Saturday Evening Post


This has been an eventful roller coaster of a week. If you read the M3 Friday Follies, you got look into just one of the adventures. After a brief recap of a few of the others, Clyde has a Folly to bring you compliments of Verizon. The fans are swirling the cool air. Grab a cuppa and snuggle into a rocker. Let’s talk.

The M3 Blog

Other than the outages heretofore already addressed, M3 is progressing nicely. One piece of the fallout from the outage was my close monitoring of the spiders which index M3. Yes, M3 is on the spankies list for Google and Bing both. Crawls slowed to less than 300 per hour for the first time in…months.

For those of you to whom this is Greek, feel free to skip to the Books news.

After weeks of being crawled more than 500 times per hour, M3 is in the doghouse for being inaccessible twice in one week and for more than four consecutive hours.

As big as M3 is, it is not unusual for more than one spider to work on indexing. It takes a handful of them to comb the more than 650 pages and nearly 900 images on M3. While I continue to retrofit the original posts with my images in place of Zemanta pull-in images, the changes in the old posts are of interest to the spiders. It is a project I hope to complete long before the end of the year.

Meanwhile, I am hoping for a surge in post sharing to help traffic get the spiders’ attention. Any help the M3 Readers provide is appreciated.


Flash in the Pan (Fall 2012)All I can say is you are amazing. While I have been missing, the M3 Readers have been some flashing authors! If you have not visited some of the newcomers, you are missing out. With more than 60 entries for this book, we are headed to a substantial body of work when this one goes to press.

It is not too late. There are a number of you who have shown interest in FTP. This is my official invitation and encouragement. Even if you are not willing to post your flash on your own blog, you can still be involved.

Make your flash fit the monthly parameters. Email it to me with a 50 word about me. The about me can be as cheeky or serious as you like…just make sure it is no more than 50 words. If you want your blog or website linked, send me a link.

PS Five of the authors already on the FTP page need to get their about me to me. If you do not know who you are, visit the page and see if your name is there. Hmm.

Mantra for a Muse has picked up two five star reviews. If you missed the new page, stop by and check them out. Many thanks to both Lizzie and Gail for their glowing reviews. I sincerely appreciate all good ink my books are getting.

The autographed copies for the winners of the Goodreads giveaway (which I found horrifically disappointing) will go out on Monday morning: one to Florida and the other to Belgium. It will be the first copy to hit Europe.

And yes, I sunk low enough to ask the little worm why he gave a book he had never seen two stars. I managed not to call him a worm. Still wondering why I did not, but I did not.

Killing Us Softly is in the hands of beta readers. The mixed reviews are not about quality, but about the sheer emotion of the book. One of the most poignant quotes so far:

Can you even write a grocery list that doesn’t put a stranglehold on my feelings and how I look at the world?”

My answer? No, not a folly. Merely a soft,

I hope not.”

If you are not familiar with the 1,000 Zombies Projecttake a moment to check out Bryon. I am excited to be working on creating some Zombie flashes for his second book in the series. Be sure to watch the video. Bryon made the Global National news.

Byron will be joining in the Redmund Launch.

Redmund Productions

Yes, I hate coding. However, when one wants a website which does not look it popped out of a cookie cutter template box, one must code. The week has been a mixed bag.

On one hand, the forum is built, clean, promising to be fun. On the other hand, database issues are plaguing it at the moment. I am hoping to have it up and ready for registrations by the end of the month. This will allow for registration, profile building and getting the Redmund crew together to socialize and trade ideas, experience, eyes and more.

The book store is going better than expected. The shell is built. I still need to customize it to erase the portions of the out of the box feel it still has. Regardless of layout success, it will not be available until the week of launch.

The main site is progressing slowly. It had to take a backseat to the M3 issues this week. Overall, I am not as disappointed as I first thought I would be for being behind on my self-imposed timeline. It helps I am ahead personally, which allows me more corporate time.

Right Turn, Clyde!

Right turn, Clyde.

Clyde was ensnared by a corporate technique which got completely under his skin.

We all know of corporate policies which are easily abused. It is possible to do one’s job without having ever been productive. Verizon is a company with many such policies in the customer service department.

