Verizon Fios — never order fios service!
My saga with Verizon FIOS started on August 10, 2006. I went to a Verizon store in Plano (on Central Expwy) with the intention of learning more about FIOS service. I had been anxiously awaiting the arrival of FIOS TV since FIOS Internet had been out for a while. I wanted to get the whole package at once to make the conversion easier. Well, I liked what I heard so I went ahead and placed my order at the store. The store gave me a 4-digit order number which is an important fact. The rep ordered what they call the "triple play" - voice (phone), data (Internet), and video (TV). They like those orders best - makes it easier for the installer. The rep at the store then told me that Verzion would be contacting me in about 2 business days to schedule the installation.
About 3 business days later, a Verizon rep called me and said she would like to talk to me about ordering Verizon FIOS. I told her that I already had an order and I gave her the 4-digit number. Well, that is not a valid number. Their order numbers start with a character followed by 7 numbers. Okay -we are starting the bad thing now but I say to please place the order. I didn't know to ask for the voice part since I assumed it was part of the deal so I just said Internet and TV (uh-oh... the rep puts me down for only a double-play). She said someone would call me back to schedule the install. Oh, sure - I would believe it when it happened. Well, it did happen - about two days later they called and we set the date for August 28. Great!
On August 28, the technician arrives late - and I believe he only comes because I call to ask where he is. The install time range was for between 1 and 5 pm and I took that afternoon off from work. He arrives after 5 pm. This is bad because they say the install takes 6 hours! The first thing he asks when he gets there is whether I am sure I only want Internet and TV - don't I also want the phone on fiber too? I said I ordered all three (or so I thought) so it took a good hour of calls back and forth for him to confirm a triple-play order rather than a double-order. As the hours went by during the install and my husband got more and more weary, I told them to leave and finish the work the next evening. They (two other techs had shown up at this point) weren't too happy about that but finally agreed. So we did not have any service of any kind with the system partially installed - but we were tired!
On August 29, a different technician arrived at the appointed time and completed the work. He seemed to be a lot more together than the other three and noticed the sloppy job the others had done with installing the outlets in our office. I just wanted the work done and over with so I said I could hide or fix their mess.
Okay - fantastic - FIOS is up and running. We love our TV and Internet service now - it is spectacular!!
Then the lightning hit us on September 17. Oh - and I forgot to mention. We kept getting automated calls (and letters) from Verizon saying how sorry they were that the FIOS installation couldn't be completed. I tried calling them back to tell them that we had FIOS service but the calls kept coming so I started ignoring them. Mistake. Okay - back to the lightning. It blew the Verizon box on the back of our house! But this day was great because I called FIOS Support (remember that for later) and Verizon came right out and not only replaced their fiber box but also the Internet router and TV receiver that the lightning strike had blown. Life was once again good. This was a Sunday.
Then Monday came. September 18. The first day of a week of our nightmare. We found that we had no dial tone on our phone - but the TV and Internet were fine. Fortunately, we have cell phone service (with Verizon) and so we called FIOS Support. That was an indication of our trouble because the automated voice told us that we didn't have FIOS and was transferring us to regular support. Uh-oh. We got to our first rep of about two or three dozen that we talked to (I have some of their names) that week. The short version of the story is that they got us back our phone service on Tuesday by sending a tech out who switched our phone back to copper. This then knocked out our Internet and TV. I can live without TV but not the Internet. I am on too many committees to have my main source of communication taken away. So the conversations got even more heated and frequent. My husband and I both lost many hours of sleep and time for other things by remaining on the phone for hours on end trying to find that one person who would help us. It took two more days until I finally reached that one person - an angel named Twan Nguyen based in Dallas, Texas. He saw what the problem was immediately. He basically told me that the store order was canceled. That cancelled status on our account was preventing the system from allowing our FIOS service to function. He removed the bad status and instantly everything worked! He told me that there was a service order scheduled for the following week to put our phone back on fiber - which in fact did occur. (We did have a supervisor in Florida trying to get this resolved for us throughout the week - she was great even though she isn't in the FIOS area. Her name is Toni and she was able to at least obtain credits on our bill for all the hassle we went through.)
Lesson Learned - do not ever go to a Verizon store (or kiosk) and order FIOS service! Only - and I stress ONLY - order it with their toll-free number (can obtain it on the Verizon FIOS website).
Commendation Earned - Twan Nguyen in the Verizon "Fiber Support" department.
Footnote: Verizon was continuing to bill me for my old DSL service even with FIOS on the same bill. That is finally straightened out so hopefully all issues are resolved.