Verizon can't take your money
Tue, Apr 23, 2013 at 6:11 PM by Dave Winer.
  • The problem:
  • 1. I have an iPad LTE.
  • 2. When I was at the Knicks game on Sunday, I wanted to send some pictures to friends, but the iPad said I maxed out my data plan.
  • 3. I haven't used it once this month. How could that be.
  • 4. Then I remembered. My credit cards expire in May. Maybe that's it.
  • 5. When I got home I checked on the iPad, and sure enough, that was the problem.
  • 6. I enter the new credit card info, and re-entered my address, as it required me to do, even though the address was the same as last time.
  • 7. Invalid address.
  • 8. Every way I tried to enter the address it objected. I did this for about ten minutes. I thought I would take care of this during halftime of the Nets/Bulls game. We were already well into the third quarter.
  • 9. I decided to call the company and ask if they could just take the credit card info over the phone. After waiting on hold, I was told no, they couldn't do that.
  • 10. The very nice person said she understood why I was so frustrated (I didn't say I was), and called me by my first name even though I asked her not to.
  • 11. Enter it again, she said. This time it will work. Optimist!
  • 12. I entered it again. It did not work. It's worth mentioning that every time I try, I have to enter my email address and password, the iPad doesn't offer to remember these for me. A lot of hunting and pecking. We repeat this three times. No go. She has no advice to offer, but she is willing to escalate it.
  • 13. Her boss comes on the line, Frankie, who of course understands why I am so upset (this is a script they hired a psychiatrist consultant for) and said I should just enter the information again and this time it will work. I said I was unwilling to do this. He asked is there anything else he could help me with.
  • So you want to know the answer?
  • You have to type the address exactly as it appears in the credit card company account. No variance, not even whitespace. It's not case sensitive (lucky thing because the iPad determines the case and it doesn't agree with my bank's) but otherwise you have to type it literally exactly as they have it. Once I did that, after learning this on an Apple support discussion board, the request went through.
  • Now tell me something -- why didn't the Verizon people know this? They should hire a systems person not a psychiatrist. Instead of trying to sooth understandably frustrated customers, they should make happy customers, or at least not insanely unhappy customers. Or they could teach their people how to use Google.
  • Anytime you have to do business with one of these companies you're in for a lot of trouble, that's for sure.