If you’ve tried unsuccessfully to get DSL service from Covad Communications and you’ve been told that Verizon is to blame — you may be the victim of deception, according to Verizon. The telecommunications company announced that it
has filed suit in federal court in U.S. District Court for Northern California in San Jose, charging Covad with orchestrating an “intentional campaign of lies and distortions designed to deceive the public and regulators and to shift its operating costs and blame for its own problems to Verizon.” Verizon is seeking injunctive relief against Covad, as well as damages.
Covad submitted more than 22,000 false reports, asserted Verizon. The reports claimed that Verizon failed to provide DSL lines that would have connected Covad DSL customers to the Verizon network. Verizon said that its claim is backed by the testimony of more than two-dozen former Covad employees, who indicate they were pressured and badgered into making false reports.
“The picture we have is of Covad installers being thrown into the field under-trained and under-equipped, while the company was over-promising customers delivery on a schedule it had no hope of meeting,” said Verizon Executive Vice President and General Counsel William Barr. “Then, when the inevitable happened and Covad couldn’t deliver to customers, there was a policy in place to generate false complaints of Verizon service problems in order to cover up the Covad failures. This had the effect of shifting costs from Covad to Verizon.”
Verizon said that Covad cashed in materially on the allegedly false reports — the company had an agreement with Verizon to be paid for faulty loop provisioning.
“Using their bogus trouble tickets, Covad received inflated payments and rebates,” said Barr.
Verizon also claims that Covad used the reports to attempt to gain further concessions from government officials in lobbying visits.