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Verizon Sets AP Reporter's House on Fire
We're sorry, we mean 'Verizon has rare smoke-related incident'
by Karl Bode 01:15PM Thursday Sep 06 2007 Tipped by Mactron See Profile
The Associated Press loves them some Verizon FiOS; writer John Wilen calls his FiOS broadband connection a "nearly flawless" service that "rarely falters," which, in fairness, jibes with our user reviews. There was a small problem with installation, however, when the FiOS installer drilled through a wall and hit an electrical wire, which knocked out power, destroyed the home's electrical box and left the house smoking.
quote:
"The technicians compounded this error by insisting that we pay for the electrical repairs, then bill them. We'd be reimbursed in 30 days, they assured us. My wife was having none of that. Verizon's insurance company cut us a check for the $2,650 repair within days. We got a brand-new electrical box out of the deal, for free. But our electrician tells us ours was not the first botched Verizon installation he's been called out to fix."
Note that the fire is similar to an occurrence in Massachusetts last month that resulted in Network World debating the definition of "fire" with Verizon public relations, who accused the website of "trying to take down Verizon." Verizon has commented on the AP report over at their policy blog, and offers their apology.

We've seen worse over the years, such as the DSLReports user who claimed that Verizon subcontractors blew up a garage in Lutz, Florida. Still, you can't expect a company to make a $23 billion FTTH omelet without breaking a few eggs, and Verizon seems more than willing to compensate homeowners when install issues arise.

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jjoshua
Premium
join:2001-06-01
Scotch Plains, NJ
kudos:3

1 recommendation

FiOS is fast...

Literally blazing speeds!

MrMoody
Free range slave
Premium
join:2002-09-03
Smithfield, NC

Re: FiOS is fast...

Sssssssmokin!!!
floydb1982

join:2004-08-25
Kent, WA

Johnny Cash - "Ring of Fire"

Love is a burning thing
and it makes a firery ring
bound by wild desire
I fell in to a ring of fire...

I fell in to a burning ring of fire
I went down,down,down
and the flames went higher.
And it burns,burns,burns
the ring of fire
the ring of fire.

The taste of love is sweet
when hearts like our's meet
I fell for you like a child
oh, but the fire went wild..

I fell in to a burning ring of fire.....[etc]
floydb1982

join:2004-08-25
Kent, WA

Kenny Rogers - "Blaze of Glory"

Let's go out in a blaze of glory
All good things must end
Like two heros in a story
Lets go out like we came in
In a blaze of glory

Here we are broken-hearted
We thought our love would never end
We fell hard when we got started
Fallin' out like we fell in

Let's go out in a blaze of glory
All good things must end
Like two heros in a story
Lets go out like we came in
In a blaze of glory

Let's gonna hurt each other
That would be a worse mistake
Once again lets act like lovers
One more time for old-time's sake

Let's go out in a blaze of glory
All good things must end
Like two heros in a story
lets go out like we came in
in a blaze of glory

let's go out (lets go out)
in a blaze of glory (in a blaze of glory)
all good things must end
like two heros (ah) in a story (in a story.)
lets go out (lets go out) like we came in (like we came in)
in a blaze of glory

pokesph
It Is Almost Fast
Premium
join:2001-06-25
Sacramento, CA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Comcast

untrained installers?

so.. what would it take for Verizon to hire insatllers that actually know what they're doing?

Oh, thats right.. it would cost too much..

And burning down, blowing up, etc.. houses is an acceptable risk, right?

bust out and either PROPERLY train your outsourced installers or pay the wages for true, professional installation techs with the proper tools and knowledge to avoid problems like this.
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swhx7
Premium
join:2006-07-23
Elbonia

Re: untrained installers?

I'm looking forward to fiber arriving someday in my area. Hopefully the insurance costs will force Verizon and other companies to better train and manage their installers.

