Recently I’ve been writing about how local internet service provider Fairpoint has been fouling up our home and business broadband. Things haven’t gotten better. Indeed, they’ve gotten worse, as Fairpoint now messed up our phone line.
A little context: we have two landlines at home, one for the family, the other for business. There’s no cell phone coverage in our area.
Sometime on Wednesday morning our business phone went offline. We took a call at 9 am; people tried and failed to get through by 1 pm, as a I learned through concerned emails.
With exhausted familiarity I called Fairpoint on the still-working, family line. The helpful representative guided me for 40 minutes on a tour of our house’s phone ecosystem. I plugged and unplugged, moved and tested wires, inspected ports and covers. There was a fun moment when the rep told me I was wrong about two switches (I was vindicated the next day).
Nothing wrong turned up. No bad weather had occurred. So Fairpoint had no idea why my business’ main line was down, but would send a tech. Eventually.
On Thursday a technician came to the house and set to work, arriving as I was splitting wood (always a dramatic moment). Excellent, enthusiastic, knowledgeable fellow, he drove my dog nuts by wandering all over the land. He checked the outside phone box, the line up to the street, the lines on the street, connections on two floors of our house. He drove away to check on connections further down the mountain.
The technician returned that afternoon, having solved the problem. He wasn’t sure what caused it. Either an unknown factor broke our connection (um) or last week’s internet work somehow damaged the phone line (er).
When I checked the line, five (5) voicemails awaited. Luckily none were urgent or unaddressed by email.
So, the good news: Fairpoint fixed the problem, and I don’t think I lost any business as a result of the outage.
The bad: they’re not sure what went wrong (a common theme, it seems), and took them a day to get to it. Once more we learned that Fairpoint’s service is like the rain, something distant and sometimes unhelpful, which we mere mortals can neither understand nor influence, but only pay for.
Coda: that concluded yesterday. This morning, I received a call. Caller-ID identified the account as Verizon (see photo), but the caller identified herself as a Fairpoint representative. She laughingly explained the Verizon tag as a leftover… something, I’m not sure what.
She was calling because she’s heard our phone line was having issues. And she identified the wrong phone line.
So not only does Fairpoint have a hard time maintaining its basic services, but within the company people don’t talk to each other. Fairpoint’s failure to do basic knowledge and document management helps confuse their service.
What is wrong with that company? Is Vermont’s policy failure to sufficiently regulate Fairpoint the main issue?
More importantly, what is to be done?