Verizon outage leaves customers frustrated over lack of communication

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) – A Verizon outage was reported in the Tri-State region Sunday afternoon.

According to customer service, an outage began in Ohio and spreads to the West Virginia and Kentucky border.

In a statement provided to WSAZ, Verizon says:

“A third-party fiber cut is causing service interruption for some customers in parts of the Charleston-Huntington area.” Our engineers are aware of this issue and are working with our vendor partners to resolve this issue quickly.”

Verizon gave another statement to WSAZ around 1 pm Monday afternoon saying:

“A third-party fiber cut due to yesterday’s storms caused a service interruption for some customers in parts of the area. Our engineers worked with our vendor partners and service has been fully restored.”

Customers told WSAZ, when they reached out to Verizon customer service representatives, they were never told there was an outage.

Heather Smith, who lives in Louisa, Kentucky, says her phone stopped working due to the outage, and she relies on her phone for work and to keep up with her children.

“I just think it’s 2022 like we shouldn’t be having this issue,” Smith said. “This is probably the fourth time in two months that I think we have had this issue.”

She had WiFi, so she was able to contact Verizon through the customer service chat on the Verizon app, but she said the representative did not tell her about the outage.

“She said, ‘I don’t have anything reported let’s reset your phones’ and I was like, ‘Listen we’ve reset them.’ At one point she was like, ‘Let’s disconnect the chat and I’ll call back after you’ve turned your phone off for five minutes’ and I said, ‘You’re not going to be able to get ahold of me, cause my phone isn’t working. Then I’ll never hear from you again’,” Smith said.

She said just being told there was an outage that would make her less frustrated.

“It would be a little bit better if we were being informed and they would acknowledge we are having reports we are trying to figure out, please go to our page we’ll update with what’s going on maybe put an eta,” Smith said.

WSAZ reached out to Verizon to ask why customer service did not know about the outage.

A representative did an answer and said:

“If you don’t mind, would you just reach back out onto that email and asking. I don’t know if we’re going to be able to provide an interview or anything like that or a sound bite.”

WSAZ sent an email to their media email address asking for an interview about how Verizon handles telling customers about these problems.

A statement was sent back about the service being restored.

WSAZ emailed again listing all of our questions. These include:

Why isn’t there an outage map on the Verizon website that is easy to find?

Why didn’t customer service know about the outage? We talked to customers who said they called customer service, but they were not told there was an outage. They were told to restart their phones.

Are customers going to be reimbursed for the time they didn’t have service?

What message does Verizon have for customers who desperately needed their phone but didn’t have service for hours?

What is Verizon doing to better manage situations like this in the future?

As of 6:30 pm Monday, Verizon had not responded.

Smith says, her monthly bill is nearly $400 and she does not want to pay the whole bill, if she cannot use her phone.

“They have to acknowledge we’re paying for these services and we’re paying very high,” Smith said. “Here I’m paying for phone service, my only line of communication, for it not to work half the time.”

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