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ISDN: Verizon Calls This Customer
SERVICE? That's A Big Laugh ...

Note: Sad to say, the following is true. Only the names have been changed to protect the ... (cough, cough) innocent.
By Mike Harrison
Voice Actor

"Mommy, why are there sedatives?"

"Why, there are sedatives because there is a phone company."

I communicated several times during mid-May with Miss Lawson at Verizon to determine ISDN availability at a new location.
After it was established that I could get the service moved from my current location to a new one, I emailed her with details and asked for more information. A full week went by with no response.
I called and left a voicemail for her. It was only then that she called back to say she doesn't handle anything beyond the information she had initially given me. Am I to guess that if I hadn't followed-up my email with voicemail, she never would have replied?
She gave me a number to call for obtaining more definitive information (availability at my specific location, install turnaround, etc.)
Mid-afternoon on June 1st, I called the number Miss Lawson gave me and spoke with a woman named Lynn. I told her my goal was to move my existing service from one location to another only 15 minutes away.
She took my name, current address on the account, and phone numbers, and said she'd call back in about two minutes.
After a half-hour went by with no call-back, I called again and this time spoke with Celia, who took more details and said she would call me back, but did not say when.
By 2:30 p.m. June 2nd, after not hearing from Celia, I called her back.
When my name didn't ring a bell with her, I reiterated my goal.
Celia found my information on her desk and eventually connected me with someone who would be able to handle my request.
Actually, this person wasn't able to, but instructed me to call Verizon's NJ Customer Service number. Mrs. Pinella answered when I called.
She was the first person thus far to sound as if she completely understood my goal.
She took my information to determine if ISDN was available in my new location and what the installation turnaround was. After about 20 seconds on hold, my call was disconnected.
I called back and got a different person, naturally.
When I told this guy that Mrs. Pinella had a good grasp of my situation and asked that he connect me with her, he said it wasn't possible to transfer calls to specific parties.
I said, "This is phone company. You can't transfer calls?"
"No, sir, we can't," was the reply.
"Well, can you send her an email?"
"No, sir."
"Throw a rock with a note attached? Send a carrier pigeon? Send smoke signals? Send someone over to tell her I'm waiting on-hold for her?"
"No, I'm sorry, sir."
He left me no choice. "Please don't take this personally," I said, "but believe me when I tell you that I could give birth before I could expect a reasonable facsimile of service from Verizon."
It was then determined that the Customer Service number I had been given was incorrect for my purpose, despite my having completely explained my situation in excruciating detail to each and every person I spoke with.
This man eventually managed to send some sort of message to Mrs. Pinella (I'd failed to ask about shooting an arrow with a note attached; maybe that was it), who asked for my phone number so she could call me back.
She did! ... 10 minutes later, and said she had located just the right person who could definitively answer my questions.
When he got on the line, it became immediately clear that Roy Krall was indeed the guy I needed to speak with.
He perfectly understood what I needed, and said he would put through the request to move my ISDN service to my new location to determine if there were any problems with having the service installed.
The actual order to proceed with installation would be given by me when the new apartment was secured and a move-in date established.
Mr. Krall then asked if there was anything else he could help me with.
"Yes," I said. "A case of Valium would be good."
Since 1973, Mike Harrison has been writing, voicing and producing radio commercials, plus narrating and/or producing audio tracks for many Fortune 500 corporate/industrial clients. He was a two-time co-finalist, for copy and production, in the 1985 International Radio Festival of New York, and his voice is currently heard in various markets across the U.S. as well as in the United Kingdom. He is a member of Media Communications Association - International.

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Comments (1)
10/9/2011 at 9:26 AM
Many years ago when ISDN was first used for Voice Overs I went through the same process, which prompted a friend who worked for Southwestern Bell to say that within the phone company ISDN stood for I STILL DON'T kNow (with some poetic license taken).
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