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Thank G I don't have to deal with Verizon

March 1st, 2010 at 03:21 pm

Subtitled: No wonder older folks don't like the internet / computers / modern technology. (Not much finance here, mostly rant)

Been visiting mother 2 states away and she asks me to help her with Verizon combined bill. She has the company take the money directly from her checking account for their monthly bills. On it is multiple credits and debits that don't make any sense, especially since she didn't change the phone or internet service in many months. Years ago I worked in utility billing, so I understand this stuff about as well as anyone, and I can't figure out what they're doing.

So I have the idea, hey, why don't we acess your bill history online, maybe that will give us a clue (Baaaad idea).

Before I start, let me say I build interactive business web sites for a living, so I was appalled at what I went through.

What all happened? First we try to register on a weekend. We go all the way through the registration process, just to have it say at the end, "sorry we're not able to register you now". You do NOT let someone go through a process if it is not available at the end. We try a few times over the weekend with the same result. No explanation as to why, or when we can register. That is insane.

Next we got registered Monday morning. We get on their site which is filled with a bazillion advertising and whiz bang thingies, but we just want to review bills, which is what the paper bill says we can do. When we go to the registration site it also says we can review bills online. We go to the manage account section, go to view bill, and all we get is the internet portion of the bill, and nothing about what was automatically taken out. WTF is this?

Then I find a link that says oh, if you have a combined bill, click here to access it (why we have to do it this way I don't know, but okaaaay). Try this link and immediately it asks me to log in again. WTF #2? You do not build a site that asks a user to log in again and again. That is really bad design.

Ok, we log in again, only to be put back at where we were before. WTF #3? (I don't think this one needs any more explanation).

OK, lets go the FAQ. There it has a section on what to do if you want to pay or view your bill. I go there and am told I can view and pay my bill online. How? No directions, just a link that says click here to go to view the bill. Guess what??? I am asked to log in again. (%#@#@!!!) After I do that, what happens? I am taken back to where I was when this all started (AGAIN). WTF #4. Who makes answers to FAQs without instructions on how to do basic things? I mean, really, who is this incompetant?

I do more searching and come across a link for a demo site that is supposed to show you how great it is to use their site. Ok, I try that one. What happens? Well nothing actually as the page never loads anything. Try it again 10 minutes later - nothing, half hour later - nothing. Well I have to admit, the demo does show how useful their site is.

My mother (& I) give up at this point and just decide calling will have a better chance to find out what the F they're doing.

No wonder older folks don't use the internet. They want it as a tool, not something whiz-bang. And when the basics dont' work, well of course they're going to go back to paying with checks, using stamps, and having the same more expensive slower life. And where I live I have the option of Verizon or another provider for service (thankfully I don't use Verizon!).

5 Responses to “Thank G I don't have to deal with Verizon”

  1. momcents Says:


    Good thing you're there to help Mom out! Hopefully you will get to the bottom of the situation.

  2. creditcardfree Says:

    Good luck figuring it out!

  3. Petunia Says:

    "Well I have to admit, the demo does show how useful their site is."

    Nice summary. Sorry it was such a frustrating experience though. Good luck to you in helping your mom with her bill.

  4. CB in the City Says:

    Boy, can I identify! I haven't had trouble with Verizon (but I hope they see your entry!) But I've had trouble with others, and sometimes I think, at 60, I'm just too old to use the internet! Which is ridiculous since most of my work is done on computers; I know I can handle it. You're so right -- service has been lost to the whiz-bang. (Which often doesn't whiz or bang!)

  5. Jerry Says:

    What a mess! That's annoying. We just got mobile service here in SE Europe and they told us that their website was also available in English to lead to easy service... great selling point! Um, or NOT. Actually, only the HOME PAGE is available in English. All account information is only available in Bulgarian. I'm not interested in spending three hours to translate my account and billing information, thanks! Plus, I want some insurance that the translation is accurate, when it comes to money. Terrible.
    Jerry

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