Fuck you very much, FCC.

Verizon Data Services is headed into a ditch at 140mph

Verizon has recently (last December) been required (by the FCC) to break into lots of little subsidiaries. The result is that now it takes 3-6 hours, sometimes 3-6 days to troubleshoot & resolve problems that I used to be able to fix myself in under 30-90 minutes. I used to have remote access to the public data switch, I could make administrative changes in settings, correct faulty mapping issues, send out test patterns to localize faults all from my workstation.

Now we have become strictly a call center. We no longer proactively monitor the T1s & T3s for alarms. All monitoring is done up in Boston. If the guy in Boston falls asleep, we miss the alarm & nobody knows the customer is down until the customer himself notices, by which time it’s too late- the customer is out of business for at least a day and our metrics are shot to hell.

If the alarm center does catch the alarm, they open a trouble ticket & drop it into our ticket pool. As long as nobody in my group is asleep, we eventually (maybe an hour later) notice that a new ticket has been opened & then we start acting on it.

If we observe that the trouble appears to be in the central switching office, we get on the phone & wait in queue for about 30-40 minutes for the central office dispatch group to take our trouble report. If it’s an unmanned CO, we have to call a special group of “on call” dispatch techs who may or may not return our page (before, I could hop into a company car & zoom over to the CO in question).

Once the central office determines that the trouble is not in the CO, they call the facilities group & alert them about some faulty repeater or something out in the field somewhere. Several hours later, the facilities group determines that a cable technician has to go out to replace a defective repeater in a manhole.

When the cable tech gets out there, he determines that the facilities are on fiber (not copper) and calls the dispatch center to tell them that a fiber tech (with a fiber truck) is needed. Or maybe the repeater is up on a pole and we need to come back with a cherry picker.

Meanwhile, back in my office… I am sitting in the same building as the main gateway gigaswitch for the Patomac region. If this switch goes down, fast packet data in three states & DC comes to a screeching halt. But because I am no longer part of one big company, we have to refer any troubles up to the switch maintenance group in Boston.

Last month, one of the power supplies went out in this switch. There is a backup supply, but never the less we are on full red alert because of the gateway will fail if the 2nd power supply gives up. I’m sitting about 100 feet away from it. I have spare power supplies for it. I can still get into the central office with my key card. But because I’m not part of the switch maintenance group (in Boston!) I can’t do anything about it.

We had to open a trouble ticket with the Boston group, they in turn referred the trouble to a local switch maintenance tech in the CO, who did not know how to replace the power supply in the switch & ended up calling me on my direct line for me to walk him through it.

I could have had the damn thing fixed on less than 15 minutes, but took well over 24 hours with our wonderful new sectionalized subsidiary system. Thanks a lot, FCC.

The worst part of all this is that I used to be able to call directly to whichever group I needed- if I knew the facilities were fiber, I’d call a fiber tech. Now I have to wait for hours, maybe days to find out through the chain of groups that seperates us, that the wrong tech was called out. Then we’re back to square one.

We had to get all new phones (we’re not part of the core company so we had to give back all their hardware). The new phones go dead periodically, usually rigth when I’ve picked up a customer who has been in queue for 30 minutes & I’ve just given him my name. An hour later (after we’ve gotten the telephone hardware group to reset the ACD breakers) the guy calls back & wants to speak to my supervisor because he thinks I hung up on him.

Meanwhile, as I wait on hold for the dispatch center to pick me up, there are 8 or 10 new calls in my queue. I have never had so many pissed-off customers yelling at me…

Would we have a unfair advantage over other Data Service companies (UUnet, PSINet, etc.) by being able to quicky address major network facility outages without having to go through all of these damned hoops & subsidiary hand-offs?

Apparently the FCC thinks so. Just wait until one of their T3s goes down & see how fast I move. You may have to get out your calendar to be able to clock me accurately.

Hmmm, well, that sounds like a lot of shit that I don’t understand. But, of course I’m going to make my comment anyway.

