Tag Archives: Verizon

Waiting for the phone to ring and more

There are few things I hate worse than waiting for a phone call. Lately I’ve been doing that a lot.

Some of it is because a couple of people emailed me that they needed help doing something computer related. A couple of weeks ago a woman didn’t know how to sign up for an email list and I offered to help her if she called me. She emailed back, “Thank you very much!” but never called. I could have called her back, but she’s the one who needs something, I shouldn’t be begging for the opportunity to help her. The same kind of thing happened nearly a year ago — someone wanted help, said they’d call but never did. It happened again last week. A friend is directing a play and asked for help getting publicity. I offered to help set up a blog and he wrote back he’d love that and that he’d get in touch. I gave him my cell number and have not heard back — although I saw him on Sunday and he thought we could talk Sunday but we didn’t get a chance. He said he’d call, but didn’t call today. The thing is — I’d be glad to help these people, but waiting for the phone to ring is a pain in the ass.

Another call I’m waiting for is from the plumber. Actually from two plumbers. I called my regular plumber on Thursday evening about a clogged up kitchen sink, but I think he’s broken-up with us because Dean thought he caused a problem with the bathroom sink and when he came back wanted us to pay for a second call. I thought Dean was being unreasonable. Dean thought Mr. Monk was. When our regular plumber didn’t call back by Friday afternoon, I called a plumber recommended by a neighbor. This plumber should have called this morning, but didn’t. I’ve had to take my cell phone into the bathroom with me when I shower, just in case it rings. Tomorrow I’m calling Roto-rooter. Forget these personable plumbers recommended by friends and neighbors. They obviously have enough to do and don’t need my money.

We’re also waiting to hear from a tutor. Andrew finally agreed to getting some help with parts of the SAT. Dean talked to a tutor (recommended by a friend) who suggested he start on Tuesday (that’s tomorrow) and we’ve not heard anything back.

On top of waiting for the phone to ring, we’ve had problems with the land-line phones. If you talk on them for more than a few minutes the line gets crackly. Verizon says we need to troubleshoot so we’ve unplugged all but one phone — to see if we hear crackly sounds on it. We don’t get enough calls to figure out if it is crackly or not. (And if you’re thinking we’ve not heard from people because of the phone problems — we’ve given out our cell number, not the land-line).

In addition to a clogged up kitchen sink, crackly phone lines, and people not getting back to us we’ve got ants. Not just one kind of ant, but at least two different kinds of ants crawling around our kitchen. We tried baiting them, but they seem to not be the kind of ant that likes the sweet bait.

Oh, and we also have grain eating moths that have an uncanny ability to get into bags of rice that have been put into a second bag of rice. I guess they have sharp teeth.

I wish we could just knock down the house and start fresh.

Verizon, phone support & wildlife

So yesterday morning a Verizon FiOS guy came by and installed FiOS to our house. It went smoothly enough and the technician was nice enough. I guess my recent rash of Comcast issues has left me with a bitter taste in my mouth when it comes to cable techs. The Verizon guy did comment on the bird’s nest of telephone wires in the ceiling of the basement though. He thought it would be a problem, but when he hooked up the phones everything seemed to be working fine. He’d forgotten an extra HDMI cable, so returned about an hour after he left and hooked up our second HD tv.

At 2:30 when the kids weren’t home yet, I picked up the phone to see if I’d missed a message, and there as no dial tone. Here we go again, I thought. It was like it was Christmas Day and my favorite present didn’t work correctly. I’d had such high hopes in Verizon. I was about to call Verizon when Clare and Andrew walked in the door. Clare shouted that we needed to run back to school so she could turn in a permission slip and check for a NYC field trip with her art class. Andrew stopped me on the steps with the news that his shiny new fancy cell phone had been stolen.

Let’s stop here and review my reaction to that news. A good mother would have sat down and said something like, “Oh no Andrew! That’s terrible. I know you liked that phone a lot. You must feel just awful.” I am not a good mother. I closed my eyes, took a breath and said, “You’ll have to buy the next one – and it will be $150 instead of $50 this time.” What an ass I am! He obviously was hurting and I just made it worse.

