Anyway, I tracked the issue down through customer service last night which, in itself, was no small feat because apparently they don't widely share information on service outages amongst themselves (duh, why not??), which blows my mind. That's Lesson #1 to be learned here: When something goes wrong with your cell phone, press the issue because chances are that Verizon itself will not have a clue, even hours into the service failure (see my screen chat in yesterday's post).
The problem was reportedly caused by a "switch issue". I asked the rep, "What the hell is a 'switch issue' and how does it occur?" He couldn't be specific about what happened in League City but reportedly, it's a hardware failure of some sort.
The rep went on to state that there were "more than fifty" trouble tickets initiated in League City yesterday. Presumably, that doesn't count all the people who physically walked into the store because they couldn't use their phones to reach customer service to initiate trouble tickets. Those formal reports were perhaps mostly from people like myself who tied up someone else's non-Verizon phone trying to sort things out.
The rep went on to indicate that he was impressed that the "switch issue" was fixed as promptly as it was. He stated that it often takes "days" to get those rectified, and the fact that it was fixed so quickly suggested to him that a technician must have been at the site of the problem immediately after it occurred.
I asked the obvious question: "How can you take 'days' to fix a phone service outage? What happens to the people who need to dial 911 in that time? Nobody has landlines any more." No real clear answer for that one.
|You think you're living in a time of high technology, but it's not nearly as robust as it appears.|
Microsoft clip arts superimposed.
Anyway, this whole thing has been an eye-opener for me. Verizon Wireless is the largest cell carrier in the United States, reportedly with 100 million customers and $76 billion in annual revenue, and yet their own customer service can't tell you four hours into a service outage that (duh) they've got a service outage. Seventy-six billion dollars in revenue but apparently they can't establish a technical means of communicating services outages to their customer service team. I find that remarkable.
I was struck yesterday by the degree to which it was automatically assumed that I was not a customer affected by an outage, but was instead just a customer who either had a broken device or didn't know how to operate my own device, even though I had their own local store backing me up regarding the explanation to the contrary. Verizon gets a great big FAIL from me on this one.