Here's the worst Verizon DSL service horror story you will EVER read

Here's the worst Verizon DSL service horror story you will EVER read

Summary:  David Strom is one of those relatively rare, prominent tech journalists who has the scientific credentials to further inform his work. Not only does David hold an M.

TOPICS: Verizon


David Strom is one of those relatively rare, prominent tech journalists who has the scientific credentials to further inform his work. Not only does David hold an M.S. in Operations Research from Stanford, he's written about networking and related technologies for 20 years. Among his many credits, he started Network Computing magazine, and until early this year, was the top editor at Tom's Hardware Guide.

So when it comes to telecom service sand traps, you don't find David there too often.

Knowing David and his CV made me give one of his newly posted Web Informant blog articles an extra read. The piece, entitled Which has worse customer service, Adelphia or Verizon?, reads like the customer service chamber of horrors that it sounds like.

After noting that he wanted to switch from Adelphia's cable Internet service because it lacked a "decent Internet dial tone," David then describes the hassles he encountered getting set up with Verizon's DSL service.

I'll highlight the low points. David:

Places an order for Verizon voice and DSL service from the Verizon website. 

Noting the service would be for an older apartment building with funky wiring, he asks for a tech to come out and oversee the installation process. "I needed that tech to come visit with his tone set and get things connected from the wiring closet downstairs," David writes.

Gets an order-confirmation email from Verizon, noting they would come out the next day.

Reads through the order, but doesn't see his new phone number.

Receives an order confirmation the next day via UPS, with his new phone number indicated in the documentation.

Attempts to sign on, gets "our records indicate the account you entered is no longer in service."

Calls the business office and asks for an on-site technician again. Two days pass, no techie comes.

Calls Verizon tech support, who dispatches a tech the same day.

Tech gets a dialtone for regular service, but the DSL part of the order is held up.

Goes online, and gets a notification that "due to a system malfunction," your order is not yet complete.

While the tech is installing the regular dialtone, David speaks to someone at Verizon tech support and is told that he (David) will have to go thru the whole DSL order service again. "Incredible! Do they want my business," David writes.

Goes back on line, but now the Verizon web site indicates his DSL is already a feature on his voice line and he can't reorder it again. 

Tells his techie this, who then implies that the Verizon DSL folks are a bunch of losers.

Fed up, David orders DSL from Earthlink.

"And the funny thing is, when I go to Verizon’s Web site and key in this number, I still get the 'account is no longer in service' message," David writes.

"Maybe one of these days Verizon will finally figure out how to really use this new-fangled Web-thingie."

Classic case of Verizon's Web-based customer service having a house full of ghosts in the machine, don'tcha think? 

Or more inelegantly put, Verizon, here's a piece of advice for you that starts with the letters, "Fu."


Topic: Verizon

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  • Channeling John Carroll

    I'm sure that if Verizon didn't have to share the DSL with Earthlink, their service would be much better.

    Or maybe he should have gone with cable -- wait, that won't work.

    How about satellite?
    Yagotta B. Kidding
  • Verizon's not the only one

    Actually this 'horror' story pales by comparison with my experience with SBC (now AT&T). (Sidenote: Little known fact is that SBC in truth stands for 'Slow Broadband Connection'). I'm not going to delve into the seamy details of my horror story - suffice it to say that SBC was the only DSL game in town at the time, and there was no cable service. Their service has been, and continues to be, absolutely pathetic.

    But this seems par for the course these days with customer service in the USA. Whether its Dell, Sears, Home Depot, Costco, FedEx, or any number of small local retailers, customer service has really taken a nose dive. So this story with Verizon is just another typical story of today's service to the consumer.

    So... doesn't life suck? Actually, no. Life here is pretty good given the alternatives. We've become pretty spoiled when we can sit around grousing about poor service for our plethora of blessings.
  • Complaints

    Look people

    just because 1 or 2 people screw up people have to get all bent over with the whole company

    there is a reason why verizon is a billion dollar company

    theres stories like this with all the companies
    you just don't hear them all the time

    granted this was a screwy time
    but don't let the whole company take the fall for a few bad apples

    their a very good company and its hard these days to find good quality help
    that's not their fault, its the fault of the technician
    • Verizon "NON-Service"

      This is not a complaint of only 1 or 2 screw ups. I have had my own "horror" story with Verizon and have heard of many others. Until my horror began I sung the praises of Verizon DSL, but no more.

      I have a friend that is a local manager for Verizon, and even he could not get a technician scheduled without going through the rigors of Verizon's INDIA based customer service for more than one and a half hours!

