Thursday, August 07, 2008

Verizon gives someone the Libshitz

When I was living in New York it was TimeWarner Cable that often made my blood boil with their poor customer service and lazy attitude to fixing their broken equipment, but TimeWarner is not alone in dragging out issues.

The sad story of Herman Libshitz who, when he tried to upgrade from AT&T dial-up to Verizon DSL, was told by Verizon they couldn't do it because his last name contained a naughty word. It turns out their account software had some sort of profanity filter, so Verizon managers suggested Mr Lipshitz deliberatley mis-spell his name instead of going to the effort of requesting the development team in India make a change to the account software.

As a side note, I've often hoped for the opportunity to write a profanity filter. The actual implementation should be just a basic list matching algo, but it will be fun putting together a list of profane words, variations (e.g. one of two character differences), multiple languages, etc!

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