Posts Tagged ‘phone company’
Pull into my driveway at approximately 2:30 PM today to see the s local Verizon guy in front of my access box (NIC), and there’s a piece of gray wire coming out of it, looped around/across my neighbor’s fence perimeter. The wire crosses the fence on the other side of my neighbor’s lawn and is plugged into my neighbor’s NIC.
I have Verizon dial tone. It’s an ugly lashup, but I’m not going to complain at the moment
Filing a complaint with the Virginia SCC (think PUC) is powerful s**t, my friends.
I also have a call from another person at Verizon who has sounded the alarm and says I should expect a Miss Utility truck today to mark the buried lines, with a contractor out either today or Monday to dig up and splice in new copper.
This morning, I called Verizon’s number to see what time a tech would be out to look at my dead landline
Much to my surprise, the auto-bot said the trouble ticket had been closed. Once again, using the magic word “Attendant” to cut through the voice recognition robot, I got a live human being who said that the line had been “fixed” at 9:30 AM.
I expressed my dismay, since 1) The tech hadn’t knocked on the door and 2) how was I supposed know that the line was fixed? Oh and 3) I still did not have dial tone.
So, we went into the rote script of “Unplug all of your phones for five to ten minutes, then plug back in a standard phone and see if you have dial tone” and if that doesn’t work — call back and ask a supervisor.
Did as instructed. No dial tone in the home. Call back. Ask to speak to a supervisor. All supervisors are busy.
“Can I have the name of a supervisor?” “They’re a pool”
“Can I have a direct number so I won’t have to deal with the auto-attendant?” “There’s no direct number.”
Call ends with me asking for a supervisor to call me back at my alternative phone number and being assured someone will call me back today.
My Verizon landline went dead on Monday. I filed a trouble ticket on Monday evening. At that time I was told that “the latest someone would be out to look at my line would be Monday, July 13, but if there’s someone free earlier, we’ll call you…”
Seven days for a tech to come out seems excessive by any stretch of the imagination. I suppose I could call the President of Verizon Virginia to complain — that’s the secret ninja trick that all Verizon employees know — but I don’t have his number in my cards.
Instead, this morning I went to the Virgina PUC and emailed in a complaint this morning. By the time I returned from the gym today, I received a response which read in part…
“As to the current service quality regulations, 95% or more of all telephone company outages should be cleared within 48 hours. The quoted ‘seven days’ interval is not acceptable to the Commission’s standards and should not be a company policy within Verizon.”
If you want to know one of the supporting reasons why Verizon continues to lose landlines, it boils down to one word: service.
My Verizon landline died sometime yesterday. I placed a service call last night and was told the latest someone would show up would be July 13 – seven days from the time I placed the call.
A test from the CO indicated that yes, indeedie, there was a problem, so a truck roll was scheduled. Iif a dispatcher could get someone out there earlier, Verizon might be able to get someone out there; could I please provide two (2) other phone numbers to reach someone at the household. So they have a “work” number (which, BTW, is a Cox phone line working fine) and a mobile number.
Other highlights of my call: “Did I check the dial tone access on the box outside?” No. When did checking dial tone on the box outside become standard operating procedure? “Work on the inside of the house is covered, you pay for maintenance…” Yes, we do, but this apparently doesn’t get a truck roll out to me any sooner despite paying the extra $3 and change.
All this gives me flashbacks to when I moved about 3 years ago and tried to get service to my new house. It was almost literally a move across the street — no change in CO, no restart in billing, should have been a piece of cake.
Instead, it was a NIGHTMARE.
One phone number was supposed to be transferred over the weekend, but the house owners left their service on. I called service, took time out of my day on a Friday, and was PROMISED that would be out that day. 10 AM rolled into noon, and I called Verizon again. “Someone will be out by 3 PM”… 3 PM rolled into 4, called again … “Someone will be out by 6 PM”… 6 PM came and went. “We can’t send someone out today, we’ll send someone out tomorrow.”
Saturday came and went, nobody showed up.
Monday rolls around, the dial tone from the previous owners ends and STILL no truck roll. I call again, am told that because the previous owners didn’t have service turned off, they have rescheduled the truck roll — because they just CAN’T turn up service without a truck roll once the line is turned off — for two weeks later, thank you very much.
Since I live in a cell phone “dead zone” and have a small child, I am not f***ing pleased. I ask for a supervisor and tell her I had a live phone line in the house until yesterday, could she PLEASE try to do something in the switch?
And… 5 minutes later late on Monday I have one of two phone lines turned on. Lot of apologies about how Verizon was switching to a new dispatch/service system…. and that’s it. No service credit, no paper…
Line number two came up after a truck roll about two weeks later.
A month or two after that, I called up Cox and moved line number two off Verizon. The cable company gave me a TWO HOUR window when the tech would be out and it took them less than an hour to:
1) Find the right cable
2) Install the equipment on the side of the house
3) Switch the phone number out of Verizon’s CO over to their CO.
It would have been MUCH LESS than an hour, but the installer was training a new guy, so he was taking his time showing the rookie how to do things right, including nicely cutting the cable guys. In addition, there was about 5-10 minutes on hold with the service center because it was lunch time.
Now, which would you prefer, a two hour service window, or a seven day service window? Cable may have gotten a bad rap for customer service in the past, but they’re kicking Verizon’s rear in my neighborhood today.
Adam Uzelac — aka voiploser on Twitter — is tweeting Global Crossing rolling out Microsoft Office Communications Server (OCS) R2. This makes two carriers that have embraced OCS for internal usage.
At VoiceCon this spring, Sprint was talking about its love for OCS and how it would save them a ton of money since the company was consolidating onto one PBX platform — an important thing, given Sprint’s current financial straits.
