It’s been less than two months since Frontier Communications took over FiOs Internet, phone and television services from Verizon, and users are still reporting problems.
Since April 1, there have been 619 consumer complaints made to the Public Utilities Commission in the state, and more than 400 have been filed since April 28, said Terry Hadley, director of communication for PUC.
The commission regulates utilities statewide, but only has authority over the phone service that Frontier now provides, not Internet. PUC staff are now reviewing all of the complaints to determine what jurisdiction the body might have, and which have to be reported to the Federal Communications Commission.
“We set up a project to review the complaints and put any informational filings with it, so we’ll be working on that,” Hadley said. “[The complaints] seem to have tapered off in the past week, after they’ve been steady for about two months now.”
Through a public relations professional, Rachel McGallian, vice president for marketing in the southern region at Frontier, said most complaints came from service issues that weren’t part of the switch.
“Frontier Communication’s first priority continues to be our customers. While the PUC has received service complaints, many are unrelated to the conversion and a result of service disruptions caused by either weather related events or issues that arise while operating a complex network,” McGallian’s emailed statement said. “At this time, all service issues related to the conversion have been substantially resolved and the level of reported outages is now trending at approximately the levels we expect for these properties.”
Customers are still having issues with service interruptions and delays in getting service restored, as well as missed appointments and confusing phone calls.
In a recovery action plan Frontier issued earlier this month, it said the company is working to keep training Verizon technicians on Frontier systems, something that wasn’t allowed until the April 1 switch. It also stated that customers who had service disruptions would see credits on their bills by the end of June.
Mike Donnelly, mayor of Double Oak, addressed the PUC last week, noting he’s had several constituents complain about the service and some have been forced to pay cancellation fees to leave the company because of lack of service.
“They were stuck in a bind,” he said. “You had students who couldn’t get service at home to complete their schoolwork, and you have people who work from home, so it becomes a commerce issue and an educational issue.”
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While Donnelly didn’t know at what rate his constituents were experiencing service errors, during the PUC meeting he questioned if only less than 1 percent of customers in the state experienced problems during the switch.
Charter Communications, the other main Internet service provider in the Denton area, has a program where they pay the cancellation fees associated with leaving another service provider for up to $500 of charges, said Brian Anderson, a spokesman for Charter.
While he couldn’t give specifics regarding people leaving Frontier for Charter, he said the company is continuing to upgrade and expand networks across the region — including in Denton.
If people are experiencing problems, visit the meetfrontier.com website or call customer service for residential accounts at 1-800-921-8101 and for business accounts call 1-800-921-8102.
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