Fake panic: How to get customer support to listen


reading time 2 min

Do you WANT to get paid?

Due to #reasons my employer changed the email address we use to receive invoices. The old email address won’t work and won’t forward to the new email address.

Nearly all the vendors I deal with changed to the new email address without a hitch.

Then there’s Verizon and Lumen. FML. Why the fuck do I still do business with these fools?

I tried their self-service portals. I tried calling their customer support to help me use their self-service portals. I used their shitty chat bots. I sacrificed a goat on a full moon and … ok, I didn’t actually sacrifice a goat.

None of that worked.

Believe me…. I wanted to do this using whatever self-service methods were created so that I don’t have to talk to humans.

What DID work? Phoning or emailing with messages like, “Help help! You’re sending invoices to the wrong email address! This is terrible! Can you fix this for me?"

That got action! Suddenly the email address was properly updated. I didn’t have to even click on a mouse or decipher the cryptic messages and bad user-interface designs forced upon us by Verizon and Lumen.

So now I’ve learned my lesson: Don’t even try to fix things myself. Cry and whine and beg someone else to do it for me. It seems to be the only thing Verizon and Lumen understand.


By the way…

I’m not a “Verizon” customer. I was an XO customer but Verizon acquired XO. XO had a great portal, great service, and excellent prices. Verizon has none of those.

Same story with Lumen. I was an L3 customer but CenturyLink acquired L3. L3 had a great portal, great service, and excellent prices. CenturyLink has none of those. CenturyLink then changed their name to Lumen to run away from CL’s bad reputation. (It didn’t work for Time Warner Cable/Spectrum but I’m sure it will be totally different for Lumen.)

I don’t know how either Lumen or Verizon stay in business. The product they provide is substandard and they make it difficult to pay. You’d think a successful company would want to get one or both of those right.

Sadly, doing either of those right requires excellence in software delivery. Both companies need to dramatically do better in those areas.




Tom Limoncelli

Tom Limoncelli

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