Critics of OCS hype at VoiceCon noted the platform didn’t have any good answers for survivability or E-911 support and that Microsoft wasn’t expected to roll out something with both features to make OCS a “true” PBX replacement in 2010 with Release 3.
VoIPLoser, er Adam, says Global Crossing will tackle the survivability issue with more servers and E-911 through the use of cell phones.
Enterprise VoIP Planet is reporting a jaw-dropper. The magicJack guys are saying that they are making a femtocell-esque version of the magicJack device. For a few dollars more, magicJack will supposedly offer a USB device that will latch onto your cell phone signal and redirect an outbound call from a phone into the magicJack network. If someone calls in on a magicJack number, it’ll ring the cell phone.”
The story quotes Stratus Telecommunications CEO Nathan Franzmeier, with Stratus described as a “sister company” of magicJack. Franzmeier reported says “we may have to have relationship with a carrier in the U.S.”
NOW, if femtoJack is to use licensed frequencies to bypass the billable-cellular network, I would strongly think that the U.S. carrier that paid for those licenses is going to raise all kinds of hell…assuming femtoJack wants to play on those bands. Plus if such device was to be sold in the U.S., it would have to get FCC approval.
ON THE OTHER HAND, if femtoJack just happens to use vanilla WiFi and you route everything over Wi-Fi, that’s a different story. The story is pretty vague on what band or bands femtoJack would play on but implies the device would be legal in a lot of countries.
The Business Insider is reporting magicJack expect to pull $100 million in sales this year and is cash-flow positive. Claims like this from a privately-held company scare me, especially since the company got hit by PC Magazine for poor customer support and the Boston Globe ran into installation and tech support headaches.
Posted June 29, 2009on:
Over at TMCNet, Gary Kim has unearthed survey data generated by Alcatel-Lucent on global consumer telecommunications spending in these tight times. People are cutting, but they’re going to keep VoIP and multi-channel video services (i.e. TV) pretty much the same.
Getting chopped are pay-per-view movies downloaded from the Internet and mobile data service. Customers plan to reduce spending on network based services if the economy – i.e. their pocketbooks – doesn’t get better, moving from fee-based services to free alternatives. People will also shift from wireless voice to using email and text messaging to save pennies and dollars. Pre-paid voice and bundled service packs offering discounts get a thumbs up over post-paid plans.
Mixed results when the economy improves: 29 percent of consumers will increase their spending on network-based services while 13 percent will tighten their belts regardless.
Among the remaining titans of ICT (Information and Communication Technology), HP has taken advantage of the failings and chaos of other companies (i.e. Nortel) to expand its positions in the telecom and UC arenas. In the convergence between IT and telecommunications, HP may have the upper hand.
Under an agreement rolled out earlier this month, HP and Alcatel-Lucent have established a 10 year global alliance to help customers “leverage the convergence of telecommunication and IT,” meaning the companies will jointly market solutions and capabilities for service providers and enterprises.
Once a definitive agreement has been executed, the companies will jointly market solutions and capabilities that enable end-to-end transformation for service providers and enterprises. HP and Alcatel-Lucent will have a global program for migrating communications networks into converged, next-generation infrastructure, plus services for managing new and existing infrastructures.
In addition, HP and Alcatel-Lucent will work together to selling communications solutions to larger enterprises and the public sector, with options of either buying through HP resellers or purchasing managed solutions.
It should be no big surprise that HP teamed with Alcatel-Lucent for delivering integrated IT/telecom solutions for service providers and enterprises. Alcatel-Lucent had few options and with Sun being devoured by Oracle, HP was the last remaining independent with scalable server hardware Alcatel-Lucent brings its IP telephony, mobility, security, and contact center knowledge to the table and HP can leverage its resellers.
Could Alcatel-Lucent have worked with IBM? Not really, as there was too much overlap between the telecom solutions that IBM already has in its portfolio (and conveniently running on IBM hardware). IBM is also sticking its fingers into mobile communications to the tune of $100 million, research that Alcatel-Lucent isn’t likely to be comfy with along with all those mobile apps that IBM is starting to roll out.
HP also has another card up its sleeve: A four year unified communications deal with Microsoft. Announced last month at Interop, the two companies expect to invest up to $180 million in a combination of product development, professional services, and joint sales and marketing.
Enterprises looking to embrace UC can now turn to HP and Microsoft, with HP providing additional software for network monitoring, as well as a high-end telepresence solution. HP’s continued financial success and IT hardware may make the company a much more useful partner to Microsoft than Nortel ever ways; sure, you could run OCS on a Nortel server, but if you had to put HP and Nortel head-to-head in server hardware, HP wins hands down.
Deja cheap minutes! Comcast has jumped onto the how-low-can-you-go bandwagon, announcing a bundle of 300 anytime international minutes for a flat fee of $15 (well, $14.95 per month. This fits in with the preaching I did late yesterday about vanilla voice minutes and this morning’s manifesto about the third wave of voice communications being HD.
Comcast says the WorldWide plan for its digital voice service could save consumers 20 to 30 percent when compared to traditional phone service plans, and encompasses–
- 41 countries in Europe
- 26 countries in the Caribbean, Central and South America
- 20 countries in Asia and the Pacific
- 8 countries in the Middle East
- 5 countries in Africa
You can find a complete list of all the countries included over at www.comcast.com/internationalcalling
My quickie math works out to a price of 6.7 cents per minute; overages will be billed at “standard international rates,” whatever that translates to. Six hours of calling around the globe will be attractive to a lot of people, and a headache to some.
One of my buddies from way-back was bemoaning the fact his mother-in-law had discovered VoIP service, so she’d call at 2:30 AM (local Eastern Time), talk for an hour at a time. Last I heard, he was looking for was to selective degrade his broadband connection when she called to wrap up the conversation faster.