Verizon Cutting Technician, Call-Center Workforce By 1,700

It’s now going to be slightly more difficult to get your Verizon landline serviced or get through to someone at a Verizon call center, after Big Red announced this morning that it intends to cut about 1% of its total workforce.

The company says it will be making buyout offers to some technicians and call-center employees but that it may have to lay people off the old-fashioned way if not enough workers go voluntarily.

According to the Chicago Tribune, the plan was announced to union workers last week.

A company rep says that the buyouts are being offered because of a “workforce surplus” in Verizon’s landline segment, which — like all landline businesses — has been hit by the increasing number of people going wireless-only.

Verizon to cut 1,700 technician, call center jobs [Chicago Tribune]

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  1. NorthJersey says:

    Ugh. Even before this announcement, the average hold time trying to get through to tech support for me has been over an hour, then I have to deal with incompetent script-reading monkeys before getting my issue properly escalated. Until recently, Verizon had provided me reasonably-good service. I will never give up my landline phone lines and I miss being able to dial 611 for repair and getting a human being on the line almost immediately.

    I’m sorta-regretting going to FiOS in one sense; in order to get that service and all its high-bandwidth glory, I had to agree (at the time) to disconnect my copper loop and go digital voice as well. Well, when we got the big October Surprise snowstorm last fall and the electricity failed, we lost dial tone 6 hours later. Copper loop users never did. I’m guessing even if I provided my own UPS, that still would only buy us a few more hours; a pittance in the event of a long-term outage.

    • That guy. says:

      Land lines, not being tied to internet providers, or the power company, are extremely useful to have for emergencies.

    • phil says:

      Having also gone through long power outages – and being a FiOS customer who had to give up the copper line: Yeah, the battery in the FiOS box only lasts about 6 hours. However, if you’re electrically savvy, it’s just a basic 12 volt system. There are lots of ways to get it going using a car or other conveniently available power source.

      One warning on FiOS boxes: Pay attention to exactly what is powered by the backup battery. For example, my box’s backup battery supplies phone – but not internet or TV (I suspect most FiOS boxes work the same way). I have a generator, so I was able to get the kids a few hours of TV – but had to remember to also power the FiOS interface box, even though its internal backup battery was still up.

      • adent1066 says:

        I believe that’s 6 hours of talk time. During an emergency or blackout, I don’t think you should pass the time chatting it up with friends :)

        • phil says:

          Even when the battery was newer than it is now, the max I’ve seen is about 8 hours (non-talk).

          Sadly, my battery has had a number of hard charge/discharge cycles since then (I was without power for almost 7 days after Irene).

          I live in a small neighborhood surrounded by newer neighborhoods with better power infrastructure. When they lose power for 2-3 hours, we lose it for 2-3 days…

          • RvLeshrac says:

            Why are you wasting power on the television, except as-needed for news?

            • phil says:

              Because after a few days, the novelty dealing with storm aftermath wears thin – particularly for 3 young children.

  2. Goatweed says:

    I had to call Tech Support this weekend to have my ONT reset as part of a router upgrade and the hold time was about 25 minutes. The tech was great and very knowledgeable (he didn’t just have me reboot things ad nauseum) and granted it was a Saturday morning but 25 minutes seemed excessive to me. I guess it will be longer now.

    • Jawaka says:

      Are they cutting tech support across the board or only for land line support as the story says?

  3. coffee100 says:

    If you work for a large American company and you lose your job, it’s your own fault.

    Stop buying their shitty products and stop accepting their shitty job offers.

  4. mbz32190 says:

    After 6 times of my parent’s landline going out due to weather issues, and several “repairs”, the line still went out frequently for no reason. Verizon wasn’t so quick to make a permanent repair, but they were great and hounding me to upgrade to FIOS to fix my “connection issues”. They dumped Verizon and got them a MagicJack instead. They really only use the landline for doctors appointment reminders, bills, etc. and didn’t want to have to change their phone number ($20 one-time-porting charge) Now they have unlimited calling for the price of 2 months of Verizon’s service-for the entire year. Screw you Verizon!

  5. u1itn0w2day says:

    For Verizon and the other crybaby bells they are simply executing plans they wanted in place shortly after being torn away from mommy bell in the 1980s. After being giving a three week deadline for problems in their/my landline 3 years ago I don’t think the current layoffs will make much of a difference. In many areas you used to get sameday or 24 hour service/response well into the new millenia.

    Unions and corporate greed do not bode well for any customer.

    • RvLeshrac says:

      None of the call-centre positions involve unions. This is entirely corporate greed. They *could* move the employees over to the wireless/internet side of the business, since they clearly don’t have enough people to handle calls, but they’re choosing to get rid of them instead.

  6. Leohat says:

    I can tell you that Verizon Wireless is also cutting staff and closing several call centers