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Thread: Verizon Clearing "low impact" Tickets?

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    Senior Member Nb22x's Avatar
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    Question Verizon Clearing "low impact" Tickets?

    In my area Verizon has started clearing "low impact" tickets; fence, sign post, homeowner calls, stump grinding, mailbox, pole installs etc.
    The manager is saying Verizon wants to save money on locates, so they screen all the tickets and decide which ones they don't want to pay for.
    That's great for me, I have easier days now, not so great for the company's bottom line.

    I guess it's cheaper for them to just repair their lines than pay for all the locates?

    This happening to anyone else?
    Homeowner - "They still bury lines in the ground?
    I thought they didn't do that anymore!"
    Me - "Yes sir they do."
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    Homeowner - "...But you're painting all over people's property"
    Me - "Yes I am. It's the law."
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    Default Re: Verizon Clearing "low impact" Tickets?

    they have been doing it for a long time now. Verizon clears up to 50% of the clears depending on the state. it is a smart move on their part.

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    Default Re: Verizon Clearing "low impact" Tickets?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nb22x View Post
    In my area Verizon has started clearing "low impact" tickets; fence, sign post, homeowner calls, stump grinding, mailbox, pole installs etc.
    The manager is saying Verizon wants to save money on locates, so they screen all the tickets and decide which ones they don't want to pay for.
    That's great for me, I have easier days now, not so great for the company's bottom line.

    I guess it's cheaper for them to just repair their lines than pay for all the locates?

    This happening to anyone else?
    charter and century link tried this before. charter just told them if you see charter in the dig area just mark it and bill us. Several locators just basically said f**k it, if the code was not on the ticket they didn't bother to look up the print and if it got hit so be it.

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    Senior Member FiosKing's Avatar
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    Default Re: Verizon Clearing "low impact" Tickets?

    Quote Originally Posted by paintitnow View Post
    charter and century link tried this before. charter just told them if you see charter in the dig area just mark it and bill us. Several locators just basically said f**k it, if the code was not on the ticket they didn't bother to look up the print and if it got hit so be it.
    oh my, good old century link
    "What Are You Doin!?!? GET THE HELL OFF MY LAWN!"
    you have entered a restricted area

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    Senior Member ProfessionalLocator's Avatar
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    Default Re: Verizon Clearing "low impact" Tickets?

    Verizon is doing this in Virginia, sort of.

    Looks like they went through their prints and "un gridded" areas that show nothing buried. This way a ticket is not even generated for them. This way the locate company never gets paid for many no conflict / clear tickets.

    The problem is their drawings do not show services and often are not updated to show new main installations yet or old ones were never put on the drawing.
    Then they wait for the excavator to call in a "three hour notice" tickets which gets a Verizon code added to it and sent to the locate company.

    A three hour ticket is for where the the excavator calls in that the entire area of the ticket was not marked or they see evidence of an unmarked line. This is considered an error on the locate firms part and Verizon does not pay for three hour tickets so they now get a free locate.

    The problem Verizon faces in Virginia is this will result in damages and the state fines every damage up to $2,500. Since Verizon intentionally stopped a ticket from being issued in an area they knew they may have had lines buried where a ticket was previously issued they face massive fines. I don't think the State Corporation Commission has caught on to this yet.

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    Senior Member ProfessionalLocator's Avatar
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    Default Re: Verizon Clearing "low impact" Tickets?

    One thing I forgot. The state can and will fine for digging without a ticket even if nothing is damaged. The intentional altering of records to prevent a ticket from being issued can count as the same thing. Possibility of tens of thousands of tickets being fined.


    Quote Originally Posted by ProfessionalLocator View Post
    Verizon is doing this in Virginia, sort of.

    Looks like they went through their prints and "un gridded" areas that show nothing buried. This way a ticket is not even generated for them. This way the locate company never gets paid for many no conflict / clear tickets.

    The problem is their drawings do not show services and often are not updated to show new main installations yet or old ones were never put on the drawing.
    Then they wait for the excavator to call in a "three hour notice" tickets which gets a Verizon code added to it and sent to the locate company.

    A three hour ticket is for where the the excavator calls in that the entire area of the ticket was not marked or they see evidence of an unmarked line. This is considered an error on the locate firms part and Verizon does not pay for three hour tickets so they now get a free locate.

    The problem Verizon faces in Virginia is this will result in damages and the state fines every damage up to $2,500. Since Verizon intentionally stopped a ticket from being issued in an area they knew they may have had lines buried where a ticket was previously issued they face massive fines. I don't think the State Corporation Commission has caught on to this yet.

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    Senior Member CableAvoidanceTool's Avatar
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    Default Re: Verizon Clearing "low impact" Tickets?

    Is verizon still in house locating in New York? It would not surprise me if they were doing the same thing there. They don't have enough field staff members as it is for repairing and maintaining the physical plant. They basically have a skeleton crew. They probably couldn't get to all the locate tickets if they wanted too.

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    Default Re: Verizon Clearing "low impact" Tickets?

    Just found out last week that Verizon is doing the same thing here in Delaware. They're reviewing them in NC and if they don't see anything on a print they kill the ticket from there. Just waiting for the day when someone calls in a ticket, they clear it, and catch a major damage. Their excuse is, "It's working in NY." Just it works in NY doesn't mean it'll work anywhere else.

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    Default Re: Verizon Clearing "low impact" Tickets?

    Charter has been doing this in my area for awhile now. Their prints are bad. Some fibers don't show up that carry 911. Just waiting for the 10:00 news to report "we called 911 and the line was dead".