First, why would the FCC make your company split up? Did you have some sort of monopoly on your specific type of service? I guess it wouldn’t be the FCC making you do that if that were the case.

Second, I wouldn’t stress too much about it right now. Things are always screwed up when something like this happens. Give it a few months to get the bugs worked out. Like that monitoring/ticket thing. Even I can immediately imagine a better way of doing something like that. Maybe if you can work towards streamlining the new system, you can advance yourself in your company. You know what they say about one door closing and all that…
On another note, I have mixed opinions on the FCC. I guess if they weren’t around, we’d have a lot of anarchy as far as radio, etc goes. But, I also think they over-regulate a lot of stuff just to keep themselves in business.

I hear ya, and understand completely where you’re coming from. I work in a telco too, and alas, it is all too familiar.

What’s worse for us, is that our own management did it to us, in the name of “optimizing procedures”.

Do explain to me, using short words of no more than two syllables, how increasing the time-to-resolution could be considered “optimizing”? Oooohhhh, optimizing YOUR procedures. But what about the poor customer that’s out of service? Oooooh, the customers are supposed to be grateful for these changes, made to better inform them.

They’re not. Trust me, the customer wants us to fix it. Now. And s/he doesn’t give a rat’s rosy behind who does it.

Don’t even get me started on the DSL arseholes.


[sub]my goodness, it was hard to stop there. Now I see how Pit Addictions get started…[/sub]

I feel for you, man. And I pity you, too. I’ve lived through the corporate hell that is Verizon, and I’m sorry. Sorry that you’re stuck there. Good luck.

I work for Verizon DSL Technical Support, and I know your pain.

Verizon is the demon spawn of the merger between Bell Atlantic & GTE. They also won rights to get into the long distance business, but due to the many cries of “HEY, no fair! Waaaaahhhhhh!!!”, etc. from AT&T, the FCC inserted a condition that we had to break off the Advanced Data Services group into a seperate subsidiary. This was supposed to “level the playing field” and to make sure that we couldn’t do something sneaky like offer fast packet data pipes that cross state lines. I supposed that might have been somewhat unfair. But instead of the FCC saying:

“you can get into the long distance market as long as you don’t send fast packer over state lines”

They said:

“you can get into the long distance market as long as you break your whole fucking company up into itty bitty pieces that will eventually polarize and end up treating each other like enemies”.

And for some reason, we agreed to this.

Well up until now, it was a very nice job- the first job I’ve ever had that you could almost call “cushy”. I don’t work in regular telephone or directory assistance mind you- I’ve heard those can be hell.

I am going to tough it out. There is a silver lining here, for the benefit of other telco people who seem to have chimed in here: The new chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee wants to re-evaluate the Telecommunications Act of 1996, the first in a series of laws that began to put the screws to us. Read all about it here, if you are so inclined.

First, let me say hello fellow frustrated Verizon employees. Good to see ya. I too work for VADI! I’m in DSL sales (robgruver, we may have spoken before!)

As far as the above statement I have recently heard that we are actually challenging the decision by the FCC to break us up, sucessfully I might add. Apparently we realized after the fact that it was a horrible idea.

Thanks to the desicion I am unable to speak with any of the departments that I need to help customer and even my new order system is USELESS. We can no longer use the ILEC’s order system and they stuck us with an order system designed in 10 minutes by the robert frost elementary school computer club! The best part is that it is incapable of tracking my sales! I work on commision but they can’t track my sales… something seems wrong there.

In summary I too am frustrated by the fcc’s desicion and it’s affect on my job and ability to help my customers.

Verizon promised me that my DSL service would be connected on October 27, 2000. Maybe you can explain why it isn’t connected yet?

I love my RoadRunner.

Hmmm… I thought I had something to complain about. I put in my order back in early december and it got screwed up three times:

  1. Initial order missing some crucial information - this didn’t come to light until the scheduled turn up date of 12/15. By this time I have already received & installed the DSL modem, ethernet card & filters on all the phones around the house.

