Tuesday, June 26, 2012

6/25: Judges, Tech, Glee,

English: Clarence Thomas, Associate Justice of...
English: Clarence Thomas, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Am I out of line for saying that the Supreme Court is a little more than a sad joke? A group of judges that vote almost exclusively along ideological political lines, yet are supposed to be the final arbiters of law and justice in our country based not on which political party gave them their position, but their expert interpretation of the law. Every five-four decision they hand down is a bitch slap in the face of every American who is impacted by their decisions.

I realize that a significant portion of the country is eagerly awaiting the Supreme Court's ruling on Obama's Health Care plan, especially the media outlets, which are quickly running out of clever headlines. There was a point where I was following the whole Health Care debate issue myself. But now that the ultimate decision on whether or not Obamacare will stay or go rests in the hands of this collection of assholes, my interest has fled almost as rapidly as my hope.


What's that? Samsung is releasing a potent iPhone rival, and Microsoft has developed a new tablet to compete with the iPad? Hold on a second while I don't give a shit.

There. All done.


Glenn Beck is apparently in the works to fix the damage done to the American culture by the hit show Glee (he doesn't go into detail, but I'm assuming he's referring to the promotion of "The Gays") by producing his own right-wing version.

Hate to break it to Beck, but there already was a right-wing version of Glee. It was called Cop Rock.

Personally, I'm looking forward to the revival. Should be interesting.

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Saturday, June 23, 2012

Comcast Joins the WTF List (Transcript Enclosed)

Image representing Comcast as depicted in Crun...
Image via CrunchBase
During all the recent bullshit issues with Verizon's crappy service, I thought I would check for other local internet providers. This is a fruitless endeavor that I undergo every year or so to fight of the realization that, due to my proximity to Pennsyltuckey, the only internet options available to me are Verizon Suck-Ass DSL (that's actually the package plan name) and Service Electric, a company that you've never heard of because it is a rinky-dink local cable service staffed by mentally unstable howler monkeys with a service radius that doesn't exceed the distance that the owners can travel on a full tank of gas in their '78 Dodge Dart.

It appeared that luck was indeed a lady tonight, as an availability check of my address on the Comcast website resulted in a positive result and, after confirming the availability of service at my address with two separate chat room service reps, an order request for immediate installation.

Lady Luck turned out to be a heartless bitch, however, when a call to confirm receipt of my order resulted in an unrealistically smug Comcast operator inform my that Comcast is not available in my area after all, and that the mistake must have been mine, not theirs. No transcript exists for this phone call, but you can easily recreate it in your head by simply imagining a volley of angry shouting with MOTHERFUCKER used as punctuation.

However, two days later, an email arrived from Comcast asking me if I would be so kind as to finish placing my order for internet service. How could I possibly refuse?

On a side note, my current ticket number is 010435819.

analyst Ankit has entered room

Ankit: Hello Scott, Thank you for contacting Comcast Live Chat Support. My name is Ankit. Please give me one moment to review your information.

Ankit: Welcome to Comcast. We appreciate the time you are taking to contact us, I will be assisting you from here on out. Before anything else, I would like to ask, how are you doing today?

Scott: Awesome.

Ankit: I am good to know that you are doing Awesome.

Scott: I am not "doing" Awesome. I "am" Awesome. But I can understand your confusion.

Ankit: May I ask you if you are an existing customer with Comcast?

Scott: No.

Scott: I mean No, I am not an existing customer, not No, you can not ask a question. Just to clarify.

Ankit:  We are glad to have your business. Thank you for taking interest in Comcast services.

Scott: Taking AN interest. Which I have.

Ankit: Please verify the following details:

Ankit: (Ankit lists my address information here, which you don't need to know, but he certainly does. I happily confirm the information.)

Ankit: Please give me 2 minutes to locate your address in our system. Is that fine with you?

Scott: Certainly. But I will be timing you.

Ankit: Thanks.

Scott: The pleasure is all mine, one hundred and seven seconds.

Ankit: Did you call Comcast for the registration of your address in our database Scott?

Scott: Yes I did. They told me that Comcast was not available at my address.

Ankit: I see Scott.

Scott: Really? Than what am I wearing?

Scott: Oh, never mind. I get it.

Ankit: Thank you very much for being so cooperative, nice and patient. I would like to inform you that I have double checked our system, unfortunately, I am unable to find a match for you address It could be that the address never had our services and has not been registered with us yet.

Scott: Two support techs on your site in chats like this have told me that this is available at my address.

Scott: So I'd really like to know why I am getting different answers from the same company...

Scott: And if it isn't available at my address, why the website and online support is telling me that it is.

