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Verizon Huffed and Puffed and Blew The Firefighters Off

Verizon really has a fire on their hands reputation wise after the issue surrounding a fire departments' data plan being slowed down as their crews were helping with the massive fire in Mendocino. This underscore corporate customer service ignorance and product management stupidity at the highest of levels.

Emergency services and first responders are invaluable to society, and to be lumped into the same class of service, and to be expected in a time of a natural disaster to have to be worried about data plan usage and plan management when the fire is raging is just plain silly.

It would have been much easier if Verizon had classified EMS services like Police, Fire, Paramedics, First Responders in a class of service of their own, and then allowed an account manager who will likely be more aware of things to deal with the fire department vs. an automated cut off system that then triggers a call to customer service, and an under trained agent with no authority to vary things compounds the issue.

This reminds me of a time when my bank sent out an unexpected replacement ATM card, while the card I was carrying was still valid. Not only did they replace the card, they took the card I was carrying while out of the country on a six week business trip around Europe.  What was worse was they took the card out of service on the last day of the month before a three day holiday weekend in the USA further complicating the ability to get anyone to do anything logical. To say it was a mess, full of under trained, inexperienced and almost incompetent support people was an understatement. But my being without an ATM card for four days pales in comparison to the Fire department's need to have access to LTE data when on the scene of the disaster.

This likely wasn't the first time an EMS force was caught up in this situation, and hopefully it will be the last. But given how big companies move to solve problems like these, it may take a while to put this fire out.


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