TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Companies Want _US_ to Pay For Their Mistakes

Re: Companies Want _US_ to Pay For Their Mistakes

Fred Atkinson (
Sat, 25 Jun 2005 19:39:45 -0400

> In message <> DevilsPGD
> <> wrote:

>> [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: I think they are a little too tricky to
>> fall for that, however. They _might_ pay for one or two hours of your
>> time -- maybe -- but I imagine they would tie it in with getting some
>> statement from your employer about time off the job. They are not
>> going to just send you a couple of regular payroll checks however.

> Why not? If I'm taking 600 hours of time to correct everything, and
> I'm paying for insurance that covers lost wages due to dealing with
> fraud ...

TELECOM Digest Editor noted:

>> if you took time off from work to cure this 'fraud' was it a situation
>> you could not have accomplished during regular off hours from work?
>> PAT]

> That's a good point -- I don't know about you, but my off-hours are more
> important then my work hours.

> In fact, there is even a basis in law for this, in my area overtime
> pay is a minimum of 1.5x your base pay rate.

I admit I've come in on the middle of this and maybe I'm missing
something here.

If you are refering to correcting work that was incorrectly performed
by your company, why wouldn't you be required to correct with without
additional charge? They've already paid you for the work to be done
the right way. Why should they pay you again for fixing work that you
performed incorrectly?

When I was helping my employer (SkyTel) with the telephone grid at the
new office, I proposed installing a Homaco distribution frame. I got
a bid on the thing and they accepted the bid.

When we met with [then] Bell Atlantic (now Verizon, I believe), I
didn't want them terminating RJ-21s on our distribution frame as that
wasn't what RJ-21 should or would have ever been considered for (why
should you install a device with a twenty-five pair amphenol connector
on it when the interconnects were going to be done with cross-connect

I wanted Bell Atlantic to terminate our house cables on the wall in a
phone closet and we would amphenol some twenty-five pairs cables to
run to the frame so we could put their appearance on split sixty-six
blocks. Bell Atlantic said they'd prefer to terminate directly on our
frame. We said we'd agree to that only if split sixty-six blocks were
used as we wouldn't permit RJ-21s (amphenol connectors) being
terminated on our frame. They agreed and we cleared them to terminate
on our distribution frame based upon that agreement.

Several months later (after the frame had been installed in our new
office), I stopped by to see how well the frame was progressing with
the cables (from all the contractors). Guess what I found terminated
on the frame? You guessed it. There were eighteen RJ-21s on our
frame. I told the telco guy that was standing there to prepare to
remove them. He was quite shocked, but I didn't care. When I
returned to the old office, I spoke to our director and we immediately
initiated a conference call to Bell Atlantic on the matter.

I asked our account representative if she recalled our agreement about
them terminating on our frame. She confirmed that she knew that and
remembered it quite well. I then asked her why the RJ-21s had been
installed against our agreement. She pulled out the paperwork she had
sent through and said she had indeed written it up right and
apparently someone had changed it further down the chain of command.

She set us up to meet with the installers and their supervisor. I got
the standard, "that's the way the FCC requires us to do it" speech. I
told them I didn't care what the FCC required and that they were going
to terminate it on the frame the way we had agreed to.

The supervisor was taken by surprise when I told him that we had an
agreement with Bell Atlantic that he had apparently not been told
about. But, he proposed an alternative solution. He wanted to remove
the amphenol connectors and the wires off the RJ-21s, effectively
turning them into split sixty-six blocks. I had them do one right
then. It turned out pretty neatly so I gave them an OK to do it that
way. And it worked pretty well over the time we were in there. I
still have trouble understanding thinking that you are required to
install something with the wrong type of connection to please the FCC.
But, that mentality runs prevalent among Telcos (and I know I'm going
to get jumped here).

Of course, we had to pay for all their time to come back and fix their
mistake. They didn't seem to think that they should be required to do
the work the way we agreed to rather than charging us again for their
time to correct their faulty work.

Time showed that I was right as the frame turned into a pretty
efficient and professional means of interconnecting both our office
grid and all of the equipment in the paging center. In fact, my name
received prominent mention for it when our board of directors sent
down an 'attaboy' letter for all who were on the committee to plan and
implement this distribution frame (because I had proposed it and
personally managed the quality of the installation), the computer
center, and the office grid. It made our interconnct management much
easier. The morning after we moved into the new office (we had
relocated the paging computer and the rest of its facilities over that
weekend and the cutover went without a hitch), the V.P. and directors
from engineering stopped at my desk and shook my hand congratulating
me on how well it had been managed and how quickly and efficiently
they'd been able to hook everything up over the weekend because of
that distribution frame.

And it went so well because I never had any reservation about making
Telco or any other contractor redo their work in the correct manner.
There were a number of times when I made other contractors pull it out
and do it entirely over again. The director of engineering always
backed me when I told them to redo it. And time always showed that I
was right.

But it always amazes me how quick these folks (and I'm not singling
Telco out here) are to charge you for correcting their own deficient



[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: Actually, we were discussing in this
instance how a certain credit card company wanted to sell you
insurance to pay for 'credit card fraud' which you are not responsible
for anyway. And in their pitch to purchase their insurance, they
offered as how it could compensate you for all the 'worry' and 'time
lost from work' that you would spend correcting _their screw-up_. I
mean, can't you imagine some guy telling his boss, "oh, I will be
coming in to work two hours late tomorrow; I have to call the credit
card people, chances are likely I will be kept on hold for at least
an hour before reaching a live person; when I reach a live person,
more than likely I will be 'worried sick' from all the paperwork they
will make me go through, I may not be in at all tomorrow."

Well, that's what the 'credit card fraud insurance' was going to
cover if you bought some. As for me, I'd rather just pay the fifty
dollar maximum loss if they did not agree (nor volunteer to) write
it off after I had harassed them. But your point, of telco totally
disregarding instructions on a work order, then trying to force you
to pay for their mistakes is also a good one. PAT]

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