|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE,
March 21, 2001
Bruce Kushnick, 212-777-5418, Bruce@newnetworks.com
New Networks Institute Files with New York State and Federal Officials
to Investigate Communications Workers of America (CWA) Report
||REPORT: Verison Harms Phone Customers, Competitors, New York
state Economic Growth and Its Own Staffers
||To read this filing, the original CWA report, and
related material see: http://newnetworks.com/cwacomplaint.htm
|| NEW YORK, NY -- New Networks Institute (NNI) today filed a series
of complaints with the New York Attorney General's Office, the New
York Public Service Commission and the Federal Communications Commission
to investigate claims made by the Communications Workers of America
(CWA) that affect all Verizon phone customers, competitors, and CWA
workers. In November 2000, the CWA released a report, "Service Quality
& Service Quality Reporting at Verizon - NY." This report, requested
by the New York Public Service Commission to examine service quality
issues, is part of the ongoing Alternate Regulation plan that governs
Verizon's local phone services.
"These findings require an immediate and public investigation,"
said Bruce Kushnick, Executive Director of New Networks Institute.
"This report illustrates express harm to all New York phone customers
and competitors. The harm to customers includes services for everything
from a phone line installation to fixing a phone outage; it illustrates
a deterioration of the entire telephone network that is supposed
to be New York's digital lifeblood, a direct and severe impact into
the entire economic development of New York state's economy, and
even an effect on the cost of all phone services."
The report's claims against Verizon include the falsification of company
service quality data, inaccurate information, possible consumer fraud
for inside wire maintenance plans, deterioration of the current phone
networks, lack of experienced management, lack of proper training,
and harm to company whistleblowers trying to call attention to the
problems.In the CWA's own words:
"CWA Service Quality Program has identified a number of
management practices that result in the inaccurate reporting of
service quality data to the PSC. Specifically, survey results, hotline
reports and case studies verify inaccurate reporting of data for
Customer Trouble Reports, Out of Service over 24 hours, Missed Repair
and Installation Appointments, Installations Within Five Days, and
Answer Time Performance. The misreporting of this data allows the
company to artificially improve its service quality performance
and reduce its exposure to PRP penalties and PSC sanctions."
There is a litany of documented harm. Here is some information taken
directly from the report:
The report also highlights a series of very serious problems that
affect quality of service:
- The Direct Falsification Of Company Service Quality Data
By Management Over 30% of those surveyed have directly seen
management change the status of trouble reports.
- Management Directing Workers To Close Out Troubles Before
They Are Actually Completed Over 60% of those surveyed have
been directed by management to code a trouble as completed before
it is really cleared of the trouble.
- Management Directing Workers To Backtime Over 54% of
those surveyed have been asked by management to backtime -- to
alter records identifying the date and time a trouble was completed.
- Passing Installations Before Completion 91% of surveyed
field technicians reported that they were dispatched on repairs
of recent installations only to find that dial tone had never
- Deteriorating Plant Equipment Due to a lack of investment
in equipment, workers do not have the tools or materials needed
to complete their jobs adequately and timely. Instead, the company
directs workers to fix problems with "band-aid" approaches.
- Lack of Experienced Managers New York Telephone eliminated
thousands of experienced managers and lowered the benefits of
those remaining. Consequently, few skilled workers apply for management
positions. New managers have few if any technical skills and are
therefore unable to properly respond to technical problems, coordinate
the work force or train new workers.
"The problems highlighted in this report are very serious. Unfortunately,
we believe they are not isolated to New York state, but are common
throughout the entire Bell system. It affects the entire economic
development of the state and the country at large, not to mention
hundreds of millions of dollars in business costs, customer costs,
penalties and fines that Verizon would be assessed if these charges
are verified by state and federal authorities," stated Kushnick."We
consider the Communications Workers of America courageous to present
the truth about their horrendous working conditions. These workers
are being asked to perform illegal acts, and they realize the harm
that Verizon's illegal decisions have been causing. We stand behind
the worker's requests to remedy these problems immediately," added
For more information, contact Bruce Kushnick at 212-777-5418, or by
email at firstname.lastname@example.org
go to http://www.newnetworks.com
to learn more.