I Know the Devil’s Name — Rant

I’m sorry but I need to vent. This is totally unrelated to WoW except for the fact that I can’t play right now because I’m too pissed off. You’d think wanton killing would be just what I need, but it’s not working. This is a rant about Verizon. Are they the devil? Not really, I’d say greed is, I assume that’s what’s turned them and other companies into disreputable, dishonest, thieving liars. I need to call them again but in this mood it will quickly devolve into me screaming obscenities at the top of my lungs and I doubt that would be very productive, and I would be screaming at someone who has to work for Verizon. I’m sure they aren’t treated any better than customers are.

So fellow WoWers you can move on, nothing good here unless you too have had dealings with Verizon. This story is about my elderly mother but a little background will help. We had a land line through Verizon for years, never a problem with it. When Verizon dug up the neighborhood to put in FIOS they then started hard selling it over the phone and in person. We didn’t want it. You can hang up on the overzealous people on the phone who all got straight As in assertiveness training. I finally started bringing the dogs with me to the door which worked wonders on the pushier Verizon representatives.

Then the troubles started, we began to have a loud buzzing on our land line, it was intermittent. Few days on, few days off. I called them, they said they’d check it. They told me there was nothing wrong with the line but I should upgrade to FIOS. This made little sense to me, why would I reward them by paying them more money to get rid of the buzz they’d caused. I don’t know if it was intentional. I don’t know if Verizon is that crafty, and thought, hey, we’ll screw up everyone’s land line and they’ll switch to FIOS, no brainer. They just didn’t care, one lousy customer has a buzz on the line, big whoop. We got rid of Verizon and got Comcast, we now have VOIP which I didn’t want but the only land line available is through Verizon, who I’ll never deal with again. I’ll use smoke signals if it comes to that.

So we had a history, me and Verizon. I won’t go into all the calls and hours and hours it took to extricate ourselves from them but I’m sure most people have had similar experiences, with either Verizon or another company. Imagine my horror when my mother told me a nice young man called her and she’s getting a “new TV.” I finally figured out what that meant. She switched everything to a Verizon bundle because the nice young man told her it would save her money.

The bill started out around 200.00 monthly. Within a couple months it was over 400.00. She didn’t know why. I told her to SAVE the bill so I could see it. Apparently Verizon had realized they had got lucky. We’ve got a live one here. This old person has no idea what’s going on, let’s soak her. And they did. Every month there would be a new charge for a gaming addon, online storage space, virus software, etc. It’s a game of let’s see if you’re paying attention. Then you have to call them to have it taken off. This is a continual game, you have to play every month. They put it on, she has to call to take it off. Except since she doesn’t understand the bill nothing was done until I managed to get her to save one. I’m SURE she’s a valued customer to Verizon, along with every other customer who doesn’t understand their bill.

It became apparent recently that she shouldn’t be living alone. She didn’t want to leave the area she lives in so we found a new senior apartment where all the utilities, TV, phone, are included. She called Verizon to cancel. The first woman told her no, we don’t want to lose you and never allowed her to cancel. She went to a Verizon office and a “nice young man” canceled everything. He also told her to throw out her Direct TV box as he didn’t want it. He didn’t mention that he didn’t want it because she had to cancel Direct TV herself. Yesterday I found that nothing’s been canceled. Everything’s still billing at full bore, yup, they don’t want to lose her.

I really dropped the ball on this. I know my Mom wants to be independent and do things for herself. I try very hard to let her, and I didn’t think that canceling services would be a monumentally difficult task, but I should have.

It seems each part of the bundle has to be canceled separately. I made the mistake a little while ago of being honest when I called and said I was her daughter. Big mistake, wouldn’t let me cancel. I would have asked the neighbor to “play” my mother but she wasn’t home. I’ll call again in a little while with my best blue-haired lady voice and impersonate her.

I could go on with a blow-by-blow of everything that’s happened but that’s not my point. Yes! I really do have a point. A while ago Big Bear Butt had a post about hatred in America. I loved what he had to say and the response it got.

My mother is a Veteran, she was in the Navy. She served her country, land of the free, home of the brave. Right now I feel she’s just a commodity, not a customer. She’s there to be bilked out of every penny they can get. Verizon’s unethical business practices are no secret. Just google Verizon, you’ll find websites dedicated to helping people try to deal with them. No one seems to care, just business, nothing personal. I want to know when was it decided we’d no longer be the land of the free and the home of the brave and instead be the land of the mean-spirited and greedy. I didn’t get that memo.

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12 Responses to “I Know the Devil’s Name — Rant”

  1. No, no, no. Verizon is the good guys. Comcast and AT&T are the bad guys we all have to hate. We’re not scheduled to flip flop on that until NEXT month. You know, the same time we go back to liking Activision and hating EA. :P

    The problem with corporations is that while there is a usually a face behind the stories like this, you’ll never see it. So you have to wave your torch and pitch fork at the corporation itself. Which I hate doing. If the local branch is doing something scummy that the corporation as a whole isn’t doing, then the company as a whole gets branded for it – because there is no difference to us, there can’t be. We are given no more direct outlet for our rage. So was it a corporate mastermind scheme to milk your mother? Or one complete jerk in your cities branch that wants to push sales quotas so the bigwigs take notice? We don’t know. We can’t know. They won’t let us.

