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Verizon abandons paying customers over COVID-19 fears

(BUSINESS MARKETING) Verizon just recently joined with other communication companies for the “Keep Americans Connected” initiative, and yet they cancel in home installations.

verizon installations

The internet didn’t cancel Verizon, they did it themselves.

In an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19, Verizon is canceling in-home installations and repair appointments, and according to some customers, with little or no warning before work is to be completed.

That means if you’ve recently signed up for service and installing your equipment requires a technician to install or fix, you’re [redacted].

In-home appointment windows are being minimized and pushed back to November, with current installs limited to, “medical emergencies and critical installations,” according to a statement to The Verge.

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Verizon’s FAQ section says, “Qualified orders will be provided self-install options, or you may proceed with placing an order for a technician-required installation and it will be held for future installation on a priority basis. You will receive notification to select an installation date when we resume normal operations.”

All together now: WTF?

We’re in the middle of a global pandemic and access to the internet is now more crucial than ever, especially if you’re working from home, learning online and keeping in touch with loved ones via video chat. Or just trying to stay semi-sane during this unprecedented time.

It’s unclear how Verizon customers will need to prove their installation is a medical emergency or critical, or what they can do in the interim to access the internet while waiting for a service date. Hotspots can only handle so many devices and often have data caps. What if you can’t afford more data or live in a service dead zone that requires a stronger connection than WiFi? Will customers be required to pay for services if they haven’t been installed? Get it together, Verizon.

Plus they’re one of many broadband and telephone service providers who joined the “Keep Americans Connected” initiative, which commits to, “not terminate service to any residential or small business customers because of their inability to pay their bills due to the disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic; waive any late fees that any residential or small business customers incur because of their economic circumstances related to the coronavirus pandemic; and open its Wi-Fi hotspots to any American who needs them,” according to the Federal Communications Commission website.

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This decision seems to be in opposition to keeping Americans connected if they can’t schedule service appointments or installations.

Verizon provides service to about 25 million residents and 5.8 million businesses. But after this decision, it may be time to find another provider.

UPDATE: A Verizon spokesperson tells us on April 14, “We have not canceled all appointments and in fact, are working with many customers to service their needs with new and innovative tools. It’s true we’re taking precautions to ensure the safety of customers and our own employees, of course, but doing so in a way that allows us to service our customers.” The company offers an update here.

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Written By

Erica Quiroz is a digital storyteller with a background in journalism, education and tech. Her favorite question to ask in an interview is,"why?" and she loves to talk about pop-culture. If you need a book, movie or television recommendation, she's your girl.

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