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Verizon: score zero [Dec. 14th, 2010|10:13 am]
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[Current Mood |annoyed]

My hosting company connects to the internet through Verizon.   When they need to take a server down for repair, and then bring it back online, they need Verizon's techs to flip certain switches at the Verizon end of things. 

Verizon is...um....not particularly interested in giving swift, efficient service, apparently.  Take, for instance, last night.  The hosting server developed some glitches in late afternoon/early evening, and after checking it out, the tech team at the hosting end decided it needed some replacement components.   They got this done with admirable speed and efficiency...and then began the wait for Verizon to a) answer a request for service and b) provide the service.   Since they reported to customers (including me) on Twitter, I was able to follow the sequence of events.  First hour or so, Verizon simply ignored the request.  Then Verizon's night supervisory person said it would take a couple of hours.   Hours went by.  Then the night supervisory person said that actually, there wasn't anyone on the shift who could flip those switches or twist those dials and it would have to wait until the next day (today) when the day shift came on.  

It is, as some may have noticed, broad day--mid-morning, in fact--in this time zone.   Hosting company has been in contact with Verizon, which is apparently using every possible level of interference rather than just doing its job and doing the reset...because time is passing (well over a half hour of time has passed since the hosting company said it had finally reached Verizon's day shift supervisory person) and whatever needs to be done still hasn't been done. 

The last time the hosting company needed a reset from Verizon, it also took much longer than you'd think would be necessary.    But this sets a new record, as far as I know.  And this is not some individual user who is having a single individual problem...this is a commercial user all of whose customers (and their customers) are not having access to their websites.   All because Verizon isn't providing even minimally acceptable customer service.    

So not happy with Verizon.    So glad hosting company has offered updates on situation.


[User Picture]From: keristor
2010-12-14 04:36 pm (UTC)
Hopefully all of the hosting company's users will also be posting, tweeting, and otherwise communicating the news about Verizon. If enough of those users work in interesting places, like the stock market...
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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2010-12-14 04:51 pm (UTC)
I have no idea where the other customers work, or if they'll pick up on this. But me...I'm kicking tires.
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[User Picture]From: kimuro
2010-12-14 04:52 pm (UTC)
In this area Verizon is pushing a service package called Fios which combines telephone, cable tv and computer service in one. They are most perplexed that my family refuses to sign up since we've been Verizon phone customers for years. When I explained to one man who came to the door that I dislike having all of my communication eggs in one basket, he blinked with surprise and told me that I could always call for service using my mobile phone.

He was in a state of shock when I replied that I didn't have one.
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[User Picture]From: shockwave77598
2010-12-14 04:57 pm (UTC)
I WISH I could get FIOS. The only problem I've heard about it is that Verizon is a hydra and getting hold of the correct head to get things set up right is difficult. But once it's up, it stays up. And I'd love to have better up speeds for putting stuff on YouTube or creating an OpenSim server of my own.
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[User Picture]From: shockwave77598
2010-12-14 04:55 pm (UTC)
Most connections to the backbone come with Guaranteed Service clauses in the contract. A T1 line may be only 1MBPS up and down, but you pay out the nose for it and it comes with immediate action within an hour if it goes down. Business contracts usually hold that the provider guarantee service or an hourly penalty goes into effect. Were I your hosting company, I'd be calling not the local Verizon shop but the higher ups and asking them how they'd like to pay for their failure to provide services -- cash or check? THEN you'll see the Verizon techs leap to configure things right.
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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2010-12-14 04:59 pm (UTC)
I'm sure the hosting service has had this conversation, or will have it shortly.

They are good people, but they aren't pushovers.
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[User Picture]From: reading_angel
2010-12-14 08:42 pm (UTC)
I'm really surprised, actually. I've always been impressed with Verizon whenever I've encountered them.

I know part of being impressed with them has to do with how much the Verizon Foundation supports and works for literacy, but I've always had a good connection and prompt service from the phone company, even out in the middle of nowhere- where Sprint and At&T dare not tread. I can now answer my cellphone when I'm at home, surprisingly enough, and no longer lose calls in the hills between home and town.

So, I'm surprised and saddened by this behavior.
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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2010-12-14 11:07 pm (UTC)
Try this: they continued obfuscation through the afternoon--as reported by my hosting company, passing the buck from manager to manager--and the onsite tech they claimed to be sending hours before finally showed up thirty minutes ago.

In other words, for almost 11 hours they didn't even claim to be trying to do anything, and then from probably about nine-thirty this morning until four-thirty in the afternoon, they weaseled. Possibly hoping to make it back to the night shift without having to stir their butts.