Put it in perspective: a few accidents in probably a huge number of installs. And they've paid for damage and as far as I know haven't injured any people yet.
yabos

join:2003-02-16
London, ON
No doubt you've never worked in construction. There's no way you can know where all the wires are in the wall especially low voltage wires. Yes you know they are near an outlet or switch but they can cross the wall anywhere and you don't know.
achuchma

join:2001-04-11
Tampa, FL

Re: untrained installers?

said by yabos:

No doubt you've never worked in construction. There's no way you can know where all the wires are in the wall especially low voltage wires. Yes you know they are near an outlet or switch but they can cross the wall anywhere and you don't know.
Especially since romex seems to be more and more popular with housing construction.

I can can not believe it is acceptable under electrical codes.
--
Bring back chicken and potato chips - Vote Perot!

Subaru
1-3-2-4
Premium
join:2001-05-31
Greenwich, CT
kudos:1

Re: untrained installers?

said by achuchma:

said by yabos:

No doubt you've never worked in construction. There's no way you can know where all the wires are in the wall especially low voltage wires. Yes you know they are near an outlet or switch but they can cross the wall anywhere and you don't know.
Especially since romex seems to be more and more popular with housing construction.

I can can not believe it is acceptable under electrical codes.
Yep or installers who dont always follow 100% of the code and take short cuts.. I've seen it happen.
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SteveCon
IBEW 2222 Boston, MA
Premium
join:2004-09-02
Boston, MA

1 recommendation

Re: untrained installers?

said by Subaru:

said by achuchma:

said by yabos:

No doubt you've never worked in construction. There's no way you can know where all the wires are in the wall especially low voltage wires. Yes you know they are near an outlet or switch but they can cross the wall anywhere and you don't know.
Especially since romex seems to be more and more popular with housing construction.

I can can not believe it is acceptable under electrical codes.
Yep or installers who dont always follow 100% of the code and take short cuts.. I've seen it happen.
Even when the VZ tech follows all the rules, who is to say that the person that installed the wiring that was damaged, did??

What is really needed is x-ray vision glasses - or tearing open the wall - so that these problems can be avoided. It'll never happen. These accidents happen to CATV installers, alarm techs, plumbers, electricians, etc., in short, to anyone that works in your home with cutting tools on a DAILY basis, professionals included.

--
United we bargain, Divided we beg!
yabos

join:2003-02-16
London, ON
All the electrical wires going through wood studs I've seen here in Ontario are not BX. The only BX I've seen is in steel studded walls.

You should at least check what's on the other side of where you're drilling if you can. The article says he hit a wire which maybe he could have seen but usually you can't see any except in the basement if it's unfinished.

TScheisskopf
World News Trust

join:2005-02-13
Belvidere, NJ

1 edit
Romex? I don't know about around you, but last I heard, it was banned as unsafe in NJ.

cableties
Premium
join:2005-01-27

Re: untrained installers?

said by TScheisskopf:

Romex? I don't know about around you, but last I heard, it was banned as unsafe in NJ.
Um no. Banned was "aluminum" wire. Romex is a brand name.

Here is more info on "Romex" wire and others...

»www.faqs.org/faqs/electrical-wir···n-5.html
achuchma

join:2001-04-11
Tampa, FL

Re: untrained installers?

said by cableties:

Um no. Banned was "aluminum" wire. Romex is a brand name.

Here is more info on "Romex" wire and others...

»www.faqs.org/faqs/electrical-wir···n-5.html
Well, IMHO, Romex is junk too...I have been privy to too many "accidents" that happen because something cuts or pierces the wire.
--
Bring back chicken and potato chips - Vote Perot!

TJ_in_IL

join:2006-06-10
Winthrop Harbor, IL
True, but some of these reports are of the installer drilling into the service panel or the service drop, not a branch circuit. That is the troubling part!
I can't wait for fiber to come to my area. Hopefully one of these Highly Qualified installers will come, and burn down my house. New House on Verizon's dime!
Yippee!!!!
--
TeleBlend- Your Local Broadband Phone Company????

builderbob

@cox.net
there is a way, use a stud finder that has AC locate. all employees here have one and know how to use it. it would be reckless to cut a hole without doing a survey and checking above ceiling and/or basement stud space for wires and/or pipes.
yabos

join:2003-02-16
London, ON

Re: untrained installers?

