Tree Limbs Heavily Tangled on Bent Phone Lines

I am writing this here because I have now been working (fighting??)  with verizon for a month and a half trying to get this issue fixed. 

START: September 12

I recently bought a house in Baltimore (yay!) and noticed that there is a tree with a secondary branch leaning heavily on the phone lines. As in the line is BENT and TANGLED on top of my property. 

The branches extend across a city alley and the lines are, technically, on the alley in terms of right-of-way. My concern is that in the event of a storm (rain or snow, take your pick) if that branch breaks those lines would represent a hazard ON my property.

I believe in due dilligence. Also in not pestering unnecessarily. Verizon was NOT my first choice to call because I didn't think it was their responsibility. For all intents and purposes I thought it was the power utility's. Heck, I thought this was a low voltage power line. So I called BGE. After a couple days of back and forth, they came in and notified me that the lines were actually phone and cable. So I called comcast ( and braced for the worst, they have such an awful service reputation). Turns out they came out immediately and actually took care of their lines (they had some snapped coax lines ) but said that the big bent lines were actually phone lines. I called Verizon and they told me to call the city. I called the city and they told me to call the power utility because "they have the skills and equipment". So I called the power utility again and they said call the city we are NOT doing it. 

I called the city... again... and they said call Verizon because it is their responsibility to care for their lines on poles. I called Verizon... AGAIN... 4 tickets later (because they keep closing them) they finally send a foreman to my property. He sees the tree. Agrees that it is leaning heavily, that it is a hazard, and that it needs to be cut. Says they will send a team to trim it as much as needed to not be tangled on the lines but nothing else. I'm find with that. By now it is September 29, averaging 1 call every 3 days to verizon. 

Fast forward to October 24. I made the mistake to trust the company's word. Nothing has been done yet. So I had to call again. At this point I'm a bit exasperated. I'm telling her all this, trying to give her the info and background she does the following:

1) Tells me verizon doesn't do tree trimming. (Not true when it is a hazard on their phone lines)

2) Asks me for a ticket number and proceeds to tell me there is nothing on the ticket (not true I have notes on every bit of information that was given). Says she needs to put me on hold and then does... for 58minutes. Then she hangs up. 

As I waited on the previous rep, I did a second call to another rep. This one, Mr. King., actually somewhat helpful. I say somewhat because he listened and put in a ticket. I say somwhat because, VERIZON, this is the FIFTH ticket on the same matter on what have now been 42 days of follow up. Anyway he gives me another ticket. Says a foreman will be at the property tomorrow between 8 and 5pm. Takes my cell number... The odyssey continues.

Verizon : I just need you to own up to your responsibility. Fix the hazard situation created by YOUR equipment and we're even. 

---- Log of interactions with verizon service support ----

  • September 14
    • verizon says they will send a technician to inspect on september 15 between 8am and 4pm
  • September 15
    • Verizon never called
    • Verizon link with reference to hazardous conditions INCLUDING
    • I called verizon again. They asked me for a landline nearby and their exchange code. I gave it to them. They gave me a ticket code:
      • {edited for privacy}
        • They gave me a NEW YORK code for attending a hazardous situation in MARYLAND...
  • September 16
    • called again
    • they couldn't find the info because the ticket was wrong
    • new ticket
      • {edited for privacy}
  • September 18
    • Comcast actually sent someone who took care of the snapped comcast lines. AKA removed them. The rest of the work up to verizon
    • Comcast confirmed those lines tangled and bent are phone lines
  • September 19
    • Called verizon to check on the request. They had closed it but I never received any calls from a technician doing any inspections
    • They said a technician would come by on September 20
    • New ticket number!
      • {edited for privacy}
  • September 20
    • No news from verizon
  • September 26
    • I figured I'd give them some time to work the process to find out that a technician said there were no lines at risk. THIS. MAKES. NO. SENSE. So I tell them this. This is patently false. Technician is either pretending he was there. Or he was somewhere else... The rep said Verizon does not do tree trimming... Again this is false under hazardous conditions.
    • Verizon here is some info on your policies for trees leaning on lines:
      • Policy on hazardous conditions
      • Customer reporting on Forum. Verizon answered after 3 YEARS and asked him/her to keep the rest of all the conversation to the private support portal. Because #NOSNITCHING
      • Oh Hey! This one is on Baltimore! And the client called BGE! And he/she was told it was Verizon's responsibility! And they actually did the work!  0_0
      • Look! Gosh this feels so familiar:
        • client:
          • There's no way that I can remove them safely, and our tree removal service was hesitant because of how the trees are positioned on the lines. What is Verizons policy regarding this situation?  
        • verizon
          • If you're sure that they're Verizon phone lines and not power lines, you can schedule a repair team to come out.  Here is the link:


