Calls on Public Service Commission to mandate that Verizon provide
rebates to customers for chronically poor service
NEW YORK, NY (April 17, 2007) - In a filing yesterday at the New York
State Public Service Commission (PSC), Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo
criticized Verizon for providing “chronically poor” telephone repair
service in many parts of the State, and called for the PSC, which
regulates Verizon, to set stricter standards and mandate customer
rebates for inadequate service.
Currently, the PSC requires Verizon to repair 80% of phone lines within
24 hours of receiving a customer repair request. However, the Attorney
General’s office analyzed five years of data (2002-2006) and found
that Verizon had consistently failed to meet these regulatory standards.
Specifically, 20 out of Verizon’s 35 “repair service bureaus”
across the State chronically failed to meet the PSC’s standards.
These repair bureaus serve a total of 4.8 million customer phone lines,
about 62% of Verizon’s New York customers. In total, Verizon failed
to comply with the standards 35% of the time, although in some
individual bureaus the failure rate was as high as 82% of the time.
The Attorney General found that the bureaus with failing scores include
seven areas where Verizon is aggressively building out its new
fiber-optic internet, video, and telephone network, including
Westchester, Northern Queens, parts of Rockland and Putnam counties, and
all of Long Island. Other regions with poor service include Buffalo,
Albany, the Bronx, the Hudson Valley, Syracuse and Utica. The Attorney
General noted that Verizon appears to be neglecting to maintain its
copper-wire telephone service in favor of dedicating resources to expand
its fiber-optic services, and that it has no effective plan to address
Cuomo said, “Verizon’s customers pay for and deserve good quality
phone service. Verizon cannot continue to short-change customers by
failing to repair faulty lines in a timely manner. The PSC should
immediately order rebates to frustrated customers, who rightly feel
cheated by Verizon’s failure to abide by the PSC’s standards.”
Cuomo continued, “We should not accept Verizon’s empty promises for
turning around its woefully inadequate repair service. The PSC needs to
send a strong message to Verizon: hear us now. Clean up your act.
Putting profits over minimally acceptable performance is no longer
acceptable in New York State.”