      The reason Verizon is a billion dollar company is that for many people they are the only thing available!

      And as stated in a previous post, customer service in the U.S. has gone down the drain, or to India!

      • Verizon NON SERIVCE

        Ditto! I have been in the Technology Industry for over 42 years and have had issues during that time but nothing compares to the INDIA BASED Verizon DSL NON SUPPORT!

        They must get paid by the amount of and how fast they close "tickets"!
  • Amen

    I'm a 29-year old engineer who just moved to the Los Angeles area after finishing grad school. I'm a former Army officer, I have an excellent credit rating, no debt, and a solid income. I'd like to share my troubles with trying to set up Verizon service. I only wish I had a video camera to make a documentary of this.

    Here's my ongoing process:

    1. Signed up online for the full package (phone line + DSL + DirecTV).
    2. Website tells me to expect an e-mail within 24 hours to confirm order.
    3. 24 hours pass; no e-mail received.
    4. Call customer service. Office is closed at 3 PM in California (because it is 6 PM on the east coast).
    5. Call customer service the next morning. On hold for 19 minutes.
    6. I am told that my order has a hold placed on it. I must call the "Welcome Center" to resolve the problem.
    7. I call the Welcome Center. Apparently Verizon had a record of a woman named Wanda Hillman in Newport News, VA with my social security number and an unpaid balance (I'm a male living in Los Angeles, CA). I must fax my driver's license and social security card to prove that I am myself.
    8. Drive to Kinko's to fax my license and SS card.
    9. Call the Welcome Center again to verify receipt of fax. They tell me that I must wait 5-8 hours for verification (notice that 8 hours is one business day). They ask for my number so they can call me back.
    10. They don't call me back.
    11. I call back the next business day. They tell me that the fax received was too dark and blurry, so I must re-fax.
    12. I ask them to run an external credit check instead because it takes me 30 min to drive to Kinko's to send a fax. They claim to run a TransUnion check and tell me that there is no data for my name/SSN (I recently had one run for signing my lease, and my score is 771: Excellent category). So I must re-fax.
    13. I drive to Kinko's and re-send the fax. 12 times.
    14. I wait 5-8 hours again. No call back for verification.
    15. Next business day. I call the Welcome Center, and...Yay! It was approved! Now I must call the customer service center to set up service.
    16. I call the customer service center. On hold for 47 (forty-seven) minutes.
    17. They tell me that they have to cancel my original order and place a new one (?). They will call me back when they can do that.
    18. 1 business day passes. No call back.
    19. I call customer service. On hold for 32 min.
    20. I give them my "tracking number", and they tell me that I need to place a new order. I tell them yes, I already knew that. I place a new order over the phone.
    21. They tell me I cannot obtain service because a hold has been placed on my name and SSN. I must call the Welcome Center to resolve the problem....(Go back to #7, do not pass GO)

    This is not a joke; it actually happened. I had to put this story on the web. So what's the number to Earthlink?
  • Here's another

    I'm not a tech myself, so I hope I'm not intruding but my verizon
    story spans two months. First, I got the wrong service start date.
    Then, when my dsl wouldn't work, I got a full three weeks of the
    run-around. Each call would go something like this:

    Me--"You know, I've answered these questions about
    connectivity about ten times now. Isn't this all in your

    Them: "Uh, no. We don't have any record of that."

    Me--"I think you need to send out a technician."

    Them: "We'll put in a ticket, and in 24 to 48 hours have the
    problem solved."

    Me: (laughing hollowly) "Um, right,well, I've heard that ten times
    and never seen a technician and never gotten a callback."

    Them: "We're so sorry."

    **Note to Verizon: To be 'sorry' isn't enough. You have to fix the
    problem, too.

    Finally, after several weeks of this ridiculousness, I talk to a
    supervisor who lets it 'slip' that there was 'an address problem.'
    He won't clarify and starts saying strange things about that fact
    that "he wasn't lying" which I never said.

    **So, my experience is that, when someone says they are not
    lying, they most probably are.

    I'm slow on the uptake. So, it took me a couple of days to figure
    out they believed they've ordered dsl for the wrong address.
    When I confront them with this possibility, they confess they
    think that's what it is, but refuse to admit blame. THEN, a few
    days later, they tell me dsl was never ordered for me in the first
    place. They still don't phrase it as their fault. They refuse to
    admit blame. It's as if an anonymous order fairy never
    completed my order. Ridiculous. They've sent me the modem,
    the billing, the wiring, but never ordered the dsl for the house.
    Amazing. I used a word on the phone that started with "cluster."
    You can imagine the rest of that conversation. Then, the next
    day, when I called to cancel my order, I found that they'd
    cancelled my order without my permission.

