Tuesday Tips: Verizon Sucks, Panera’s Awesome & Thrillerfest Social Networking Tips

As y’all noticed, there were no Monday Mentions and instead today you’ll find terrific video from a Thrillerfest panel about social networking featuring Alma Katsu, Jessica Barraco, Claire Goldwitz, Kevin Kaiser, Kristen Lamb, Meryl Moss and Matt Schwartz. Share-share-share, there’s tons of fantastic advice in this short video! Do you agree? What has worked for you? Offer your hot tips in the comments.

Today, though, I’m doing my “social networking” from Panera Bread. That’s because yesterday, my Internet connection went “ker-flooey.” That’s a techie term that translated means VERIZON SUCK-ETH BIGTIME!

I spent nearly 2 hours on the phone with the V-guys, turning connections on and off, typing in weird combos of letters and numbers, inserting plug A into slot C — you get the picture. Ultimately nothing was fixed. They make you jump through all those hoops even when they KNOW there’s a network-wide problem. Finally I convinced them that tech supported needed to FIX the furshluggener problem, and they scheduled me a tech-guy to come to the house. . .

Next Tuesday. Sometime before 5 pm.

WHAT?!!! My entire work life not to mention income is derived from online connections. And the earliest possible time they have to get me back to work is 9 days? I spoke to a supervisor. Same thing–Β  “thank you for understanding, we’re so very sorry, that’s the earliest, we’ll put you on a list if there’s a cancellation/somebody’s in the area/yada-yada.”

This morning not even my Blackberry could download email, due to not enough network coverage. Huh? Over the weekend it was fine but by this morning the network went flooey? Ri-ight.

It begs a question I’d now ask of the panel (below). What do you do to supplement online networking in case, you know, it goes ker-flooey? Have any of y’all had longtime outages? How did you manage? I discovered when I logged on here at Panera Bread that there also were connections from the nearby Wendy’s and several other hot-spots. But I recall the days of dial-up and no coffee shop options.

Zombie apocalypse? No worries. Crazed cats? That’s nuthin. Pushy pooches? Fuggedaboutit. Shut off my internet? NOOOOOOOooooooooooooooooo!

I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? Do you have a new kitten and need answers? Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, β€œlike” me on Facebook, listen to the weekly radio show, check out weekly FREE PUPPY CARE newsletter, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter. Stay tuned for more news about my forthcoming THRILLER, LOST & FOUND!


Tuesday Tips: Verizon Sucks, Panera’s Awesome & Thrillerfest Social Networking Tips — 23 Comments

  1. I had problems with Comcast especially with service. I left them and moved over to AT&T. Whenever anyone comes to the door trying to sell Comcast, I start yelling about their horrible service and it sends them running. I hate doing that to an innocent person but the word Comcast sets me off. I know exactly how you feel and I empathize. Better luck in the future.

    • Hi Jerra, I’m getting lots done this morning but it’s aggravating to say the least. I suspect all providers have problems now and then…but a 9-day wait is unacceptable.

  2. I know a guy who makes money from his podcast shows and because of unreliable service from one of his internet providers one day he decided to have wireline and wireless service so if one service goes out he still has service. AT this point I can’t afford both but when I can I’ll probably do that too.

    • Hi Victoria, not a bad idea. It occurs to me that phone service, similar to the airlines, is one of those “paid for” products that one has no real guarantee of getting what you pay for.

  3. Losing my internet connection is my 2nd worst nightmare! My laptop crashing is my 1st worst. Is your Verizon service cable or fios? When our cable goes out, if they tell me they can’t come for a few days, I give ’em hell until they squeeze me in. The local manager once told me to get business class service because this would never happen. Huh? It’s all the same cable lines. What’s the difference, besides the huge price for business class? He had no answer for me. I think have dial up and cable service is not a bad idea, but I will check out business class service when i can afford to. If they guarantee me it won’t go out for days at a time. I can’t go to a wifi place because I don’t have a good battery at the moment. But if I did, I would go to B&N or anywhere with free wifi. I can’t think of another way around it. They’ve got us right where they want us. πŸ™

  4. Just to let you know, all I could get was a Verizon ad when I tried to comment using the usual methods. I am at a public computer and it has been set with goofy new settings too. Verizon certainly does suck I see from their ad keeping away my comment! The night before I went offline for Hurricane Katrina I went in to my e-mails that required monthly visitation as I knew things might be down awhile and I don’t even live in New Orleans. Good luck & hope you find someone better than Verizon!!!!! What about Credo? They say they aren’t selling our rights away.

    Date: Tue, 21 Aug 2012 14:52:16 +0000 To: liberalartsgrad@live.com

    • Wow, lots of “new” stuff happening. I truly believe Verizon has some new upgrade they’re either testing or implementing without testing. Yep, I’ll be looking into other providers, too.

