Tech Support Disaster - Can You Top This?

On Wednesday January 15, 2014, my wife observed that our Verizon FiOS internet service seemed slow. I got on and did a speedcheck, and indeed it was much slower than what we were “provisioned for.” It was about 9.5mbps down/5.5mbps up. I am paying for 15.0 down/5.0 up. I went online and opened a chat with tech support. The online tech support person ran me through some diagnostics, without success. She even logged onto my machine remotely and still couldn’t identify, let alone fix, the source of the problem. She called me on the phone to say that she could do no more and that she would escalate my problem, that a tech supervisor would be calling me back “within 20 minutes” to continue.  Of course no call at all that night, and after about an hour and a half, I went to bed.


The next morning January 16, I logged on to a chat from my office. In that session I was told the records from the previous night showed an attempt to call but the supervisor reached voice mail. Trouble is, he/she was calling my cell phone which I kept on an charging overnight. No missed calls. No voice mails. I also scheduled another supervisor callback for that evening between 8PM and 9PM.


You get the drift. No call back then either. I called in myself around 9:30 PM, reached tech support and was walked through the same diagnostics as on January 12. Didn’t work this time either. However, I did get to speak with a tech supervisor who tried some other tests and attempts to correct the problem. His recommendation? “Kill and rebuild the cross connect.” He tried to do so himself but his systems were not granting access to him so he couldn’t do it and couldn’t locate an on-duty network technician who could. He gave me a number to call the next day.


On Friday January 17, I called that number, got a tech support person, who walked me through the diagnostics I first was walked through on January 12, again. I repeated the cross connect message given to me by the support tech from the night before. She said she did kill and rebuild the cross connect. Didn’t work. She recommended replacing the router. I reluctantly accepted.

Saturday January 18, a (potentially) pleasant surprise. The UPS delivery man with the new Verizon FiOS router. Quick turnaround. So I plugged it in, fired it up, and….. same level of speed as before. Somehow I wasn’t surprised. Back on the phone to FiOS tech support. Same run through of the diagnostics, reset router, factory reset of the new router, etc. Same slow speed as before. A service technician appointment was scheduled for the next day. A few minutes after concluding the session with the support person who scheduled the service call, I received a robocall instructing me to call to confirm, or go online to confirm the service call, or it would be cancelled. The robocall voice gave the number only once, and I couldn’t write it down.  I had to go online again for another chat to confirm.


Sunday, the tech arrives, checks out everything, runs a direct line from the ONT (optical network terminal, direct to the router, even goes back to his dispatch location to get a company laptop to check the speed. Turns out my laptop and his showed higher-than-provisioned speed, but my desktop was resolutely stuck at the slower speed. He did replace the aging backup battery.  Diagnosis? The computer.


Turns out, I started to look around online, and running checks for software updates, etc. I found evidence of a corrupted Intel network adapter driver. Uninstalled/reinstalled it and now it works fine. 


Why does Verizon not call back when they said they would? Twice? Why did the tech supervisor not have access to the tools to rebuild the cross connect? Why was there no network tech on duty that evening when he tried to locate one to do the cross connect rebuild? Why, every time a new dialog with tech support is initiated, does the user have to rerun all the diagnostics from the previous several attempts? Why, when the usual fixes failed, didn’t anyone ask if I had another computer available to try? Why did the robocaller not repeat the number, or at least alert me to expect to write down a number. Why did the question of the computer not even get addressed at all, until the service tech visited? I did that when Verizon finally threw in the towel.

Re: Tech Support Disaster - Can You Top This?
Contributor - Level 3

Boy, yeah their support is poor, but you wasted a lot of their time and are lucky they didn't charge you for the onsite visit.

Your PC problems are just that, yours.  You should always check that the issue is not on your end and try to eliminate as much as possible before calling FIOS.  It can save you a lot of time and frustration.