One of my clients asked me to help him set up his new Dell laptop. He told me that it was a difficult purchase because he decided to get the Verizon wireless card so he could have broadband access anywhere that Verizon has coverage. When doing this, they asked if he already had a Verizon account. He did, but it was in his wife's name and they wanted her name, address, phone, home phone, work phone, any other phone, social security number, birth date, mother's maiden name, and driver's license number. Since he didn't have all of that on hand, he opted to create a new Verizon account using his information. After a very lengthy purchase call, he was given a "web activation code" to use when his computer was delivered - which is where I came in.
I turned on the laptop and went through the standard "Dell and Microsoft are not responsible for anything" screens and then the standard "Dell and Microsoft want all you information so we can harass you with marketing calls" screens. Finally, I started the Verizon wireless connection and went to the activation screen. It popped up a web page that asked for the web activation code. I typed it in and it told me I had to call a Dell phone number to finish the activation. I had the client make the call.
This call was weird from the start. The woman started asking for information that they already had. She wanted his full name, address, home phone, work phone, cell phone, social security number, birth date, mother's maiden name, and driver's license number. After a while of going through this, I interrupted her and explained that he already did this and we are just trying to activate the card with the web activation code we received from the first guy. She explained that she already deleted that code and was making a new one. So, we waited for her to finish up and give us a new web activation code.
Thinking this was just a minor mistake, I went back into the Verizon wireless program and entered the new web activation code. It said that the code was invalid because we already entered a web activation code. I called Dell right back and got a different guy. I explained to him what happened and he said that she probably just wanted the commission so she canceled the first order and started a second one. He completely removed the original web activation code so I could enter the new one, which I did while he was on the phone. It came up with the message that I need to call Dell. Since I was already on the phone with Dell, I asked what it was he needed to do. Nothing. He said that the phone number it was telling me to call was for new orders, not for Verizon activation. He gave me a different number to call.
So, I called the new number, which was Verizon. I got an automated system that asked me to type in a lot of information that they already have. After spending time pressing buttons, I got the automated message that the card activation was complete. Turn off the computer for at least 30 minutes. Then, turn it back on and wait for 24 hours. Then, the card should work. If not, call yet another number for activation assistance. WTF?