Yes I've tried one of those stud finders before and it doesn't work very well at all. It's possible they could have much better ones but the $50 one I've tried is pretty much worthless.

Jameson
Premium
join:2004-05-28
Fallbrook, CA
kudos:1
said by yabos:

No doubt you've never worked in construction. There's no way you can know where all the wires are in the wall especially low voltage wires. Yes you know they are near an outlet or switch but they can cross the wall anywhere and you don't know.
My thoughs exactly

Chuckles0
Premium
join:2006-03-04
Saint Paul, MN
WTF don't you know businesses exist to make profits and increase stocks. Training people and paying people is a stupid idea!
--
kustomerservice.net

N3OGH
Yo Soy Col. "Bat" Guano
Premium
join:2003-11-11
Philly burbs
kudos:2
Guess they got to find out how long the back up battery in the ONT lasts....
--
Petty people are disproportionably corrupted by petty power…

phattieg

join:2001-04-29
Winter Park, FL
said by pokesph:

so.. what would it take for Verizon to hire insatllers that actually know what they're doing?

Oh, thats right.. it would cost too much..

And burning down, blowing up, etc.. houses is an acceptable risk, right?

bust out and either PROPERLY train your outsourced installers or pay the wages for true, professional installation techs with the proper tools and knowledge to avoid problems like this.
How can you possibly expect any provider doing an install to know the wiring plan of your house??? You, as a responsible home owner, should know where the electrical mains and wires are within the wall, right??? So can it. It has nothing to do with the knowledge the tech has about installs, and more to do with how the house is wired. NO installer for cable, telco, satellite, or anything other THAN the electric company, will know how your houses electrical system is wired, and even they might not have knowledge of your wiring. You can expect this to be more common than BBR/DSLR, and the AP knows about.
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PoloDude
Premium,VIP
join:2006-03-29
Northport, NY
kudos:3
You don't know what the F you are talking about.
Verizon instaltion techs are some of the best trained experienced techs going.
They are not outside contractors.
Many have years of experience doing instalations.
Do accidents happen? Yes. But run the #'s. How many techs a day doing work, drilling how many holes a day?
Odds are that as careful as you can be some one is going to hit something.
--
I'm not as good as I once was
but I'm as good once
as i ever was.

Michieru_

@bellsouth.net

1 edit
So a tech is suppose to know where exactly he can drill? Where are you to provide the blueprints of the home, I don't see anyone telling the installer where the lines of the house go through.

Just like Directv installers, they are going to install that dish where you can get the best reception and clear view of the sky, so if he starts drilling on the side of your wall and you did not tell him that the powerlines from the outside are right behind there, I believe if he survives should have every right to sue your ass for it.

It's like working blind, you can't tell what's behind the wall. If you don't have any blueprints they are going to break down the side of your house to see where the wiring goes or stick a mini camera in there if possible. That's what "professionals" do because they don't have time to be dicking around with some idiotic home owner who does not know what's behind his walls and someone get's hurt because of it.

batterup
I Can Not Tell A Lie.
Premium
join:2003-02-06
Netcong, NJ
said by pokesph:

so.. what would it take for Verizon to hire insatllers that actually know what they're doing?

Oh, thats right.. it would cost too much..

And burning down, blowing up, etc.. houses is an acceptable risk, right?

bust out and either PROPERLY train your outsourced installers or pay the wages for true, professional installation techs with the proper tools and knowledge to avoid problems like this.
Let me guess what you do. You live in your mother's basement and double click for porn.

batterup
I Can Not Tell A Lie.
Premium
join:2003-02-06
Netcong, NJ

1 edit
Delete

montee4
Premium
join:2004-02-15
Chicago, IL

1 recommendation

What's the Deal?

