Vindictive Qwest Employee Slashes Six Phone Lines

KTVZ in Redmond is reporting that a vindictive Qwest employee is running around slashing phone lines “to get back at” another technician. Six phone lines have already been cut, prompting Qwest to launch an investigation.

Janine Butler said, “This person could come into my home during the day, during the evening time. They could steal, rob, rape. We live in a scary time.”

But this isn’t just scary, she says – it’s dangerous. Because they don’t have cell phones, and her husband, Dave, is diabetic, she says her phone line is her lifeline.

“If he went into shock, he could die,” she explained. “It is a life-threatening problem that we have without a phone.”

Bob Gravely can’t say if Qwest is looking at one particular person, but he did say they take any network disruption very seriously, and an investigation was under way immediately.

Stay alert, citizens! The Qwest slasher remains on the loose and is presumably armed with slashing tools. You or your phone line could be next!

Redmond couple told Qwest tech cut phone line [KTVZ] (Thanks to Geoffrey!)


Edit Your Comment

  1. gzusrox says:

    i live 15 miles from redmond.. whoa

  2. MercuryPDX says:

    “…They could steal, rob, rape.”

    No hun, that’s Verizon.

    • DantePD says:

      @MercuryPDX: God, I know I’m going to Hell for laughing at this.
      On topic, whoever they nab on this needs to have the book thrown at them, disrupting a public utility like that is a pretty damned serious crime.

  3. Jonbo298 says:

    Janine Butler said, “This person could come into my home during the day, during the evening time. They could steal, rob, rape. We live in a scary time.”

    That first sentence there was a little over the top for someone going around chopping phone lines. The rest is more in line with the story. Shouldn’t be hard to track down who is doing this.

  4. BigBoat says:

    And not to blame anyone, but if you’re in a situation where you literally depend on your phone line for life-and-death reasons, maybe pick up a cell for emergencies? Those prepaid models are pretty good for that.

  5. Canino says:

    Because they don’t have cell phones, and her husband, Dave, is diabetic, she says her phone line is her lifeline.

    Pro tip: You don’t have to have a cell phone contract if the cell phone is just for calling 911. Even inactivated phones will reach 911. Get a used one from a friend or buy one on ebay.

  6. BeeBoo says:

    Phone company employees have been doing stuff like this for years.

    I lived in an old apartment building and once my line went dead for no apparent reason. The phone repairman had been doing work in the basement that morning.

    When they sent a repairman out the next day, he said my phone had been “yanked” and that some of the guys disconnect lines so that another repair job is needed, that they call it “job security”.

    • u1itn0w2day says:

      @BeeBoo: I’ve heard similar stories as well:”fix one break one”.The most disturbing part is that alot techs supposedly do it not as much for job security but for overtime or they don’t want to leave their current location.

      What I don’t get is that are they talking about a local terminal or distribution box or one of the grey boxes at the house used for an interface.Unless an actual lock is on it isn’t that just what a 7/16 deep socket.

  7. Not Alvis says:

    “If he went into shock, he could die,” she explained. “It is a life-threatening problem that we have without a phone.”

    That’s not fair. Phone service isn’t a guaranteed line of communication.

  8. dragonfire81 says:

    Well I guess I don’t have to worry about my line being cut, after all they are taking it seriously…

  9. MayorBee says:

    Was this her?

  10. coren says:

    So if I follow – this guy who just does stuff outside the house is going to what..walk through the wall? Teleport? to get in and rob and rape or whatever. Or, considering he has the same access to the interior of your house as any other psycho, I wouldnt be that worried.

  11. Marshfield says:

    They can come over and cut my landline. Every time it rings these days it’s either a bill collector or a tele-marketer.

  12. OMG, her husband is a diabetic and her telephone is her life line.

    Let’s clear the air hear. If hubby is such a brittle diabetic that the telephone is litterally a life or death means of communication for emergency care, then I believe hubby should not be living at home.

    It is terrible that somebody cut her telephone line. Terrible.

    But husband’s medical condition does not depend upon the telephone line, he can live without a telephone, so husbands medical condition should have never been part of the complaint.

    Signed: Diabetes not well controlled.

    • Veeber says:

      @Corporate-Shill: While this one woman’s concern may be slightly overblown, anyone can have sudden need of a phone line and when you go to pick it up and it’s not available because some schmuck thinks its appropriate to cut lines willy-nilly it should be unacceptable.

    • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

      i’m amazed that a qwest technician admitted something like that. seems to be potential in there for that technician to get fired also, for going against company policy and showing poor judgement in admission of fault by a representative [technician] of the company

      @Corporate-Shill: from the way you signed, you are maybe also a diabetic? then you know that any diabetic taking insulin or a glucophage could have a serious hypoglycemic episode at any time. i check my glucose every hour and sometimes i have no idea why it has suddenly dropped to a dangerous level. i can’t imagine the cost of health care if all diabetics lived in nursing facilities.

      that being said, my cell phone never leaves my possession and i would never rely on just having a landline to get by in an emergency [which i don’t have actually, someone cut the landline to the house i live in over a year before i moved in here and no one has ever gotten it fixed because bellsouth around here is little better than a pickpocket. in fact they did that to me once – but that’s another story.]

    • Sidecutter says:

      @Corporate-Shill: Yeah, seriously, he needs assisted living if he’s that bad. I’ve been diabetic since i was FOUR. 23 years. Her husband should be able to feel the symptoms of a low blood sugar in *plenty* of time to eat something. You have to be really, really low and completely inattentive to the symptoms to be in a situation that serious.

  13. Sherryness says:

    Is this Redmond Washington or Redmond Oregon?

  14. dakker says:

    Redmond Oregon by the link, but there is also a Redmond Ohio out there too i thought it could have been.

  15. The_IT_Crone says:

    Hey folks, I’m pretty sure the “steal, rob, rape” line means that if those things happen then they’d have no way of calling 911- not that the rogue technician is going to do those things.

    Your “Jump to Conclusions” Mat is right over there ->

    • floraposte says:

      @The_IT_Crone: No, it’s pretty clear that she’s talking about the Qwest employee, as there’s no other individual who could be “this person” in the original article.

      It sounds like all the woman’s information comes from a gossipy tech, though, and I wonder how reliable the tech’s information is.

  16. I’m torn

    On the one hand I have to agree with the comments regarding the woman and her Diabetic husband. In the same situation I would have an emergency phone. Good tip up there about even inactive Cell phones reaching 911.

    On the other hand this is a Qwest employee disrupting Qwest services. this guy will probably get fired, be sued by Qwest, and be unable to use Qwest for an employment reference. Idiot.

  17. cobaltthorium says:

    No “Taking it seriously” tag, consumerist? I’m disappointed, and you don’t want to disappoint me early on Monday morning ;)

  18. nursetim says:

    I am not insulting the wife, but since they don’t have a cell phone, and she is so worried about her husband going into insulin shock, I guess he doesn’t leave the house, since it can happen in public as well as at home. I agree it is a bad thing to have some nit wit cutting phone lines, but she can tone down the hysteria a little. I do agree an inactive cell phone is a great idea, just to have when going out.

  19. johnnya2 says:

    What would this woman do if there were major storm that knocked out her phone line? Get a grip, and buy a cell phone if its that much of an issue. If you do not want to why couldn’t you rush him to the hospital,or go to a neighbors phone.
    This is a disgruntled employee doing something stupid, but if you eat at restaurants, you may not want ot know what really disgruntled employees do.

  20. satoru says:

    To say it was deliberatly cut is a stretch in my book. I mean sure it can happen, but one would argue how some technician made the connection that the cut line was some kind of deliberate retaliation against him specifically? He must think he’s pretty important :P. The 1 hour of work to disconnect is a bit of a stretch. It’s much easier to destroy something than to undo it. They probably just pulled out the wire of a random pair, then just leave it to the technician to fix which would indeed take hours of tracing the pair back to the source.

    I would more likely attribute this to simple stupidity. If you’ve ever seen the nest of disaster that a typical box looks like you’d think so. They probably were working on some other person’s line and disconnected this couple’s line by accident.

  21. blackmage439 says:

    “they take any network disruption very seriously”

    Oh, well then I see no problem here. I trust that Qwest will very seriously get to the bottom of this, and very seriously reprimand whoever is to blame.

  22. Ninjanice says:

    It sounds to me like the tech on the phone thinks everyone/everything is out to get him. May be he’s one of those people that thinks everything bad that happens to him is part of a conspiracy. Seems to me if he was having a problem like this, he’d make a complaint about the tech who’s apparently going around cutting people’s phone lines. It stinks that the couple lost their service, but it happens. Unfortunately, no communications service can guarantee service 100% of the time- it’s impossible.

  23. HFC says:

    Maybe this Comcast tech moved over to Quest.

    TCM:TNG has got to be one of the worst movies ever made. I’m a big horror fan (that’s what HF stands for) and I enjoy bad horror movies, but that movie gives bad horror movies a bad name.

  24. Keep talking...I'm listening says:

    I feel relieved that Quest is ‘taking it very seriously’