Verizon still doesn't understand fire

The good news is that this time Verizon did not start the blaze, unlike on so many other occasions that we have chronicled here in excruciating detail.

The bad news, at least for the burned-out-of-house-and-home in-laws of Network World columnist James Gaskin, is that this is a telephone company that continues to have trouble grasping the finer points of smoke and flame.

Gaskin tells the tale on his private blog, Technology is Broken. Forced out by the fire, his in-laws asked Verizon to transfer their phone number to their temporary quarters. Answer: No can do. The highlight of the post comes when the in-laws are told that the best Verizon can do is to have their calls forwarded from their long-time number -- the one whose associated physical telephones were lying in charred ruins -- to their temporary phone. There would be one catch with Plan B, though, which Gaskin explains:

We can't do (the forwarding), said the Verizon reps; only you can do it. Get this: They were told to call from their old phone to request the forwarding service. Yes, the phone in a house that burned down. Yes, calling on phones that had turned into lumps of melted plastic with metal bits sticking out.

See what I mean about not grasping the finer points.

(Update: Coincidentally, Verizon recently commissioned a survey that found 83 percent of consumers intend to keep their landlines indefinitely, whether or not they have a cell phone, and whether or not that cell phone has been melted into an unidentifiable lump of plastic in a house fire. "Ninety-four percent of the respondents cited reliability and 91 percent cited safety as the key factors for retaining landline service," according to Verizon. It was not clear how many, if any, cited number portability.) 

(Update 2: You think the in-laws with the fried phone had problems with Verizon? You think you have had problems with Verizon? Tell it to Dr. Herman I. Libshitz of the West Philadelphia Libshitzs. Now Dr. Libshitz, he's had trouble with Verizon ... and all because he won't change the spelling of his name.)

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