Dennis Carr (dennisthetiger) wrote in bad_service,
Dennis Carr

OK, maybe they don't want this payphone working

To give you some background, I refuse to carry a cellphone on general principle, electing to carry phone cards instead and use payphones if I need to make a phone call while on the road. The reasoning is that I don't think that there is any phone call that can't wait if I'm in transit, it's too expensive, and for those who really need to reach me, they can drop me an email or leave a voice mail. Besides, if it's an emergency, they shouldn't call me, they should call 911 - and if they need to get in contact with me, there are other ways to reach me. My mother, for instance.

So, all that said, if I'm out using payphones and I come across one that is broken, I'll make it a point to call the repair service. Here in southern California, Pacific Bell SBC AT&T employs 611 for the purpose, and the private payphone companies typically use 211 if they don't have a toll-free number published. Generally speaking, the repair service numbers seem to appreciate this bit of information.

Not Verizon. Oh, no. That would be clever. 611 will dial AT&T, 211 doesn't do anything, so you have to call the operator and tell her what's up.

Or, at least, that's what I thought. See, this Verizon payphone across from where I was was damaged - the handset was broken. So I dial 0, get the operator, and tell her what's up. After some hesitation, she transfers me to a toll free number somewhere. I get a human, who transfers me again, and then I get stuck - after four or five transfers - in a hold queue for ten minutes.

All I wanted was to get a bus schedule, originally, and with it in mind that my bus would be 20 minutes, I thought I'd be nice. I don't know what I was thinking.

I've since come to the conclusion that "Verizon" is a portmanteau of "vertical horizon". You know, a wall. What you seem to hit when you deal with these yahoos. All the really cool stuff of GTE, with all the customer service and problems (from what my wife tells me) of BHell Atlantic.

I did catch my bus, and got to where I was going - though I was a few minutes late. But I can't blame Verizon for that. =^_^=
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