Bartleby the Scrivner Lives on at Verizon Wireless: "Unfortunately I can not."

Perusing the VerizonWireless website this morning, a chat dialog popped up:

"May I help you?" it asked?

Hmm ... I do have a question. OK, I'm game. Here's what ensued:

Please wait for a Verizon Wireless sales representative to assist you with your order. Thank you for your patience!

A Verizon Wireless online pre-sales specialist has joined the chat. You are now chatting with Jonathon

Jonathon: Hello. Thank you for visiting our chat service. May I help you with your order today?

You: why does the 'new every two' date on my phone not match when I acquired the phone?

Jonathon: I'd be happy to assist you.

Jonathon: When did you purchase your phone?

You: i believe it was january 2009

Jonathon: May I have your 10 digit mobile number to better assist you today.

You: xxx-xxx-xxx

Jonathon: Thank you.

Jonathon: Can you please verify the last 4 social on the account for me.

You: xxxx

Jonathon: Please hold on while I check that information.

Jonathon: That is because you are getting a bigger discount on your phone. But I can provide you with customer service number for a early upgrade today.

You: could you clarify that for me?

You: are you suggesting that my corporate discount yields a 'new every two' window that is longer than two years?

Jonathon: You qualify for a upgrade up too $100 dollars off your new phone. And that upgrade is eligible every 23 months. But we will let you upgrade early at regular discount prices. I can provide you with customer care number to better assist you that today.

You: why does the upgrade window not align with the acquisition date of the phone/initiation date of the contract?

Jonathon: Unfortunately I do not have access to that information. May I assist you with customer care number to better assist you with that today.

You: can you confirm the start date of my contract?

Jonathon: Unfortunately I can not.

Jonathon: May I provide you with customer care number to better assist you with that information.

You: sure

Jonathon: 1-800-922-0204 Customer Care. May I assist you with anything else today?

Rather than Bartleby the Scrivner's infamous line, "I would prefer not to," VerizonWireless equipes their customer service reps with the variation, "Unfortunately I can not."

In response to the repeated, "May I provide you with customer care number to better assist you?" my Bartlebian response is: "I would prefer not to."

VerizonWireless: Can I charge you for the 20 minutes wasted on that unhelpful chat session?