on the coordination of phone companies, verizon to be exact

Two weeks ago, we finally had a VOIP line installed ... woohoo! Been meaning to for ages as I'm tired of long-distance bills that are over $80/month. It was super easy to install and works like a charm. We kept our old line for awhile, to make sure the quality of the new one was good enough. Strangely, less than a week later, our trusty Verizon landline goes kaput. Disappears. I wondered if it had anything to do with the 7 days of rain (which has made it go funny before) so waited for 2 days to see if drying out would fix it. No such luck. When I finally called Verizon last Wednesday, the woman tested the line, agreed the problem was outside the house, and scheduled a service visit. I first told her Saturday am was best, then immediately changed it to Monday, we agreed that was a better bet as they couldn't guarantee the 4-hour window they arrange is always adhered to.

So Saturday morning, as arranged, workmen arrive at 8:15 am to start fixing Douglas' room, and the house is a mess of newspaper trails (charles' way of keeping the floor clean, but ended up getting walked around as they were too slippy and bendy), plaster buckets, ladders wending from through our room, and so on. Chasing Luna (roommate's cat who finally moved in to join the household!) away from the open door added to the fun.

10am arrives, and the buzzer rings again ... this time it's Verizon there to fix the line! We let them in, tell her we weren't expecting her, and move a few more things out of the way. She decides the problem is in the main box behind the neighbor's down the street, no one is home to give her access, and the man at the bank on the corner, who also has access, has run off for another emergency, taking the keys with him. She agrees that someone will come back monday and take care of it.

We leave for a birthday party, and are having a lovely time at the Telephone Bar and trying to keep Douglas from dancing on the couch, when Michael's cell phone rings. It's our roommate, calling to ask if she should let the Verizon repair man in. It's another tech, knowing nothing about the first tech, who apparently starts the process all over again ... and we never did find out what his conclusion was.

This morning, 10am again, Verizon knocks at the door. This guy *also* knew nothing about the previous two techs, and decided the diagnosis that I relayed from the first tech wasn't necessarily to be trusted, and started all over. In 45 minutes he had it solved, including having to drain water out of the wires! He promised to come back when he got a chance to fix the ugly phone box on our porch that hangs raggedly on one bolt, and was cheerful and helpful. I just hope another one doesn't show up on Wednesday, just for fun. They certainly don't seem to have that great communication going on!

I didn't have the heart to tell him we'd probably be cancelling the line in the next month.