Monday, January 12, 2015

System Failure....and A Fun Visit...

Well, after traveling for the better part of two months with the Verizon 4G LTE Ellipsis Jet Pak, Hot Spot modem, it blanked out on Sunday morning while we were 'Face Timing' Owen, his folks and his maternal grand parents.
Jet Pak Modem
Only minutes after connecting with a strong signal, our connection went dead.  What's with that?  This modem has been such a treat to have.  And it worked so well everywhere we had been to date: including Palm Springs, coastal California, San Diego, Yuma, Lake Havasu, Needles and Las Vegas.  So....we were perplexed.

Over 100 minutes, 8 telephone calls and a whack of frustrating telephone discussions with the Verizon help centre led to poor customer service and no support.  After receiving a promise of performance from a supervisor; including a return phone call with a return of our service, it did not materialize as promised. 

So......sadly, we had to cancel a planned rendez-vous with Mike and Janna - Tin TeePee/Log Cabin  - for lunch today (Monday), to focus on getting our internet connection up and working.  We were not thrilled about that.  Janna was very understanding though and we're now planning a later date for our get together.

Up and early on the telephone with Verizon this morning, I was fortunate to connect with a soft hearted and most accommodating service centre woman. She was quickly in tune with my frustration and promised to solve our internet connection and to also call me back.  When I told her that promised return calls had not been met by other service centre agents, she assured me she would call me.  And she did!  By mid-day we had our service restored.  Phew!  Were we ever happy about that.

Question:  Why is it that some service providers follow through with their promises and others seem to not care?  

The best explanation we could get from Verizon was that there had been a serious 'system failure' on Sunday and, sadly, our service had been affected.  OK! I get that.  What I don't get is the lack of disclosure and a reasonable expectation.

However, we are now able to communicate once again.
Gerry and Pauline's Park Model
In a previous blog, we mentioned the fact that several friends do winter in Canyon Vista, Gold Canyon, AZ.  Gerry and Pauline are friends with their principal residence near Montreal, Quebec, Canada.  Former snow-birding RVers, they settled into a park model once they had exhausted several years of traveling throughout Canada and the USA.
In their lovely winter home.....away from home.
We were invited over for happy hour, a few days back, and followed that up with a wonderful meal in Apache Junction.  An engaging couple, the time flies by quickly when we get together and the chats begin.  Oh....and the meal was oh, so good!

As a senior executive in the CBC-TV (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) when I was a relative newbie TV Producer/Director and later Network Executive Producer, Gerry was a wonderful mentor and a believer in helping me launch my network TV series, "The Best Years".  Although based in Ottawa, Ontario - eastern Canada - and I from the west coast (Vancouver, BC), we often had the opportunity to regularly meet and negotiate resources (human and technical).

We have remained friends all of this time although our careers took different paths, some 20 + years back.  Gerry became the President of a major Canadian TV sports network and I left the CBC-TV management ranks to create and operate my own video/multimedia production company.  We always stayed in touch.  It is a friendship I have valued and that Jeanette also values.

We enjoy meeting up with them whenever possible.
Sunday morning breakfast at our Canyon Vista RV site.
Nothing beats sitting under blue skies while enjoying a Sunday morning breakfast.  Once our Verizon internet died and it seemed fruitless to get any quick resolution, Jeanette encouraged me to pass up on the frustrating experience to enjoy breakfast.  Nice!
2:00 pm - walk around Canyon Vista
Kevin and Tracy, RV friends and fellow bloggers -   Adventures of a 50 year old!  -  had called to plan meeting up with us on Sunday afternoon.  We have followed their blog for several years now and we also met for the first time, about one year ago, while we camped in Lake Pleasant, Maricopa County Regional Park, north and west of Phoenix.  
This time though, Kevin and Tracy insisted on providing the wine and cheese (and other finger foods) when they came by at 2:00 pm Sunday afternoon.  They insisted!   We relented.  

And it was worthy visit.  The wine was very good....and the foods?....well, nothing much was left on the food trays by the time they left back for home.
We walked Canyon Vista RV Resort to give Kevin and Tracy an idea of how nice this place truly is.
Kevin was starting a brand new job today (Monday) as head of Human Resources for a new company.  He was quite excited about that.  And why not?  He talked about his nice office, in downtown Scottsdale, with a great view.  He may have to turn his desk away from the window to get some substantive work accomplished.
And what a pleasant couple they are....
We talked about everything under the sun.  Oh and we talked about that too; the sun that is.  This couple live in the greater Phoenix area and, although they hale from San Diego, CA, this desert area has been their home for well over 20 years.  Their two girls grew up here.

As sometime RVers, Kevin and Tracy look forward to the day they can truly have the freedom to travel.  They will be a welcomed addition to the RV life. They have a Class 'C' RV that they use during holidays and weekends.  They are bitten by the lifestyle.
I did manage to capture this nice photo of  Kevin and Tracy
So big thanks for serving up a nice wine and cheese feast for us, you two.  And thanks too for an enjoyable Sunday afternoon spent in the Arizona outdoors.

Once we have settled on a new day to visit with Janna and Mike at North Ranch Escapees Park, near Congress, AZ, we will visit with our Alberta friends who hang out at Dog Pound South ranch in the Maricopa area.  JB and Brenda have always been generous with their time.  We look forward to seeing them in the days ahead.   John & Brenda's Incredible Journey

And that's it from here for now.  Thanks for dropping by.


  1. We have had the same problem with Verizon in the past but you have to remember that all those people work for the same company. It just seems that some will keep you up to speed while others figure if they can't help you they just won't call you back thinking you might scream at them.
    Glad you did get to visit with some of your friends and that you'll be able to reconnect with more of them soon.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

  2. Sorry to hear about your Verizon problems and your needing to cancel your day with Mike and Janna, I know you were looking forward to it. I hope you get everything up and running again soon. Thanks again for the great visit on Sunday, my first day with the new company is in the books and I survived, so looking forward to many more good days ahead. You guys take care, safe travels and we hope to connect again before you head home.

  3. Too bad about your Verizon problems...these big Companies seem to have constant problems providing good customer service. Enjoy the good looking weather!

  4. too bad about the internet issues! glad you got them fixed finally..sure looks like you made the most of the day wine and good conversation..sounds perfect to me!

  5. At least you have your verizon working now.
    Nice to get together with Kevin and Tracy, we were hoping to meet them this winter finally, but I guess it was not meant to be.

  6. Like you, I find these Internet problems so frustrating! It looks like it is still a little cool around there.

  7. Verizon customer services is a total crap-shoot. Depends who you get on the end of the line. Most of them are operating off of "cheat-sheets" and have absolutely no technical knowledge whatsoever.

    That said, glad you found a responsible customer rep and that your service was restored.

    Say hi to John and Brenda for us, o.k.