Verizon Internet outage affects Martha’s Vineyard users

Some Martha's Vineyard Verizon customers have not had Internet service since Sunday, December 30. — File photo by Ralph Stewart

Updated 9:10 am, Monday, January 7

An extended Internet service outage that began on Sunday, Dec. 30 proved costly and frustrating for some Verizon customers some of whom were without connections for up to five days.

On Monday, several Verizon customers reported Internet service had been restored to all Island customers as of Thursday evening, January 3.

“Due to an equipment problem, we are experiencing an Internet outage affecting some customers on the Island,” Verizon spokesman Phil Santoro told The Times in a telephone call Thursday morning, January 3. “Crews are on the scene making the necessary repairs and we expect to have service restored by Friday.”

Mr. Santoro said the problem originates in a Verizon facility located in Falmouth that was damaged in recent severe weather.

David Perzanowski, co-owner and pharmacist at Vineyard Scripts in Vineyard Haven, said that when he opened for business on Monday, December 31, there was no Internet service at his pharmacy. He uses the Verizon service to verify insurance claims for customers purchasing prescription drugs.

“It used to take about three seconds,” Mr. Perzanowski said. “Now it takes 10-20 minutes. We do more than a hundred a day.”

Mr. Perzanowski expressed frustration with the company’s customer service system. He said he talked to people in India, then Costa Rica, before reaching someone in the United States, but none of the customer service representatives could resolve the problem.

He said customer service representatives told him on Tuesday, then again on Wednesday, that service would be restored by the end of the day. Mr. Perzanowski said the representatives told him the outage affected 278 Island customers.

“They’re not going to reimburse anybody for lost business,” Mr. Perzanowski said. “People just go elsewhere.”

Alan Peterson of Vineyard Haven said he has been without Internet service at his home since December 30, and was unable to make debit card purchases at several area merchants who use Verizon Internet service.

He was also frustrated with the Verizon customer service system. After speaking to representatives in India and Mexico, he went to the Verizon building on Edgartown-Vineyard Haven Road seeking some help. He said no one answered the door at that facility.