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Frontier Employees Gripe About Deteriorating Conditions, Disappointed Customers

Phillip Dampier April 10, 2018 Broadband Speed, Competition, Consumer News, Frontier, Rural Broadband 8 Comments

A growing number of Frontier Communications employees are sharing their dissatisfaction working at a phone company that continues its decline with nearly $2 billion in losses and more than a half-million customers departing in 2017.

Workers describe a deteriorating workplace with increasingly hostile and disappointed customers that want to take their business elsewhere, and employees that are increasingly frustrated and predict the company is headed towards bankruptcy.

“This is a company in a long-term decline, which is good and bad for workers and customers,” said ‘Geoff,’ a Frontier employee in California who wished to remain anonymous for obvious reasons. “It’s good because you know there is still some time left in case of a miraculous turnaround, but bad because like a glider slowly descending toward the ground, it is inevitably going to land or crash at some point in the not-too-distant future.”

Geoff was formerly employed by Verizon Communications before Frontier completed an acquisition of Verizon’s landline, fiber, and wireline networks in California in 2016. Now he’s employed full-time as a network engineer for Frontier.

“The trouble started almost immediately, because Verizon’s methodical, if not bureaucratic way of doing business was replaced with Frontier’s never ending chaos,” Geoff told Stop the Cap! “We were warned by techs in Connecticut, Indiana and West Virginia that Frontier’s management was very uneven, changes direction on various executive whims, and is very disconnected from mainline workers, and boy were they right.”

Geoff and his team, responsible for managing Verizon’s FiOS fiber network in Southern California, were split up after Frontier took over and put under severe budget restraints, which have grown tighter and tighter as Frontier’s economic condition deteriorates.

“Under good leadership, cost cutting can be an effective way to deal with wasteful, creeping spending that sometimes happens at large companies when budgets still reflect the priorities of several years ago, but Frontier just wants costs cut willy-nilly, including investments that actually save the company a lot of money, time, and frustration,” said Geoff. “Those cuts are also responsible for the deteriorating infrastructure and increasing failures customers are experiencing.”

“As a network engineer, I can see each day what Frontier’s network looks like and I talk to many other engineers at this company who are seeing much the same thing in their areas,” Geoff said. “If you live in an area where Verizon upgraded its network to fiber before selling it to Frontier, you will probably experience the least number of service problems, although the company’s billing systems are still troublesome. If you live in what Frontier calls its legacy (copper) markets, it’s a real mess and things are not getting better near fast enough, and customers are going elsewhere.”

Geoff’s views are shared by a growing number of hostile employee reviews being left on websites like Glassdoor. When cumulatively examined, those reviews show common points of complaint:

  • Customers are treated to aggressive sales tactics, offered products and services they cannot use, while rushed off the phone when reporting service problems.
  • Management is out of touch with employees and issue directives for new policies and services that cannot be easily managed from antiquated software and systems still in use at the company.
  • Because company is performing poorly, managers can be very protective of their employee teams and attempt to keep them independent and insulated from management chaos. New employees perceive this as ‘cliquish’ and they often do not do well when assigned to one of those teams, as they are viewed with suspicion.
  • Major cuts in training budgets have left employees with inadequate knowledge of Frontier’s own systems. In sales, this results in customers being sold plans they cannot actually get in their areas, incomplete orders, misrepresentation of pricing and product information, and customer trouble tickets being accidentally erased or left incomplete. Constant process changes are expected to be implemented by employees not trained to implement or manage them.
  • No significant upgrades are coming, but employees are trained to tell customers to be patient for better service that is unlikely to be forthcoming.

Many employees share the view, “we’re all in the same boat, except that boat is sinking.”

The Better Business Bureau offers this advisory about Frontier Communications, which received a grade of “F” from the consumer organization.

“Sally,” who works at a Frontier internet support call center, tells Stop the Cap! she has noticed customers are getting increasingly hostile towards the company.

“The frustration level is enormous for customers and those of us tasked to help them,” Sally said. “Frontier markets itself as a solutions company and we sell a lot of ‘Peace of Mind’ support services for technology products, including our own, but sometimes the only answer to a problem has to come from the company investing in its facilities and not making excuses for why things are not working.”

