Home > General > If a tree falls in a forest, will Verizon hear it?

If a tree falls in a forest, will Verizon hear it?

May 22, 2009

Rocky has a short fuse dealing with incompetent Customer Service Representatives. Yesterday, he made a wager with Trophy Wife that he would not lose his temper while reporting a Verizon DSL outage.

Verizon network engineers only investigate network problems after many users complain. However, Verizon’s troubleshooting procedure now requires an hour-long phone call with a CSR. Obviously very few people will spend an hour to report a problem (and Verizon’s self-calculated network reliability perversely increases as a result)!

Rocky’s DSL went down (again) yesterday evening. He ran network diagnostics and discovered a 50-100% loss of packets. After making his wager with Trophy Wife, he called Verizon:

Rocky: “I’d like to report a DSL outage”
Verizon: “Noone in your area has reported an outage.”
Rocky: “I know. It just went down. If you look at the service history of this area code and exchange, you’ll note problems for the past sixty days. I am experiencing substantial packet loss based on ping tests.”

[After 45 minutes of having Rocky power-cycle his computer, check his modem settings and run completely irrelevant commands on his pc…]

Rocky: “Do you agree that Verizon has a network problem?”
Verizon: “No. Your modem is faulty. We will ship you a new one.”
Rocky: “I keep a spare. Let me plug it in.”

[After 20 more minutes of the same settings check.]

Rocky: “Do you now agree that my modem is fine, and you have a network problem?”
Verizon: “No. We are not having a network problem. Noone else is reporting a problem. You replaced your current modem with an old unsupported modem.”

Rocky: “$#*($%!(*&#%#(*$#$###$#!!!!!”

Trophy Wife won the bet.

[Disclosure: Cablevision once asked Trophy Wife (while reporting a problem) whether she knew how to turn on a television, and then not believing her affirmative response, asked to speak to her husband. Rocky and Trophy Wife are no longer Cablevision customers.]

  1. masteroftheuniverse
    May 22, 2009 at 10:15 pm

    I remember Cablevision….are they still around?


  2. allocator
    May 23, 2009 at 1:14 am

    On a trip to Minnesota with my son’s soccer team a few years ago, I bought a great T-shirt along the lines of the “If a tree falls ….” proverb.

    It read – “If a man speaks in a forest, and there is no woman around to hear him, is he still wrong?”

    That was a great ice-breaker with women, because they’d immediately break out laughing and respond with a resounding “Yes!” (even if I wasn’t yet talking to them)


  3. ld
    May 23, 2009 at 7:23 am

    Rocky should check out FIOS which has worked perfectly for me for a couple years.

  4. May 23, 2009 at 7:50 am

    Yes — coax cables are non-biodegradable.

    Trophy Wife approves of your insights.

    Good idea, but it’s not clear where the packets are being lost. Also, do you know whether the rumors of inbound Port 80 blocking are true?

  5. ld
    May 25, 2009 at 8:10 pm

    I cannot help but wonder why Rocky needs inbound port 80 access? I don’t know if they block this or not in my case.

  6. May 25, 2009 at 9:45 pm


    is a useful utility to see if port 80 (and other ports) are blocked.

    In any event, Rocky took your advice and ordered FIOS. Supposedly Verizon is burying cable between the telco pole and the house this week. If Rocky comes home to find a geyser of water shooting out of a severed underground water line, he’ll know that Verizon was “on-the-job,” and Port 80 will be the least of his concerns.

  7. ld
    May 26, 2009 at 5:17 pm

    ld was much relieved to see canyouseeme’s response “Error: I could not see your service on xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx on port (80)
    Reason: Connection timed out”. It would worry me very much if someone could ping in – I assume my house switch firewall is doing this and not Verizon in one of their switches.

    Also, check out http://speakeasy.net/speedtest/. This says that my connection speed with FIOS is 20775 kbps download and 4569 kbps upload. This is better than Comcast and anything else I’ve tried for home Internet.

  8. May 27, 2009 at 7:58 am

    The office uses Cablevision/Optimum “boost” for internet. The speed there using the speakeasy test is 21330 down and 4480 up. Regular DSL is about 1/10 of that…

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