One of the most exploited ones is the time in which CSR have to answer emails directed to their various customer satisfaction divisions. Nowhere in the policy does it state the matter should be addressed or resolved.


The number one complaint for companies which provide cellular coverage and Internet access is no service, as was the case with my complaint. To be specific, I lodged a complaint against fading of signal which caused repeated failed downloads of large software purchases necessitating restarts which consequentially chew up my monthly data usage to the tune of an extra two or three gigabytes per month.

In answer to my complaint, I got a non-committal form letter which…well, read for yourself:

Hello Red Dwyer,

Thank you for contacting Verizon Wireless. We greatly value your business and we are committed to provide you the best customer service possible. I am sorry to hear about the difficulties that you have been experiencing with your service. I wanted to send you an email to provide as much information as I can.

I apologize for the frustration you have been having. I was not able to locate your name on the account, and we’ll need the password on the account in order to open it. Once we have this information, we should be able to assist you further.

Most questions regarding your device can be answered by visiting us at (link the where the complaints are [were] made). Simply sign in or register for additional account information.

I hope that this information is helpful to you. However if you need additional assistance, please reply to this email with a daytime number to reach you. You can also give us a call at (CS/sales telephone number) and press option 3 for technical support. You will want to make sure that you are calling from a separate line and that your device is available so that we can assist you further. We appreciate your business and thank you for using Verizon Wireless products and services.”

How many ways does this say: We have no intention of helping you or providing service. Thank you for going away.? Enter my response:

Of all the thoroughly disappointing form letter responses I have ever gotten.

For the corporately handicapped individual who sent this, who will, I am certain, not be the one to receive this scathing email:

1. The email was sent to you via My Verizon contact form, which, since how your system works is a mystery to you, is encrypted with my name (Ann Marie Dwyer) and my account number, and my telephone number. If you are still in need of the telephone number, it is in the signature of this email.

2. The email address to which you sent this infuriating non-response, to clear your ticket before you can be tagged for failing customer service more than you already do, is the primary one on the account. I find it discouraging there is not an operator number attached to it so a proper CSR complaint can be made.

3. It is not MY service which is the problem. MY service is to pay you each month, which I do via direct bank draft. YOUR service is to provide me with Internet access and cellular coverage, neither of which you do very well or with any consistency. As irony would have it, it was the reason I emailed you over a week ago.

4. That the response to a failure of service is for me to visit your customer support email form (which is how you came to send me this abomination) or scour your unnavigable website for information which does not exist in any corporately branded public forum is a premium example of no oversight of customer service representatives at any level. Had I been looking for this level of non-service, I would have done just well to call and speak to someone who speaks my language at a pigeon level as a third or fourth language, if at all.

This is yet another shining example of Verizon’s complete lack of commitment to customers who pay them faithfully. 

And to whomever calls, do not attempt to sell me anything. I am not interested in paying Verizon more for the shoddy service they are failing to provide for the handsome fees I pay now. 

A disgusted and thoroughly dissatisfied customer,
Red Dwyer.

Yes, my email is always written in red and large, as I do all else.

So, my dearest M3 Readers, as the SEP usually does, we have addressed the highlights of how I affect M3 and how it affects me. I hope you are having a restful weekend. Until next time,

Red Signature


Is the email response clear? How often are you faced with form letter responses which have nothing whatsoever to do with your query or complaint? Are there any erotica beta readers out there? (Email if you prefer not to be identified in the comments.)

(c) Red Dwyer 2012
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  1. Red, this kind of crap is not “unusual”, it is now standard fare for corporate “business ethics”.

    I got the same run-around from Xplornet internet service. Their fast “satellite” internet service was at times provided in unbelievably slow “BYTES per second, NOT even KILOBYTES per second. What a poor excuse for a company.
    Do what I did: Find another internet provider.
    These pathetic companies not only SUCK, THEY ARE LIARS AND DO-NOTHINGS. They usually believe you will NOT move to a different internet provider because it is inconvenient to do so. That is why they send stupid, non-related form letters asking you over and over for the same information when they already have it. Typical non-service “service” people.
    Surprise them.
    They are NOT interested in providing service,merely interested in billing you monthly.
    Time for a consumer boycott of these dumbasses–period.
    raymond alexander kukkee recently posted..Apples AND Tomatoes to GoMy Profile

    • It occurs to me the boycott method is only as effective as the number of people who have the ability to switch to another provider. In my case, specifically my location, Verizon is the only carrier whose signal reached four miles past the point all hope is lost, albeit inconsistently. You are correct. As long as they are sending bills, they feel they have adequately provided service.

