CenturyLink Be Sucking, Verizon Be Bluffing, and the Montana PSC Be Regulating!

by William Skink

It started with a text. Verizon wanted my wife and I to know we were reaching data limits. That’s odd, we thought, we’ve never had this issue before. I’ve also recently gone cold turkey on my Twitter and WordPress App, so if anything I’m using that insidious device we call a “smart phone” even less. My wife thought I should call to inquire, I thought nope, let’s see what this data restriction looks like. So far neither of us have noticed any disruption.

Did I forget to mention that the fix for this dire data situation warranting a text alert was buying more data?

I only mention this because a Cowgirl post (not a Lee Enterprise article) brought my attention to an upcoming vote by the Montana PSC to address shitty phone service from CenturyLink. That vote happened, but I didn’t read the result from the Missoulian, I had to go to the Billings Gazette for some reason to read this:

HELENA — Montana’s Public Service Commission decided Tuesday to sue CenturyLink for failing to promptly restore out-of-service landlines.

The five-member panel voted unanimously to file a lawsuit in a Montana district court sometime before Sept. 1, citing slow response times and service lapses for geographically isolated customers.

“I am very disappointed at the place we’re at right now, and I do think we need to send a very strong message,” Commissioner Roger Koopman said before the voice vote.

The complaint will ask the court to levy fines against CenturyLink QC for violating the commission’s rule that 90 percent of trouble reports be cleared within 24 hours. Commissioner Travis Kavulla said the company has been fixing no more than 60 percent of downed phone lines in that time period.

“They’re candidly, grossly underperforming,” Kavulla said after the meeting.

Wow, thank you PSC regulators for protecting the public’s interest by using the court to ensure the private sector meets the standards it has agreed to. When it comes to a service that may be used by the customer to call 911 in case of an emergency, it’s good to know the PSC can put politics aside and do the right the thing for Montanans.

As for my data limit, go ahead, Verizon, do your worst. Less data could mean less awareness of the shit storm, and that’s not a bad thing. For example, I’m glad it took me a few days to hear about some disgruntled park employee in Wyoming who decided to execute a man in a detox center because he’s tired of cleaning up after homeless people in the park.

About Travis Mateer

I'm an artist and citizen journalist living and writing in Montana. You can contact me here: willskink at yahoo dot com
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10 Responses to CenturyLink Be Sucking, Verizon Be Bluffing, and the Montana PSC Be Regulating!

  1. Rob Kailey says:

    Oh, irony, why do you torment me? There were so many ads at the mercury news link that it locked my computer until I force-crashed my browser.

    Guerrilla marketing, the ham fisted sort, has become mainstream to that point we don’t even complain when otherwise reputable companies (admitted there are those who deny the existence of such) use lie, veiled threat and click-bait at will. The company I work for has its domain registration through Network Solutions, certainly more reputable and established than the more force-fully marketed Go Daddy. Our domain registration was coming due in August, and as the direct contact, I received one email from NS in May notifying of that deadline. The company GM, under whose name the domain is registered also received a radically different email from NS, listing all the available domains we could lose if we don’t ACT NOW! It also spouted the benefits of all the services that NS offers to promote and secure our domain from poachers. I don’t need to tell anyone here that the best way to secure your domain from poachers is to just re-register it, which I did in May. Still, every week I can expect a forwarded email from my boss about how we are in danger of losing our .xyz domain in we don’t ACT NOW! We’ve never paid for it. We don’t want it. Most likely no one wants it. But still I get these emails from my boss, because of the vague fear that we might be losing something we’ve never wanted and have no interest in paying for.

    I’ll post a list of the 10 companies that are worst at this kind of marketing. You won’t believe number 3, and number 7 WILL BLOW YOUR MIND!

  2. Craig Moore says:

    As to Verizon, try turning off W-Fi, Sync, Mobile Data, Bluetooth, Car Mode and other functions when not using. Leaving Mobile Data on seems to consume vast amounts of data. As to your message, more likely a warning that going over your limit will be costly.

    • now that you mention it, I have used Bluetooth recently, but I am diligent about turning it off when not in use. but you’re probably right, Craig, they be charging so I guess I should call.

  3. Probably the day after the PSC was formed, ways to comprise it were on the drawing board. Public pronouncements by members are not to be taken seriously.

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