Friday, September 28, 2012

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

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

Agent Leo has joined. (15:15:37)

Leo : Chat ID for this session is 12201121779. (15:15:37)

Leo(15:15:37)Welcome to Verizon Online Sales Support! Thank you for choosing Verizon. What services may I help you learn more about today?

Leo(15:16:17)Hello, how may I assist you today?

You(15:16:17): xxxxx - can I get FiOS at my new home (I'm a current customer nearby)

Leo(15:17:22)Thank you for sharing the address information. Please allow me few moments to check and revert back to you.

Leo(15:19:42)Could you please share if your address has a Street address?

You(15:20:16): xxxxx is the address - single family home

Leo(15:21:07)Thank you for clarifying. I will try and get back to you in few moments. Thank you for your valued time.

Leo(15:21:32)I have concluded my research and let me share the details with you.

Leo(15:23:27)It seems our online address tool is unable to identify your home location, I would recommend you to call our Local Verizon Business office and request them to update your address on the online database. Once its done, you may come back online and order with us to avail the great online promotions.

Leo(15:23:42)You may please call The Local Verizon Business Office at 1-800 VERIZON (1-800-837-4966) between 8:00 AM and 6:00 PM EST from Monday to Friday.

You(15:23:59): the 800 number won't pick up, it keeps hanging up on me.

You(15:24:03): typical

Leo(15:24:49)I certainly understand, in that let me share one more number which is for our Technical Support team.

Leo(15:25:19)Technical support :1-800-VERIZON (1-800-837-4966)
We are here to address your technical needs 24 hours a day 7 days a week for your convenience.

You(15:25:25): I don't need tech support. I need a ^%%^#$% sales person to pick up the phone.

You(15:26:01): Have somebody call me. Now. xxx xxx xxxx. THIS is how business works.

Leo(15:28:41)I certainly understand your concern and thank you for sharing your phone number. However, being a Online Sales department, we do not have privileges to arrange a call for you. I would request you to kindly call any of our number provided to you. I am sure, you would get complete assistance from them.

Leo(15:29:31)However, if you have questions related to order or details of services we offer, you can come back online anytime to chat with us, we are here 24x7.

You(15:30:27): They won't pick up. You guys are incompetent fools. I hope someone is reading this.

Leo(15:33:42)I apologize for the inconvenience caused to you. However to bring a lasting solution for availability of service at your home, we request you to call the numbers of Local Verizon Business office or Technical Support Team.

You(15:34:23): Can you read?

You(15:34:28): They won't pick up.

You(15:34:40): May I speak to your supervisor, please?

Leo(15:34:55)One moment please.

You(15:35:12): I want to give you large sums of money each month and you won't even give me the time of day?

You(15:35:27): Do you even understand what I am writing?

Leo(15:36:37)Please allow me a moment while I transfer your chat to my supervisor.

Agent Sandrino has joined. (15:37:48)

Sandrino(15:37:48)Hello! This is the Floor Manager. Please give me few moments while I review the conversation.

You(15:39:53): I'm frustrated because all I want is a straight answer as to whether I will be able to have FiOS at my new home, 1/2 mile from my current home. I can wait here until I get an answer. I can not get an answer from an 800 number that will not pick up.

Sandrino(15:40:38)Please give me few moments while I try check the availability for your new address from my end. I appreciate your patience.

You(15:41:12): I am asking for nothing but the confirmation that I will be able to give a lot of money to Verizon - do you understand this?

Sandrino(15:42:18)I do understand this, however being in online chat department we would not be able to place the order on behalf of customers, please give me few moments.


You(15:44:01): You're not reading this, are you?

You(15:44:26): You don't really get the concept that I'm the customer and that I pay your salary.

Sandrino(15:44:51)I am reading what you just mentioned and I am checking whether you would be able to get FiOS services for new location or not.

You(15:47:00): Time Warner just picked up on the second ring!

Sandrino(15:47:15)The address you have mentioned doesn't match with the online database, you would need to contact our local Verizon office tomorrow to update the address. If you would call our local Verizon office during business hours you would be able to speak to our representatives who would update the address.

