verizon – can you hear me now?

How long does it take to transfer a phone from one place to another? It should be one day.  In reality it was 10-12.  Last time I moved it took one day to transfer the phone so I expected that to happen again.  Here’s what actually happened:

One week before

Called Verizon to transfer phone and DSL on moving day.  Verizon says dialtone will be available by 5:30 on moving day.

Moving day – Wednesday

Around noon, I get a text saying the DSL is hooked up.  No dialtone.  I call Verizon and they says their records show the dialtone should be active and their line test says all is well. If I want I can make a service appointment to have them come and look in person.  The next appointment is in 6 calendar days (3 business days).  Verizon says they will come sometime between 8am and 7pm.  Seriously?  You want me to wait home for 11 hours?  And it’s not like I can work remotely as the problem is the internet.  After complaining, they changed the window to four hours.  (8am to noon)

Day 7 in new apartment – Tuesday

Around 10:30, I get a text that “my problem has been resolved.”  I don’t have a dialtone and haven’t seen/heard from Verizon all day.  What kind of resolution is this?  I call Verizon whose repair department says their records show that the problem is resolved because they did something downstairs and if I want them to come back inside my apartment, I have to make another appointment.  The next service date is in 7 calendar days.   After 150 minutes on the phone (much of which was spent on hold), several phone calls and a number of people/departments, I learned the problem was that Verizon took my new apartment number but put it with my old address.  Maybe that apartment got my dial tone.  I don’t know.  The only solution is to start over and place a new order.  At this point, I’m mad.  We wasted a week just to get to where we should have been on moving day.  New estimate is by 5:30pm.  Tried at 5:45 and no dialtone.  When I called Verizon, I learned that while repair people can visit until 6 or 7pm, phone contact is open 8:30-5:00.

Day 8 in new apartment – Wednesday

Called Verizon at precisely 8:30am.  (Turns out hold times are shorter then.)  There is no record of my order from day 6.    Sounds like the agent forgot to press save.  Guess what?  The only solution is to start over and place the order again.  This time my estimate for a dial tone is in 24 hours.  Plop in the middle of the work day on Thursday.

Day 9 in new apartment – Thursday

Called Verizon at 1pm.  I didn’t actually know it wasn’t working this time, but past experience indicated this was unlikely.  The rep in ordering agreed it wasn’t done (confirming my guess) and said she will ask around and call me back “in a few hours” so I don’t have to wait on the phone.  Conclusion they will try to activate it remotely by 5pm and will place an order for DSL which got lost amongst all this for Monday – the earliest day possible.  I checked at 6pm and 10pm.  No dialtone.

Day 10 in new apartment – Friday

I woke up at 6am and had a dialtone.  I’m guessing this means some sort of reset happened at night.  Still no DSL of course.

Day 12 in new apartment – Sunday

I tried DSL Saturday evening and Sunday morning.  It could see the network but not connect.  Which is the expected behavior before DSL is activated.  Then at 9pm. I had a steady light on the modem which means DSL is working.  And hear I am online.


I still need one of the two phone jacks fixed.  I called a private electrician to do it.  Mainly because I don’t believe Verizon will come.  And the private person gave me a specific date and time based around my availability unlike starting with this eleven hour nonsense.  And remember that Verizon wants to sell you FIOS.  I suspect they put more of their good people on FIOS.  Because I only spoke to one person who really knew what she was doing in the 8+ hours I spent on the phone with them.  The only saving grace of not having home internet was that I worked late everyday because I was on the phone with Verizon during the work day and didn’t get my work done by 5.

While I’ve had troubles with Time Warner as well (currently having an ongoing discussion about the DVR), they at least know how to transfer your service on day 1.


WTF from the Past

The missing image

I was remembering a strange problem from a few years ago and thought I would share the issue.

We had a simple web page around the year 2002 which contained either a plus or a minus image, not unlike these: plus minus

The problem we had was that regardless of the code we used, we could only ever see the minus image. Checking the page source and viewing the image on its own told us that we should be seeing the plus image where appropriate, and yet on the page itself we only ever saw the minus image.

How does your browser scale images?

It turns out that actual images were 11 pixels wide and 11 pixels high, but the image tag was telling the page to display as 10 pixels wide. I’ll show you what that looks like in today’s browsers, but your mileage may vary: plus minus

Hopefully you saw something like this: plus minus

If you’re unlucky you’ll see something like this: plus minus

Depending on the scaling algorithm used by your browser, scaling from width 11 to width 10 may just remove the middle line, making a plus look like a minus. Problem solved. I didn’t pick it and I’m sad to say that it took too long to pick up the issue.

Error’d: European Edition

I traveled to the UK earlier this month and was greeted by an error screen a day for the first three days of my trip.

Day 1: London Subway Station
Nothing like a 5-foot-tall boot screen to make you feel at home in a foreign country.

Day 2: Cardiff Train Station
Found a Windows BSOD while waiting for the train. And they say Linux dominates the European market!

Day 3: London Bus
Found half-way up the stairs of one of London’s famous double decker public buses.

Bonus: Bed Bath & Beyond
So as not to forget American-based errors, here’s one I came across this morning (live for now). Those without time machines are at a severe disadvantage for this Bed Bath & Beyond rebate offer!

By the way, it was an excellent trip, with or without the BSOD’s following me around Europe!