Tuesday, April 17, 2007

CUOMO SLAMS VERIZON FOR FAILING TO MAKE TIMELY REPAIRS 35% OF THE TIME






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

this problem.



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.”



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