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January 17, 2004

Credit where credit is due

I just had a good experience with Verizon Wireless.

I got my new cellphone from them about a month ago. From the first day I've been receiving a daily -- 7am!! -- text message with a 5-day weather forecast. I really don't want this message.

I stopped by the VW store and asked how to turn it off, and they told me to go to the site to do that. Last night I finally got around to looking into this, and I couldn't find a way to make it stop.

This morning I called *611, the VW customer service number. "Barbara" tried to be helpful, but it became apparent pretty quickly that she didn't know the answer. She could totally disable text messaging for me, but she didn't know anything about this particular message. At one point in the conversation she acknowledged that it came from a VW service, but later she didn't know which one.

I pressed her for an answer and she referred me to the REAL technical support department.

I called them, and "Shahara" was quickly able to figure out that the daily weather was coming from another text messaging partnership that VW has (had?) with MSN. She figured out that this daily alert was a remnant of the person who had this cell phone number before I did. She said she could turn off this daily alert, and that if I called back when I get my next bill they'd credit me for the incoming text charges. Mission Accomplished.

[BTW, when I first called the REAL support number, their phone message system kept hanging up on me when I pressed the number for the kind of help I needed. I intentionally pressed the wrong number, and the person who answered was very nice and helped connect me to the right department.]

I know this might sound like it was an ordeal with people who didn't know the answer and phone menu systems that didn't work. But I give a lot of credit to the ability to acknowledge the shortcomings, and figure out how to overcome them. Too often these days, this sort of support call can result in "sorry we can't help you", or infinite wait times on muzac hold. So I'm OK with the way this turned out.

Verizon Wireless is no saint. They've given me trouble in the past. But this time they did the right thing. Good job.

Posted by jghiii at January 17, 2004 01:58 PM
Posted by: Verizon Wireless on January 17, 2004 06:52 PM

Good morning!

The date is Saturday, January 17, 2004.

The five-day extended weather forecast for your area is extreme fucking cold followed by less cold but still enought to freeze a witch's tit. Actually, the twenty-five day extended weather forecast for your area is also fucking freezing and witch's tit cold.

The forecast for your mental state is extreme regret over leaving the almost-in-the SF Bay Area.

Posted by: beth on January 18, 2004 07:33 AM

Let me guess who this comment is from...only one person I know would use such foul language.

Posted by: Sherman on January 18, 2004 04:28 PM

Gosh, you really do live in New Hampshire if you only know one person who uses fowl language.

Speaking of which, do you know the story of Johnny F***herfaster? It seems he was under the porch wiht his girlfriend and........oh, you have heard it. Okay.

On a serious note -- it's not my intent to offend, but it's been an intent to be honest. This is the way I speak. It probably comes from so much interaction with college kids. The words are not "foul" to them -- it's just the words they use. I can supress the more colorful language when I need to, but not always.

true story:
I've gotten close to the parents of one of my inner circle kids -- a soccer player named Kyle who's from Sacramento. I always sit with his parents, John & Cynthia, at the games. Now last Fall, Kyle got the chance to go to the final game of the red sox/athletics playoff series in Oakland, and being an A's fan, when Oakland scored early in the game, he called me on his cell to taunt me. But Boston caught up and went ahead, and I call him on his cell to return the taunt. And he doesn't answer. And any code of the west guy will tell you that if you call a fan of your opponent to taunt them about an early lead and then you lose that lead, you have to accept the payback taunting. And if you don't, you are a MOM ALERT pussy. And after Boston wins the game and I called again to give him one more chance at being a man and accepting the return taunt after he initiated this exchange, he again doesn't answer the phone and again proves he is just a pussy.

So the next soccer game is the last home game of the season, and I'm sitting in the stands with John & Cynthia. They're a cool couple -- high school sweethearts who are still happily married 25 years later. Cynthia is really nice -- we've become good friends even though she's a very traditional catholic -- I think I'm her first homo friend. John is a guy's guy -- and I notice his language is more "colorful" when it's just the two of us. So John brings up baseball and I start to tell him the story about Kyle's cowardice and how "your son was a total pussy who was too scared to take the call" and as soon as I say it John's eyes go wide and I realize Cynthia is sitting beside him and heard what I said and and I just start apologizing and getting embarassed. After the game there is a cookout and Kyle is hanging with some other guys, and I grab him and and tell him what happened and how "not only are you are a pussy, but you made me have to say pussy in front of your mother" and he smirks and goes "you did it again" and nods over my shoulder and Cynthia's standing right behind me without me knowing it.

Posted by: Jack Hodgson on January 18, 2004 10:55 PM

So let me get this straight.

You don't like that maybe you offended the mom of this kid you've known for like 3 or four months. But the mom of one of your dearest friends in the world... well... it's MOM ALERT time.

Posted by: sherman on January 19, 2004 01:51 AM

Well, first of all -- there's a history for me and Kyle and his family and it's now five semesters long, not just a few months.

And your mom isn't standing right behind me while I type out pussy.

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