The joy of competition: good-bye, FairPoint! Part 2

FairPoint_logiSo, as I described here, I cut the cord with FairPoint – with the sole reason was that I was not going to pay for bad service.  Yesterday was the cut-over day – the cable guy (no, not THAT Cable Guy!) came over, swapped out my modem for theirs, checked the levels, did a couple of tests, and pronounced us “whole”.  Since then, we did purchase a new cordless / handset system (yes, the guy from FairPoint was right – mostly dead, truth be told).  Let it charge overnight, ported over all the numbers, my headset works, played with the ring tones (dum dada Dum dum, Dum Dada DUM da, DUM DADA DUM da, dum dada dum!) and have made some calls. And cheaper to boot, too.  Happy tie.

But I ran across this a bit ago (bloggers oft bookmark LOTS of stuff they never use or forget they have) so as part of New Year’s “clean up”, a final word on FairPoint.  From the Concord Monitor (12/19) was this rally that the striking FairPoint workers held at the State House that I forgot to use first time around (reformatted, emphasis mine):

Roughly 200 people marched and chanted outside the State House this afternoon, including striking employees of FairPoint Communications, and one man dressed as Santa Claus. “All I want for Christmas is a fair contract,” read many of their signs. Nearly 2,000 FairPoint workers in New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont have been on strike since October, claiming the company won’t negotiate in good faith with them and refuses to compromise as the sides attempt to broker a new contract.  “This is the season of hope. Look around. We have friends. We will stand up for each other,” said Glenn Brackett, business manager of the Manchester-based International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.


A man who said he has worked for telephone companies in New Hampshire for 30 years, who declined to give his name, said he believes this strike is different than the last large-scale labor action for the company’s workers, a 16-week strike in 1989.


Er, I don’t think so – this is just a rerun of the “same old, same old” no matter what the framing is tried:

There’s more support this time from the general public,” he said. “The people realize why we’re doing this, to combat the corporate greed.”

Danny Keating, a steelworker from a non-union shop in Nashua, was one of those supporters. He marched with the strikers “because it’s important to defend the living standards of workers throughout the state,” he said. FairPoint customers in northern New England have been complaining about outages since the first snowstorm of the season last month.

Er, no – we saw a lot of public support for the NON-unionized Market Basket employees.  In fact, if it wasn’t for the public actively participating (and in some cases, leading) with the employees, the effort to restore Arnie T to the CEO-ship would have failed.  That’s number one.

Secondly, the FairPoint workers are ALL about fighting against their management (the typical “us vs them” union animosity), the Market Basket workers were striking FOR their management leader.  So, the second issue is a #FAIL for the striking unions and I don’t see ANY public demonstrations on their side either that would even begin to rise to the level seen with the Market Basket demonstrations. Of course, the Fairpoint unions are calling out their company for “corporate greed”  (and remember, the main purpose of unions is to obtain more power and more money.  Period) – NO different than most every other strike.  The public has seen this over and over again.

And when the public feels it personally, as I did with poor service, the question is “do they blame FairPoint or blame the unions”?  Well, I think both. And then we’re back to the issue of “about outages” and the ability to mitigate such with competitionIn this regard, both FairPoint and its unions caused themselves harm in my case – my money (and less of it) are flowing to them.

I was talking with a friend this morning that would LOVE to switch from their phone provider but can’t – bad cell reception prohibits that move and the only their local phone system provides them with Internet access – they are stuck.  Imagine if there was more choice – and how that would re-shape things?

Just imagine if we could more choice with regard to government services as well?  Thoughts?