INTERNET: Frontier vows to fix problems, but customers aren’t buying it – Press-Enterprise
Frontier Communications customers expressed skepticism Thursday, May 19, at the company’s plans to improve service across Southern California.
Frontier said it will fix the backlog of phone and internet service problems within the next 10 days and give its customers refunds in their June bills.
Customers have been experiencing severe telephone, internet, and cable outages since the company took over Verizon’s landline-related assets April 1. Residents have complained about being unable to call 911, home security alarms not working, slow internet speeds and other issues.
“I think that’s an impossible task to do it within 10 days,” said Pamela Gelband, a senior citizen who lives in Menifee and has made numerous complaints. “They would have to be on the phone 24-7 and hire a whole bunch more people.”
Gelband said she stopped calling to report problems because of poor customer service. Besides spotty internet, Gelband said she’s had a hard time getting into her gated housing complex because of her garage door opener’s poor Wi-Fi connection.
Frontier blamed its takeover of another company for widespread phone, internet and television service outages in California, Texas and Florida at a legislative hearing Wednesday, May 18, saying it inherited corrupt data in its $10.5 billion acquisition of certain Verizon businesses last month.
Frontier West Region President Melinda White told California lawmakers that the data issue caused outages during the transition and an outpouring of complaints that its technicians weren’t yet trained to handle.
Verizon spokesman Ray McConville could not be reached Thursday.
In an email statement, White apologized for the disruptions and said Frontier is working to resolve any remaining issues. Training has been completed for more than 4,000 customer service representatives and technicians so repairs and installations will be handled at a faster rate. The company is “deeply disappointed in the quality” of overseas customer service agents, who will eliminated by July 30, she said.
California lawmakers on the Assembly Utilities and Commerce Committee questioned Frontier after thousands of customers in three states complained to state and federal regulators about spotty service since the takeover.
More than 850 customers have lodged complaints with the California Public Utilities Commission.
Lake Elsinore resident Kristi Coy said her husband, Ken, still can’t sell video conferencing equipment online because the internet is too slow.
She said the couple’s video on-demand service also hasn’t been working for three weeks. A customer service representative promised a refund but Coy said she couldn’t request money back until the problem was fixed.
The other day, she said was on hold for 90 minutes and hung up because no one helped her.
“How much are they going to give me, $20?” she said. “How long will I have to stay on hold? An hour and a half to get a $20 refund? It’s not even worth the time.”