Frustrations with Verizon Landline



As you may know we had a good size snow storm here in the mountains of western North Carolina. It’s not unusual, but we will many times go a few years between these big storms. This one brought a tree down on the phone line just before it branches to our house and one other. I called Verizon the first night (Saturday) and got a (!$!$!$!) robot attendant that told me many outages were reported in our area and it should be fixed by Monday at 9 something AM. Not wanting to waste the time then with holding for a person I resolved to call a second line. At this point I could see the line hanging to the ground from the pole and knew they were not aware of it though. I called from a cell phone (of course…)


Monday about mid-day I called verizon back. (Our phone line had not magically reconnected.) This time I got a person who told me that there were many outages in the area and our service might come back as those were repaired. I assured her it would not, that I saw the line that feeds only these two houses laying in our back yard. She assured me she would make a note of that on the record and they would take care of it. Tuesday while we were out my wife checked voice mail (we have verizon voice mail and so even with the line severed it takes messages.) They had called the night before to tell us that they had located the problem with our outage and it was an issue in their office and our service was restored……

The cable was still dangling from the pole in our back yard and our phone was still dead as a post, which I told the automated attendant when I called back. So, when I called back you will hopefully understand my frustration to find that they had cleared ALL the trouble tickets generated from my previous calls. I got to talk to a person whom I told that the line was still laying in our back yard. “So, you don’t have a dialtone?” ……. NO! This is a spur that feeds two houses with phone service off the main line. A tree snapped the line loose. No dialtone it is dead as a post!

She said a crew could come the next day. They did and were repairing the line at about mid-day (Wednesday). Wednesday afternoon about 3. I attempted to call the other number on this spur to be greeted with a “this number is currently being serviced” message. Calling them on a cell number I found out they were hearing one ring and then nothing on the main line, but could call out. They needed to make yet another call to verizon. The representative then changed something at their end and finally things were working again.

Now, I know it’s been a disruptive storm and I recognize many areas are hard hit and it takes time to fix things. My frustration with Verizon through all of this has been that they cleared the trouble ticket without asking if the problem was solved, without acknowledging my calls about the line dangling 15 feet behind my house. They just declared it fixed.

I guess the next question is – why do you still have a land line? Not counting this outage I can remember one day. Exactly ONE that we were out of phone service for an extended time. On average we have had something about every 5-6 years that has disrupted power for several days. When power is disrupted so is cable and internet and their VOIP service. (Repeaters that they use to get the signal up here are powered and die exactly 15 minutes after the power goes.) Cell phones worked this time as it was our only real phone method to the outside (power was out for 3 and 1/2 days.) But, I’ve seen the cell towers go unresponsive or overload. So, the bottom line, is I like a land line for it’s typical resilience and for the diversity of choices. In fact, all our previous storms that I recall – snows of 1988/1993/1998 and the hurricanes (yes hurricanes) of 2003 the phone was rock solid throughout. We were without power from anywhere from 2-5 days for each of those though. Support on the other hand is something that I may have bald spots on the side of my head from dealing with. But when the line is physically connected you’ve got a good backbone to work with.

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