Sunday, April 05, 2009

Over the Verizon lies a beautiful day...

posted by 911 @ 9:13 PM 0 comments

My Verizon telephone keeps calling 911 without me touching it. The 911 center called me yesterday (March 6) saying they had received a 'hang-up' call from my number. Some one had called them and hung up without saying anything. I told them I never made any such call. They didn't seem to believe me, and wanted to send police to make sure everything was all right.

There was a lot of static on the line, and I asked if they heard it too. They said yes. I said that there must be some problem with my phone, and I really didn't call them. They told me to report it to the phone company, and I agreed.

When I tried to call Verizon, I discovered there was no dial-tone, just static. So I signed onto Verizon with the internet. I found 867 places to buy or add new services, but only 1 to report request repairs. When I got to that page, it demanded that I sign in, which I already had done. When I tried again with the same name and password which I had just used (and also use to pay the bill every month) it said the name and/or password was invalid. No way around it, to report a problem you have to sign in, even if you are already signed in.

I finally found a page for problems with bill-paying that would let me type into the box without double signing in. I wrote them I would have a big problem paying the next bill if they didn't fix my phone. I asked them to contact their repair dept. for me, because I couldn't find a way to do it myself. --- (No reply ever came back, not even an automated one.)

An hour later, I picked up the phone, and found a weak, scratchy, static-laden dial tone and pushed the operator button. I got the robot, not the operator. The robot only asked about ninety questions that I could say 'yes' or 'no' to, before it figured out that I had some sort of problem, and it wasn't bill-payment, adding features to my service, or locating E.T.'s home number. It asked if I would like it to test my line, and I said 'yes' and it put me on hold. A couple of minutes later it told me that it could not find any problems on my line. I kept screaming "Operator" - "Representative" - "Human being", and a few other phrases that I won't admit to here.

I finally got a woman with an accent who listened sympathetically, but didn't seem surprised that my phone called 911, and didn't seem to care that the cops might descend on me as a result. She said she would test my line again if I hung up and called back in 5 minutes. I suggested that after the test, she should call me back, if she could, or get someone here to fix things if she couldn't.

It seems that was impossible, because (1) the Verizon telephone repair department could not make outgoing calls, and (2) nobody could be sent without an appointment, and (3) She had to run the line-test before she could make an appointment, and (4) she couldn't test the line while I was on the phone. I told her that the robot had done it, but she didn't care. I told her I might not be able to call back, but she didn't care. I asked who I should ask for if I was able to call back, and she said I was in the computer, and anyone in the department would do. So I hung up and nuked supper.

When I tried to call back there was no dial tone, of course. I noticed a LED on the phone kept blinking on and off every few seconds. When it is on, it means the line is in use, and when off, the line is available. I waited until it went off and grabbed the receiver off the hook, and got a dial tone. I called the repair dept directly instead of the operator robot. The operator robot has a twin tin sister. So every time she asked a question, I mumbled "buffalofart". She had trouble understanding that and gave up, and connected me to a guy with a different accent, who had never heard of me , and seemed put out that he had to look me up in the computer. I could have told him the whole story quicker, but process is process, and he had to find out the results of the test, which did indicate a problem on the line. He wanted me to take my phone out-doors and plug it into treminal where the phone-line came into the house. This would determine whether the problem is in my house or their network. I told him I charge $125 for the first hour or portion thereof to do trouble shooting for the phone company. I asked if it would save them that much to have me do it instead of the repairman. He wasn't sure. I told him I didn't care whether it was in my house or his network, because I was paying $5.99 per month (up from $2.99 in 2000, $3.99 in 2004, $4.99 in 2006) for inside wire maintenance so any problem anywhere was his business, not mine. He said he would send someone Monday. I suggested after 3 PM. He could only make appointments between 8AM and Noon or 1PM and 5PM. I noted that 3PM was between 1PM and 5PM and said all he had to do was write the number 3 on the order. He said 'did I want the 1-5 appointment or not?' I said can you write on the order to make it the last appointment of the day? He grumbled that he could maybe to that, but the truck guy might just ignore it. I asked if the truck-guy had a boss I could talk to. It seemed I was talking to him. I asked why he let truck-guys ignore written orders. He said they had a union.

I asked if he could maybe send that big herd of smiling people I see on Verizon television ads 6 times a day. They always seen to be just standing around in parking lot looking friendly and competent.

He didn't answer me. So now some union thug will show up here tomorrow hopefully after noon and will fix something. wherever it is.

I wasn't going to say anything about any of this, but the phone just rang, and through the static I heard someone saying they were from 911 and they had just gotten a hang-up call from my number. I talked them out of sending cops again.

If it happens again when I am asleep, they can deal with my answering machine.

