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Sabotage delays service responses by Verizon
[August 11, 2011]

Sabotage delays service responses by Verizon

Aug 11, 2011 (The Frederick News-Post - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- Acts of sabotage against Verizon communications facilities are slowing down the company's responses to customer needs in some locations.

Verizon spokeswoman Sandy Arnette said there have been three sabotage incidents in Potomac, including cut cables. The company has repaired at least 12 acts of sabotage in four states since union workers went on strike Saturday night, Arnette said in a telephone interview.

Incidents included cutting cables to a police department in New Jersey, Arnette said.

Management personnel are filling in on network repairs, customer service, and billing and office support.

"They are out there," Arnette said. "But repairing that sabotage is taking away from normal service." Some companies have suffered delays because of the strike, but which are unrelated to sabotage.

At one, Mount Airy Physical Therapy owner Julie Plummer was waiting to have service restored. The business was switching to a Verizon bundled service that included the telephone and computer systems. The old system was shut down Friday in anticipation of launching a new one on Monday, but the strike has delayed service.

As of Wednesday afternoon, the physical therapy business had no computer or business phone service, Plummer said via her cellphone.

Arnette said Verizon is trying to get back to business as usual. "Knowing it was a year for labor negotiations, we trained management employees to fill in," she said.

The strike, by 45,000 members of the Communications Workers of America and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, covers nine states and Washington. Verizon Wireless is not part of the strike, according to a Verizon news release.

Customers may encounter longer-than-normal hold times when calling Verizon sales and service centers and longer waits for repair service. Customers can seek assistance at or by calling 1-800-VERIZON.

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