Phone strike slows campus service

(U-WIRE) MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Verizon Communications has estimated that hundreds of West Virginia University students are still without telephones, but several students feel the company and the university are not aware exactly how many students are without service.

I don’t think they realize how many of us are without phones on campus, said Jon Williams, a history major. Because I know at least 50 students alone without phones.

Verizon’s management has developed a plan to help West Virginia students obtain telephone service.

The University and the phone company have no idea how many of us are without a telephone; no one has even asked us, said Tony Steel, an English major. I don’t think the University even cares that we can’t call home.

Verizon has taken several steps to work with the university to ease the situation.

I contacted the university because I know the situation students are in without phones, said Doug Haught, assistant manager of Verizon West Virginia. It has to be hard to be at school away from home without a telephone to contact anyone.

Verizon is aware that students have received a busy signal or a recording when trying to contact the company for new telephone service. Starting Thursday, students have the option of obtaining a telephone application at the school’s help desk located.

I cannot guarantee service to be completed right away, but what this will do is help move the paperwork and setup along, Haught said.

We know that this isn’t even the best situation, but it should certainly help, Haught said.

I would think there is something that the company could do for us, Williams said. With (Verizon) being the only phone company in town they should be more prepared for situations such as a strike.

Verizon officials say they feel that students have been misinformed while the company has been on strike.

Most people are under the understanding that if there is a telephone jack in their apartment we should be able to hook up their phones, Haught said. But this is not the case. It is whether or not the facilities and equipment are still in the area.

Haught’s main concern is that students have been told there will be a long waiting period after the strike is settled.

There will be a short backlog period, but the rumor of having to wait till December is that, just a rumor, Haught said.

Students still feel they are being misled by the phone company.

I know with this many students without phones it is going to take a while to get phones, and as of right now they aren’t even taking phone orders, and management can’t even give us any answers, Steel said.

They have told me so many different things, I don’t think they even know what is going on or when we will get phones, Williams said.

-Laura JanovichThe Daily Athenaeum (West Virginia U.)

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