Several months ago I switched my TV, phone, and internet service to Verizon’s Fios. Since then I figure my transactions alone have added several hundred pounds of carbon to the atmosphere. When I called to complain about an error in my bill, for example, the error was corrected but the call somehow generated an automated order for a new router to be delivered by UPS. It also generated a letter from Verizon thanking me for ordering the new router. I called to say I didn’t need a new router, and they told me to have it returned, which I did. I got another letter thanking me for choosing Verizon. That’s two round-trips for UPS, and two postal deliveries, not to mention the wasted energy of all those phone calls.
When I called because my multi-room DVR doesn’t work, they sent a technician to install a new box. It still didn’t work, so I called again and got a technician who told me to call during business hours and “subscribe” to that service. That call was taken by a rep who said he would have the proper person push a button to “subscribe” me. Instead it automatically generated an order for a new box to be delivered by UPS. More calls to UPS to pick up the box, more wasted gas for the UPS truck to bring it and pick it up. An ice berg probably lost some of its mass over my multi-room DVR, which still doesn’t work. Any day now I’ll probably get a letter thanking me for ordering a recorder box.
Then there’s my caller ID, which also hasn’t worked since I switched to Verizon. I’ve lost track of the number of calls I’ve made about that. Each call has generated a raft of letters thanking me for ordering something I didn’t order, which necessitated more calls to Verizon to tell them I didn’t order whatever they’d thanked me for. More postal deliveries, more trees cut down, more ice-berg-melt, and my caller ID still doesn’t work unless the caller is using a non-Verizon phone. If somebody who has Sprint or ATT or any other service calls, my caller ID gives their name and number. If somebody calls from a Verizon phone, I get the state from which they’re calling. It can be my next door neighbor, and the ID will say “Florida.” Several reps have promised to run that problem down and try to fix it. I expect to get mail about it. Maybe something delivered by UPS.
The good thing is that almost every Verizon employee has been courteous and friendly. Sometimes we all have a good laugh at how ridiculous the entire situation is. I suppose eventually the problems will all be solved. In the meantime, I just hope that nobody in Washington decides to let Verizon handle anything having to do with national security. If that happens, we’re all sunk.