Ankit: Scott, please allow me few moments o cross check.

Ankit: to**

Scott: It's a little late to start correcting typos, isn't it?

Scott: If my address is not registered with you, why is the website allowing me to order service?

Scott: And why after the first attempt at subscribing didn't go through, that the website keeps sending me emails asking me to complete my purchase.

Ankit: Scott, website will allow the any address that is an actual address.

Ankit: Even if the address will not be registered with us yet, I will send your request personally for the same.

Ankit: Let me send your request right away.

Scott: No... the website asks to enter the address to see if service is available to me. I didn't just fill out a "Request" form, I filled out an "Order" form.

Scott: If the website accepts any address, than why would it ask to check if service is available to me?

Scott: Either way, somebody is lying and wasting my time.

Ankit: Scott, website is connected with USPS that is why website is accepting your address.

Scott: THE website, and a comma after USPS, and THE website again. Oh, and bullshit.

Ankit: I apologize for the inconvenience this has caused you. I can certainly understand your frustration, please allow me to raise a request for you.

Scott: Ankit, the sight asks for the address in order to search for availability of the service.

Scott: Which means I am being lied to.

Scott: And my time is being wasted. 

Scott: And why would you encourage people unable to subscribe to your service to go through the ordering process and tie up finite labor hours following through on nonexistent service orders?

Ankit: I understand, I am continously searching your address, I apologize for the inconvenience this has caused you.

Ankit: Please give me a chance to set things up perfectly.

Scott: At this point I'd settle for half-assed.

Ankit: I will raise a request only for you.

Scott: Only for me? I feel so special now.

Ankit: Comcast will call you within 24 hours and will register your address.

Ankit: I will send your request personally for the same.

Ankit: eanwhile, May I get your preferred date for installation please?

Scott: If it's actually available in my area, as soon as possible.

Ankit: Thank you very much for being so cooperative, and nice.

Ankit: Let me send your request right away.

Scott: I'm still trying to figure out how service was not available to me, but all of a sudden it is.

Scott: And as for me being cooperative and nice, try mastering the English language first, and then we can work on sarcasm.

Ankit: I will surely consider your advice.

Scott: I should hope so. It is sage and profound.

Ankit: This has been escalated to our support team who will further investigate this for a resolution. They will contact you for further information within 24 hours. Address registration is something which is only possible by call, however, I took this exception just for you. They will register your address+will set the installation date if possible + will provide you the new Comcast account as well as order number + you will also receive an e-mail confirmation. I took this exception just for you.

Scott: We can start with the sentence "I am good to know that you are doing Awesome."

Scott: "It is" good to know makes grammatical sense, and you can BE awesome, but you cannot BE DOING awesome.

Ankit: I am really sorry for this, I will surely try and take care of it future,

Scott: Just trying to help.

Scott: If you are representing a communications company, it makes sense to have adequate communication skills.

Ankit: Thanks for your help, I really appreciate it.

Ankit: I apologize for that once again and I will surely take care of that in future.

Scott: Again, let's hammer down the grammar before wading through the sarcasm. You and I both know I'm being a dick.

Scott: But that's to be expected from potential customers when they're forced to deal with a support network that has no logical thread of accountability.

Ankit: Scott, I really appreciate your help.

Scott: It's not you, Ankit. You're just a cog. I understand.

Ankit: My apologies, Scott.

Ankit: Trust me I will take care of it in future.

Scott: ...in THE future.

Ankit: Sorry again.

Ankit: I have raised your request to our support team.

Ankit: Comcast will call you within 24 hours and will register your address.

Scott: Thanks, Ankit. Have a good weekend, wherever you are.

Ankit: You are welcome. You too have a good weekend.

Scott: Thanks. Fight the power! Occupy Bangladesh!

Ankit: Take Care of yourslef and have a wonderful time and smiling moments ahead!!! See you!!!
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Thursday, June 21, 2012

Just Another Day With Verizon Customer Service

What follows is an unaltered transcript of my most recent attempt to obtain help/information from Verizon's "Customer Support." Please enjoy.

Chat Subject:Unknown

Your Question:The modems you keep sending me are crap, keep overheating, a problem I haven't had in seven years with my old one. Which in store modem/routers are compatible with verizon wireless so I can purchase one that actually works?

A Verizon Service Representative will be with you shortly. Thank you.

Agent Kapil has joined. (13:34:15)

Kapil : Chat ID for this session is ###########. (13:34:15)

Kapil(13:34:25): Thank you for contacting Verizon HSI Technical Support. My name is Kapil and I am the technical support analyst assigned to help you. Please stay online for a few moments while I review the information generated by your trouble ticket.

