May 4, 2007

EZ Move? I Think Not

Earlier this week, I called the Verizon "EZ Move" number because I was sick unto death of getting wrong numbers from Knoxville.

See, nearly three years after we got a land line there that used to belong to a contractor, we're still getting his wrong numbers for business and personal calls. Since contractors tend to show up at job sites pretty early in the morning, and Knoxville is three time zones ahead of us in California, I found the calls at five in the morning intensely bothersome. Slightly less irritating were the people who called back to the same number again, right after I took the time to explain to them that I was not a contractor in Maryville, Tennessee but a lawyer in Southern California and if they wanted to sue someone in Los Angeles, I could help them.

I'd held off on doing this for some time because someone from Verizon explained that it would be easier to do once I got a new phone. Turns out no, that isn't the case at all and I could have done this months ago.

So I did it shortly after getting my new phone (which I like a lot). This caused massive confusion in the office, because people thought that the new phone came with a new number. So when someone needed to get a hold of me one morning to learn a piece of information, all the paralegals in the office panicked because they all thought they had no way to reach me. It never occurred to any of them to call the number they had to see if maybe I had left a forwarding message -- had they done so rather than fretting for half an hour until I got into the office, they would have found that they could have reached me handily.

But that's not even the half of it. I couldn't change my number without also changing The Wife's. I tried to do it one night, but she was out and about, and the phone needs to be reprogrammed, so doing that would have caused her to be without service and she might have needed it. So I waited a few days until another time that was convenient for me to change to a local number. My number change went through pretty quickly and without many problems.

Not so for The Wife. The instructions I got to pass along to The Wife to reprogram her phone were not particularly clear about how to leave the forwarding message, which apparently Verizon can't do on its own. So we have to leave our old accounts open for a month and change the voice mail greeting to let the callers know that the number is not good anymore and to call the new number. For some reason, The Wife's phone kept having service problems with the voice mail and it was very confusing to figure out which voice mail she was calling. Tonight we finally (I hope) solved all the problems because it also turns out that only I was on the account at all, so her voice mail was locked up and no one could change it.

At the same time, a bunch of high-strung Toastmasters have been trying to get hold of The Wife for days. I didn't realize this was going to be happening, or that she was going to give out the old number to all these people on the very day that I had the phone numbers changed. So that, too, was a big inconvenience to her.

I guess it just never occurred to anyone at Verizon that people moving from one area code to another might want their voice mail to be portable, too. That seems like it ought to be something that is within their technical ability to accomplish, but I guess not. Every time we've dealt with this over the past three days, The Wife has been astonishingly upset, to the point that I become afraid of her. It's made me unpleasant and angry at times, too. Hopefully, we've solved all the problems now, but we'll only know for sure tomorrow.

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