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Tuesday
Dec132011

ISDN ordering hell, courtesy of Verizon

In light of my last article about ISDN going down hill, I thought I should support it with further evidence and experience.  

Howard Parker (I call him Client Zero, my first voice over studio client), had me design him his dream studio in his Mother's townhome after she tragically succombed to cancer this year.  He was incredibly fortunate that Verizon brought FiOS to his neighborhood at the same time, a huge blessing and cost savings over his dual T1 lines at his previous residence.  The build went great, and the results are fantastic, but for one last hurdle... the ISDN.  

EdNet books the Verizon installer for December 12th from 1-5PM, and I'm there.  I work on whatever I can while I wait for the guy, but I can't leave to remove the equipment from Howard's old studio for fear that I might miss the tech's arrival.  Unless you have Verizon mobile phone service, you can't receive even a text message at Howard's old place, so I wouldn't know if they guy tried to contact me.  5PM comes and goes, and no technician.  EdNet calls Verizon, but their office is already closed.

I did book the following day as a contigency, darn glad I did.  The installer was confirmed for Tuesday from 1-5PM.  At Noon I get a call from my builder James Michael telling me the Verizon tech was already there.  By some stroke of luck JM was at the location when the tech arrived, as he was supposed to be at another location.  What transpired next was just pitiful...

You know things are going down-hill when the Verizon phone technician, who admitted he's worked for them for 35 years, isn't permitted to have a power drill in his truck.  They let him bring a Yankee hand drill to use, that's all.  I mean, seriously?  That ain't gonna cut it when you have to drill through 12+ inches of studio wall, insulation, and stucco.  JM had to go out and buy a long drill bit and handle the hole for the wire himself, and I am glad he was there to do it in the end because I don't want a single mistake when a hole needs to penetrate a very expensive sound isolating wall and side of a custom built cabinet.  

The techician moped around for a few hours waiting for the home office to switch things on.  I asked him what was the hold up and he said they didn't "build out" the ISDN network before he arrived, as they are required to do.  Someone "had a question" and rather than seek out the answer, just sat on their thumbs and held up the job.  Again, 5PM came and went, and we were left with a non-functioning ISDN connection.  I can't go back today, but I did leave everything connecting so if the SPIDS we were given are actually correct (which there is no guarantee), everything should just work when they push the right buttons.  

So, even with the proper planning, a respected ISDN provider handling the order (at great cost, mind you), an experienced technician, my builder, and myself involved, things still didn't go well.  ISDN IS DEAD, and it's beginning to smell.  OK, not dead, but dying...

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