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New York Landlords Demand ‘Door Fees’ to Let Telecom Companies In to Make Repairs

Phillip Dampier January 10, 2013 Consumer News, Public Policy & Gov't, Verizon 2 Comments
cover charge

Telecom door fees and other accommodations are often illegal under New York State law.

More details are emerging over Verizon’s complaint to the New York Public Service Commission after the company was refused entry to several New York multi-dwelling buildings to restore phone service after Hurricane Sandy and upgrade tenants to the company’s fiber optic network FiOS.

The New York Times reports the management blockade of telecom companies is nothing new. In some instances, landlords even expect to receive compensation for unlocking the front door for Verizon and Time Warner Cable, despite the fact it is illegal.

Verizon spokesman John Bonomo declined to tell the newspaper how much landlords are asking, but cable industry executives tell stories of building owners demanding as much as $150 per apartment in what they call “door fees.”

Verizon noted DSA Management, the company that takes care of 11 Maiden Lane, has asked for compensation. Theoretically, if DSA requested the same amount, it would run more than $10,000.

A DSA Management executive claims tenants in the building never lost phone service because of the storm and had no interest in the additional services Verizon FiOS had to offer. But a Stop the Cap! reader living in one of the impacted buildings shared a very different story with us.

“My phone has not worked right since even before Sandy hit,” shares a reader who wishes to remain anonymous to avoid possible retaliation. “You can get a dial tone but you also get to hear half of Manhattan when you make a phone call. I can’t hear myself over the other conversations. Verizon has let their copper network go to crap.”

The reader says Verizon is aware of the problem and a trouble ticket is open, and the company indicated it was having trouble arranging access to fix the problem.

verizon“I want FiOS yesterday. I guess some of these building owners already have it and will let us have it if the kickback is finally high enough. Time Warner Cable comes and goes whenever they like.”

Bonomo told the Times Verizon has paid “nominal fees” to building owners before, ostensibly to post fliers and set up sales tables in the lobby.

In some states, renters don’t have much of a choice. Cable operators have been known to sign lucrative deals with property owners to sign everyone in the complex up for cable, bundling the monthly bill into rent payments or mandatory fees. Customers can refuse the service, but they will still pay for it.

Some building owners claim they have a natural hesitancy allowing telecom companies into their buildings because they do not always take care to hide their work or avoid inconveniencing tenants with noise or damage.

TF Cornerstone says Verizon should not be in a hurry to effect repairs at 2 Gold Street or 201 Pearl Street. Both luxury high-rises have been uninhabitable since Sandy struck and until heat, hot water, and electricity is back, FiOS can wait, they say.

Currently there are 2 comments on this Article:

  1. txpatriot says:

    VZ can’t have it both ways.

    On the one hand, they want a regulatory “hands-off” approach when things go their way. But when things don’t go their way, they want the government to step in and intervene on their behalf?

    They need to pick a story and stick with it.

  2. puta experta says:

    I’ve been surfing online more than 3 hours these days, but I never discovered any interesting article like yours.

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