My Verizon Headache

Image courtesy of this guy, though hundreds of others proudly display it.

I’m going to begin by stating that this is indeed a headache. I have heard many other horror stories that do rise to the level of “heartache” or “nightmare.” Putting aside the fact that we as humans should not feel such an emotional attachment to material technological devices, this headache caused by Verizon has put my workflow on hiatus.

Word of understanding: I do know that often when ordering new devices (in this case, a new iPad Pro 12.9 inch), ship dates are often pushed back. I understand this. We are dealing with a communication triangle between me the consumer, Apple, and Verizon (and FedEx, etc. along with other middle people only complicate the triangle, but I like simple three-sided figures). But this is incompetence that begins (and continues) with Verizon. It’s also a problem that they could fix rather quickly (but choose not to take that step).

Pre-orders begin at 2:00 AM Central on June 7 (I don’t know if this is standard time or daylight savings time or whatever, neither do Rep. Jonah Ryan or John Oliver for that matter). So, hey, I so happen to be up around 2:00 AM. I log onto my trusty iMac and all is going well. I had a line with an iPad on it and the device was paid for, so it was due for an upgrade. Perfect. So I begin the online process. But uh oh, there’s a snag: Unfortunately, my upgrade cannot be done online and I must call Verizon’s Customer Service. Well, that wouldn’t be a problem. But another uh oh: My iPhone for some odd Verizon network reason cannot dial certain 800 number, one of which INCLUDES THE VERIZON CUSTOMER SERVICE LINE (Engineers had to fix this problem, but they broke my voice mail. Maybe we can discuss that in a future post). Uh oh. What’s a man to do? Well, unfortunately, I did not have the *611 command tattooed on my hand to know I could have called that also. I guess it’s time to turn to the good ole Verizon Customer Chat person.

I connect to nameless (though s/he actually had a name, I just forgot it) representative number 1. After fifteen minutes of explanation (mind you, I’m already desperately falling behind on the order queue. Everyone else is clicking away and reserving their devices). Finally, a male rep says “Oh no, you can’t upgrade that line. But you can certainly add a new line and then we can cancel the old line when you get the device in your hands.” Hmmm. Whatever. I just wanted to get one reserved in my name so it would arrive on the EXPECTED SHIP DATE OF JUNE 13 (more on this later). So we do this. I input a payment method, pay for taxes and the $30.00 upgrade fee, and he says we are all set. I even get the email stating the order was placed. Ahh. Not the way I wanted to do it (I still don’t know why I couldn’t upgrade that line), but it was done.

But wait, rep says I have to speak to someone else to “verify my payment type.” Hmmm, okay, sure. He’ll transfer me. Well, he transfers me instead to another rep at his level. This lovely representative (after I tell her the forty-five-minute saga leading up to this point) tells me that the other rep does not know what he is doing. She says we can cancel that and upgrade the line. Okay, but by now much time has passed. I knew that even this few hours means I would be well behind in the queue to receive my iPad in the order it was received. She says I could do what the other rep says or we could cancel this one. I was thinking I might just keep the new line purchase so I could get the iPad earlier. But as I tell the rep this, surprise! She went ahead and canceled that order! Cue TPIR. Well, that place is lost. And I was under the impression that I already paid money for that first order. So goes the representative: “Oh, let me talk to a manager and we can reinstate that order!” Oh okay, that sounds nice. Another forty-five minutes pass. “Okay,” says the wonderful customer service agent, “your original order is set.” “Great, I think.” So I head to be at around 5:00 AM.

For the next few days, I keep checking that order. “Still processing, expected ship date 6/13.” Ahh, nice. So I still ordered soon enough to have it shipped on the date that I order. Even if it’s a day late due to the expected ship date not being met, I can survive. So I did a dumb, dumb thing. I sold my older iPad Pro. I had faith in Verizon. I thought they would pull through for me in the end. Well, what do you think happened?

I figured I would check things out on June 12, considering I didn’t have a tracking number yet. When I have preordered an iPhone in the past, usually it ships the day before so you get it on the expected day of arrival. Well, I’m told by the new Verizon Chat Rep (still can’t call the 800 number) that this order DOES NOT EXIST! EVEN THOUGH IT IS TELLING ME IT IS PROCESSING THE ORDER DOES NOT EXIST! Something told me the stupid order would not work. There were too many talking heads via chat and no one could get on the same page. Well, nothing left to do but ORDER AGAIN, on June 12. Oh, still an expected shipping date of June 13. Maybe they still had enough stock. Not everyone out there’s going to be fighting for the big iPad Pro like me. Ahh, this is nice. Maybe the saga can conclude.

11:06 PM Central Time, June 13: Expected Ship Date: June 13

11:07 PM Central Time, June 13: Expected Ship Date: June 14.

Around 11:00 PM Central Time, June 14: Expected Ship Date: June 14

Near midnight Central Time, June 14: Expected Ship Date: June 15

Do you get the pattern here? Every night around midnight my time, the expected ship date magically changes to the next day! Well, what do you know? This feels like some sort of Twilight Zone episode. I imagine it’s going to do this till the iPad Pro 3 releases. And every time I have posted a tweet on Verizon counting down the days, I get one of the awesome (Bless their hearts) reps from the Twitter Account @VZWsupport, apologizing, asking to check this situation out personally and get back to me. Then I get the same answer: “Oh, we are sorry. But I’ll get back to you tomorrow with the tracking number once it ships.”

You know, I don’t even care if anyone reads this. It’s more an exercise of me dealing with the situation. Sort of my personal therapy session with the two people that might read this. And, I honestly would not care if Verizon changed the expected ship date to July 13. At least they would be taking some ownership of the situation and communicating some actual information rather than their hopeful future. From what I have gathered from the reps, either Verizon overestimated the shipment of big iPad Pros they expected to receive, or Apple overestimated what they were going to send and they didn’t send as many. So, Verizon is merely sending out orders to individuals in the order received.

But remember, they snuffed my original order. They also took away the re-order of the original order. They pushed my order back over five days due to THEIR mistake. So why don’t they simply SHIP ME THE NEXT F___ING AVAILABLE IPAD PRO 12.9? Wouldn’t that be the most equitable thing to do? If Apple ships them ONE silver IPAD PRO 12.9 256 (heck, for the man’s efforts, send him a 512, he’ll pay for it) then send it to me! Rectify the situation!

But, alas, after being promised early this morning by some Twitter Verizon rep initialed “JLT” that he would DM me the shipping information, I did not hear from him. You know why? You know why! The shipping date was pushed to June 18. Cue those TPIR horns again. I imagine I’ll receive another DM from an initialed rep saying that THEY will send me the tracking number once it ships today. Well, looks like THEY lied. Greg’s getting upset!

An Evening at the American Academy’s Launch of the Heart of the Matter | American Historical Association

After a bruising few years, in which these studies were overshadowed by STEM, made a political football by legislators, and mocked by conventional wisdom, a colleague reminded me, now, at last, “We have a report.” We have a strong and multidimensional argument for the humanities and social sciences. We have a starting place, and a touchstone for a more vigorous advocacy.

via An Evening at the American Academy’s Launch of the Heart of the Matter | American Historical Association.