Yikes! Verizon exec is tone deaf!

The headline alone - "FiOS Smokes" - has me wondering what a Verizon senior vice president might be smoking as he blogs.

But then there's the very first word of Eric Rabe's latest contribution to this ongoing brouhaha that's being fueled both by FiOS installers laying waste to customer homes and Verizon PR laying waste to common sense:

"Yikes!" Rabe writes ... as in "Oopsie, look what silly ol' we did again."

What the Verizon installer did was cause $2,650 worth of damage to a Philadelphia family's home by drilling through an electrical wire and generating billows of smoke. Last time it was setting fire to a house in Needham, Mass. The Philly episode came with an added bonus from a public relations perspective: That house belongs to a business writer for the Associated Press, who told the smoky tale in an otherwise glowing review of FiOS.

Which brings me to my next point about Rabe's post: Yes, it was chock full of all the appropriate contrition and explanations ... but he just couldn't leave well enough alone.

"The good news is that (the AP reporter) loves his FiOS service ... now that it is up and working," Rabe writes. "As a friend wrote to me earlier, 'If he had this sort of problem when it was installed, and still likes FiOS this much, it must be a great service!' "

You betcha! What's that number to call again?

Now don't get me wrong: I don't want to get too high and mighty about tone and tactics in the middle of a tempest that has seen me turn on all the snarkiness and hyperbole I can muster.

But at the same time, it's not my company that's been filling customer homes with smoke. If it were, I'm quite sure that I would know enough to keep my inner smart aleck in check ... and I certainly wouldn't see it as another sales opportunity.

Then again, I don't work in PR.

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