Hello – I am looking for assistance in how to deal with one of these very questionable bills from CMR/Claims Management Resources, and our situation is very similar to other postings here. About a month ago, my husband was digging a hole with a garden spade in our flower bed to plant fall flowers and hit a FIOS line, he estimates at 12” deep or less. He called Verizon and a repairer was sent. Verizon never advised of any possible charge for the repair, and we were not expecting anything given that the line was so shallow. Last week we received a bill for $369.27. I then researched the NEC 830.47 code requirements referenced in several postings. It seemed unclear about the application of those requirements, and based on suggestions on various sites, I actually found our applicable Montgomery County MD applicable regulations, which requires the line be buried at least 18” deep. My husband called CMR to discuss. After discussion of the issue of the line depth and local law requirements, the CMR representative claimed that the line was originally buried to 18” code depth and that the line must have floated upward over time. Obviously that’s a ridiculous position, and as others have noted here and in other postings that there is a routine issue of these lines not having been buried sufficiently. My husband then discussed the huge cost of the bill, saying that the repair could not have involved that level of cost. The CMR representative then stated that he would send back-up information to substantiate the cost. This week, we received another letter from CMR. The letter refers to “attached documentation” for the cost assessment. However, the only attachment with the letter is the actual billing statement that we had already received, and the only description of the $369.27 is “Verizon cost to repair facilities.” So my question is: what is the process for challenging the assessment? Other reporters have asserted the CMR contacts bill collectors for unpaid bills. I have no contractual relationship with CMR, and we contacted Verizon concerning the line. I’m assuming, but am not sure, this falls under whatever dispute resolution process governs my service with Verizon, which I assume likely includes an arbitration provision. Does anyone know if that is correct? If so, how does the arbitration process get initiated? Any advice appreciated.
Claims Management Resources (CMR) is a Verizon authorized vendor that provides invoicing services to recover Verizon’s cost to repair damage done to the Company’s facilities. This includes but is not limited to:
• Buried and Aerial lines
• Conduit and vehicles
CMR can handle disputes of claims directly, and works with the local field office that performed the repair. If you wish to dispute a CMR claim, you may contact them by phone at 1-800-321-4158 or by email at email@example.com.