Contact: Bruce Kushnick, 212-777-5418
To read this filing, the original CWA report, or related material see:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 21, 2001
New Networks Institute Files with New York State and Federal Officials to Investigate Communications Workers of America (CWA) Report Findings
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 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 Kushnick.
For more information, contact Bruce Kushnick at 212-777-5418, or by email at [email protected] go to http://www.newnetworks.com to read more material.