Monday, March 9
It's still at it.

About 9:00 am, a cop rang my doorbell and woke me up. It seems that the phone did it again today. That's 3 calls in 3 days to 911. I am waiting for the union thug to show up to fix it as we speak. One of my neighbors saw the cop car at my house, and called me to see if I needed any help. I was already back in bed and asleep again, so he left the message on my answering machine. I called him back when I got up at noon (to start waiting for the union thug) and left the explanation on his answering machine, because he was either out shopping or taking a nap.

I certainly will check my bill this month because I have no idea who else the paranoid phone might have been calling. After the union thug fixes it, I will call 911 and tell them that if they get any more calls from me, I will probably really need help, so they shouldn't hold Verizon's phantasmic phone against me in the future.

posted by 911 @ 9:16 PM 0 comments

The union thug got here about 4:00PM, but I didn't know it, because he never came to my door. I saw a flashing yellow light across the street behind the 90 foot tall Blue Spruce in my front yard. I can't see through the tree, so I went out to see what he was up to, but he wasn't there. He was in back of my house tweaking wires and reading meters and listening for beeps and whatnot. He turned out to be a middle-aged guy with grey hair, and didn't seem very thuggish.

Eventually, he discovered a place under the siding where the wire looked a little "iffy' (his term, not mine). It led to what was my daughter's old bedroom upstairs (with a phone I never use). So he replaced about 30 feet of wire, and declared the problem solved.

He said if it wasn't I should call again. I assured him I would.

End of story -- or maybe only the middle.
posted by 911 @ 9:20 PM 0 comments

March 18. Got my phone bill today. The bill claims I made $3 worth of directory service calls, 6 long-distance calls to other nearby counties, and 12 local calls, only 2 of which I remember making.

I spent about an hour arguing with robots, the first of which hooked me up with a cell-phone department that didn't know anything about wired service. I called back and got a robot that wanted to sell me cell-phone service, or call-waiting and/or every other thing I hate about telephones.

I finally got a human woman (with an accent) who told me that she could only order repairs, and to get my bill corrected I needed about 10 minutes on hold to talk to a guy that could only remove the disputed calls from my bill, but could not give me credit for the days my phone was out of service. I needed another 10 minutes on hold to get to a woman in another department that said they could only credit me with the time between I reported a problem and the union thug fixed it. I argued that while the phone was making all those directory service and long distance calls I didn't know it was out of order, so I couldn't report that, but I should get credit for the dates the calls were made. (The directory service and whoever was on the other end of the long-distance calls never sent cops to my house like the 911 calls did.) She didn't care about that, she only could give me an out-of service rebate for the 3 days it took them to get the union thug to my house. She also couldn't give me a rebate on the Al Gore tax added to my bill, and suggested I call Al directly about that.

The last thing person on earth I want to talk to is Algore, so I gave up.

So if my phone called any of you and hung up, I didn't do it, and Al Gore is probably responsible, I just can't prove it.

The CIA and FBI could probably prove it, but they wont admit it, and my phone probably never called either of them anyways. If it did, they wont admit that, either.
Mon Mar 30, 2009
6:15 AM: -- Blissfully wrapped in the sweet sleep of the innocent....




Looked out the bedroom window.
In my driveway were Cops! Flashing lights! Uniforms.
It seems my phone started calling 911...

Cop said I should report it to Verizon.
I said OK.
Grogged my way down to the phone.
Convinced the 20-question robot that it couldn't handle my call.

Got the boss of the union thugs. - Complained it was supposed to be fixed 2 weeks ago, and it wasn't.
Boss said he would send another thug.
I said please send the thug after 1 PM, 'cuz I really wasn't done sleeping yet.
Boss said OK - Thug would arrive sometime between 1 and 5 PM.

---Back to bed.
Started to doze off...

7:55 AM:

Looked out the bedroom window.
Verizon truck in my driveway with flashing lights.
A Female Thug arrived a little early.

ladder rattling.
-----time passed.
Yammering noises outside.
Looked out, and discovered 2 more Verizon trucks with flashing lights.
Loud talking - some laughing and giggling.
-----more time passed.
More thumping and roof stomping.
Loud rasping as 100 feet of heavy cable slid off my roof.

Eventual quiet.

Phone rang, and female thug said she was testing to see if it rang, and since it did, everything was fixed.

I asked if she was sure, 'cuz that's what the first thug told me a couple of weeks ago..

She said the wire was crimped by a tree branch, and she couldn't find anything else wrong.

Now I'm groggy from lack of sleep, my eyes ache, and I am really looking forward to calling 4 different Verizon departments to get all the calls I didn't make canceled.

But that will be next month.

But last night, the Time-Warner cable connection started to act up --- again


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