            Please let us know if you can't schedule a repair that way, and we can escalate the issue for you.

        • ME: 
          • meditating on the meaning of "escalate". After 42 days it feels like this is either a trick question or one of those existential mysteries of life...
        • Link:
      • Rep. said to expect a call later that day from the foreman. Later that day, the foreman absolutely did NOT call...
      • So I called again. Talked to Trevor this time. Trevor was patient, thank you Trevor. He wrote down all the previous ticket number on this current ticket.
  • September 28
    • I'm starting to think Verizon technicians are somewhat of a legend. Everyone knows about them but no one has ever seen them... So I called again
    • Turns out that spelling my address letter by letter to the previous reps, and using words as examples is not enough. Apparently the phone lines at the verizon support center are not too good. According to them they found the issue! they spelled the address wrong by ONE letter... (sigh)
      • Funny note, previous rep said this too...
    • Told them I'd be their guide to the very much real tree of danger. I'd help them brave the tough alley paviment to the back of my house
    • So I had to NOT go to work to show verizon where to do work...
    • Rep was generous enough to gift me a new ticket number
      • <dang it, i forgot to copy it 😞 )
  • September 29
    • Go Figure!! the technicians are real people!
    • Met with Larry. He saw the tree, agreed that it needed to be cut. Said a crew would be sent to do it. That it might take anywhere between 1 week and a month. Larry was a really nice guy, he even closed up a pouch on the line where the individual phone lines were dropping out like a bit of a rat's nest. 
    • Hey, they might actually do this! 🙂
  • October 24
    • Nope. Nada. Nothing. Maybe I saw a ghost called Larry on his ghost verizon truck. Nothing has been done. 
    • Who you gonna call?? Ghost.. Sorry, Verizon. I meant Verizon.
    • Called verizon, I'm exasperated but not disrespectful. Rep answers the phone, asks me for my ticket number. I give it to her. Says she can't find information on it. Then she decides to ponder the meaning of life because I got a 58 minute hold. Then she hung up. Maybe she decided philosophy is her thing. 
    • Called again, talked to Mr. King. Mr. King sounds nice. Tells me that verizon doesn't cut trees.
      • sideline anyone familiar with people lying to your face even though you present them with facts? You offer notes and sources, and they don't believe you. Deja Vu, I swear I think I've done this before.
      • I have
    • I tell Mr. King, that he is wrong. I offer to guide him to the light of their own policy website. Alas, no success. BUT, he presents me with a gift:
      • TICKET NUMBER!! 
        • {edited for privacy}
      • Apparently a foreman is visiting tomorrow between 8am and 5pm to check the line they already checked. Since I can't be there, because #WORK, I hope they can decipher the mystery of streets and alleys. And find the house and the tree... 
      • Why does it feel I'm back to square 1? 😕
      • I'm going to write a post on this... wait... inception? 

image40 days and counting...

1 Reply
Moderator Emeritus

Hi hadesto,

Your issue has been escalated to a Verizon agent. Before the agent can begin assisting you, they will need to collect further information from you. Please go to your profile page for the forum and scroll down the page to an area titled "My Support Cases." You can reach your profile page by clicking on your name located above your post, or at the top right of this page.

Under "My Support Cases" you will find a link to the private board where you and the agent may exchange information. The title of your post is the link. This should be checked on a frequent basis, as the agent may be waiting for information from you before they can proceed with any actions. To ensure you know when they have responded to you, you may subscribe to the case. At the top right of your support case there is a gear icon which provides a drop down menu with support case options. Click that and choose "subscribe." Please keep all correspondence regarding your issue in the private support portal.