Verizon Communications Inc. has been hit with a class action lawsuit for violating consumer protection laws for continuing to charge maintenance fees for its copper line telephone service, and not maintaining it. For the past 4 years Verizon has been using the “fiber is the only fix” program to try and phase out the old copper phone lines and convert customers to the newer fiber optic ones. They have been accused of not fixing or maintaining the lines so they can convert all their customers to the fiber optic lines, even though in some locations they have not yet installed the fiber. Fiber optic lines are the way of the times. But some customers still prefer to use the copper lines since they are more reliable in a power outage. Customers in rural areas tend to want to stay with the copper lines due to power outages. In some of the poorer rural areas of New Jersey they have not yet installed fiber, and are accused of not maintaining the existing copper lines. So customers in those areas do not have the option to switch to the fiber lines, and continue to report unresolved problems to Verizon.
In this case the plaintiff, Nicholas Johnnidis has been with Verizon for 20 years. He does not want to convert over to the fiber lines since he finds that copper ones to be reliable in bad weather and power outages Johnnisdis and his aging mother both use the copper line service. Two years ago his mother began experiencing static on her phone lines when it rained, they were told that “fiber is the only fix” to solve the problem and that he would need to convert to the fiber, even though he and his mother have always paid monthly for maintenances fees on the copper lines.
The class action claims that Verizon allows its copper lines to deteriorate on purpose while still charging its copper line customers a line charge and access fee for those same lines that they have discontinued upkeep on. Since Verizon’s customers are stilled charged for the upkeep of the copper lines, and they are not being maintained and phased out the lawsuit claims that Verizon is “uniformly fraudulent” since the company doesn’t use the money on the copper lines. It is also reported that Verizon collects an unreasonable amount of money for the maintenance. These funds are said to be allocated to other Verizon business.
Verizon is currently under investigation in New Jersey and Pennsylvania for letting the copper wires deteriorate in the rural areas that have not been upgraded to fiber. The Federal Communication Commissions has urged telephone providers to upgrade all areas to fiber and offer a phone including a battery back up, in case the power does go out.
In the case that was filed Nicholas Johnnidis v. Verizon Communications Inc., Case No. 1:16-cv-03454, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. Johnnidis looks to represent a Class of all people in the U.S. who were or are customers of Verizon copper telephone lines, and are being or have been charged for line and access fees. The class action requests compensation and corrective damages for the alleged consumer protection law and fraud violations, and as well as a court order for Verizon to adequately maintain its copper telephone lines to the standards required under federal and state statutes. If you have had problems with your copper lines provided by Verizon please Contact Us and provide any details along with contact information. If you prefer to leave a voicemail you can call 1.858.236.9020. GetClassActionMoney.com can then forward these requests to our network of attorneys that may contact you if a Class Action Lawsuit is to be pursued. In addition make sure you Subscribe to our mailing list to receive important updates regarding class action news and open cases.