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    Default Re: Verizon Clearing "low impact" Tickets?

    seems like a very sketchy business practice. Its smart yet dumb as everyone knows things aren't as they always seem when you arrive at a site. Sometime the distance is way off or the directions are wrong. This is why a locating firm has a progressive pay scale, it benefits both parties to insure the prevention of damages and both the locating company and the utility company are happy. They don't charge much if no locate is required compared to a locate. I know around here the utility company pay like a 1.50 to the 811 service on every ticket. Factor that in as well as the administrative wages to have someone lookup a ticket and clear it out and the potential for damages, do they really save that much if the locating company only charges like 7 bucks for a site visit?

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    Default Re: Verizon Clearing "low impact" Tickets?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Edward View Post
    seems like a very sketchy business practice. Its smart yet dumb as everyone knows things aren't as they always seem when you arrive at a site. Sometime the distance is way off or the directions are wrong. This is why a locating firm has a progressive pay scale, it benefits both parties to insure the prevention of damages and both the locating company and the utility company are happy. They don't charge much if no locate is required compared to a locate. I know around here the utility company pay like a 1.50 to the 811 service on every ticket. Factor that in as well as the administrative wages to have someone lookup a ticket and clear it out and the potential for damages, do they really save that much if the locating company only charges like 7 bucks for a site visit?
    I think it's more than sketchy, outright illegal in some areas. As I understand the dig laws in Virginia they are refusing a locate request that is demanded by the state. But they are Verizon and they are big money. They may not own the commissions that regulate us but you can bet they own the politicians that control those commissions.

    While we see it as just a maybe $7 dollar ticket multiply that by the number of clear tickets a year in those states. lets say there are an average of two thousand clear tickets a day statewide eliminated, at $7 each that is $14,000 a day. That then becomes $70,000 a week which is $3,640,000 a year. This new 'program' is in multiple states showing central planning. I can see the production numbers and my estimates on ticket volume are lower than what I think they really are.

    For us locators it means millions of dollars in lost income.

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    Default Re: Verizon Clearing "low impact" Tickets?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Edward View Post
    seems like a very sketchy business practice. Its smart yet dumb as everyone knows things aren't as they always seem when you arrive at a site. Sometime the distance is way off or the directions are wrong. This is why a locating firm has a progressive pay scale, it benefits both parties to insure the prevention of damages and both the locating company and the utility company are happy. They don't charge much if no locate is required compared to a locate. I know around here the utility company pay like a 1.50 to the 811 service on every ticket. Factor that in as well as the administrative wages to have someone lookup a ticket and clear it out and the potential for damages, do they really save that much if the locating company only charges like 7 bucks for a site visit?
    A friend who works for usic told me that charter had said if charter is in conflict locate it and bill the ticket it. most of the guys figured it was a hassle and just said f*#k it, if it is not on the ticket they were not going to bother look up the print

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    Default Re: Verizon Clearing "low impact" Tickets?

    Quote Originally Posted by paintitnow View Post
    A friend who works for usic told me that charter had said if charter is in conflict locate it and bill the ticket it. most of the guys figured it was a hassle and just said f*#k it, if it is not on the ticket they were not going to bother look up the print
    If we get to a site and Verizon is not on ticket and instead of being overhead there is buried Verizon there we do nothing. If they are not going to pay us to go to site and confirm it is overhead like they should then we are not going through the extra effort of marking and then aruguing with them to pay for marking. I say arguing becasue we have no client code on ticket to bill to. The ticket marking computer program has no way of billing this. It all has to be manually done starting at the locator level. It is extra work , manhours spent from the locato to production report to billing and everything in between.

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    Default Re: Verizon Clearing "low impact" Tickets?

    Quote Originally Posted by ProfessionalLocator View Post
    If we get to a site and Verizon is not on ticket and instead of being overhead there is buried Verizon there we do nothing. If they are not going to pay us to go to site and confirm it is overhead like they should then we are not going through the extra effort of marking and then aruguing with them to pay for marking. I say arguing becasue we have no client code on ticket to bill to. The ticket marking computer program has no way of billing this. It all has to be manually done starting at the locator level. It is extra work , manhours spent from the locato to production report to billing and everything in between.
    we have some areas that will miss like the last house on the line and we just add the member to the ticket real quick, pretty simple for us. This isn't because the utility doesn't want to pay for the ticket its just a goof. Verizon is just being silly and whomever the locate company that has that contract should be setting them straight.

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    Senior Member CableAvoidanceTool's Avatar
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    Default Re: Verizon Clearing "low impact" Tickets?

    That's why I think a simple billing system is best. A ticket is a ticket. Period. It's fair to both parties.

    You would get the same rate for a simple clear compared to a major mark out. The logic is that over time, it will average out to become fair to both sides. That the contractor will get enough small easy jobs to balance out the large, difficult jobs. As well as keeping the billing process very simple as only the number of locate requests are needed to compute a bill.

    One problem with charging more for mark out tickets compared to charging less for clear tickets. Is that a contractor can mark out just a tiny 10 foot bit of underground lines that is actually clear of conflict with the work area, and bill for a mark out price. The contractor can manipulate the system in his favor this way. If your state says that any underground line outside of a 30 foot distance of the premarks is clear and doesn't need to be legally marked, the contractor can still mark a little bit of those lines anyway and make more money per locate request. Despite his contract promising a lower rate for clear tickets.

    One problem with "flat rate" contracts, where the client only pays a set amount per month regardless of how many tickets are called in, is that it usually favors the utility company. Because only THEY know for sure how many tickets they got last year, which is the only meaningful information to be used when estimating how many will get called in for next year. So they could tell all bidders "Oh, we only got 100,000 tickets last year" when they ask for that information to form a bid on. When in reality, they got 150,000 tickets. So the new contractor is trapped in a low bid thinking they will get x tickets, when it's really 50% more.
    Nb22x likes this.

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