My Life With Verizon DSL
More on the Downside...

Last month we talked about the lag time between ordering or moving your DSL/telephone and the time you actually start getting connected to DSL. We also talked about keeping a dial-up service just in case. Well, hereís more.

Today Verizon DSL in upstate New York was off-line all day long. I called several times. At 10 am they had no knowledge of nothing. By 2 p.m. they said the ďmail serverĒ was having problems. My problems were far more than the mail server!

I was getting a DSL carrier and transmitting by not receiving anything back. As a result none of my IM (Instant Messengers) nor browsers would deliver squat! At 9 p.m. no change. Luckily I still have AOL as a back up so I was able to get on-line and do a little business and work, not much at 56 K especially since I only have a few hours of AOL available to me at the $5 per month stand-by rates I pay.

To add injury to insult, by chance I got my Verizon bill today ($162) and on this bill they charged me for a premises visit ($12.25 for 15 minutes work outside) and $18.21 for a network interface card. This is what was required to hook up my DSL in an area this is but 2 miles away from a local Verizon office and two shopping centers.

The real point of this is that Verizon never told me they were coming. Never told me there would be charges. Never told me Iíd have to pay for an interface card.

Verizon representatives also told me I could get free dial-up service during my change of phone locations. They connected this up for me on December 27 and I cancelled it on January 7, ten days later, when my DSL became active. Verizon then put $36.60 in charges on my credit card for the first month of dial-up service and the set-up fees (boy, they charge a lot as compared to People PC, Netscape, Earthlink and AOL all of whom have no set-up fees and charge anywhere from $9.95 to $21.95 month for unlimited service) almost instantly. They told me they would put through a credit for that $36.60 charge on January 7, but as of Feburary 1 no credit has appeared on my card statement. They are awfully fast at putting charges on to your card, but very slow at taking them off!

To date I have a lot of charges on my bill, including $36.60 for 10 days of dial-up services I was told I could have for free during my change-over (and Iím paying 24% annual interest compounded daily on this $36.60).

A week later I had no DSL for the entire day. I woke up on my one day off in the week and wanted to get on-line and do work, surf, pay bills, etc. No connection. I called Verizon, they had no idea. They said give it a few hours and call back if necessary. I gave it 5 hours, called back and they wrote up a trouble ticket. I called back five hours later and there was some message about a mail server being down, but that wouldn't affect my entire DSL service! Finally someone told me the problem was in the central office. It wasn't until the next day that I got DSL back, but in the meantime I had to so some work on a commercial web site I was contracted to help build, but I only had two hours left on my AOL account so a friend let me borrow their AOL password and user name as they weren't using that account at the time. It was an unlimited account so I got to do my website work.

A week later I come home and there's a note on the door from Verizon. They came out to check my DSL because of my complaint, despite the fact the problem was with their central office. I now suspect I'm going to get another bill for $12 to $20 for that housecall, despite the fact the Verizon tells me there is no charge to work on the outside, only if they come into my home or office. There was no inside visit. But, I imagine I must call Verizon again if I get charged for this visit, done to find out what was wrong with my DSL despite the fact the problem was at the Verizon Central Office!

Well, by the time I filed this for publication I finally got my $36.60 credit (took 29 days from the date of my call) and they agreed to remove the charges for the visit and the card.

Under my Verizon deal Iím supposed to keep the service for a full year to avoid paying for the modem, but there was some type of an out if I moved away from a Verizon DSL service area. There was never any mention of having to pay for a line person to come out or get an network interface card!

Had I know about all these hassles and extra charges I probably would have gone with Time Warner Digital Cable, Road Runner cable modem and a Trac Fone, all of which would cost me the same as what Iím currently paying, plus Iíd get 200 digital TV stations!

Keep this all in mind when switching carriers or picking a service be it DSL or cable...


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