I used to work for Verizon (technically Digex, at the time) as a UNIX engineer (glorified systems administrator, to be honest). One of the most annoying things I had to deal with was getting customer call about problems with their host, doing diagnostics, determining that there was a networking issue, calling our NetOps folks to see what might be going on (usually after telling them what was fucked up on their side), then, minutes later having everything "magically working again, asking "what'd you change" and being told "nothing: everything's still the same".
Really? I called you with a problem. I told you what the problem was. I listened to you type for a few seconds and then things suddenly started working, but you made no changes on your side to cause things to suddenly start working again? Ok: sounds legit.
I'd thought I'd gotten away from that, given that I last worked for Verizon in May of 2004. Apparently, even though I've gone on to bigger and better, networking at Verizon is still the same.
Today, I was killing time, waiting for my wife to fill a prescription at the local Walgreens. Not wanting to participate in the slow death that is sitting at the pharmacy counter, I opted to sit out in my car and listen to Last.FM and mess around on Google Plus.
All was going well until the music stopped. I flipped back to Last.FM from Plus and found that I couldn't get the music to restart. Kept getting "insufficient content" errors. I flipped back to my profile page and noticed that the app couldn't load my user profile. At first, I figured "Last.FM must be having server problems."
So, I flipped back to Plus to bitch about it. I noticed that it was taking hitting "post" multiple times in order for a post or a comment to actually get posted without a "can't post at this time" error message popping up.
After about 20 minutes of this nonsense, I dialed *611 to see if VZW might be having issues. The friendly CSR representative took my information, checked her systems and informed me that she wasn't seeing any issues. She suggested that, after I got off the call with her, I should take my battery out for about thirty seconds and then restart my phone - that that should clear up any phone-caused issues.
Um. Yeah. Sounds legit.
At any rate, I opted to not pull my battery out. However, in about half the time that it would have taken to have followed her instructions and for my phone to finish rebooting, I had full, uninterrupted network connectivity back. Last.FM was happy and I had tunes again.
I'm almost certain that were I to have re-dialed *611 and asked "what'd you guys have to do to fix things," I would get the usual Verizon NetOps answer of "nothing. We didn't change anything".