    I ordered dsl from earthlink.
  • RE: Here's the worst Verizon DSL service horror story you will EVER read

    Actually i like Verison DSL service and have been a customer for several years. The service has never been down for more than 5 minutes.
    they now offer

    <A href="">$14.99 per month for life</a>. Yep, a low lifetime rate for internet service.
  • RE: Here's the worst Verizon DSL service horror story you will EVER read

    I have to admit that VerizonDSL is pretty good but in their service territories where they are about to launch Verizon fios is another story. Why do I say this? Well for one thing I notice the pages freeze up and you have to wait a full minute or so before it will open the page or whatever it is that you click on. I'm not sure if this is to frustrate you so that you can switch to the more faster and expensive service. I don't know but I have a suspicion that this is why! When I first suscribed to the service this happened a little bit nothing to worry about now that Verizon fios is launching in our area it is happening a lot. The bad thing about this is that there is nothing you can do about it. This is my only pet peeve about this service. Like I said when you let a monopoly get this big this is what happens. Lookout AT&T Dish customers - you know they are trying to buy echostar - as if AT&T isn't big enough already. You are going to suffer too...I guess a letter to your congressman wouldn't hurt....Stay tuned!
  • RE: Here's the worst Verizon DSL service horror story you will EVER read

    I also had a horror experience with Verizon DSL service.

    One day, my DSL started to work intermittently, and from the cable modem I can tell the connection is very poor. So I called customer service, but they said could not send an on-site support since the test showed I am connecting to the internet at that moment.

    This situation lasted for several days and I kept calling them. Finally they fund that they could not ping me at the moment when I was calling and decided to send a tech support. Unfortunately, the problem was not fixed after the support visit.

    So I kept calling again and get the 2nd support days later and SHE eventually fixed the problem (lines were not properly wired in the basement of my apartment).

    So it took more than a week and hours calling to get this fix and I hardly be able to connect to internet during this period.
  • RE: Here's the worst Verizon DSL service horror story you will EVER read