You(15:47:25): DirecTV, ATT, next...

You(15:47:41): THE 800 NUMBER WILL NOT PICK UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

Leo has left the conversation. (15:47:46)

You(15:47:59): How can someone call a number that won't be answered...

Sandrino(15:48:14)If you would call them during the business hours and follow the right prompts you would be able to reach our customer service representative.

Sandrino(15:48:54)If you do not wanto call that number, I would request you to come online tomorrow during the business hours and we would transfer the chat to our account specialist who can assist you further.

You(15:49:23): THEY WON'T ANSWER!!!! HOW CAN I FOLLOW PROMPTS???????? If 3:48 isn't business hours, I wonder what is. This might explain something.

You(15:50:07): you're not even reading this, are you?

You(15:50:40): call 800 837 4966 yourself. See if they answer.

Sandrino(15:51:55)In this case I would request you to come online tomorrow and we would transfer the chat to our account specialist who would be able to assist you further. When I tried entering your address it says website could not find the address you have entered.

Sandrino(15:54:56)Could you please confirm if we are still connected?

You(15:55:21): I'm connected. I'm not quite sure you have been. What the heck is VZ's problem?

You(15:55:47): I'm talking with a TW rep, getting a very good quote for their service.

You(15:55:58): Why won't your reps pick up their phone?

Sandrino(15:56:23)Verizon would not wish to lose a valued and potential customer like you, I would request you to try tomorrow once again.

Sandrino(15:56:39)Verizon provides best deals online and I am sure you would get even better deal with Verizon.

You(15:56:46): Why's still business hours for the rest of us.....................

You(15:57:03): Please answer my question.........................................................................................................................................................


Sandrino(15:57:23)1-800 VERIZON (1-800-837-4966) between 8:00 AM and 6:00 PM EST from Monday to Friday.

Sandrino(15:57:53)The timings are in EST.

You(15:58:08): 6pm est? No reasonable PST hours?? This is supposed to be good customer service how?

You(15:58:35): This is supposed to inspire confidence in VZ?

Sandrino(15:59:15)I apologize, however we have our representatives available only during these hours.

Sandrino(16:02:10)Please do not hesitate to ask if you have any more questions for me.

Friday, September 14, 2012

#AreYouBetterOff - Why, Yes!

#AreYouBetterOff  Since '09: I have 2x in savings and investments, I started a small biz, got married, bought a house..WTF more do I want?

I tweeted this on September 1, 2012 to do my part to help...correct...the #GOP's mistaken, hateful, purchased hashtag #areyoubetteroff. It has been retweeted and favorited on Twitter dozens of times. It has also received many many Mentions and Direct Message responses. Many have been favorable, and with many...hilarity has ensued.

Listen, I was born the son of a union working man and a farmgirl. We never wanted for food, shelter, or healthcare. We never had the nicest car or the biggest TV, but my folks were able to buy me a guitar, save for my college education, and give me a comfortable life.

Nothing in this tweet is a lie. I've been through careers, jobs, and just-getting-by in my life. I have two sons and I have tried to make sure they have had the opportunity I had. I've been divorced, but I never gave up on the work it takes to build a good relationship.

About half of us Americans own stocks - much in 401(k)s or other individual investments. A generation (or two) ago, our employer took care of this as a pension, and anything extra the average person had earned us 5% or-so in savings interest. Now, it's stocks, which are essentially a losing proposition for a buy-and-hold family investor, whether in mutual funds or individual stocks. Investments I got when my marriage ended in '97 halved, and now are valued at a little more than then (not accounting for inflation...). I have continued to nickel and dime my investments, even through the recession, and my employer finally saw the light, started a 401(k) a few years ago, and I have been both aggressively funding this from my paycheck and lucky in what I choose, so my total investments, and what I've been able to put away for emergencies (earning 0.00001% or whatever) is now double what I had four years ago.