Kapil(13:35:01): Thank you for staying online. I appreciate your patience.

Kapil(13:35:01): I apologize for the inconvenience caused and I will try my best to resolve the issue.

Kapil(13:35:06): I understand your concern and I will assist you with the issue. For verification, please provide the following information before we start: 

- Your first and last name 
- The first and last name of the account holder and your relationship with him/her. 
- The Operating System (Window XP, Windows Vista, Windows 2000 or Macintosh) that you are using.

Scott Wilson(13:35:30): Scott Wilson, Account Holder, Windows 7

Kapil(13:35:45): While I am checking your account details, may I have your preferred email address and preferred callback number? Could you confirm if this number accepts incoming calls from 800 or toll free numbers?

Scott Wilson(13:36:13): (INCORRECT EMAIL GIVEN). No call back number.

Scott Wilson(13:36:26): (CORRECT EMAIL GIVEN)

Kapil(13:36:46): Thank you for the information.

Kapil(13:36:52): May I know the make and model number of the modem which you are using to connect to the internet? (Eg: Westell 6100, 2200, 6110, 7500, Versalink 327, Actiontec)

Scott Wilson(13:38:00): Actiontec GT704WG

Kapil(13:38:16): Could you please elaborate the issue so that I can assist you in a better way?

Scott Wilson(13:40:08): Your Actiontec modems keep overheating whenever I attempt to harness the massive 4mbps download speeds I squeeze out of the crappy local lines, and so I want a confirmation on which modem models are compatible with Verizon DSL, so I can purchase one that doesn't melt down after four hours of continuous use.

Scott Wilson(13:40:44): And it's "elaborate ON the issue," not "Elaborate THE issue."

Scott Wilson(13:40:51): The latter makes no sense.

Kapil(13:42:27): Please allow me a moment, let me check whether this modem can be replaced or not.

Kapil(13:42:33): Please stay online with me.

Scott Wilson(13:43:03): I don't want you to replace the modem. You've already replaced it with the same kind, and it has the same issues.

Scott Wilson(13:43:33): What I want is a list of modems that I can purchase and use in conjunction with my DSL service.

Kapil(13:43:43): Okay

Kapil(13:44:08): Please stay online with me, I am connecting you to concern department, who can provide you best information about this.

Scott Wilson(13:44:16): "I am connecting you to THE concern department."

This session is being transferred. (13:44:19)

This session is transferred to Wendy. (13:44:29)

Agent Wendy has joined. (13:44:29)

Wendy(13:44:34): Hello. Thank you for choosing Verizon and visiting our chat service. I will be happy to help you today. 

For quality & security purposes, your session is recorded and may be monitored or reviewed. Please do not provide sensitive information such as social security, bank account or credit card numbers. May we view your account information, including the services you subscribe to, so that we may assist you during this chat with respect to available Verizon products and services? You may deny us permission, which will have no effect on your current services. Under federal law, it is your right and our duty to protect your account information. 

May I have permission to review your account?

Scott Wilson(13:44:51): Hello Wendy

Scott Wilson(13:45:13): What would you like to review?

Wendy(13:45:28): I just need your permission to access your account.

Scott Wilson(13:45:44): Go right ahead.

Wendy(13:46:34): Thank you. How can I help you today?

Scott Wilson(13:47:21): They didn't copy any information from the last person I just spent ten minutes with?

Wendy(13:48:12): I see your question regarding the compatiblity of routers but that isn't something that I can help you with from this department.

Scott Wilson(13:48:23): Then why am I talking to you?

Wendy(13:49:43): I apologize, I am not sure why you were transferred here. I will need to transfer you back to our Online Technical Support department for assistance. I am very sorry for the inconvenience.

This session is being transferred. (13:49:58)

Scott Wilson(13:50:15): I'm sure this one will be much more helpful.

This session is transferred to Kirti. (13:52:00)

Agent Kirti has joined. (13:52:00)

Kirti(13:52:30): Thank you for contacting Verizon HSI Technical Support. My name is Kirti and I am the technical support analyst assigned to help you. Please stay online for a few moments while I review the information generated by your trouble ticket.

Scott Wilson(13:53:23): Okay

Scott Wilson(13:57:58): We're now looking at twenty minutes and three customer service reps, all for an answer to a general question that should be available as a FAQ on the main Verizon website.

Supervisor Dibakar has joined. (13:58:43)

Dibakar(13:58:43): Hi I am Dibakar , the supervisor on the floor.

Scott Wilson(13:59:24): Hello Dibakar.

Dibakar(13:59:29): Please allow me few minutes to go through the case details.

