More than 700 complaints made to AG about Frontier

- State Attorney General Pam Bondi says her office has received more than 700 complaints from Frontier Communications customers since the company took over service for Verizon Fios on April 1.

The flood of emails and letters dwarfs the 37 total complaints customers sent her regarding their Fios service in all of 2015.

Many effects of the widespread phone, TV and internet outages linger for Bay Area businesses.

Sean Baumann, a Tampa-based interior designer who works from home, says his business phone line stopped working nearly four weeks ago.

"For the past 3.5 weeks, my phone number has rung up as 'disconnected'," Baumann wrote in an internet complaint message sent to the AG's office. "To make matters worse, this is my work phone number that I have had for the past 15 years and customers are calling to find my number as disconnected. This is losing me tremendous amounts of business and has cost me even more than that in time spent with Frontier."

Baumann says customer support has been completely unable to fix, or even identify, the problem. According to him, technicians have even denied an issue with his phone line exists at all. Baumann says Frontier waived his bill for the months of April and May, but still has yet to offer an explanation or fix the problem.

"I don't even want to know how much this has cost me," Baumann said Friday while on hold with Frontier's customer service center on another line.

Others are experiencing similar frustrations.

Attorney Michael Bugbee says he was without phone, tv and internet for the majority of April. He says he's spent between 15 and 20 total hours trying to resolve the issue with Frontier. Two weeks ago, his TV and internet service was finally restored to his law office in Hyde Park, but his phone lines are still down. Without his fax line, Bugbee, who works with numerous clients in the medical field, has to rely on snail mail to receive documents containing sensitive information his clients aren't comfortable emailing.

Bugbee estimates the time spent on the phone with Frontier, time he could otherwise use working on cases, is worth more than $6,000 in billable hours.

Even those whose service has been restored say it's not the same.

"It's resolved in the fact that we have internet but it's really spotty now," said Tona Bell, who owns artisanal paper goods store The Paper Seahorse on South Howard Avenue. "I don't know what's happening, but service definitely isn't the same I find."

Just around the corner, Buddy Brew Coffee owner Dave Ward echoes this same concern.

"Across the board it seems less consistent and we're not getting close to the speed we used to," said Ward. "Our business runs on internet. I can't afford this up and down thing that's been happening."

On Thursday, Frontier announced improvements to its customer service system. A new Florida-specific customer care number, 888-457-4110, and online chat forum, as well as a customer support "SWAT" team are among the announced improvements.

"They are taking those requests from us, the complaints, and they are taking them very seriously," Pam Bondi, R- Attorney General said Friday. "We hope they will continue to work well with us and resolve these issues as fast as possible."

For Ward however, he's not confident Frontier will resolve the issues fast enough. He's already switched his service at home and his soon-to-open Buddy Brew Coffee location over to Bright House cable and plans to do the same with his Kennedy location.

"I just hope they get their act together. Verizon Fios was awesome and I don't see any reason why Frontier can't be but I can't afford to wait around while they figure it out."

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