      • Red–my no-longer “service” provider Xplornet has it’s customers tied up in contracts with automatic withdrawals–you pay whether or not there’s any service , how slow the service was, or whether it’s completely absent for days. They must have called that ‘adequate service’ too.
        I no longer express loyalty to any company that treats it’s customers in that fashion. Period.
        raymond alexander kukkee recently posted..Apples AND Tomatoes to GoMy Profile

        • I am reaching the end of the contract and the next option is 4G service. Ironic that…there is no 4G signal in my state…at all. Yet still, the only devices are 4G capable. It means, I pay more for service I cannot have. I am fortunate to have cared for my devices, as they have both exceeded typical life by more than a year each…my tele by more than 18 months.

          Part of their problem with me is I am grandfathered in at a rate which has not been available in more than a year. They cannot throttle me, but loss of signal is both to be expected (although I get no refund when there is no service) and is frequent. I have not been loyal to a provider since my original carrier was sold due to FCC regulations and anti-monopoly laws. As long as there was only one company, the customers controlled the level of service. This is an example of the downside of capitalism.

  2. EXACTLY why I dropped their sub-sub-sub par service, basic and escalated, online or in a brick and mortar store…
    thankfully, after being sorely disappointed with their wifi, billing, limits, etc, etc, etc I dropped that because I needed hard line internet for employment requirements – absolutely unwavering on penalty discussion.
    Then I went to the no contract version of AT&T, who immediately advised me NOT to call Verizon to close account (for fear they would seduce me with some retention blah-blah) and so I could keep the same wireless #. I am so sorry you are stuck in their customer-non-service web of lies…
    though they still are dunning me for full payment, I pay a minum each month cuz what can they do to me now!!!
    stalling on the bill – that’s the most satisfaction I’ve had from verizon in a long time.

    BuddhaKat recently posted..First, from this Friday Fractalist…My Profile

    • To be completely honest, I am not all that unsatisfied. More often than not, the service is fine. In fact, I shock the techs with how powerful the service is here. My issues are complicated (like I do anything the simple way) and are fodder for a group of engineers. Unfortunately, to get to the engineers, requires convincing someone with a minimum wage call center job to escalate a ticket.

      Fortunately, I have the number of an engineer. I will be calling it to finish the resolution for this issue, I feel quite certain. I haven’t the patience to continue the dance with the email drones.

      As to AT&T, I migrated away from them after more than 20 years of service. They were the third owner of my original cell company in the ’80s. They simply did not have enough presence here to adequately serve my needs.

  3. Imagine if a company came along that actually provided service that was better than they promised. I’m not sure we could take it, though.
    Binky recently posted..Valuable AntiqueMy Profile

  4. Red,

    I’m beginning to wonder if Verizon has anyone up the chain of command with an IQ higher than a turnip in order to properly comprehend your original complaint, let alone your follow-up smack upside the head. I must admit though, I love when you smack deserving parties upside the noggin.


    • Phil!!! So very great to see you today! You, oh missing one what you are. I think I shall just take the matter to the engineering team before I am finished. At least some of them have verbal skills and a modicum of auditory comprehension 😉

  5. Oh how I remember when BT tried to use a list of instructions which would have seen my modem go from broadband to dial-up speed because they would NOT admit the problem was at their end!

    Eventually I went to ‘Talk Talk’ and you wouldn’t believe the lies and bullshit I got of the BT call centre when they said I was still under a contract for a further year even though my account had expired!!!