    I don’t want to sound like I’m trying to defend them in this situation, I just like to know where I’m supposed to direct my anger. Because even 1,000 abuses of power like this in say a customer base of 1 million, is a fairly small percentage. So I really hate to condemn an entire company for it. You know what I mean?

    It sucks that it happened, and it sucks that we have no one to blame but the faceless entity that probably on a whole does a pretty good job but as with anything: mo’ people, mo’ chances for problems (as the rappers say). Anyone, I’m gonna wrap this up because I think I’m starting to repeat myself.

    So sorry your mother got screwed by some weasel(s). :(

    • Personally I think they’re ALL the bad guys, lol. And I agree, some of these companies are too big to do a good job anymore.

      And yes, I’m voting for the corporate mastermind theory, after googling Verizon and finding the endless horror stories about third party billing and overcharging I don’t think it all can be blamed on incompetent employees.

      I’m ready to get out the pitchfork and storm the (corporate) castle. If only they had a branch in Azeroth, there be some ass-kicking.

    • I’m with Tomeoftheancient on this one.
      From her description, it seemed they sold her mother a bad scheme, a scheme that was meant to rake in money while keeping the costumer unaware. That is a design you’ll find coming from the top, if not from the business spirit that spawned it. I don’t think you can trace this story back to one bad employee, it sounds bigger than that.
      (I should say, I am not American, so I don’t know the company in question personally)

      • Thanks Ironyca. I really was upset (okay it’s my Mom) but on researching this morning I was astounded by the range of articles, websites, and awful stories about their business practices.

        In all fairness to them they don’t just seem to victimize the elderly, they’re happy to victimize any unsuspecting person!

  2. Sorry to hear of your problems with Verizon. I have the wireless, however, I don’t use it as much as I used to – so no complaints yet.

    Rant on, so you can get back toi playing WoW!

    • Thanks! I had hoped ranting would get it out of my system but I still don’t feel civil enough to call them again yet.

      I know, this is all bad enough but it’s keeping me from playing too!

  3. Urgh, I hate these companies scamming the elderly… seriously, it’s the lowest of the lowest.
    I once had an internet connection that was horrible, it shut down for 5 secs every 5th minute or so. This meant I got logged off from WoW all the time, very frustrating.
    This company kept saying they “calibrated” the connection when we called them, surely they just tapping some random keys to make it sound like they did something.
    We heard a million excuses from them, never was it fixed, we left this shitty company too, which thankfully was easy enough, but goddamn, you get so angry in the process of them just NOT fixing anything, while happily taking your money.

    • I know, my Mom tends to trust anyone who’s “nice’ to her. I hate to always have to tell her, trust no one, so melodramatic, lol, but I live in fear of her being taken over the phone.

      I think my problem is my age, I can remember when there WAS good customer service and I guess I still expect it. But I guess if a company has millions of customers they aren’t that motivated to care about one.

      I’m glad you got any from them!

  4. Argh! You have every right to be mad as hell. I know exactly how you are feeling as I went through similar things when my dad started to get ill and was no longer really capable of sorting his own affairs. Older people really do get taken advantage of these days! He was being rung up by salesmen at all times of the day and early evening, despite my registering him on a system we have over here which is supposed to stop unsolicited phone calls from businesses selling stuff. My dad was hard of hearing, and his mind was going, so he signed up for all sorts during the 6 month period after Mum died. It was left up to me to sort out the mess, and most companies would not deal with me.

    I was at his house one day when some workmen turned up to fit him a new double glazed window! He had no memory of asking them to do the work, and didn’t need a new window. I sent the workmen packing but they started to try and chase him for money!

    Sky television kept direct debiting him even after he cancelled, and refused to deal with me over the phone because the contract was with him.

    In the end I found that I had to resort to sorting out all his affairs in writing, informing everyone that Dad wished me to sort out his financial affairs on his behalf and to contact me if they had a problem or query. Dad asked me to take over his financial affairs, because Mum had always taken care of that side of the household. So this was the only was we could achieve that.

    Once everyone had been informed of this in writing (including his bank, and pensions service), plus all the utility companies etc, they complied and from that point on I could deal with all his bills and everything on his behalf. I didn’t have the power to sign his cheques, draw oney out of his bank, or set up/cancel direct debits etc (but I didn’t want that anyway), but at least all his mail came to my address, people would deal with me, and I could keep an eye on his income and outgoings via internet banking.

    Very stressful situation for you, and I don’t envy you having to try to sort this out, especially if your mum is still fighting to retain her independence and ability to make her own financial decisions. If she has always been very independent she will no doubt want to keep that as long as possible – I would be the same :)

    And yes I think the business & political world is much more cut-throat and uncaring than it ever was in the past. But that’s the NWO – just don’t get me started on that – we mean nothing to these people except as cows on the farm.

    • Oh Döra, that’s awful, I’m glad you found a way to be able to manage his affairs and keep an eye on him. I don’t know why I’m surprised that people are low enough to target the elderly but they seem to be fair game.

      I know the older I’ve become I now “get” her wanting her independence and to stay where her friends are rather than closer to us.

      I have a friend who didn’t know what was going on with his father until he got a call from the police station as he’d been arrested for non-payment of his bills. The friend bailed him out of jail and on going to his father’s house found all the unpaid bills in nice orderly stacks. It took a while to sort all that out!

      Lol, “we mean nothing to these people except as cows on the farm” I don’t know Döra, sometimes I think we’re twins separated at birth, we so frequently think the same!

  5. These two video’s say it all for me.

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