I’m writing this post as I’m waiting in a Verizon tech support phone queue. I’ve now waited through 4 different queues and spent 20 minutes convincing the first level tech that the reverse DNS PTR record I need in their DNS servers has nothing to do with DHCP. I’ve been on hold for about 2 hours now and if that wasn’t enough to drive me crazy, this stupid muzak is will.
As much as I want to I won’t use this space to tear on the Verizon techs for being stupid. In fact some of them are actually quite knowledgeable and I understand the need to have varying levels of technical expertise in such a large organization. What I will fill this space with is a testimate to the fact that Verizon specifically has their “customer service” infrastructure set up to deter people from asking for, or getting help. They’re content to spin you through an endless cycle of phone queues until you give up and go away.
How it all got started
I don’t send a whole lot of mail from my domain, just my personal stuff, but a month or so back I started to notice that email I’m sending to Gmail users was ending up in their spam folders. No one goes through their spam folders so in the end my friends weren’t getting my emails. A little digging shows that this is likely caused by my lack of and SPF text record in DNS.
That’s easy enough to populate myself through the GoDaddy servers, but for SPF to work correctly it requires reverse DNS to resolve the name of a host that’s authorized to send email fro your domain. Unfortunately this isn’t something I can set up myself since Verizon owns the IP of my mail server and controls the reverse DNS record (PTR).
So how do I get this record populated? I call Verizon tech support. They then tell me that I have to make the request in writing (email) which I did 2 days ago. Well today I get a very nondescript email which I’ll produce here in its entirety:
I apologize, but Verizon is unable to process DNS requests at this time.
If you have any further questions regarding this particular issue, please
respond to this email leaving the ticket number in the subject line.
Thank you for using Verizon Business,
866-492-1074 option 2
This Means War
Thanks Erik, that’s about the most unhelpful response you could give me. So what you’re saying is: Computer Says No. Next time just tell me the truth which would read something like this: “I’m busy, go away for a while and try back later”. The odds of me responding to this email and waiting another 2 days is 0. I got on the phone this time determined to wait in as many phone queues as I have to till this is resolved.
Funny thing is the first knowledgable person I talk to (1 hour of waiting) told me I had to make the request over email. Nuts to that I already did. I send him off to get me to the right department and it turns out he has the wrong phone number.
Verizon plays this cute little trick where they change the phone numbers of their departments on a continual basis. This is to prevent people from saving the numbers of specific departments and calling there directly. It’s also intended from keeping awesome sites like DSLReports from publishing these numbers accurately. What a bunch of jerks right?
DSL Reports has a FAQ page specifically dedicated to getting reverse DNS records populated through Verizon and guess what, the phone number they publish is wrong now. It was accurate when the published the FAQ but Verizon changed it to keep people from calling that department directly.
This guy was actually very helpful and eventually he gets me through to the DNS guys. Again they tell me I have to make my request in writing. Yeah I already did that. Another half hour of waiting and this guy comes back on the line and tell me that they have a 30 day freeze on all DNS changes and he didn’t know about this till I asked! That’s the biggest WTF I’ve ever heard. He’s in their DNS department and he didn’t know about this freeze till I asked. Right well I’m getting my damn reverse DNS PTR if it kills me, or it costs me all of the minutes I have left on my cell plan for the month. That’s right this is actually costing me money.
So yeah this isn’t even resolved yet. I’m still on hold after 4 hours of waiting for Verizon to figure out what their DNS policy currently is. So yeah, fiber to the home in the US is crap. It’s owned by the biggest most disfunctional monopoly on the face of the earth. I pay a small fortune for fast fiber and a static IP and I get crap for service.
Verizon has pretty much done everything they can to deter me: a blanked freeze on DNS service to their business customers (me) with no explanation and 4 hours of running me around on the phone. I will get this set up if it’s the last thing I do and I’m so bored waiting on the phone that I’m using this time to rant. It feels good but ultimately it doesn’t do any good. The only thing that will fix this is breaking up these huge telco monopolies so that there’s competition in this market. The only way we (customers) can get the attention of Verizon is if we take our money elsewhere by switching to a different provider. Right now, for high speed fiber to the home we can’t do this.
Alright this rant isn’t helping my blood pressure. I’m almost on to hour 5 of this stupid phone music and I’m ready to explode.
Just to finish the story: I never got this issue resolved over the phone. At just about the hour 5 mark my call got dropped by the Verizon help center. It just clicked a few times and then the line went dead. I fell back to sending emails with stronger language (i.e. “this is completely unacceptable” blah blah blah) and after a few more days they finally populated DNS with my PTR entry. I never got an explanation as to why they refused in the first place since this is a service they’re supposed to provide to business customers.
Lesson learned: don’t waste your time trying to get through to Verizon tech support on the phone, just send them a hand full of increasingly angry emails.