Admitting there were some issues with customer service over the last four days, Verizon says it will credit 8,000 customers who lost phone, Internet, and cable for the time they went without service because of Monday’s fire under Lawrence’s Central Bridge.
Verizon officials said about 1,000 customers remained without service yesterday. Those affected are connected to Verizon through copper wires that melted under the intense heat of the fire. Verizon must get into each of those homes to get service restored. They said they are going door to door in areas of North Andover and South Lawrence, the hardest hit by the outage.
They also said the numbers of those affected could climb for two reasons: Some have yet to report their service disruption and the possibility of lines that still may fail because of unseen damage.
Verizon’s vice president for government affairs, Joseph H. Zukowski, admitted there may have been a communication gap between people on the scene and people in the call centers answering calls from angry customers.
“Our goal was to fix it first,” he said. After the repairs are made and service is restored, he said, “we will do a post-mortem to see what we can learn and what we could have done better.”
He noted that between the repair centers and the business office, it is “always hard to get everybody on the same page. People could have been given better answers.”
The officials released the first outage disruption estimate Wednesday, saying it took time to determine how many people were affected and how long repairs would take because their technicians had to sort through the tens of thousands of scorched and melted copper wires and glass fibers to figure out exactly what was damaged, what was salvageable and how that may have affected thousands of customers in the Lawrence area.