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Verizon and Cox Cable end in-person visits due to coronavirus concerns

Your cable is out and you want the technician to arrive and help you?

That might not be possible right now.

Due to the coronavirus and social distancing directives, cable firms will still send out a technician as a last resort, but they might not enter your home.

Cox Cable, which serves 19 states across the U.S., has stopped sending people for in-home visits, and instead has begun doing smartphone video conferences with customers, sometimes even from the truck outside their home, to troubleshoot. 

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Cox is working with a company named Help Lightning, which says it can “provide remote assistance as though they’re working side-by-side.” Technicians can demonstrate by drawing on the screen and providing examples and directions on screen. 

“When a technician arrives, he or she contacts the customer as normal, but asks if they would prefer to call, text and/or video chat,” says Cox spokesman Todd Smith.  

Cox technicians will talk the customer through the steps needed to fix things, and if requested, show examples of what to do via the webchat.

Verizon has also stopped routinely sending technicians to the home. It has limited installs to just medical emergencies and “critical” installations. For other customers, Verizon has moved to remote video chats, similar to Cox. 

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