Was Burning The House Down Part Of The Free Installation Offer?

from the wow,-this-HD-stuff-sure-does-make-those-fire-engines-look-real dept

A Verizon installer apparently started a fire at a home in a Boston suburb earlier this week, when he was drilling on the outside of the house and hit an electrical main. Perhaps this story wouldn’t be so notable if this sort of thing didn’t happen with some frequency — as it’s not the first time this sort of thing has happened. Meanwhile, over at Broadband Reports, one of their users says a shoddy installation by Time Warner resulted in a chunk of their fence burning down. All things considered, though, perhaps these folks should just feel lucky that the techs didn’t blow up their house and kill them.

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Companies: comcast, time warner, verizon

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Comments on “Was Burning The House Down Part Of The Free Installation Offer?”

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Chris says:

Big Buisness, Cheep Labor.

A lot of the big cable companies will hire anyone with tools and a clean drivers record. They give very little formal training, and what training they do give is more focused on the completion of paperwork. As another poster stated, a lot of houses are not up to code. I can’t even begin to think of how many installations I’ve done where it looks like a four year old was in charge of making sure the homes were up to spec. I’ve never set fire to a home, but some people will run extension cord after extension cord out of the same outlet in another room, and when I’ve gone to plug in a power supply for a router or modem, it trips the entire circuit. Once it even blew it out, cutting power to half of the home.

There are many things that can lead to such an event happening. Apparently the technician just clipped a line, and called the fire department to ensure everything was OK. Last thing you need is an exposed hot wire terminating on itself embedded four inches deep in insullation.

cable guy says:

expect too much

Don’t forget how customers want to have everything installed where they say. It’s not always the installer that decides where to put the outlet. Just remember, you want that free install and the cheapest product you can get, don’t expect perfection. It drives me nuts the amount of people that think everything should be free.

Oh well, not everyone can be intelligent. After going into people homes for 5 years, intelligence is NOT as common as one would hope.

Another Cable Guy says:

The company I work for does not just hire anyone. People they do hire usually have a decent cable background, then ride out with a tech for a few months, and also go to school for a couple weeks.

These type thing happen for many reasons, not to exclude the guy being in a hurry cause he had 5 other houses to go to before he could go home to his family. No one ever looks at it that way. Just blow up the fact that it happened so all the haters can complain, and say how bad so and so company is.

I hate people…….

BNLaneville (profile) says:

Lack of Professionalism

Although in some cases the blame might fall on the customer for insisting on the placement of lines and hookups, it ultimately falls on the installer and his company. I used to remodel historic homes, when I changed any wiring or added wiring, I always used a circuit tester. Aside from that wires behind walls are easy to locate with a wire wand. They can find buried lines and lines in the wall. The Installer should correct the customer if placement is not safe, and the company should stress this in orientation.
BTW, it happens with all installers when they stat to rush; Comcast bought me a very nice new mailbox, after the installer crushed it with his van and he was going forward!

JMP says:

bad training = ka-booms good trianing = boom$

I am a field supervisor for a small WISP (2500 customers) in west texas and it still amazes me when I see things about installers drilling holes through utilities. It took me all of 2 hours to train 6 employees what to look for before drilling holes in walls to avoid this. 9 times out of 10 all it takes is looking at both the inside and outside of the wall where you want to drill if you see a electrical box of any kind on either side pick a new location. In the 5 years I have been with this company I have seen an electrical line hit twice and both instances were caused by non-code wiring. The gas line with the ground rod can be tricky but the easiest solution for this is to ground on the side of the house not the front or back 95% of all gas lines go out the back or the front it is very rare to see it going out the side. The sad thing is this is all common sence and really shouldn’t even require training.

Anonymous Coward says:

Yeah, this is a service-related vent….I had Bright House come out to upgrade us to digital phone service. After getting a call telling me that the installer was ‘running late’ and couldn’t make it to my house until 10:00 p.m. (GET REAL!), I rescheduled for the next day. The installer arrived and rewired damn near everything in the house and of course, nothing worked afterward! After hours on the phone with tech support (gotta say, they were nice folks, just couldn’t help me!), I had to have a tech come out the next day to fix the computer and connection(bless him!) and then later, have another installer come back out to rewire everything correctly for the phone service. I don’t expect perfection, but I do expect that people who get paid to do a job should know what they are doing. If I performed my job like that, I would be fired on the spot.

Donald C. Huebner says:

Burning down the house -

Enjoyed reading all the comments on this. With understanding of how people are, but most don’t know no matter how good you are this kind of thing happens because the companies expect so much out of someone. I betcha this wasn’t a newby with only one job to do for the day. Everyone can’t see how this can makes sense for someone to do but I have been there with close calls. Never any mistake like that, but it could happen. Work in a hundred degree heat 90 + hours a week, with a hundred different supplies to keep track of and install with six homes to visit all wanting something special, and don’t let me forget about people who want to tell you about thier day. Does your boss understand? I’ll let you answer that. After tossing and turning night after night with six hours sleep just to keep up, the brain may actually convince you that power just isn’t on the other side of where the customer wants an outlet. Regulate the hours guys spend on making other people money and see how many houses you get burned down. Hey, and don’t forget to pay. Some guys actuall know what they are doing.

Jeff from NJ says:


It’s too bad this happened, but I know alot about how Verizon hires and trains its people, and it is very unfair to suggest they just hire anyone and don’t care what happens. I know of no other company that spends as much time on safety and training for it’s field techs than Verizon. Cable companies may be a different story, but don’t assume that one bad episode means the whole company sucks.

Dmac says:

Wall Drilling

It’s not just an issue with cable installs. We had a central a/c unit installed, and the installer went through a 220VAC line (off at the time, thankfully. It’s for inceiling radiant heat). Found out two months later.

I suggested to the company owner that the cost of equipping every one of his trucks with one of those fiber optic inspection devices with the light on the end would be cheaper then a lawsuit.

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