    Talk Talk continue to choke my bandwidth even though they said they wouldn’t when I got the paid for service. They said I’d also go to the head of the queue as a valued customer, yet there are times I have to restart my modem just to read the news…

    Go Get ‘Em Kid!!! 🙂

    Love and hugs!

    prenin recently posted..Friday – End Game…My Profile

    • I am convinced the Internet and cell service industry is nothing but one complete circle jerk. I think if we took the time to track down all the owners, the same people own the entire industry, so it will not matter which company you choose. Ugh. 😉 {HUGZ}

  6. Frustrating… very frustrating. My mind glazed over and again, I’m happy a friend of mine will help me with some of these things. WOW …

    What appears to be really bad is the people they’re hiring to do the actual customer service aren’t paying attention. They’re not paying attention to the issue at hand, how it’s affecting you, don’t appear to have the appropriate knowledge, don’t go the extra mile and the list goes on and on.

    I’m not intentionally feeding into the frenzy, “fortunately” to date, I’ve had okay customer service so I”m going to shut up 🙂 So karma doesn’t get me at some point. (sneaks away)

    Mysterycoach recently posted..~ Judgment, Facebook, Things People Do ~My Profile

    • My biggest problem is I do not come to them with the problems which are rectifiable merely by a restart or sending me new equipment. It is all customer service is designed to do. Upgrade you to something else (sales) or sending you a new whateveritis (replacement). In my case, it is not the equipment which is faulty. It is the service which is faulty. Since I do not back down (Say, “Oh, I had no idea!”) and accept the problem is MINE and not THEIRS, they never can handle my requests with grace. It irks most people I know enough about what they do to do it as well, and in many cases better than, they do. My last round of complaints ended with a job offer from Verizon. Yeah, right!

  7. You want service you pay for? Why in the world would you want that?

    Really, that isn’t the business they are in, is it?

    Most people don’t dare demand the service they have paid for, they simply accept the crap they are delivered. It is what we have become use to, what we believe is the standard. It is shameful.

    If all of us took a page from your book, perhaps the world would begin to change.
    Valentine Logar recently posted..Awards, I suck at thisMy Profile

    • I am working on it one complaint at the time. I am certain it is where I shall wear my Red Hat.

  8. Red, in Canada it is now ILLEGAL to throttle internet speed. The companies have responded to that by limiting “data” amount that can be transferred for “X” dollars, beyond that is a cost that –over 20 Gig of data, increases to as much as 5 cents for every 1 Mb of data transferred.
    We have a 4Gig basic fee of 35.00 which is increases on a sliding scale to about $60.00+ if you happen to go over the ‘max’ higher threshold of data.

    Incidentally, the download speed here is usually less than 2Mbps, in other areas it is available at 19Mbps–no rhyme or reason-just crappy service. My ex-provider Xplornet had download speeds at times far, FAR slower than the old ‘dial-up’ service.
    Considering we’re supposed to be ‘telecommunicatons leaders’ , we sure do get treated badly….’just sayin’.
    raymond alexander kukkee recently posted..Apples AND Tomatoes to GoMy Profile

    • Throttling is illegal on home service here as well, until it is contractual. Those prices are insane! I pay by the gig when I go over, but my initial outlay for data is high. In the grand scheme of things, the entire service is overpriced, but the alternative is tortoise speed service with even less reliability than I have with wifi. Cabling where I live is still not a choice: not for Internet or television service. This is one of the last places to get electricity for the same reason. It was not until electricity in a residence was a legal requirement the power company strung lines here. They are still all above ground, which interferes with all signals.

      And I would be ecstatic with 20Mbps.

  9. Call CS. They answer.
    You: Hello?
    CS: …
    You: Is someone there? Hello can you hear me?
    CS: …
    You (as if talking to someone else) : I think they answered.
    You: Hello? Hello?
    CS: …
    You: Oh! Customer Service?
    CS: Yes! Can I help you?
    You: Can you hear me now?

    without waiting for a response, push the little red “End” button. It won’t solve anything, but it does give some satisfaction.
    MJ Logan recently posted..LightMy Profile

    • ROFL! I love that idea…especially if all the ellipses are them with their standard CS “I am here to help you resolve all your problems” spiel. *grins*

  10. They are all the same, unfortunately.
    Derek Mansker recently posted..Jesus Christ- The Way (Week 4) – The Real JesusMy Profile


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