So I took Clare to school to hand in her check and permission slip. On the way she wondered why I was so upset about the phones (Andrew’s cell and our Verizon issue). She said that if that’s what got me angry I was a lucky person – meaning, I suppose, that I had no real issues about which to be angry. Of course she had a point. She’s pretty cool that way.

When we got back home I did let Andrew know I felt sorry that his phone was stolen, and that he must feel awful. Of course it was too late, the damage was done, but perhaps it made him feel a little better. Maybe?

I then called Verizon about the phones being out:

Verizon (very cheerful male synthesized voice): Thank you for calling Verizon your Broadband and communications company! Para continuar en español la prensa 2. For Billing press 1. For Internet press 2 for everything else, press 3.

Me: [Pressed 3]

V erizon (very cheerful female synthesized voice): Please say or type your ten digit telephone number.

Me: 301-555-5555 (not really my telephone number of course – but I did tell Verizon the real one)

Verizon: Thank you! You said 301-555-5855 Is this correct?!

Me: No

Verizon: Oh, I’m sorry! Please say or type your ten digit telephone number again!

Me: 301-555-5555

Verizon: Thank you! You said 301-555-5555! Is this correct?

Me: Yes

Verizon: Great. Just wait a moment until I pull up your records.


Verizon: How may I help you today? Say phone for telephone problems, Internet for Internet problems or TV for television problems.

Me: Phone

Verizon: Oh, I’m sorry to hear that you are having phone problems. What is the problem? If you have no dial tone, say: No dial tone.

Me: No dial tone.

Verizon: Oh, I’m sorry to hear that. Let’s see if we can troubleshoot your problem. Ok, many phone problems are because of faulty wiring…(at this point I was not paying attention because I saw medium sized dog trotting up the middle of the street. I wondered where its owner was. As the dog got closer thought, perhaps it wasn’t a dog after all. Maybe it was a huge opossum (it had no hair on its tail) or a coyote (it looked like a scruffy dog, but was not as big as I assumed coyotes to be)

Me: FOX!

Verizon: I think you said box. Is that correct? I’m afraid I don’t understand.


Verizon: Can you repeat that? I didn’t understand. Or press 3 for an agent.

Me: [pressed three]

Clare: Wow. Mom a fox. It’s trembling. What’s wrong? [grabbing camera and heading towards door]

Verizon (human male voice): Hello, how may I help you today

Me: No! Clare don’t go outside. It looks sick.

Verizon: I’m sorry?

Me: Oh, sorry. There is a scary looking animal outside. I’m calling because my phones have no dial tone.

Verizon: I see here that you just had it installed two days ago.

Me: No, it was installed two hours ago

Verizon: Hmm, let me run some tests. Hold on.

Me: OK. [looking out window and addressing Clare] Oh no, it’s on the porch. I need to call animal control. Maybe it has rabies.

Verizon: It seems that the problem is inside your house. There may be some faulty wiring. Let’s do some troubleshooting.

Me: Oh my God! It looks really sick. And scary looking.

Verizon: Do you think this scary animal might have damaged the phone wires?

Me: No, I need to call animal control. It might have rabies and I can’t because my other phones don’t work.

Verizon: Let’s do some troubleshooting…..

Me: Clare – where is it now?

Clare: In the backyard.

Verizon: If you need to go and call about this animal, I understand. Just call us back and say agent.

Me: Yeah, that would make sense.

So it turned out it probably has the mange (and not rabies) according to the “Wildlife nuisance” number I dialed. The very calm man on the phone told me not to worry, don’t feed it and call back if it was aggressive.

Note: I searched Mangy Fox on google and found that in July 2004 a mysterious creature was roaming Maryland. It turned out to be a mangy fox and not, in fact, a chupacabra

Note 2: Our phones now work. The tech came back and played with the nest of phone wires (he’d previously commented on). After a couple of tries it all worked fine. To be on the safe side, I opted for the wire insurance plan Verizon offers.