Frontier frustrations continue; company reports service issues

- Four days into the transition from Verizon to Frontier Communications in the Tampa Bay area, complaints continue coming in from people saying they were disconnected.

Those complaints are not just coming from Florida, but from Texas and California, the two other states where Frontier acquired Verizon's wireline operations last Friday.

While Frontier Spokesman Bob Elek says they are not experiencing outages in our area currently, they are still dealing with service issues.

"Buddy" Brown's story is similar to others.

"I was here by my computer," Brown said. "All of a sudden, the internet went dead. I went out to my TV and that wasn't working, either."

He was a Verizon customer who got lost in the Frontier shuffle.

The presidential campaign volunteer missed out on making about 400 calls over the weekend, reminding primary voters to hit the polls.

"I'm fortunate I'm a volunteer," Brown said. "But, what I do is very important. To have that taken away from two and a half days, I don't find that acceptable at all."

Frontier acknowledges the transition caused outages and service disruptions, affecting customers and some 400 to 500 businesses in the region, the result of two major issues, both which have been resolved.

Elek said, "We are not experiencing outages today. Just like any day, there may be service issues with customers – some the same as we might encounter in the normal course of business, others that may be transition-oriented. We have to look at each case to determine that. Other than the VOD issue, which is a matter of volume versus time, there is no wide-ranging issue."

"Certainly if a consumer pays for a service and they don't receive that service, they are entitled to their money back," said James Giardina of the Consumer Rights Law Group. "It is against the law to collect money for a service you don't provide."

For residential customers cut off for days, Giardina says there is potential payback through discounts or service credits.

But, businesses that have suffered larger financial losses may be out of luck.

Unless the contract specifically allows for those types of damages, the business isn't going to be able to receive money for those types of damages," Giardina said.

At first sign of trouble, he advises customers to call the cable company. If that gets you nowhere, you can file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission or Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi. Her office has gotten 10 regarding the Frontier takeover since January.

Brown stopped complaining and just switched cable companies.

"It was much bigger than I think they even thought it was going to be, and they got caught off guard," Brown said. "I think they owe their customers a big apology."

Frontier did apologize today, saying, "This is not the result we intended."
   
We asked what they can do for residential or business customers who've suffered losses. Elek said service credits will be considered.
   
There are also some customers having trouble accessing their billing information so they can pay on time. Frontier is aware. Any bills due during the transition period will not incur any late fees for the first month.

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