News : Frontier Communications Customers Fume as Service Glitches Hit Week Three
Oxnard, CA, USA, April 22, 2016 -- Customers still coping with lost phone, Internet and television service three weeks after Frontier Communications Corp. took over Verizon's fiber-optic system say they're vexed by the company's weak response.
"They have completely dropped the ball on this," said Dawn Ott, office manager for the Ray Favacho Insurance Agency in Camarillo. "Nobody has offered to take any kind of responsibility."
The insurance agency's three business lines have behaved erratically since April 8. When a call comes in, Ott said Thursday, "we go to pick up the phone and it's dead."
Frontier took ownership of Verizon's fiber-optic FiOS operations in California, Texas and Florida on April 1. Complaints have continued to light up Facebook and Twitter feeds with outraged tales of technicians failing to show up for promised appointments, inept call center staff and long hold times that disconnect after an hour of waiting.
Sarah Fischbach, a marketing professor at California Lutheran University, said when a company is in the wrong, "they should just be honest and up front."
"What they should be doing now is going over the top to protect customers and earn their trust," she said.
Melinda White, Frontier's area president for the west region, said about 2,500 customers in California have reported outages related to the conversion, calling it a "very, very small number."
"I am very focused on every one of those 2,500 customers," she said.
She encouraged customers with continued problems to email, which she said is staffed by a local team. The company has also encouraged customers to call.
The company has about 25 percent of its California-based representatives trained so far, White said, and is looking forward to improved operations when those employees are in place.
Bill Nesbitt runs his Newbury Park business, Security Management Services International Inc., out of a home office.
His business line was restored Wednesday after two weeks on the blink, but his frustration with Frontier hasn't dissipated. He figures he spent at least 10 to 12 hours dealing with the company.
"This is a mess where the customers are hurt," he said, noting many alarm systems and medical alert devices go through telephone lines.
Steve Byerly, an editor at The Star who lives in north Oxnard's RiverPark neighborhood, thought he was one of the lucky ones who made it through the transition without a hitch. But last Saturday, after a power outage, he lost phone, Internet and TV services, which remained dead as of Thursday evening.
The problems he'd read about — no-show techs after an all-day wait, conflicting information with each call, long waits on hold followed by a disconnect — were now his reality.
He and his wife are considering a switch to Time Warner Cable, but they previously left Time Warner because of bad customer service. What's more, the company's sale to Charter Communications means another transition ahead.
"What makes me sad is FiOS was the best Internet cable service we ever had," Byerly said. "It was the fastest, it was never out, and we were always happy with it."
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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About Frontier Communications:
Frontier Communications Corporation (NASDAQ: FTR) offers voice, broadband, satellite video, wireless Internet data access, data security solutions, bundled offerings and specialized bundles for residential customers, small businesses and home offices and advanced business communications for medium and large businesses in 27 states. Frontier’s approximately 15,400 employees are based entirely in the United States.
Meeting challenges of your extended enterprise: For enterprises and government agencies around the world, like yours, we are a provider of global IT, security, and communication solutions, with one of the world’s most connected IP networks. We combine our broad range of strategic solutions, services, and expertise to help some of the world's largest organizations - including 96% of the Fortune 1000 - and governments - meet the challenges of their increasingly extended enterprises.
Published: Tuesday, April 26, 2016