Gray Flannel Dwarf

3/25/2004

The Verizon Battle is ON!

“You do realize, of course, that this means war!” — Looney Tunes

I called Verizon today to get the address for their customer relations department. I got it, and the woman asked if she could help me with anything. As far as I was concerned, this was their last chance. I talked with her for a few minutes about the situation.

Well, she was nice enough… and at least she tried.


Corey Welton
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Potomac Falls, Virginia
20165

25 March 2004

Verizon Customer Relations
8149 Walnut Grove Rd
Mechanicsville, Virginia
23111

To Whom it may Concern:

My name is Corey Welton, and I am a current customer of Verizon for my local telephone services. As it stands, I would like to get DSL on my home phone line, as well, but for seemingly unknown business policy decisions at Verizon, I am currently unable.

This is not a technological issue. I understand the issue behind DSL technology. Historically, the area in which I live has been unable to get DSL, due to fibre on the phone loop, en route to the Central Office (CO). For some, this has recently been resolved by the installation of Remote Terminals (RTs) in the area to bypass the aforementioned fibre. Customers have been specifically told that the reason for these RT installs is to resolve the DSL issue.

I recently moved from one location in Sterling, Virginia, to another, while keeping the same phone number. The former location had no remote terminals nearby; the latter is in an area where these terminals are being built. Upon moving to the new location, I talked with Verizon DSL, and was told that there was an RT within proximity to my house, but that my address was not updated in the records. They said to call back in a few weeks. Continued attempts thereafter to qualify continue to show DSL was unavailable. It quickly became very obvious to me that, after moving, Verizon did not route my number through the remote terminal associated with this neighbourhood. Rather, they took the (most likely simpler) route of just reconnecting my phone line with the new address. A few weeks later, upon calling, this theory was all but confirmed for me, when I was told that I still had fibre on the loop and was further told that there was no record of any remote terminal in my area.

This seemed strange, but the story didn’t end there.

Indeed, the location of the RT was confirmed while talking to a Verizon engineer who was in my neighbourhood a few weekends ago; he pointed about 200 yards up the street, to an RT that had been installed. When asked if it would be possible to get my line routed through this RT, so that I could get DSL, he said it was possible, by talking to the local office.

Upon talking to the local office, the woman told me that she had heard of this situation before, that she could empathise, but that it would be very unlikely that I could get the number rerouted through the RT. She then forwarded me to the Repairs department, which she said would be the only group who would be able to do this.

Repairs, in turn, said there was no way it would be done, but that they would double-check with the Business Office. After putting me on hold to talk with the Business Office, it was confirmed that, indeed, under no circumstances would it be possible to get my number rerouted through the RT. Incredulously, even offering to pay to have the service done was to no avail.

So what we have here is a very obvious business decision to not reroute existing phone services through the RTs. I am not alone in coming to this conclusion; there are several documented cases of people in this area being unable to get their existing phone numbers routed through the RT and thus being unable to get DSL while at the same time, new neighbours move in, get new Verizon service, and their new lines are routed through, thus qualifying them for DSL. Indeed, it seems that if I wanted to simply get a new phone number, that the new number itself would be correctly routed, and I could get DSL on that line. I do not wish to get a new number, however, and the only constraints on my ability to get DSL are procedural, rather than technical.

This simply does not make sense to me, from a business perspective. Verizon installed the RTs primarily to overcome technical limitations in this area for providing DSL, and yet Verizon will only route new local phone services through these RTs. The only options in this area for broadband is a very unsatisfactory cable-modem provider, and thus it beguiles the mind, quite frankly, to think that Verizon is willing to pass up an easy, constant $50 a month from potential Verizon DSL customers simply because the company does not wish to reroute said potential customers’ phone lines. Does it not seem that if customers call in to specifically request this action, that they desire to pay for a service that would be very easy for Verizon to provide? I simply can’t understand the logic at hand.

As it stands, Verizon is currently getting $30 a month from me for providing local phone service. Why Verizon would not want to get an additional $50 for providing me with DSL, when it is technically feasible, is beyond me, but that is Verizon’s decision. Meanwhile, the Telecommunications Act of 1996 has allowed customers to make decisions of their own as well, specifically in choosing their local phone service provider. This said, I see little reason to remain with Verizon when it provides service that is unresponsive and inadequate to the needs of its customers. Switching providers will not provide me with DSL, as the lines are leased from Verizon, but it would at least provide satisfaction in knowing I am getting the best my service money can buy.

Please note that I am not alone in this consideration, as much of my neighbourhood is similarly-aware of the situation at hand. Verizon’s inability and/or unwillingness to roll-out DSL to this area has been widely documented in published letters to the local Loudoun Easterner and the Washington Post newspapers over the past few years we now feel it is only right to take the necessary financial steps, unless appropriate measures are taken, or at very least, a reasonable explanation is given.

A response to these issues is requested. If necessary, I can be reached by mobile phone at 202.xxx.xxxx, but not in lieu of an expedient, written response to these issues. Failure to respond in a timely and/or satisfactory manner will accelerate the cancellation of my existing Verizon services and my subsequent boycott of services the company provides, not to mention the possibility of similar actions by others in my community, as well.

Thank you very much for your time I look forward to reading your response.

Sincerely,

(signed)

Corey Welton.


cswiii @ 4:19 pm