I don't give a flip how much good a company does for a foundation--any foundation: if they're screwing over their customers, they're doing their 'good' with money they've effectively stolen by cheating the customers. You don't get brownie points until after you've done what you're supposed to.

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[User Picture]From: blueeowyn
2010-12-15 02:38 pm (UTC)
I'm not surprised, you must be one of the fortunate few who haven't had problems with them. My personal favorite was when they put FIOS into our neighborhood and at around the same time the copper line got a nick (no direct causality just a temporal correlation ... officially). We called the problem in (the buzzing on the phone was annoying ... fortunately didn't mess with the DSL). Husband took 1/2 day so tech could come (though we knew it was outside the house, we tested the line coming into the outside box), were told we needed a dig crew and the would come 3 days later. Then three days later the tech came and said no one was home and nothing could be done. Lather-rinse-repeat for about 2.5 weeks, then we came home one day to find the cable to the box strung through our tree and the neighbor's tree to the post by the neighbors house (which did fix the problem but...). About a week later the cable disappeared 'underground'. When I was doing some work in our flowerbeds, I found out how deep the cable was. The highest I found was about 1 inch below ground, the lowest was 2.5 inches. Good thing I was using a hand trowel and not a hoe.

Similar fiascos have occurred at work with verizon (like them canceling one of our cell phones when we added another line ... bit of a problem for the person whose phone was cancelled since the individual was out of state at a funeral and it happened on a Saturday).

I also agree with Elizabeth that good deeds don't outweigh lousy service.
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[User Picture]From: moonsinger
2010-12-14 09:36 pm (UTC)
For the past three years, my family has had some serious problems with AT&T, and we made the mistake of having our tv, cell phones, home phone, and computer service through them. We've changed that. We have Direct TV, which I don't much like either. I like the cell phones primarily because I have an Iphone, we have minimal home phone service for our alarm system. However, our internet service is VERY crap. They finally told us that they had to downgrade the amount of data we could download over our DSL because we weren't close enough to the hub. I suspect that both the home builder and AT&T are at fault because of our data problems and they didn't install good cables to cut corners. What ever happened to fast response and the customer is always right?

To be fair though, the AT&T repair workers have all been polite and prompt; the Direct TV installers are another story--they're contractors and generally try to get money out of you they aren't supposed to get, and you end up having to pay more for an install and requesting a refund from the parent company (who gives it). When our contract is up with Direct TV, I intend to get rid of cable completely and use streaming to watch shows or buy the discs. It isn't as if I've watched much tv of late anyways.
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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2010-12-14 11:22 pm (UTC)
Seriously, this was not a topic about who watched how much TV of what kind. I don't care what anyone watches, or their kid watches, or whether they gert there by cable, satellite, or broadcast. Or how bad other internet connecting companies were or are. (Well, I do care, but right now it's not those other companies who are giving me a headache.)

I'm writing about Verizon (not AT&T or Comcast or some other company you think is worse) because Verizon has screwed over their customer who hosts my websites, so my sites have been down 24 hours. I'm angry on my own behalf, and on behalf of the hosting company, which has given me excellent service for fourteen years. Mine are not the only sites they host, and it's likely that at least some people are blaming the hosting company (for instance, those who usually visit the hosted sites) because they won't know it's really Verizon's fault.

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From: (Anonymous)
2010-12-15 01:52 am (UTC)
update - almost 9pm ET -- the sites are up... YEA -Kathleen
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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2010-12-15 04:40 am (UTC)

For those interested...

For those interested in the full sequence of events from the POV of the hosting service, there are two sources, their Twitter updates (where, if you go back a little ways, you can find they had a similar problem with Verizon in early November) and a newsgroup at their site.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/sffnet (All posts are Twitter-length)

SFF.net WebNews admin.help newsgroup:

Sign in as guest (assuming you're not a member) and browse to sff.admin.help-desk

The direct link:

takes me there, but I'm a member; not sure it will work for anyone else. (And be sure to grab the whole link if you want to try it--it's on two lines.

Love the part where even after the Verizon tech is onsite, he can't get straight through to the NOC but has to work through another manager level.

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[User Picture]From: keristor
2010-12-15 07:14 am (UTC)

Re: For those interested...

I can read the page at the link and I'm not a member. For me it just appears as a normal link (but I have a wide monitor which may make a difference).
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[User Picture]From: made_of_paradox
2010-12-16 07:31 pm (UTC)

And, when I worked for an ISP, there were people who would jump up in the middle of the night to fix whatever was down at the NOC as soon as they were alerted to it. 3 or 4 guys, rotating who got custody of the magic pager, and never a grumble about it -- and if the call came in at 2AM, the problem was usually fixed by 4AM.

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