It seemed to be simple enough. That should have been warning enough, however, I went ahead and told my daughter Diana to put the Verizon account in her name – it was in my sister’s name …
It seemed to be simple enough. That should have been warning enough, however, I went ahead and told my daughter Diana to put the Verizon account in her name – it was in my sister’s name – since Diana was paying the bill. My sister, Claire, was relieved to have Diana do it and get things straightened out.
Simple? You would think so.
Diana took a stab at it. Verizon said Claire would need to make the request.
That was the first problem. My sister is deaf and second, Diana lives in Wyoming and Claire in Massachusetts. It’s not like the two of them could sit together with Diana taking the questions – passwords and security questions like what was the name of your first pet – and pass along the answer.
Yet, and I don’t understand it, Verizon changed the mailing address, so at least the bills stopped going to Claire. It was a step in the right direction and it seemed logical when Claire and I planned to be together in upstate NY, we could get it worked out. Besides, we’d be dialing from the number of the account rather than a third account.
Claire was armed and ready. She had a bill for the NY landline with all the vital information. I picked up the receiver, dialed the number and went through the prompts expecting to get connected to someone somewhere in the world. Periodically, I was reminded because of heavier than normal calls that I would need to wait. Then came the “your call is important to us” message. That was followed by a message informing me that just about everything I needed done could be accomplished on the internet including clipping my toenails. It was about then that the phone, which had occasional static, started buzzing. It even drowned out the recorded notices.
Without hanging up – God forbid we’d already been on the line for ten minutes and I didn’t want to lose my place in line – I tried another handset. It was buzzing, too. Maybe it was at the Verizon end. I hung up and dialed again. The buzz was so bad I couldn’t even get through the prompts. It had to be the landline.
I reverted to my cellphone. This presented another problem. Cell coverage is lousy at the house. You need to be in the garden. I looked at my phone, 25 percent power. I’d risk it.
We went outside to sit on the lawn. I dialed again and after a 15-minute wait and the same round of message, I finally got a man on the line. I explained, my sister was sitting beside me but because she is deaf I was making the request to put Diana’s name on the account.
There was a pause as this sunk in. The phone went into low power mode, but I still had two bars.
“Well, the bill is being paid,” the man said giving me Diana’s address. “What’s the problem?”
“Look at the name on the account,” I said.
He read back my sister’s name.
“That’s not her address.”
I could see where this could end up if I gave him Claire’s address. I chose a different tack.
“Do you want to get paid?”
“Yes,” was his answer.
“Well, then you need the right name to go with the address.”
“Ah, I see what you mean,” he said with satisfaction. “That’s easy.” I wasn’t going to argue.
I decided to push my luck and told him of the buzzing land line.
“I need to put you on to tech,” he said.
Again, there was a wait, but thankfully not as long.
For a moment I feared getting tangled up on whose account needed service and losing cell service if asked to attempt to use the landline. I described the buzzing. She said she would need to determine if the problem was inside or outside the house. She put me on hold. Was there enough power to wait?
I looked at my phone. I had 3 percent remaining. Would I get an answer before completely losing power? Then I would need to charge the phone, go back outside and start all over again.
I waited anxiously. Now my phone read 1 percent.
She came back on the line. It’s outside, she said.
“A crew can be down there Monday,” she said.
I thanked her – at least I could get that in before losing contact with the outside world.