Every family is filled with self-proclaimed "not computer people". There is always one sacrificial lamb, or "computer person", or "computer lamb" as it were. For atleast 3 familys, I am that lamb. (http://xkcd.com/627/) ;)
Enter Verizon. For various reasons, our house is canceling Verizon, from whom we get the usual package of tv, phone, and internet. In a sane world, I would call Verizon one time, say "Sorry, we're canceling our Verizon relationship, please push the big red button", and be done.
The nightmare begins (http://www.southparkstudios.com/clips/103484): Turns out you must talk to a different person (in the same company) for each different type of service. Annoying, but fine, let's get on with it.
The pain really begins when each of those 3 departments ask what you want, then decide there's a specialty department WITHIN their department they need to transfer you to. I assume this setup is in place because that first group exists solely as a buffer layer; listen to complaints about how horrible all these transfers are, then transfer you... (hopefully) to the actual tech-trained people.
Well, alright. we're up to 6 people total, but ok. However EVERY ONE of those transfers ended with a dropped call. I'm not kidding. Atleast once per department, the transfer process actually hung up on me, leading to the pleasure of another call->hold->talk->transfer dance.
Now, for those 3 call backs, I pleaded with the person to avoid the hangup issue ("I know you didn't cause it, but please promise it doesn't happen this time"). 3 new transfers, which worked, bringing the total to 12 people for 1 issue. Are we done yet?
Nope! One of those transfers that "worked" DID get me to a real person, but it was the wrong person. Time for another transfer. Yet again (I s*** you not), the transfer was a dropped call. ANOTHER call->hold->talk->transfer dance brings the total to 14 people. For 1 issue. Yeah...
The total was actually 2 people higher then that because one (and only one) of those support dudes refused to talk to anyone but the account holder, who had a female name. Me having all the account numbers, pass codes, and pieces of personal information did nothing. Hanging up and recalling to a different person-and-transfer solved that.
The icing on the cake in all this is that most of those calls involved the infamous talking to a machine before getting to a real person. For each of those, it's the same issue on the same account with the same account number. But it's 3 different departments times all the above headaches, and for each one a new chance to enter that SAME account number.
The best part of all? The very first thing EVERY person I talked to asked: "Hi, what's you're account number?" The machines do utterly nothing. Not a single thing you type is passed on to the person who eventually gets the call.