Just completed my daily call to Verizon to check status of a 3 week old order for new service at my cottage. Today I was told it would be an additional 7-10 days because they have to construct a new pole and apparently run 8-10 miles of wiring to get me up and running, even though all of my neighbors have great, working service.
My question is this, is Verizon required to do all this work for little old me? It seems like I'm getting the runaround, and now that I've finally gotten a straight answer about what needs to be done, I am a little concerned. This seems like an extremely large and expensive project for one little customer. How do I make sure they complete this job as soon as possible? We have no available cell service in the area, so we have no emergency communication available at our cottage.
Verizon landline service is generally subject to fairly rigid regulation from the State, and sometimes Local Government. Part of being a regulated monopoly with a guaranteed profit margin, and having the local telephone franchise is that often within the service area of the franchise, any customer who wants landline telephone service has to be provided with the service at price regulated by the State Corporation or Public Utilities Commission. It is a tariffed service, and in general, if it is a tariffed service in the area you live in, the service must be provided, regardless of cost. In addition, many states also require that it be provided within a fixed time period (often 30 days or less), or the provider may forfeit the installation charge, and/or the provider may be required to provide you with cell service if it is available, at the landline rate until they are able to provide the landline service.
There are some exceptions. If there isn't a local franchise, then in at least some states, the provider can charge an installation charge that reflects the actual cost of providing the service (which in this case could be quite substantial). In these cases however, if the company subsequently is able to use the infrastructure you have paid for, to service other customers, they are generally required to pay you a portion of that revenue from other customers until such time as either the other customers go away, or they have repaid to you the entire cost of the infrastructure you paid for.
I can assure you that Verizon isn't spending the money to provide the service because they want to. It is far more likely that they didn't have a choice. You are probably living in an area where they have a franchise, and have tariffed landline services.