Activation of Phone Lines Behind Schedule

First-Years Left Without Service Despite Repeated Requests, Told 'Don't Worry'

When Margarita L. LaPlaza '96 wanted a phone line connected in her Pforzheimer House bedroom, she called the Harvard Student Telephone Office (HSTO) and thought she would soon have a dial tone.

LaPlaza, like many other students, said yesterday she waited more than a week for her phone line to be activated.

Although the University's contract with New York New England Exchange (NYNEX) calls for phone installation within three days, the actual time has often been longer, according to Nancy Kinchla, manager of telephone productions at the Office of Information Technology (OIT).

During the week of September 11, all average of 25 students requested new phone lines every day, OIT officials said.

After pressure from OIT, NYNEX promised to complete all current student requests for installation of phone lines by Friday, September 29, Kinchla said.


NYNEX officials contacted yesterday refused to comment.

The telephone company has delayed accepting requests for lines in bedrooms in first-year dormitories until October. Once those requests are filled, Kinchla said she estimates NYNEX will have activated 300 lines on campus.

The delay in activation has frustrated students eager to have phone lines activated.

"I called the student telephone office on Friday, September 15, and they told me 'Don't worry about it,'" LaPlaza said. "They said the line would be on by the following Wednesday."

According to LaPlaza, when she got home from work on Wednesday the line was still dead.

She said she called the phone office the following Thursday, Friday and Monday, and every time NYNEX told her someone would get back to her.

LaPlaza's phone was finally installed Monday afternoon

"At the end they were very nice but it took a while to get there." LaPlaza said.

Part of the reason for the delay is the process students must go through to request new services or register complaints, she said.

According to Kinchla, when students want these additional services, they have to call the OIT and the OIT, in turn, has to call NYNEX.