  5. Oh my gosh Amy – I’m so sorry for the Verizon issue you’re having. You are right – their service is unacceptable! They just don’t get it and don’t care that someone’s income and entire work life depends on them but they won’t have no trouble raising the rates again. I switched from Verizon to Cableone and have much better service. Last Tuesday when we had that electrical storm my cousin’s phone went out and she has Verizon – she called them and they told her it would be the 28th of this month before they could fix it. She is on full-time oxygen, has had several heart surgeries, is diabetic and wears a Lifeline button in case she needs help or falls, etc. OMG she called them back and explained her situation and some rude young girl hung up on her and would not let her talk to a supervisor. She called back and some man promised her it would be fixed in 24 hrs. They lied and yesterday she called again and spoke to some nice lady who talked to her supervisor and promised it would be fixed sometime yesterday so late yesterday evening it got fixed. Whatever happened to customer service? A friend of mine went to Sonic today and paid extra for cherries in 3 drinks – got home and they cheated them 14 cherries – she called them and the girl called her a liar. She’s contacting Mr. Billy who has owned and operated the Sonic for years. Anyone can make a mistake but there’s no excuse for rudeness, etc. Sweetie I so hope by some miracle that Verizon will get on the ball and get your Internet problems fixed very soon. God bless you.

    • Part of the lack of customer service is burnout. Bad treatment by managers (which will eventually reflect in their subordinates’ phone manner). Wages dropping low enough they can only attract the people who couldn’t find a job someplace else. Call centers are horrid. They will make you lose almost every last shred of faith in humanity, and eventually you end up with days where management, or other customers, or sometimes being shoved work that isn’t supposed to be part of your job, has just been driving you up the wall so much that you can’t hide the bitterness or exhaustion in your voice. Sometimes the “it will be fixed in x amount of time” thing is because either that’s all they can see in their system, or that’s what they’re supposed to say. See, there’s a lot regular CSRs aren’t allowed to do/say which can make it VERY difficult to actually help. But as far as the hangup and the Sonic issue goes, they’re more than likely just a couple of of those people that are working a crappy job for a reason, instead of those who just kinda got stuck there in the economic mess and will eventually claw their way out. For the ones who actually want to help, a little kindness, maybe a laugh or two, will go a LONG way.

      Not that I would know this from experience or anything… *cough*

      • Karyl, I’m sure you’re right. I get so #$%^&*! frustrated and vent but I know the person on the phone has very little control over the situation. And yep, I do acknowledge that with the people who finally do take my call and try to do a good job, even when it’s well-nigh impossible. Thanks for giving us an insider look and important reminder.

    • Oh Patricia, so glad your cousin finally got her phone fixed. That’s scary. I think that probably the folks on the “front lines” (phone people, and fix-it guys) do the best they can in an awful situation. But that doesn’t help us at this end of the string.

  6. When our internet kept going down (the whole road was shouting at our local ISP by the end of it), we ended up having to go to Panera for lack of another option (we live out in the country where cable lines do not exist and there’s only one company that provides internet). One thing we DID do was keep on them until they agreed to refund us part of that month’s bill, because we were NOT paying for service we weren’t getting. I think my dad finally was the one to get them to fix it – he finally got fed up and told them he was going to ditch the DSL and get service through Sprint because he can use his cell phone as a modem with them if he wants to, and made a point to mention that almost everyone on this road is his family and we’d ALL be leaving them if they didn’t get their act together (the second time he reminded them of that fact – the first was when they tried to lie to him and say nobody else had reported an outage when he already knew my Gram and I had called in earlier that day).

    We haven’t had that long an outage since. Nor that crazy intermittent mess we had for a while. Methinks they may be getting a bit nervous, though, because our local electric/gas coop is now laying fiber optic cable all over the place near here (supposedly we’re getting it too) on the idea that high speed internet is as necessary now as electricity was when the Rural Electrification Act came into being. So the other guys are about to get some competition.

    For your situation (and something we have discussed in case this whole mess happens again) you might try getting a cheap dialup service through another provider as a backup, so that you’re at least not COMPLETELY stuck if Verizon craps out. James has to have working internet for the whole software consulting shebang too, so we know how much it sucks.

  7. Ohmygosh Amy, that’s terrible! I’m so sorry you lost your internet connection. You’re SO right ~ it’s the one thing we can’t live without. I hope it comes back before next Tuesday. That’s insane. Good thing you have Panera and coffee shops.

    Thanks for the great video. I always learn something new when I attend a workshop, watch a video, or read about social media. Just when you think you’ve got all the info, something new pops up.

    Good luck with Verizon. I’m sending huge positive vibes for internet NOW!

    • Hi Tameri, I’ve got another great video (interview with Catherine Coulter!) set for the next Monday Mentions. And yep, I learn more just editing the footage and putting it together for the blog.

      Later today, I’m going to look into other Internet providers. This isn’t acceptable. Just worried about changing my email address, that could be a deal breaker. And probably that’s something the providers count on.

  8. I don’t have a laptop or a smart phone (yeah, I know, dark ages) so I don’t know what I’d do. I wondered though, when you go to these places don’t you worry about security issues? I’ve always thought that wireless connections can be hacked more easily.

    I have had a couple of times when my computer went down so I went to the library to use their computers but I didn’t use any personal things like email. I just surfed a bit for research purposes.

    Sure hope you get a connection before Tuesday!

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