Starting 5 years ago or-so, I started making plans to get back into music and to start a small product distribution company. My needs were light and my sons would soon be leaving the nest. That time, of course was 2008, so my plans to make money from these pursuits had to be re-evaluated (but not dashed). I did start the small business, with plans to grow it over time instead of a big launch that wouldn't have been possible as the economy tanked. The biz provides slow and steady monthly income while my day job gives me less and less opportunity.

I met a wonderful woman, a single mom of a boy with high-functioning Autism, and finally last year we tied the knot. We pooled our resources, and figured out a way to buy a small house in a good neighborhood, walking distance to my step-son's school. It's cheaper than renting, even without the mortgage deduction and other benefits. Home values have already been inching up, so we actually have some equity.

Some have noted that my response is selfish. Yes. And the question is selfish. As the dust settles on my new life and house, we are starting to give back what we can, a pittance, really, to help those who do not have what we have.

#WeBuiltThis Well, yes. My late father didn't have money (what he did, my mother is living very comfortably on), and all my life, I have worked in society, not against it, to grow my life. My college education was a combination of taxpayer-guaranteed loans, scholarships, work, and my parents' savings. The stability a Union job gave my Dad gave me Hope. I saw that work, and working together, is a way to take you where you want to go in life, with luck.

If you say that you have built a job, business, life, or family solely by your hard work and ingenuity, you are just wrong and clueless. Hubris is not an attractive characteristic. We band together. We humans always have. Subsistence hunter-gatherers in the bush unite in tribes to survive, and to prosper in some cases. We united to defeat the British a few centuries ago. They would have eventually tossed us, but we banded together to fight for our independence. It wasn't just a musket, but our muskets in a militia. It wasn't just rogue revolutionaries, it was the people who stayed behind to farm, and tend to houses and families, working with their neighbors to build the nation.

Am I better off? Yes, and even if you are a billionaire, so are you. 

Saturday, September 01, 2012

Wow, Republicans...

Your parents sure were pathetic losers. No wonder their children grew up to be what they are.

I'll tell you mother grew up on a farm in a small midwestern state. She worked every day, didn't have much, but never wanted for the basics. As a teenager, she worked in a small restaurant started by her older sister, saving for college. She met my father as she worked there slingin' hash.

My Dad was a Navy vet, back from WWII, serving on Guam in the waning days. He got electronics training through the GI Bill, a job at the Phone Company, and set his sights on this cute young brunette.

They married. Had a son (my brother), then another (me). Bought a little old house, within walking distance of work and schools. Had no problem paying for medical care. Saved for a modest vacation every year, usually driving to beautiful places around the Midwest and Eastern part of our great country, staying in cheap motels, eating affordable food. Put aside money so the kids could go to college. Put aside money and worked second jobs, planned for retirement.

Do you think a heroic, to this crop of Republicans, life like this would have made them choose the Republican Party of clawing your way to the top? My dad probably voted for Nixon, but changed his allegiance Eugene McCarthy subsequently. Why? My dad was a Union man. Working for Ma Bell, how else was one family man to have a voice against this monopoly? How else would he have been able to retire on a pension (that is still supporting my mother, by the way)? How else could he have medical and dental care for this little family? Was he going to entrepreneur his way to start a competing phone company? My mother's family had always been members of the Democratic Party, even though her parents were conservative, church going farm folk (I never heard Grandpa or Grandma say anything but a loving word about anyone - they walked the walk).

Watch this video montage: video: Montage: RNC speakers talk about money struggles:

Do you believe these stories? Do you think that everyone but them got where they are through handouts, the government, and the work of others? Do you think Barack Obama personally had destroyed centuries of self-determination in the US and replaced it with a Marxist/Socialist/Communist redistributive regime?

Instead of choosing a life of lobbyist and taxpayer largess, my parents chose to live a life of work and giving. Instead of being able to sell stocks to pay for Harvard, they were able to use arguably the most beneficial government program ever enacted, the GI Bill, to set the stage for generations to come. Instead of relying on decades-old stories of your parents' self reliance to prop up your decades-long career of leeching off taxpayers and the corporate teat, my family lived their version of the American dream.