  2. 2nd order placed on 12/15 to correct first mistake, but now I have to re-pack the DSL modem, ethernet card & all the little DSL filters back into the box & return this to the order center so that order can be canceled. They want to send me a whole new set of equipment, exactly the same but this equipment goes with the new order. Sorry but that’s just how it’s got to be.

  3. Confused Verizon employee calls me wondering why I sent back the DSL hardware. After I try explaining it to him (using small word & speaking in all capital letters), he claims to understand, and then offers to send me a whole new set of DSL equipment. Since I’m not sure if a 2nd set is already on its way & don’t want to slow down the process any further, I say yes. A week later I get two sets of DSL hardware delivered.

  4. Verizon DSL representative calls me wondering why I haven’t set up my subscriber profile yet, when my account shows that service has been up & working since 12/15. I refer him to the newest order & explain that the 12/15 order was canceled due to some mysterious missing piece of information. He scans that order, and doesn’t see anything wrong with it. He says the 12/15 order should have gone through just fine.

  5. Service is finally turned up on January 30, 8 days ago.
    I guess two months must be the extra-speedy employee installation time.

So far, it’s working just fine.

(Sorry this is becoming a Verizon chat room) Yes I heard that too. SBC communications got the same long distance permissions we did but seems to have been able to get the exact same break-away condition overturned in court. If they don’t have to split up, I don’t see why we should!

COME ON NOW!!! In all fairness Attrayant you complained about the difficulties you are having in completing your job as it should be done because of the recent breakup. I then relay my similar story about my experience in my department (sales). You turn around and say something like this?

Why talk this way about a fellow employee? No need to speak in small words etc…WE UNDERSTAND. We all work for the same company. I agree that not all employees are on quite with it, but remember how I explained about the new order systems? Isn’t it possible that the confusion was caused by the new system? Sorry to complain about your statement but I am tired of people assuming we are idiots because we can’t give you the answers that you want to hear. It isn’t our faults, it’s upper managements fault and you of all people should know that. I’m not angry, and I understand your frustration but think about the irony. You’re complaining about how long it took you to get your DSL in a pit rant about the FCC making your job at Verizon harder to complete! That’s funny :slight_smile:

Attrayant, I received a modem and a bunch of line filters about two weeks after placing the order for DSL. I connected the modem and hooked up the filters. Since I got the modem early in the process, I thought maybe the connection date would be moved up. When I called to ask, I was told the work order had been cancelled, due to some clerical error that was never defined. So, the work order was reinstated, with the original connection date promised again. One day prior to the connection date, I received a call from Verizon, basically telling me that “we are not going to honor our promise to you because we don’t have the right equipment and if you don’t like it, see if you can find the same service somewhere else.” So, another month goes by and I call Verizon. I am told that the necessary equipment has been delivered to the switching office BUT, and this is a direct quote, “they haven’t been able to figure out how and where to install it.”

I called Time-Warner, ordered the RoadRunner service, and within one week it was installed.

Verizon sucks, is what I think.

Nah I’m not complaining, just chimed in with an amusing anecdote following LouisB’s mentioning that his DSL installation never happened. As I said, I am quite happy with the service and I am not even going to mention here that it disconnects me regurlarly every evening at 10:25 right when I am at game point in the middle a heated game of spades.

I’m not biased for or against my own company, every center has trainees, boobs & nitwits. Heck, we have a few here that I’m occasionally cleaning up after. It was just a little irritating that the guy had even less of an idea about what is going on that I did.

Having heard about your efficient new software, courtesy of Robert Frost Elementary School, I can sympathize. But that’s not something that people (including other VADI employees) know about, nor should you expect them to. That’s part of my frustration too. My customers don’t know & don’t care that it’s one big hilarious Chinese firedrill inside Verizon now. All they know is that, now I can’t do for them what I used to be able to do.

I don’t know if it’s going to get much better before we lose a large portion of our customer base. Hell, we’ve already lost LouisB!

*Originally posted by Attrayant *

LOL :smiley:

That is so true! I get a great visual on this!