Thursday, July 01, 2010

How good is customer service for land lines (Verizon especially?)

Recently I got a notice in the mail that the area had been wired for Verizon FIOS, but that I was still “unactivated” – as if it were that simple. I have Comcast for cable and Internet, and it keeps getting more expensive, and yes the new deal for Verizon looks attractive.

About four years ago, in the winter, after a minor ice storm a tree limb fell on a Friday morning and knocked out the landline phone and not the cable. The local service was with AT&T but the lines belonged to Verizon. It took until Monday afternoon to get the line restored. But maybe that was inter-company (and intra-company) red tape.

Practically all local phone service contracts come with maintenance provisions, which allow the company to bill for labor and materials for repairs. Most apartment buildings and neighborhoods have residents with a mix of local services, so an outage from a storm doesn’t always affect everyone consistently. There are reports of Verizon and some other companies taking unreasonably long to provide repairs for land service.

Some of the stories are at this site.

In its defense, it must be admitted that Verizon says it connects billions of calls a day without incident.

I must add something else.  AOL went to free email a few years ago, but I still get a $25 bill from them on my card. I'm not sure what for unless its for their web content. It's OK, but Yahoo!, MSN, CNN, etc. is "free"!

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