My friend Greg is in the process of being shafted by Verizon, who have at this point basically admitted to bald-facedly lying to him when they quoted him his original DSL installation dates, as well as conceding that they may lying now when they quote him new ones. This, therefore, seems like a good time time to mention two key resources that can help level the playing field when dealing with a faceless corporation’s customer-“service” system: Rob Levandowski’s excellent guide to The Art of Turboing, and Paul English’s Interactive Voice Response (IVR) cheat sheet.
(As an aside, Greg’s experience seems sadly typical of DSL-provider stories I’ve heard lately. This contrasts poorly with cable-broadband companies, who make it much easier and quicker to get on-line with them. I’m a DSL user myself, and like the service, but I don’t see how the telcos are going to keep the cable companies from eating their lunch if they don’t get their act together fast.)
Update 2006-03-08: Apparently Paul English’s IVR Cheat Sheet has sparked enough of a response to instigate what could wind up being a full-blown movement. If this turns out to be an actual consumer rebellion, historians may wind up saying that HQ was located at gethuman.com.