    On 6/5/09, I was ready to order HSI in my new apartment in Brooklyn. I had the choice of Verizon or Time Warner and after a 4 hour chat with Verizon, I decided to give them a try- after all they have a 30 day customer satisfaction policy. It was the worst decision I ever made. I had to order a new installation package along with the HSI since my apt does not have a jack. After ordering this, I was told a customer service rep would contact me to set up an installation time. After an entire week, no one ever called, so on 6/12 I called back the number provided to inquire about the appointment. The number provided was incorrect, and I had to be transferred 5 times to get to the correct department. During those calls, I was hung up on 3 times. At one point I was transferred to a customer agent who never acknowledge my presence on the line as she was too busy speaking with a fellow employee about a blind date the went on the previous night. She went into all kinds of sexually explicit and vulgar descriptions of her activities on the date. I was horrified and kept saying, "hello, hello?" I didn't want to hang up since I had already been holding for 40 minutes. Finally, she rudely spoke to me and asked me what I wanted and said she wasn't ready to talk to me, but that they had just transferred the call to her before she wanted to take it. I explained that unfortunately when she has a customer on the phone she needs to take the call and speak professionally and let her know that I had just endured the single most unprofessional customer service call in my entire life. She told me she really didn't care and hung up on me. Finally, after waiting on hold through another couple of transfers, I spoke with an agent who booked me for an installation time of 5-7pm on Monday, 6/15. I received my confirmation number for the appointment and hung up feeling better. But the next day I received an automated call from Verizon stating that I had an appointment of 8am-5pm that Monday. Since this information was incorrect and not what I had been told, I instantly called Verizon back to confirm my 5-7pm appointment. The agent let me know that the automated system was incorrect and that my appointment was indeed between 5 and 7 pm the following Monday. He said he had escalated the issue and not to worry and even offered my another confirmation number. In the mean time, my modem and router had been shipped to the wrong address, so I had to call back to have them shipped to the correct address. The day of my appointment, I received an automated email once again stating that my appointment for installation was reserved for 8-5pm, so I called Verizon back again just to confirm that the system was still wrong and my appointment really was the promised 5-7pm. Once again, an agent confirmed this time for me and told me not to worry. However, at 3pm on Monday, 6/15 a technician called me from outside my apartment wanting to know where I was. I explained to him that he was early as my appointment was not until 5-7pm and as a result I was still at work. He started laughing and said he wanted to let me in on a little game that Verizon plays. He proceeded to badmouth his own company and told me that not one technician works past 5pm so a 5-7pm appointment is impossible. He said he would love to have later hours, but Verizon won't pay him overtime so he suggested I book a time during the day because they will just keep lying to me if I try to get a later appointment. I explained to him that I worked full time and that I Verizon had assigned the appointment- not me- and that Verizon had triple confirmed it already. He kept laughing and hung up. I immediately called Verizon back again and told the agent about the things the technician had alleged against Verizon. The agent apologized and said he would escalate the issue and once again confirmed that my appointment was from 5-7pm that day. He said not to worry, that if that tech wouldn't be there, they would dispatch another technician for the correct time period. I told the agent that I would have to take off work to get home for the appointment so if a tech wasn't going to be there, to just let me know and we could reschedule. He said not to worry, my appointment is confirmed. (I also got another confirmation #). So, I left work around 4:30 and got to my apartment in time for the appointment. Just as I was opening my door, I received another automated call from Verizon telling me I needed to call and make an appointment for installation because I did not have an appointment in the system. I immediately called back the number included in the message and told the agent that not only did I have an appointment, but it had been confirmed numerous times. She also started laughing and proceeded to make all of the same accusations against Verizon that the technician had made. She badmouthed her company and other departments in the company and said the tech was the only person who had been truthful with me. At this point, I asked to cancel my service. She said she would transfer me to the cancellation department. When I reached the next agent, he asked me why I was not satisfied with Verizon and I told him everything that had transpired and once again requested to cancel my service. He said he would have to transfer me to that department (apparently the previous agent had transferred me incorrectly and another half hour of my life was wasted). I was transferred to the cancellation department finally, and reexplained the situation to that agent. He told me that Verizon is like the NFL and even though its one company, its made up of a lot of different disjointed teams who don't like each other or communicate with each other. I explained to him that regardless when you work in business, employees should at a minimum remain professional on all customer service calls (not curse, talk about sexual exploitations, or lie) and they should always respect the company they have chosen to work for while on a call with a customer. However, after this experience, I do not blame those employees for hating Verizon. I now do as well. I also told him that this was my first experience with Verizon and now my last. I will never partner with Verizon again for any kind of product or service and I am horrified by this experience. Here are the facts about my experience-
    In two weeks, I was lied to by HSI customer service agents 7 times. 2 employees badmouthed their company while on a professional call with me. 1 employee was profane and sexually explicit and discussed private personal affairs on a call. I spent a total of 4 hours with customer service chat and 5 hours with customer service over the phone - both of which led to no service or assistance of any kind. I had to be transferred to 8 different departments. And, at the end of the 2 week period, I had still never received any installation equipment or correct appointment. After canceling, I promptly ordered time warner cable.
  • RE: Here's the worst Verizon DSL service horror story you will EVER read

    Sheesh that's a cake walk.

    I have been a customer of their DSL service for like a
    couple of years and since I worked mostly outside of the
    service location, I tolerated their completely horrible

    This thing had more outages than I've ever seen. I must've
    called their tech support guys like 50 times because every
    time it would rain. I would have no internet.

    They'd send another guy everytime who all said the same

    When I asked them to install FIOS, they told me that South
    Jersey wasn't in the loop. When I asked them to provide the
    service and speed I ordered, they charged my credit card
    MORE money and provided the same SLOW and spotty

    It's really pretty funny because you always heard how
    satellite signals are affected by the weather, this was a
    wire. I'm telling you if it rained, there was no connection.

    This went on for YEARS. Then when I finally just gave up
    on them since work forced me to be in this location more
    often and I could no longer afford to only have access
    when it was "sunny", I was forced to make umpteen phone
    calls through the retention or the "Far East" Billing
    department upon each transfer being told well that's not
    my job.

    So Me being a wise guy with a Law degree said well how
    does one notify you of my intent to discontinue service..
    FAX? Subpoena? Personal Assistant delivering it with a
    Rickshaw? And then the obviously non US citizen on the
    other line tried to read me something from a cue card.

    At this point, I requested a service credit for every day of
    precipitation I experienced while having their service.

    This should now enter the truly "interesting" territory
    tomorrow. I'll keep you posted .