Sally explains many Frontier customers do not have much experience troubleshooting technology problems.

“Most of my calls come from our rural customers who don’t have a choice in internet providers or are from lower and fixed income customers that cannot afford the cable company’s prices for internet access,” Sally said. “They know what they want to do with their internet connections but call us when they can’t seem to do it, whether that is sending email or watching video or using an internet video calling application to see their grandkids. You can only imagine what they feel when we tell them their DSL connection is unstable or their speed is too slow to support the application they want to use. We end up disappointing a lot of people because the internet and technology is moving much faster than Frontier is and our network just cannot keep up.”

Sally has been on the receiving end of profanity and a lot of slammed down phones, but there is little she can do.

“We can send a repair crew out but considering some of our lines are decades old, there isn’t much they can do about it,” Sally said. “This is a problem only management can solve and they’ve been distracted trying to deal with shareholders, acquisitions, and if you don’t mind me saying, being very preoccupied with their performance bonuses. We always know when another bad quarter is coming because of last-minute directives from top management designed to really push sales and hold on to customers to limit the damage. That is also around the time they start taking perks away from us in various cost-cutting plans. My co-workers are starting to leave because they don’t feel valued and do not want to work for a company in a long-term decline.”

“It seems like Frontier has just given up trying to compete with cable companies for internet services and now just sells internet to rural customers it can reach with the help of government subsidies,” adds Geoff. “It’s easy to do business with customers who don’t have any other choice for internet access.”

Currently there are 8 comments on this Article:

  1. L. Nova says:

    I work for an I.T. hardware server and desktop company and even I could run Frontier better than these boneheads. What is Dan McCarthy doing?

    Fire ALL senior management starting with the useless CEO.
    Bring in people who actually want to upgrade the wireline to fiber in middle mile and critical areas.
    Build more backhaul.
    Consolidate the entire billing systems into one.
    Use open hardware SDN systems.

  2. BobInIllinois says:

    Did you ever consider that your ideas are great, but some companies just don’t have the people, the skills, and $$ to make it all happen?

  3. Joe says:

    I worked for Frontier over 10 years. They have a Rochester clique that goes back to Rochester Telephone Company –

    Rochester Telephone Corporation was a company that provided local telephone service to Rochester, New York. The company was founded in 1920 as a merger of Rochester Telephonic Exchange and Rochester Telephone Company. In 1995 the company became Frontier Corporation, trading on the NYSE under the FRO symbol. Ownership passed to Global Crossing in 1999, and then, in 2001, to Citizens Utilities Corporation, which later changed its name to Frontier Communications.

    The company is incompetent on all levels. The Rochester boys have brought in all their lackeys into Allen, Texas. Manager do not know the business. They have them ALL running around like spastic school children. A true travesty. BK coming.

  4. Joe says:

    managers folks – forget this company. worst company of my 30 year career in the industry

  5. Lee says:

    This company is a steaming pile of dung. I noticed the work along the road by a local restaurant. Today I stopped and talked to the crew working by the school. They are putting in a closed fiber loop system. Thinking about that I stopped back by and asked what a closed loop system is. It will only serve the schools. They will not connect any residential customers. So I will still have the 1.5 mb on a good day copper line system.

    • Institutional broadband. Frontier owns the network that taxpayers subsidize and Frontier gets to charge whatever it wants for service on that network. Are you in West Virginia? That seems to be the heartland of Frontier scheming.

  6. Lee says:

    I am in Indiana. I used my Street Atlas program to figure they are installing 6.5 miles of underground fiber optic along the roads between the two school systems. A lot of houses along the route and they do not want to install service to houses less than 200 foot from the cable? They earn the hate they get.

  7. Lee says:

    Seems I need to amend my post about the closed fiber optic loop system. Frontier Communications is not installing it. It is an expansion of the Elkhart County fiber optic system owned by the county government. The one schools internet bill is projected to drop from $12,000 per month to $3,000 per month. Looks like this system is for business and government. No mention of residential.

    http://www.elkharttruth.com/news/k-fiber-expansion-project-will-serve-concord-baugo-schools/article_7da2188a-00d7-5933-9137-e2ebd3fc4f9b.html







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