MS. FIX-IT: Verizon Line Repair Not Complete Five Weeks Post-Derecho
An Edgewater reader, Max Marinelli, contacted The South River Source about a problem with an overhead Verizon telephone line in front of his house with “some junk” on the line that was obscuring the entry to his driveway.
Marinelli said that after studying it, it appeared that the junk, a box with wires coming out in all directions, was not connected to anything. It was hanging very low though—low enough to prevent Marinelli from getting his camper out of the driveway, or any tall trucks or step vans in the driveway.
We visited Marinelli to see the problem first-hand and take some photos.
Marinelli said that the whole thing started on June 30, when the “Derecho” windstorm took down a beautiful old oak tree in his front yard. With the grand tree’s trunk and all its limbs and branches caught in the wind, everything—the Verizon telephone line, a Baltimore Gas and Electric (BGE) power line and the pole it all was attached to—came down in one fell swoop.
After the storm, it took BGE about five days to get the power back online to Marinelli’s neighborhood, which included installing a new pole. Once BGE was finished, Verizon completed their work, getting everyone’s telephone lines reconnected.
However, part of what had been damaged in the storm was left to hang in Marinelli’s driveway.
It was held together with a single strap tie. The line, no longer in use, was still there too, stretching from the newly installed pole to another pole on Marinelli’s property—about 50 yards away.
Marinelli said that he had been regularly calling Verizon to come out and remove the old line and the box that was attached to it. He said that it wasn’t really a repair because service had been restored. It was a matter of Verizon cleaning up the mess that was left. He understood at first that it wasn’t a priority case. But five weeks to return for cleanup was getting ridiculous. We talked to Marinelli on Sunday (Aug. 5).
On Monday (Aug. 6), the Source contacted Verizon’s director of media relations, Bill Kula, and told him about the problem. That was around 8:30 a.m. By 10 a.m. Kula responded by email that a regional operations team would be in contact as soon as possible.
By noon, a Verizon truck was at the address, with workmen working out of a cherry picker.
Around 2:30 p.m., we got an email from Sandy Arnette with Verizon Public Relations saying that Verizon would be out that day and apologizing to Mr. Marinelli for the “delay and inconvenience.”
By mid-afternoon, the line was removed and Marinelli’s driveway was clear.
We did a drive-by to check the line, and it was all as promised in the email.
We delayed publishing this article because we had asked Verizon a few follow up questions about what consumers should do if they are not getting satisfaction after calling in for service. They did not respond.
Do you have a problem for Ms. Fixit? Call 410-353-4706 and we will see what we can do to help.