The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 23,250 investigative stories — both print and broadcast. These stories are searchable online or by contacting the Resource Center directly (573-882-3364 or email@example.com) where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need. Browse or search the tipsheet section of our library below. Stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center:
The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 23,250 investigative stories — both print and broadcast.
These stories are searchable online or by contacting the Resource Center directly (573-882-3364 or firstname.lastname@example.org) where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.
Browse or search the tipsheet section of our library below. Stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center:
Search results for "phone service" ...
A deaf crime victim calls police for help, but instead gets tased, beat-up, and thrown in jail for 60 hours over Easter weekend without access to an interpreter. KIRO 7’s investigative team proves police manipulated their reports to defend their actions. We also uncovered jail guards offered the deaf inmate a broken TTY phone as her only means of communication. We found that device still broken and in service two months later.
This series looked at why fire-and-rescue workers were unable to save a woman trapped inside her home even though she was on the phone with a dispatcher giving directions to her upstairs bedroom. The reporting found that volunteers who responded that night did not use thermal imaging equipment that could have helped them find the victim, Sandy Hill; that they did not place a ladder at either of the windows in her bedroom; that they were slow to ventilate the house and remove the smoke that killed her; and that they did not question people who had escaped the house about her location. Additional reporting exposed systemic weaknesses in Spotsylvania's fire-and-rescue services, which rely on self-governing volunteer departments and a smaller number of career personnel hired and directed by the county. These weaknesses include a poorly structured chain of command, lack of communication, insufficient training for man volunteers, and a failure to enforce existing regulations due in large part to friction between the career and volunteer units.
"Politicians' Telecoms Wronged Consumers"; QAI: A legacy of success or slams?; Commerce official's past includes telecom trouble
This special report by the Pioneer Press exposes ties between the Governor and Auditor of Minnesota and New Access Communications, a telephone company accused of fraud. According to the report, Gov. Tim Pawlenty was a director of NewTel Holdings, New Access' parent company, when complaints were filed against New Access. The complaints accused New Access of "overcharging some customers and tricking others into changing their telephone services." Auditor Patricia Awada was the owner of Capitol Verification, which was a company designed to verify that customers really wanted to change their phone service. However, according to the report, Awada's company did not always complete that goal.
According to the article, "Across the nation, complaints against local phone companies are rising sharply as customers deal with long delays in getting their phones connected, missed appointments for home calls and other poor service. The Federal Communications Commission, which recently held a forum on the issue, says complaints rose 82 percent for the first half of 1999, compared with a year earlier."
According to this brief article, "The government is expected to adopt tougher rules to reduce illegal 'slamming,' in which telephone companies switch customers' long-distance service without their consent. The biggest change expected from the FCC today is a plan to exempt victims of slamming from paying any long-distance phone charges to the offending company for period of time, probably 30 days."
It's the Phone Man At the Door -- and He Has a Deal on Cable TV: As Competition Breaks Out, A Traveling Salesman Finds a Jaded Audience
The Wall Street Journal reports on the emerging "Head-to-head competition for cable-TV service." The story looks at Ameritech's door-to-door marketing strategy, which attracting many of the disappointed customers of local cable providers.
Early stories report on "accusations of bias at the state Public Service Commission in Tallahassee by Supra Telecom, Florida's largest alternative local phone company," according to the contest questionnaire. Supra claims the commission has been unfair in handling its corporate dispute with BellSouth. Later stories are about Supra's slide into bankruptcy, and point to questions about the quality of its financial reports.
The Philadelphia Inquirer examines the cause of cell phone "dead spots" -- places where a cell phone user can't get service. Gelles writes that cell phone networks "are strongest in city centers, transportation hubs and major traffic corridors." But customers want to use them at their homes, where the networks are weak.
Tough Calls. It's hard not to notice phone service leaves a lot to be desired. Fault all competition; 'slamming,' cramming' are the means to an end. Signing up the deceased.
Phone-company executives and the regulators who monitor their service acknowledge that service is both deteriorating and becoming more complex. Phone companies are merging and acquiring assets as they attempt to invade the turf of others and defend their own in newly competitive markets.
Deregulated. Deregulation was supposed to cut prices, expand choice, enhance service --improve your life. So how come you're not smiling?
Broken promises, deceptive marketing, and dreadful service have become accepted business practices in an increasingly Wild West marketplace, where incessant telemarketers interrupt your dinner but customer service won't answer the phone. The author links this business practices to deregulation.