Matthew Warner

A Lover’s Letter to My Phone Company

Oh, Verizon, how I want our relationship to progress to the next level.

You remember how unhappy I was with my former provider, Comcast/Xfinity. You saw how she was of two minds, how she couldn’t provide reliable cable Internet service, how her service reps and on-site technicians blamed each other for the outages.

That’s when you stepped in. You whisked me away from that cold, distant partner. You said, “Hey, baby. My DSL ain’t the fastest, but it’ll get you to where you wanna go.” Spoken like a true lover. And you were right. Oh, so right. For seven years, you cuddled me. Sure, you charged over $200 a month for two landlines plus Internet, but it was worth it, right? And sure, you treated your other customers better, giving them fiber optic Internet, but have I complained? No.

But then I told you I wanted something more. I wanted to save $100 a month by cancelling one of my phone lines, and you said okay. But you drew the line when I told you I wanted my remaining landline and Internet both in the name of my company. It’s what my CPA told me to do, after all. Were you angry with me, honey? Is that why you shook your head at a simple name change? Is that why you insisted on completely disconnecting and reconnecting the landline and Internet to effect the change from residential to business service?

You say no, but I wonder. I saw that look in your copper wire eyes when you disconnected Internet a day earlier than we agreed. I saw it again when I complained, and you couldn’t provide an explanation. After six days elapsed time, I still sensed your ire, your cold, callous embrace as I repeatedly asked you, in the form of service tickets, to hold me, just hold me one more time. Don’t shut me out, I begged. I can’t get a WiFi signal here in the dog house.

But now, yes, now, you’ve forgiven me. I have a dial tone again, and this time it’s coming out of the correct orifice — I mean, phone jack. And now I have Internet, sweet Internet, the sweet, sweet plasma nectar of your affection.

Except . . . what’s this? There’s a $99.99 connection fee?

You’ve promised to waive it. You’ve promised I’ll have voicemail again . . . sometime . . . next week. Maybe.

Oh, but baby, I love your promises. Tell me more. Tell me sweet nothings. Then roll my router over and plug it in. Just one more time.