[NOTE: This is not a real how-to, just a story about how Verizon is the worst. If you?re looking to return your Verizon router? good luck ?]
Step 1: Buy a new router (make sure it?s dual band) and switch it in for the existing Verizon FiOS router. [Directions: switch the ethernet cable to your new router, unplug the ONT, wait a bit, then plug it and your new router in. Confirm it works.]
Step 2: Go onto Verizon.com to create a Return Kit. If it says it can?t find your information like it did for me, open up chat and explain that you?d like to return the router so you can stop paying the $10/month fee. Be a little suspicious that Siobhan is either a bot or doesn?t seem to fully grasp what you?re saying (incoherent responses, no direct answers), but trust that everything?s fine anyway.
Step 3: Go to the store the next day to return your Verizon FiOS router, like Siobhan reassured you was the way to do it. Richard seems like a good dude and the whole processes takes only a few minutes. You also confirm with him that you?re just returning the router rental, not cancelling your service. Be relieved it was a quick and easy process.
Step 4: Get to work and check your email. See Verizon FiOS ? Disconnect Confirmation waiting there for you in your inbox. Richard, why?? Confirm on your online account that you no longer have service.
Step 5: Contact chat again and explain the situation. You just need your internet restored, it was mistakenly cancelled by Richard. When Steven tells you that you need to call, explain to Steven how absurd that is. Steven, this is Verizon?s fault. You want me to take time to step away from coding while we?re on a deadline, to fix Richard?s mistake?
Step 6: Immediately get transferred to a new chat rep. Lester promises he can absolutely fix this for you. Just kidding. He sees the ticket for your service cancellation, but can?t do anything about it. He?s sorry, but he tells you again that you have to call.
Step 7: Give up and call customer service. You are upset and frustrated, but also hopeful. Paolo is chipper and promises he can definitely fix it! He?ll just create a new account for you! Never mind. You have service waiting to be cancelled, so he can?t do anything. But if you go back to the store, they?ll be able to fix it, since it?s their fault. That is definitely the solution.
Step 8: Call the store. A man answers. Explain someone there messed up, and ask if it?ll get fixed if you go back. It?s Richard! He?s baffled, because he definitely did not cancel your service. Feel like a fool ? why did you blame Richard?? He was super chill and capable. Richard has no idea what?s going on because all he did was process the return kit. SIOBHAN. I KNEW IT. Richard gives you the number to the local Verizon FiOS center.
Step 9: You are almost combative now as you call the Verizon FiOS center. Angelica doesn?t take well to your tone, and you two get into a yelling match as she explains to you that you can?t just simply return your rental router. Verizon, of course, immediately cancels your service when you don?t have another router serial on file. But you can?t just add your new serial, it has to be a Verizon router. That?s absurd, you yell at Angelica. You?re telling me I have to either buy or own a Verizon router in order to have Verizon FiOS? Yes, she says, and you end the conversation furious and in disbelief. Fuck this, you?re just going to switch to Spectrum.
Step 10: Realize how hard it would be to actually switch to a new ISP. Tweet how frustrated you are. Start a new chat. You warn Maria that Paolo tried to create an account for you, but it didn?t work. She swears she?ll make it work. And she does! Relief. You now have a new account, and will have internet.. in 7 days. NO, MARIA. I DON?T NEED INSTALLATION. I just need my internet re-activated. Well, what if Verizon gives you a Jetpack and free mobile hotspot service during the waiting period? There is no point in fighting anymore. What is the point of anything anymore? You?re transferred to Wireless Sales.
Step 11: Latisa has no idea why she?s looped in. This is not her domain and she has no power to do anything to help you. She offers to transfer you to a Customer Care chat. ?Sure, why not? has become your official response.
Step 12: Charlie is super empathetic as you explain for the umpteenth time what has happened. You explain again that you just need your new internet activated, the hardware is already set up. You are nearing a meltdown. Charlie, you plead, I just want the internet I had working perfectly fine a few hours ago. Please. He offers to transfer you to a FiOS manager. Sure. Why not.
Step 13: Salma is supposed to be technical, so you get technical with her. You have an ONT. You have a working router. You just need things to be re-activated on their end. She confirms your ONT is active. She tells you that when you go home, your wifi will be all set. You breathe out a tentative sob of relief, and manage to get a few hours of concentrated work done.
Step 14: Your internet, of course, is not active. Your ONT and router are up, your wifi is broadcasting, but the connection just won?t go through. Lindsay is the 10th rep you?ve talked to, and the 9th one to read back on your nightmare of a day. She explains the system says you need a service upgrade, but agrees you probably just need an activation. But she can?t do anything about it. She offers to conference in ?Central? , and you two wait on hold as she periodically checks in. After an hour, you?re tired and curled up with your cats, wanting it to just all be over. You ask if she can call you back when she gets connected, and she promises to do so. You never hear from Lindsay again.
Step 15: Exhausted, defeated, you respond to a @VerizonSupport tweet. The DMs are short and sparse, but show a deep understanding of your situation. As you get transferred to yet another chat, you have a glimmer of hope.
Sidney is short on words, but full of intellect and knowledge. As you tell her for the 5th time that you just need your internet activated, she agrees and explains she?s already getting a hold of a Network Technician. You wait with bated breath. She sends you the activation site to get out of the walled garden. The wifi starts working again. After 9 hours, it?s finally over.
You pass your learned lessons unto others, in hopes that your follies will not be repeated. Never try to return your FiOS router rental. Don?t count on others; they will just let you down. The world is made up of well-meaning large systems where no part of the system has enough power to make any real change, and there is no hope for humanity.
But at least you saved $10/month.