Verizon Thinks It's A Good Idea To Mock New Jersey Taxpayers After Ripping Them Off For Years

from the so-long-suckers dept

We’ve noted a few times how Verizon has a rich history of taking taxpayer money, subsidies and tax breaks, then promising fiber deployment that never occurs. When it then comes time for local municipalities to hold the telco’s feet to the fire, campaign contributions ensure any investigation is short lived. It happened in Pennsylvania, it happened in New York City, and it recently happened in New Jersey, when state officials let Verizon off the hook for a 1993 promise to evenly deploy fiber across the state in exchange for billions in benefits.

Shortly after state officials let Verizon walk away from its obligations, they also granted Verizon exemption from regulations requiring it continue servicing DSL customers whose lines were paid for in large part thanks to billions in subsidies. As we’ve noted, companies like AT&T and Verizon are hanging up on customers they don’t want to upgrade, and forcing them instead to notably more expensive and capped wireless services. Many customers would prefer Verizon maintain or upgrade their fixed-line broadband connections, since they’ve paid an arm and a leg for them.

About fifty annoyed municipalities have now formed an alliance aimed at holding Verizon’s feet to the fire. Collectively, they’re trying to explore ways to hold Verizon accountable, require it to deliver promised upgrades, or at the very least maintain existing DSL lines until something better comes along. Verizon’s response? To mock these people as Luddites:

“But Verizon New Jersey spokesman Lee Gierczynski has called this “misplaced fear” resulting from “misinformation and misunderstanding about copper networks, fiber networks and the reliability of those networks.” “This is a classic example of how some people fear new technology so they reactively reject it instead of accepting it, no matter how irrational that fear may be,” Gierczynski said.

Except that’s not what’s happening here at all. People aren’t angry because they’re afraid of fiber upgrades, because the majority aren’t getting those upgrades. They’re angry because Verizon’s trying to shovel them to “good enough” wireless service with low caps and steep $15 per gigabyte overage fees. Like AT&T, Verizon would have you believe that having your less expensive, unlimited DSL line replaced by a hugely expensive LTE connection (you may not even be able to get) is a step into the Utopian telecom future. Verizon’s spokesman shows just how tone deaf the company is by then suggesting these folks should be mocked:

“He added: “I think people are going to look back and laugh at people … just like who were a part of the Anti-Digit Dialing League.”

Of course what people are actually going to look back on and laugh (or cry) at is Verizon’s ability to take billions in subsidies, do little to nothing with it, convince regulators to turn the other cheek to outright theft, then mock annoyed consumers when they try to complain.

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Companies: verizon

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Comments on “Verizon Thinks It's A Good Idea To Mock New Jersey Taxpayers After Ripping Them Off For Years”

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That One Guy (profile) says:

Standard, if sleazy, debate tactic

If you can’t respond and answer the arguments being used against you, and the points being raised, belittle and mock the one(s) raising them.

Completely abandon the defensive, don’t respond to any of the questions or points raised, but go on the offensive instead. Doing this puts the one(s) criticizing you on the defensive, and suddenly they, not you, have to defend their stances and actions. If they try and hold your feet to the fire, and direct the conversation back to their original question, act offended or condescending and spin it as them ‘getting defensive’ and ‘not wanting to answer a simple question’.

Rinse and repeat until your opponent hopefully just gives it up in disgust, and then declare yourself the winner(by default, but leave that part out).

mcinsand (profile) says:

Re: Standard, if sleazy, debate tactic

TOG, you’ve really hit a nerve for me, and it’s one reason I dread our upcoming political season. Whatever issue, and whatever side, the passive demeaning in a debate, discussion, or article immediately turns me away. When I see key words or phrases like ‘common sense,’ ‘reasonable,’ ‘rational,’ etc., I immediately turn off. If you can’t stand on actual merits of your position, then don’t waste my time. Make your argument on the facts without underhandedly calling the other side unreasonable or irrational.

Richard (profile) says:

Re: Re: Standard, if sleazy, debate tactic

Yep – notice that the name calling is once again used to discredit an argument by conflating it with another argument that is “commonly accetpted top be discredited”.

It doesn’t matter if the two arguments are completely unrelated – so long as your words have a vaguely plausible ring.

Now add “Luddite” to the list that already includes:


Zonker says:

Re: Re:

Take a lien out on Verizon’s existing copper and fiber optic infrastructure in your municipality. If Verizon does not either complete the required upgrades/maintenance to service the entire area or pay back all subsidies collected to date, repossess/foreclose the infrastructure and use it to kick start your municipal network.

After all, this is a debt Verizon owes to the taxpayers.

Anonmylous says:

Treat em like us

if I do not pay my taxes, do not pay my lawfully issued tickets, or even do not pay Student Loans or other privately made obligations, the State can and will take my property away to clear that debt.

So why don’t they do the same to Verizon? Just take their entire business in the state of New Jersey. The taxpayers did pay for it, the company failed to uphold its end of many legal and valid contracts. Sue them with the intention of taking over the network rather than making them pay. Cost them a business sector (including wireless!) and see if they don’t hop smart in other states all of a sudden.

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