Wednesday, May 10, 2006

&$^@#!?*% Verizon!!!!

The last few weeks have been what we in the blogging industry refer to as Action Packed™. In addition to my nephew's astounding recovery (he's doing swell, by the way), I turned 39 goddamn years old and celebrated Easter (when Moses saved the Hebrew people from the ghost of Jesus by pelting him with eggs). Along the way, some yahoo backed into my parked car, so I spent nearly a week driving around in a rented Pimpmobile™ while mine was being fixed. And I took Stephanie to Vegas for our first official Romantic Weekend Getaway™.

So why haven't I been posting? Why must I continue to shut out the people who care about me, at least in a virtual, online sense? How dare I deprive my five or six faithful readers of the vicarious thrill that IS being Chris Irby?

Well, I swear I was all full of great intentions last week when I got back from Vegas. I couldn't wait to log in and start subjecting you to my inane blogations. I was reinvigorated! Reenergized! Restored! Republican! Revived! Relaxed! Ready!

Unfortunately, I had no internet connection.

My DSL modem is an ancient model Fujitsu, constructed some time during the Taft administration. It has three lights on it... Power, Modem, and Data. It has no on/off switch, so the only way to reset it is to unplug the power cord. I did this a couple of times before the modem went out all together. I couldn't even get the Power light to come on.

No biggy, I thought. I had some Best Buy gift cards that I'd gotten for my birthday, so I figured I'd run out and pick up a new DSL modem. Simple, right?

Well, apparently DSL modems have become more scarce than literacy in the Bush family. The only one I was able to find was a Siemens model, but I figured it had to be an improvement. After all, it had more lights. Plus, a power switch! So I brought it home and hooked it up. It lit up all nice and shiny.

Unfortunately, I was still having the original connection issues. So I did something I had prayed I'd never have to do again. I called Verizon Customer Service.

You see, about four years ago, Verizon screwed up and assigned my phone number to someone else. My friends and family kept trying to call me, and were confused because a Spanish-speaking woman kept answering. So I called Verizon Customer Support and explained the situation. At first, they tried to convince me that it was all a technical error. One guy told me that lightning had hit a transformer, and another told me (I swear I'm not making this up) that some squirrels had gotten into the lines. After a week or so, they FINALLY got my phone number assigned back to my line.

Only then, my DSL quit working.

So once again, I called Verizon Customer Service and told them that they had messed up my DSL while fixing my phone. They told me that was a DSL issue, so I'd have to call Verizon DSL Support. I called Verizon DSL Support and once again explained the issue. They told me that it was obviously something the phone guys had done, so I needed to call them. And so on. And so on.

For nearly a week, I got batted back and forth between the two groups. Finally, I managed to get a lady from the phone side and a lady from the DSL side on the line together and let them battle it out. They agreed to send a DSL tech out to look at it. He showed up the next day, and had me up and running within 5 minutes.

(Incidentally, for the next two months I continued to receive phone calls at 3:00 in the morning from people speaking Spanish, looking for the woman who had been given my number. I finally started unplugging my phone before I went to bed.)

So anyway, I hope you can understand why I was dreading yet another run-in with Verizon Customer Service.

I called the DSL Tech Support line, and while I was on hold, the recorded message helpfully provided me with a website where I could go to troubleshoot my connection issues. Wow. It must have been really difficult for NASA when all of their rocket scientists left to go to work for Verizon. But I digress...

I went from DSL Tech Support to DSL Customer Support to DSL Billing before I finally got any help. I was told that my old modem was out of warranty, and my new modem wasn't supported by Verizon. So basically, I had to order yet another modem from them and wait 3-5 business days while they shipped it.

The new modem arrived yesterday, and I hooked it up. And guess what! The original connection issues!

Once again, I called DSL Tech Support and explained the problem. Once they were sure I was using one of THEIR modems, they offered to run some tests on my line. And within seconds, the problem was solved.

So anyway, I'm back. Missed you. Love you. Mean it.