Friday, November 20, 2009

627 The Phone "Glitch"

627 The Phone Glitch

When you dial a toll-free number, here's what happens: you get switched into a call center and then "rolled over" into a local phone number that rings wherever it is you're calling. Well, almost.

Sometimes, the call goes astray and ends up on the wrong phone.

When it happens occasionally, it's a "glitch." When it happens almost every day, it's something more.

Here's my cell number (don't worry, everyone else has it.) 516 318 0063. Had it for about ten years. In that time, the phone has rung almost daily with calls for: Newsday, the New York Daily News, the New York Times, Empire Blue Cross, Medicare, Medicaid, Merrill Lynch, American Express, a porn website, and in earlier times for Waldbaum's Supermarkets, Nassau County Off Track Betting, Chase Visa, and the Johnson & Johnson Tylenol Hotline.

Verizon can't figure it out. They just don't know why it happens. But here's the answer: the call from the customer/ subscriber/ card "member," etc., gets transferred or "rolled over" into this local number instead of the right one.

Beside not knowing how it happens, they don't know how to prevent it.

So every day or so, Mrs. Blavatnik from Levittown calls to tell the Daily News that its new carrier is not putting the paper on her porch and she can't risk walking on the ice to receive it. Or some guy wants an explanation for a health insurance claim that's been rejected or "What's today's special in the vegetable department," or "why are all my stocks losing money?"

Mrs. Blavatnik gets a a polite answer. The rest of them? Not so much.

Verizon tech support: "We can deduct the minutes you use answering those calls."

Customer: "I never reach the limit in my minutes."

Verizon tech support: "then we can't help you, sir.

Customer: "But can you stop the calls?"

Verizon tech support: "No."

At least it's a straight answer.


--Mayor For Life Bloomberg and former Mayor For Life Giuliani have crossed swords on the terrorist trial being held in New York Federal Court. The former wants its and the latter thinks doing it is a result of some left wing conspiracy. No worries, boys, the guy's going to fry, but probably not in your lifetimes.

--Would be better to put the guy in hands of the NYPD, whose officers sometimes become a bit... um... distracted. Sometimes when that happens, the prisoner loses his balance and takes a fall. And that often results in serious injury, which would be a terrible thing.

--They finally caught the Turnpike Turkey near Jersey City. She disrupted traffic and nearly caused accidents for more than a week. But the animal control officers finally managed to net her and take her off to a zoo, where she will be saved from being someone's Thanksgiving dinner... maybe.

Coming Unattraction
By popular demand (from maybe six people,) the "Book Look" feature heard during Bloomberg on the Weekend from 2000 to 2006 will return to these pages. You want it, you got it. You don't want it? It'll be easy to skip.

I'm Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you're welcome to them.®
©WJR 2009

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