So what is the issue here? Poorly trained install techs? I can't imagine that Comcast or AT&T haven't had these same issues!!
HyPeRbAnD

join:2006-01-07
Stow, MA

1 recommendation

Re: What's the Deal?

said by montee4:

So what is the issue here? Poorly trained install techs? I can't imagine that Comcast or AT&T haven't had these same issues!!
All companies have had this happen. It's not the first nor the last time you will see this. S***T happens.
DMS1

join:2005-04-06
Plano, TX

1 recommendation

said by montee4:

I can't imagine that Comcast or AT&T haven't had these same issues!!
Indeed not. I believe a Comcast tech killed himself and destroyed a house earlier this year by driving a grounding rod through a gas line. Accidents will always happen, and they are very seldom caused by negligence on the part of the installer.

ropeguru
Premium
join:2001-01-25
Mechanicsville, VA

Re: What's the Deal?

said by DMS1:

said by montee4:

I can't imagine that Comcast or AT&T haven't had these same issues!!
Indeed not. I believe a Comcast tech killed himself and destroyed a house earlier this year by driving a grounding rod through a gas line. Accidents will always happen, and they are very seldom caused by negligence on the part of the installer.
Yeah... Here is the DSLR Article. I say it was his negligence as he should have gotten other utilities located before driving a ground rod.
--
FWD#: 223611

Caddyroger
Premium
join:2001-06-11
To the west
Reviews:
·Comcast

Re: What's the Deal?

said by ropeguru:

said by DMS1:

said by montee4:

I can't imagine that Comcast or AT&T haven't had these same issues!!
Indeed not. I believe a Comcast tech killed himself and destroyed a house earlier this year by driving a grounding rod through a gas line. Accidents will always happen, and they are very seldom caused by negligence on the part of the installer.
Yeah... Here is the DSLR Article. I say it was his negligence as he should have gotten other utilities located before driving a ground rod.
Even when if he gotten the utilities located they could be off by 12 in they could not exact in locating. Driving a 1/2 metal rod could they still could hit the gas line.
--
Caddy

phattieg

join:2001-04-29
Winter Park, FL
said by ropeguru:

said by DMS1:

said by montee4:

I can't imagine that Comcast or AT&T haven't had these same issues!!
Indeed not. I believe a Comcast tech killed himself and destroyed a house earlier this year by driving a grounding rod through a gas line. Accidents will always happen, and they are very seldom caused by negligence on the part of the installer.
Yeah... Here is the DSLR Article. I say it was his negligence as he should have gotten other utilities located before driving a ground rod.
Not their job mang!
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KA3SGM
- -... ...- -
Premium
join:2006-01-17
West Chester, PA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Comcast
·Cricket Broadband
·Verizon FiOS

Verizon Doesn't Train Their Techs ???

The only ones I have met are probably the best trained in the business, and because Verizon actually does background checks on their employees, you don't have crooks and murders visiting your home.

They have gotten past 1 Million customers, accidents are bound to happen occasionally.
If this was happening a few dozen times a week, I might get concerned, but it's not.

Man, some people out there would actually try to sue God for Lightning.

Oh, no wait! Sue your local TV Weather Forecaster for the Wind, Hail, and Lightning damage.

It really is their fault, because they were the one that predicted the storm in the first place.
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We're Gonna Need A Bigger Boat !!

•••
tmc8080

join:2004-04-24
Brooklyn, NY

Fios @ the billing System too..

Probably have FIOS installed at the Verizon Billing office.. that's why our BILLS get creatively screwed up (in Verizon's favor, of course).

Anonymous_
Anonymous
Premium
join:2004-06-21
127.0.0.1
kudos:2

1 recommendation

no pic

pic's or it did not happion

WhyZeeGuy
Premium
join:2004-06-06
Addison, TX

Verizon botched my installation, but promptly fixed it too

When Verizon was laying the fiber in my neighborhood the cut through our water main. Bam! Water is everywhere but they had the main fixed in a couple of hours and finished the run. I took pictures immediately afterwards of the sidewalk. I had a sinking feeling the sidewalk would be doing some funny sh*t in a few weeks.

