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We have received a bill from Claims Management Resources, Inc. (dba CMR) for the damage of a fiber optic line for $589. CMR is the company Verizon uses to collect on property damage claims. The fiber optic line that was damaged was 1.5 inches deep. I spoke with a damage prevention investigator in the Division of Utility and Rialroad Safety at the State Corporation Comission and he said that the code in Virginia is a minium of 6 inches deep unless under concrete and then it is 2 inches.
Verizon knowingly contracts drop line installation to companys that do not install Verizons fiber optic lines to code. We all know this and so does the SCC. If MIss Utility and damage prevention managers want to stop the excessive cost of utility repairs, start by installing the lines to code. We were removing sod and cut this fiber line.
We were never given the chance to dispute this claim with Verizon. CMR said that the line depth was irrelevant because we were not there when it was initially installed. This is the defense that Verizon and their contractors hide behind and the SCC knows this too. If you can't dispute the depth of the line installed why have a 6 inch minimum code to begin with. My question is does any one have a contact at Verizon that I can dispute this claim with? CMR has denied to reverse this claim. I need to speak to someone at Verizon that change this.
I also encourage individuals to contact your SCC's Utility and Railroad Safety or eqivalent division that oversees underground utility damage prevention and have them investigate violations of the Underground Utility Damage Prevention Act no matter how small. Verizon needs to be held accountable for their contractors work not being installed to code.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
We would suggest escalating this through CMR, as they are responsible for the billing.