Google Fiber’s storm outage fallout lingers as some KC customers wait for bill credit

The wait continues for some Kansas City-area Google Fiber customers as the company has been slow to hand out credits after its lengthy service outage last month.

An unreported number of internet and Fiber TV customers were in the dark, some for a dozen days, after a mid-January winter storm ripped fiber optic lines away from utility poles and damaged central stations called Fiber huts.

Google Fiber’s policy has been to credit customers automatically for such outages and other service problems.

But when John Evans opened his February bill, there was no credit for his storm-induced outage. He asked customer service why.

“All she said was, ‘We are still calculating the credits.’ No idea why it takes so long, or when they’d be done with their math,” Evans said Monday in an email.

Google Fiber, through a spokeswoman, confirmed that credits for the storm outage appeared on some customers’ February bills but not all. She said credits would appear on the March bills for those not receiving a credit on their current bills.

“This is an exceptional situation, therefore we’re having to make many of these adjustments manually, which is why some people got them in this month’s bill and some will get them in March,” the emailed Google Fiber statement said.

The spokeswoman also said the company apologizes for any confusion the delay has caused.

Customers say they are further confused because some did receive other credits on their February bills.

Evans said his February bill included a credit for “customer service issues” in January unrelated to the outage from the storm.

Jeff Buckley, one of Evans’ neighbors in south Kansas City, said he received no outage credit on his February bill despite being without service for 12 days. He did receive a different credit.

Google Fiber’s slow repairs prompted Buckley to switch to Spectrum for his internet service. So once Google Fiber restored his service Jan. 24, he changed his plan from high-speed internet that cost $70 a month to the basic service that costs nothing for the first seven years.

Thing is, Buckley already had paid for the faster service for all of January.

Buckley’s February bill credited him for Jan. 24 through Jan. 31, the days he had paid for fast service but did not get it because he downgraded to the free plan.

“They have not credited me for the time between Jan. 12th and 24th,” Buckley said.

Kim Riley, a Kansas City customer in the Waldo area, already was a basic service customer. She had paid the $300 to have Google Fiber installed and is getting the basic free for those first several years. She wants to find out if she can get an extension on her free basic service to account for the lengthy outage.

The spokeswoman for Google Fiber said the company could not discuss specific cases but urged subscribers to call customer assistance if they have questions.

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