    Oh and by the way. Try to EMAIL Verizon Tech Support or Get in an
    Online chat with a member or tech support. IT's an interesting

    Somehow, I can just mosey over to apple or whoever and with a click
    of a button type back and forth all over the place about wonderful
    Imacs and Safari and Aperture but a MULTI BILLION dollar company
    who has experienced a virtual monopoly in the communications
    market for 100-150 years can't figure out how to have an email
    service for customers?

    Hilarious stuff. The automated phone system sends you to their
    "retention" department.

    Imagine this for a second. You go into Walmart to buy I don't know
    say a barbecue grill. You look through them all. You do some
    thinking. You mosey over to electronics and toys for some browsing to
    take your mind off the grill. They don't have the one you want and the
    one they do have leaks gas and is a fire hazard.

    When you try to leave the store without making a purchase, a guard
    steps in front of you and says "Have you spoken with our barbecue
    grille retention department yet sir?"

    We will not permit you to leave our premises sir until having
    communicated with the proper barbecue grille retention agent who
    coincidentally is only available during bankers hours.

    Now it's 9PM and you want to go home. Any thoughts of hot dogs or
    barbecue baked beans are definitely not on your mind anymore ..
    But NO You can't leave the Local W Mart because of retention issues.

    Hilarious stuff. Not to mention highly illegal. Anyone ever heard of
    Sherman Antitrust? Lol
  • RE: Here's the worst Verizon DSL service horror story you will EVER read

    Verizon DSL is the WORST. It has not worked for OVER A YEAR and each time we call, we get the same story: have you tried resetting the modem? Are you sure that it's just not your computer? It SAYS that it's working from OUR side.

    They never send anyone to actually come to our place and help. And before it stopped working completely, it would only work intermittently. If the weather was even slightly rainy, it would stop.

    Finally, we decided to cancel. But Verizon threatened us in a sense, saying "You can't because if you cancel, you'll actually be paying MORE for your cell phone and landline service."

    So basically, they know that we'd pay more for canceling, therefore they care not to help. Asses. Go somewhere else for your Internet and telephone service and avoid all of this crap!
  • sorry, I think this might be the worst Verizon experience you'll ever read

    It all really started in 2009 when I called to have an international plan put on my landline. They confirmed it and gave me a confirmation number. I began making and receiving overseas calls (my daughter was studying abroad). A few weeks later, with no prior notice, they disconnected my service! I had no dial tone. I could not reach my daughter! Why? Because they failed to put the plan on my line and their security team saw overseas calls and thought they should cancel my phone service! This insanity took over 6 months to clear up and in the meantime, I was billed over $865.00 for international calls at the wrong rate! Now forward to 2011....I lost all (3) services due to a storm: internet, phone and tv. I repeatedly called them from my cell for help. They could not restore my service. They did give me a confirmation number confirming credit. And they did email me every time I called in (these were received on my blackberry, and later came through on my emails when I had (NEW) email service set up through Cablevision). They finally had to set up a tech visit to my home, and they insisted that I be at home for the visit. I had to take off from work. They confirmed the visit in the am, but never showed and I found out later in the day after repeatedly calling, that they had cancelled the tech visit with no prior advisement to me! I lost a day???s wages, taking off from work and waiting at home all day. I cancelled my account with Verizon that day. (But I had not had any services since April 16, 2011 regardless.) They have been billing me ever since then for services for April, May and June! Obviously I did not pay for services never supplied to me. Further, Verizon had confirmed that the out of service period would be credited on my bill. Then, they sent my account to 3 collection agencies who have been threatening and harassing me for almost one year. And, they have sent me (in between) a revised final bill stating that I owe nothing, however everyone, including the CEO insists that I owe $160 for services never supplied to me. And, I even sent them their own documentation (their own docs that they sent to me) plus my Cablevision bill, plus their authorized UPS return agents receipt, (proving that I returned their cables and equipment!) plus their credit confirmation number, all of which prove that I owe them nothing! I didn???t even have their equipment or wiring in my home during the time that they are ???claiming??? that they provided services to me! They have a copy of my Cablevision bill- you cant have 2 providers at the same time! However, they still continue to blindly insist that I owe them $160! I have had a complaint in with the BBB for over 8 months. I have spoken to/emailed/written to multiple levels of management at Verizon. I have requested that they stop calling me and put this in writing and resolve it. They call and leave robotic messages asking me to call a number that cannot receive messages because the person has not set up her voice mail! I have had a lot of /read a lot of frustrating customer service issues before, but I do believe that this one is the worst I have ever come across.