is, or alternatively to find out when we could try FIOS instead.  Although some individual employees have done very well in helping us, as an institution Verizon has done very poorly.  Their techs do not seem to go over past history very much when trying to solve our problem.  There seems to be a problem on their end, and I cannot for the life of me convince them that is the case.

For example (computer tech language to follow – you have been warned):

While on the phone at one point with a tech I pointed out that while the DSL modem had solid green lights for both the DSL and the Internet connections, we could not pull up any web page I tried.  Then I pulled up the command window and started pinging different addresses.  Each ping sends out four packets, so four are supposed to come back.  In no case did all four come back.  Sometimes it was just one or two, and sometimes (such as when I tried to ping I got zero packets back, even after FOUR separate tries.  So 0 for 16, in other words.  Finally the guy said he would turn our case over to one of their network techs and that they would call us back within 24 to 48 hours.  After 48 hours with no contact I called them back, only to find out our case had been closed, without contacting us or resolving our issue.  Thanks, guys.  Needless to say I was a bit upset.  So it isn’t just one thing, it’s the way all of this has been handled.  I could tell some of the techs felt a bit frustrated, perhaps because they have their own constraints on what they are allowed to do to help us, or maybe because our problem was turning out to be a headache.  Well, picture it from our end, people.  Try to imagine OUR frustration to be paying you for Internet service that we are getting only 1/3 to 1/2 of the time, and then being treated as if we are inconveniencing you rather than the reverse.


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