When Clearwave Communications was working in a Waterloo woman’s front yard in late July, something went wrong.
As the company was laying new fiber optic lines, it damaged the sewer line to Layvonne Gillison’s home, resulting in over $16,000 of repairs being needed.
“When any digging is done, our company contacts the Digger’s Hotline, which then works with the appropriate parties to mark their buried lines and pipes,” Clearwave Communications representative Patricia Niemann said. “In this case, the local municipality marked part of their sewer line, but missed the lateral going to the customer, which was the sewer pipe we subsequently drilled into.”
Gillison said she was told by a Monroe County employee who inspected her property that the lines were properly marked.
The project manager at the time said simple proof of Clearwave damaging the line was all that was needed to ensure the company would cover the cost of repairs.
Gillison obtained that, taking a photo of the orange cable in her sewer line, but started getting caught up in red tape as she worked with Clearwave’s insurance company.
“I’ve been fighting and fighting, and I’ve been getting the run around,” Gillison said. “I was very frustrated.”
So, Gillison contacted the Republic-Times with her story – including sending copies of the $16,323.36 in receipts for repairs needed at her home.
We reached out to Clearwave Communications, who later that same day scheduled a time for general manager Frank Maydak to deliver a check for that amount to Gillison at her bank on Friday.
“He really shocked me because he was not only going to cut me a check, but he was bringing it to me,” Gillison said. “I was blown away.”
Niemann maintained that Clerwave is not liable in this matter, but she said it was important for the business to do right by Gillison.
“We understand that none of this is Mrs. Gillison’s fault, however, and very much regret the frustration she’s experienced throughout this process,” Niemann said. “We recognize that we have a responsibility to our customers and the communities where we do business, and our goal – always – is ensure that we are the kind of company that our communities are proud to call a neighbor.
“Additionally, we have an excellent relationship with the City (of Waterloo) and realize that mistakes like these can sometimes happen. While ultimate liability doesn’t lie with Clearwave in this situation, we are invested in the communities we serve and we’re committed to making things right for Mrs. Gillison.”
Clearwave, an internet service provider based in Harrisburg, is expanding its network for businesses in Monroe County by the end of the year.