Sunday, July 20, 2014

FIOS failings, Part 3

My February 24, 2014 post about how Verizon is not delivering guaranteed FIOS speeds got lengthy with updates, so I'm starting a new entry here to describe an apparent recent change in Verizon's tactics where contractually-owed refunds are concerned, because this might be of interest to those of you who really deserve to get your money back.
Past 6 p.m. on any given Friday evening, I've learned to expect this kind of thing.  Like many other Verizon customers, we are paying for 50 Mbps, but routinely receive only a tiny fraction of that. The class action lawsuits can't move fast enough for my taste, but in the meantime, I believe we are owed refunds for service not delivered.  
Back in early 2014 when my irritation with this issue first compelled me to take up the battle with Verizon, I could call them and say, "You are not delivering your guaranteed service and so you need to credit my bill accordingly" and they would do that.  But what I noticed two days ago is that they seem to be developing new and more elaborate stalls and red herrings designed to alleviate their financial obligations, even as evidence of their bandwidth throttling continues to mount.

Let me explain.  Friday represented my NINTH service request to Verizon for the 2014 calendar year.
Yes, you read me correctly.  Nine times.

Meme generated by others referencing the 1986 classic "Ferris Bueller's Day Off", which I saw at a theater that no longer exists, but it used to be located in the parking lot near the Clear Lake Bed Bath and Beyond.  
For the first time on this past Friday when I called in, the CSR tried to tell me that my slow speeds were my fault rather than Verizon's.

First they gave it the old college try with the "Your own wireless connection is slow and is causing your problems" routine.  To which I reply every time, "I don't use wireless".  I normally have to fight with them before they'll believe that, during which time they try to trick me into admitting I'm using wireless (because everyone does, right?), when in fact I have the bluest ethernet cables ever manufactured running to all my machines.
This is not, and has never been, my problem.  This is one of the reasons we chose to build our own house - so we could run about two miles of Cat 5 everywhere we wanted.   
Having exhausted that possibility, they then proceeded to claim that my speeds were slow because Windows 7 Professional was causing my problem.  Humoring them temporarily, I allowed the CSR to commandeer one of my machines and download this third-party software which he believed with all his heart and soul would fix my issue once and for all.
See the yellow squiggles highlighting the check boxes?  Those were made by the CSR as he was driving my machine.  I screengrabbed this for reference.  The product is TCP/IP Optimizer from  
The use of this product had no effect on anything, however, as Windows wisely seemed to deny it permission to make registry changes, even while running in Admin mode.

But of course Windows was never my problem to start with.  But that didn't stop Verizon from trying to toss me a grenade a short time later.
Um, no.
In a word, NO.

"Grenade" as I understand it is a term from back in the computing dark ages.  A "grenade" is a routine inserted to blow up a running process.  If I had not replied back, they would have cancelled my service request with no further action on their parts.

I've noticed this more and more with Verizon - if they text you and you don't reply, they close your ticket irrespective of whether your problem has been solved.  If they phone you and leave a message and you don't reply back immediately, they will automatically close your ticket.  Of course, they tend to phone during business hours when normal working people have restrictions on when they can place personal calls.  
In order to get my refund this time, apparently I have to follow through with a technician service call that is scheduled for tomorrow (Monday).  Apparently one cannot simply ask for refunds any longer based on the strength of the evidence.  Apparently one must now endure considerable hassle which seems to be designed to make pursuit of compensation not worth one's while.


As you contemplate that, take a look at this three-minute video posted by another disgruntled FIOS user just 24 hours before I made my latest service request.  As I said at the outset of this post, the evidence supporting intentional manipulation continues to mount (HT:  this Consumerist article).



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