Verizon cancels scheduled appointments for Internet installation and repairs, according to some customers and two Edge journalists with persistent problems on the Internet. The decision potentially leaves Fios subscribers without wired Internet at a time when they likely rely on it to work and see their friends and family during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We minimize our home installation work to critical needs to ensure the safety of our employees and customers and to reduce the spread of COVID-19,” said Verizon in a support document.
“To reduce the spread of COVID-19 and keep our employees and customers safe, we strive to do work without entering homes or small businesses and limit home installations to medical emergencies and critical facilities Says Verizon. The edge in a report. Self-installation options are also available for “qualified service orders,” the company added.
However, Verizon actually changed the language of the support document Tuesday morning, according to Internal of the business community. Previously, the site said that “our technicians will not be able to enter your home or business to install new services or perform repair work”.
Here is the previous language, from a version of the page archived Monday:
Following COVID-19, we take precautions to ensure the safety of our employees and customers. For the moment, our technicians will not be able to enter your home or business to install new services or carry out repair work. Qualified orders will receive self-installation options, or you can place an order for installation required by a technician and it will be kept for future appointment priority. You will receive a notification to select an installation date when we resume operations.
Twitter users have reported that their installation appointments have been canceled. A said yesterday that his installation appointment was canceled for the internet he needed for school. In a response, Verizon said its “technicians will not be able to enter your home to install new services or carry out repairs”.
Following COVID-19, we take precautions to ensure the safety of our employees and customers. For the moment, our technicians will not be able to enter your home to install new services or carry out repair work.
– Verizon Support (@VerizonSupport) April 6, 2020
Earlier in the day, Verizon told a customer who said their installation appointment had been canceled that “qualified orders will be provided with self-installation options” and that they will be given “priority future appointment “if he opted for installation by a technician.
Qualified orders will receive self-installation options, or you can place an order for installation required by a technician and it will be kept for future appointment priority. You will receive a notification to select an installation date when we resume operations
– Verizon Support (@VerizonSupport) April 7, 2020
Some Twitter users reported that Verizon was telling them that a technician could fix their Internet in November, but Verizon replied in response to one of these users that the November date was “incorrect” and was “just a placeholder for customers of your region”.
Jass, this information is incorrect. This date is simply a space reserved for customers in your region. We will contact you once we have received permission to provide you with an earlier date. Thank you.
– Verizon Support (@VerizonSupport) April 1, 2020
Verizon’s new policies have also affected journalists here at The edge. Science journalist Loren Grush has had no Internet since Verizon since April 1. A technician came to his apartment that day to investigate, but they said that an engineering technician should investigate the problem and possibly repair it. The appointment of the engineering technician was scheduled for yesterday, but they never showed up. Verizon told Grush that a new protocol was implemented on April 6, which meant that technicians could no longer enter her home.
“I tried to call today, but I was basically told” engineering will call you, “” Grush said in a Slack message. “We have to wait for them to call us, and since this new rule is in place, I am not hopeful.”
In the meantime, Grush and her husband have been forced to rely on their mobile Internet hotspots, which they need for their work at the moment. She says she has almost reached her mobile data cap, while her husband has had to pay to add a higher data cap. “I’m worried [that] once we reach the ceiling, the Internet will be unusable, ”said Grush.
Makena Kelly, political journalist at The edge, has also had problems with its Internet Fios since April 1. A technician was scheduled to check the problem on April 4, but the Internet came back, so Verizon canceled the appointment, she said in a Slack message. The internet was released again later that day and Kelly was unable to reschedule an appointment.
To help customers resolve issues that don’t require a technician to get in person, Verizon says The edge that he piloted “a virtual assistant technological tool which allows our technicians in the field to interact with customers via an interactive video chat in real time”. The company did not respond to questions from The edge on the size of this pilot or when it could be deployed more widely.