Sure enough the side walk started buckling and I called Verizon. The project manager called me back within two days and within another couple of days a crew came out and installed a new sidewalk.

Verizon responded quickly and appropriately and I'm one happy FiOS customer.
--
Freedom Ain't Free

NY Tel
Premium
join:2004-04-09
Smithtown, NY
kudos:3

1 edit

What do you expect?

When the installer shows up in THIS vehicle to do the install?

Ok cheap shot, but it was in my stock photo collection and it seemed appropriate for the moment.

datguy3

@verizon.net

electricians

dont believe everything those electricians tell you.. ask any phone guy -electricians are the worst at performing ==any== telephone work..

hence they have a natural grudge against the telco

packetscan
Premium
join:2004-10-19
Bridgeport, CT

smoke

The old Line Where there's smoke their fire.
In order for something to smoke it has to smolder which is the early stage of a fire.

Drilling through the outside of the home through wood i can see some smoking being created by friction of the Bit, thus needing to take your time.

Maybe we need to add a measuring tape and home architecture 101. Unfinished basements are a joy to deal with. It's the finished basements you have to watch out for.
--
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batterup
I Can Not Tell A Lie.
Premium
join:2003-02-06
Netcong, NJ

But our electrician tells us ours was not the first botched

I know that electrician, she is a pedophile.

Texrat

@nokia.com

My experience

The guy installing our Fios was very professional. Did a nice job in short time.

And some posters are correct: it's almost impossible to know where every hidden wire could be. Electricians *should* cover drilled studs with cheap metal plates that will deflect nails and drills. I do. Disaster avoided.

Who Me

@verizon.net

It is all in the way you look at it.

I suspect that within the next few days you will see the Verizon PR machine crank up and announce. "There was no smoke, only Aroma Therapy, which is used as part of the process of a FiOS installation".

MCS

@navy.mil

Jive??

Here's a helpful hint... The word is jibe!

Nothing of significance has jived since Barbara Billingsley in Airplane.

Jive does not mean, nor has it ever meant, "agree with." That word is "jibe". Jive is the 1970's desperate attempt to act cool.

MCS

@navy.mil
which, in fairness, jibes with our user reviews.

Thanks.

That's a peeve of mine.
tyscoj3

join:2002-06-17
Fort Pierce, FL
For those who are saying its the homeowners responsibility to know how your house is wired and etc...I ask you, does your city/state have a code that electricians need to follow? As far as I know, there is an electrical code all across the US that states where electrical wires can be placed.

I.E. electrical wires need to be X amount of feet up from the foundation/sub floor or I.E.

Additionally, there are tools out there to locate electrical wiring...are these installers utilizing them?

pilferk

@204.60.184.x
....back about 5 years ago in our neighborhood. But it was Charter (well, a Charter subcontractor) who caused the fire. And when I say fire, I mean sparks flying, smoke billowing kinda fire. The sub drilled a bit too close to the electrical box and caught the trunk wire heading into the fuse/electrical panel. Whoops!!

Not sure what happened after that, exactly, though our neighbor mentioned that charter DID pick up the tab for the damage, and the electrical work.

Hey

@bellsouth.net
Every effort possible is made before drilling a wall.We use FVD detectors which will locate live ac current.However construction of homes vary from state to state and building codes also.Plastic pipe and hidden studs can cause problems.If you look at the total amount of installations from Telco,cable,and space dishes its really pretty low.Blame the builder for shoddy work or foresight to use conduit.Or go wireless.

datguy3

@verizon.net
like in NYC..

Every electrical wire is armored or installed with conduit.

there is no romex or any other "easy to run" electrical wiring allowed ANYWHERE by code.

Thats why you hardly hear of any electrical fires in the City of NY other then when some illegal runs extension cords under carpets, staples them to walls to get an extra outlet somewhere.

Or some numbnut self made electrician breaks the rules for a few extra bucks in his pocket for some cheap homeowner who thinks he got a deal!