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Communications Workers of America Says Verizon Snuck Voice Link Into New York City, Hudson Valley

Phillip Dampier June 26, 2013 Consumer News, Public Policy & Gov't, Verizon 2 Comments

cwa letterThe Communications Workers of America says Verizon’s attempts to introduce Voice Link service as a landline replacement has gone well beyond Fire Island and the Catskills.

In a fiery letter dated today, Chris Shelton, vice president of CWA District One says Verizon has been quietly installing dozens of the wireless devices in the Hudson Valley and attempted to install them in one 81-unit senior residence in the heart of New York City, until residents protested they were in danger because Voice Link does not support the medical monitoring devices they use to live independently. After rejecting the wireless service, the union alleges Verizon left the residence without any phone service at all.

Shelton says customers are not getting full disclosure of what they are signing up for when they accept Voice Link and Verizon is using the devices as a cost-saving measure as the company allows its landline facilities to deteriorate into disrepair.

“There was no ‘Superstorm’ at work in Monticello and no emergency or unforeseen circumstances – just the easily predictable, routine deterioration of facilities that Verizon could not be bothered to maintain and an influx of customers who arrive every year at exactly the same time,” Shelton said. “In other words, Verizon had ample opportunity to plan for the maintenance and repair of these customers’ needs in a timely manner, but simply chose not to schedule the necessary work.”

Shelton says Voice Link units are also turning up in the Boroughs of Queens and Brooklyn in certain circumstances.

“Given the unambiguous directives of the Commission’s Order, Verizon’s ongoing efforts to install VoiceLink beyond the western portion of Fire Island are outrageous, ill-considered, and flout the Commission’s authority,” writes Shelton. “The Commission should immediately order Verizon to cease the unauthorized abandonment of wireline facilities and the replacement of wireline service with VoiceLink in Monticello and surrounding communities or any other part of the state, beyond the limited portions of Fire Island covered by the conditional authorization.”

Thus far, the Public Service Commission has not publicly responded to the allegations and the regulator has not asked Verizon for an explanation about their installation of Voice Link in areas outside of the western part of Fire Island, where the Commission has granted them interim authority to run the service as the sole landline replacement.

Stop the Cap! received word Verizon may have a statement regarding these matters shortly. We will update readers with any new developments.

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James Cieloha
James Cieloha
10 years ago

Every Verizon customer in the Hudson Valley and New York City should be ashamed of Verizon for choosing to abandoned wireline service in favor of the Voice Link wireless serivce in the Hudson Valley and New York City very severely. This is an excuse for Lowell McAdam and Fran Shammo with Verizon wanting to try to be way too big being like the Wal-Mart’s, the Marlboro’s, the Joe Camel’s, the Paramount Pictures with the movie theater chain of the 1940’s, the Morris Levy’s when he was part of Roulette Records, the Clive Davis’s when he was at Columbia Records in… Read more »

10 years ago

… And the cellular network, with it’s superiority, shall crash into the depths of which it came from should anyone look at it funny.

Pretty much, that’s my silly way of describing what they are about to do to the wireless network as they stuff it with devices. The LTE network is already moaning under load in many parts if my area. Voice will fare no better under such a situation.

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