Scott Wilson(13:59:47): By all means.

Dibakar(14:01:42): As i understand the issue, you want to know the modem info that are compatible with Verizon wireless service.

Scott Wilson(14:02:00): Yes.

Scott Wilson(14:02:04): Please.

Scott Wilson(14:02:13): Very much so.

Dibakar(14:02:49): Sure. I will provide you the web sites details.

Scott Wilson(14:04:07): I would love to know where that information is on the website. Twenty minutes of searches and browsing the FAQ left me empty handed. I couldn't even find a link that would allow me to purchase a modem directly from Verizon.

Scott Wilson(14:04:18): Which I wouldn't do, of course. But still.

Scott Wilson(14:05:06): It's now been a half hour, and you are the fourth rep I have spoken with. Seems like a lot for such a simple question, no?

Scott Wilson(14:05:32): I mean, no one has even tried to sell me anything. Talk about a missed opportunity.

Scott Wilson(14:07:10): I'm guessing you're having as much luck finding it as I did?

Dibakar(14:08:10): Thank you for your patience.

Dibakar(14:08:35): Please visit the web page of the Verizon portal :


Scott Wilson(14:10:15): So, your troubleshooting page for modems, with no documentation or titles to explain otherwise, doubles as your list of compatible models?

Dibakar(14:11:00): It carries all the compatible modem list.

Scott Wilson(14:11:09): Which means, unless I try to find troubleshooting documentation for a modem I have yet to purchase, I'm not going to find it.

Scott Wilson(14:11:29): And that took over forty minutes for someone to direct me to.

Scott Wilson(14:11:34): On the fourth rep.

Scott Wilson(14:11:37): You know, when people talk about Verizon Customer Support being as unreliable and useless as a group of five-year-olds playing Telephone, you like to think that it isn't true.

Scott Wilson(14:12:21): But then, forty minutes later, here we are.

Dibakar(14:12:46): Have opened any particular modem page?

Scott Wilson(14:13:07): That sentence makes no grammatical sense. Please try again.

Scott Wilson(14:13:44): Maybe this is the issue. If you don't have a full command of the English language, how are you supposed to comprehend what I am asking?

Dibakar(14:14:14): Okay. Your feedback is taken.

Scott Wilson(14:15:32): I have yet to see any proof that anything that happens in a Verizon support call is actually documented anywhere, so I seriously doubt that.

Dibakar(14:16:38): Its documented.

Scott Wilson(14:18:37): I'm sure the complaint will be taken under serious consideration. Is there any reason why you haven't asked me if there's anything else you can help me with, or are you just hoping to stretch this simple question out to a full hour?

Dibakar(14:22:33): Is there anything else i may assist you with?

Scott Wilson(14:24:35): No, that should be it.

Scott Wilson(14:24:48): Capital "i"

Scott Wilson(14:25:28): Oh, and there should be an apostrophe in "It's documented."

Scott Wilson(14:25:45): I do English tutoring on the side if you're interested.

Scott Wilson(14:26:18): I'll cut you a huge discount if you can get my internet to actually work the way it should.

Scott Wilson(14:26:37): Call it a professional courtesy discount.

Dibakar(14:27:23): Is there anything else related internet service?

Scott Wilson(14:28:01): Do you mean "Is there anything else related TO internet service?"

Scott Wilson(14:28:08): If so, then the answer is no.

Scott Wilson(14:28:16): I just said that a few minutes ago.

Dibakar(14:28:31): Okay. It was a typo.

Dibakar(14:28:57): It was wonderful to assist such a patient customer like you. Have a great day ahead.

Scott Wilson(14:29:07): Well, with that kind of attention to detail, I can rest assured my internet service needs are in good hands.

Scott Wilson(14:29:18): You have a great day as well.

Dibakar(14:29:24): Our goal is for you to be completely satisfied with the service you have received and please recommend us to your friends and colleagues. Thank you for choosing Verizon. 

There will be a follow up email with helpful troubleshooting tips for the most common issues sent to your email for future assistance. Please visit "www.verizon.com/connect" and download the "Verizon In-Home Agent" for easy to use troubleshooting tips and diagnostics tools for your TV, Internet and Telephone. For a recap of the issues discussed today, please refer to the chat posted above.

Scott Wilson(14:29:26): Ahead is redundant.

Scott Wilson(14:30:03): I didn't choose Verizon. If I had a choice, I'd be sipping on sweet Cable internet.

Scott Wilson(14:30:09): But thank you just the same.

Dibakar(14:30:39): Okay. No issues. Have a great day.

Scott Wilson(14:31:17): You just said that.

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