Home » Frontier » Recent Articles:

42% of Frontier’s Customers in Nevada are “Very Dissatisfied” With Their DSL Service

Bad results for Frontier DSL in Nevada. (Source: Elko Residential Broadband Survey)

Bad results for Frontier DSL in Nevada. (Source: Elko Residential Broadband Survey)

Only six Frontier Communications customers surveyed in Elko, Nev. gave the phone company an “A” for its DSL service, while 42% flunked Frontier for what they considered unacceptable internet service.

The Elko Broadband Action Team has surveyed residential and business customers about broadband performance and found widespread dissatisfaction with Frontier Communications over slow connections and service interruptions.

“I’m pretty disappointed in them,” said Elko councilman John Patrick Rice.

Businesses and residential customers were in close agreement with each other rating Frontier’s service, with nearly 87% complaining they endure buffering delays or slowdowns, especially when watching streaming video. When browsing web pages, nearly three-quarters of surveyed customers still found service lacking.

Among the complaints (Res)-Residential (Bus)-Business:

  • Service interruptions: 74.43% (Res)/79.69% (Bus)
  • Too slow/not receiving advertised speed: 72.16% (Res)/65.75% (Bus)
  • Price: 63.64% (Res)/37.5% (Bus)
  • Customer Service: 38.07% (Res)/45.31% (Bus)

The Nevada Attorney General’s Bureau of Consumer Protection received a steady stream of complaints about Frontier’s DSL service in the state over the past year.

Answering the survey question, “would you be interested in faster download and upload speeds at prices that are somewhat comparable to what you are paying now?” 97.87 percent of residential respondents said yes.

Frontier representatives responded to the survey results at a March 27 Elko City Council meeting.

“Frontier did recognize it could improve upstream and downstream flow and educated the council and the public on some of the issues,” Elko assistant city manager Scott Wilkinson said.

Javier Mendoza, director of public relations for Frontier’s West region, explained much of the area Frontier services in Nevada is very rural, so customers are “located many miles from the core Frontier network facilities used to provide broadband service, which makes it technologically and economically challenging to provide faster internet speeds. However, Frontier is continually evaluating and working to improve its network and has and will continue to undertake various initiatives at a customer and community level to enhance its internet services.”

Mendoza said Frontier was currently testing fixed wireless internet service to serve rural areas, but had few details about the service or when it might be available.

Frontier also noted internet traffic was up 25% in the Elko area, primarily as a result of video streaming, social media, and cloud services.

But Councilmen Reece Keener complained Frontier was underinvesting in its network, meaning the company is not well-equipped to deal with increases in demand, something Mendoza denied.

“Several areas of the network providing internet service to Elko have been and continue to be upgraded, providing enhanced service reliability, and ultimately will enable new and upgraded services,” Mendoza said.

It can’t come soon enough for students of Great Basin College, where those taking online courses using Frontier DSL have problems uploading their assignments, claimed Rice, who taught online classes at the college.

“We can get the classes out to the students, but the challenge is for students to get assignments back to the college,” Rice said in a phone interview with the Elko Daily Free Press.

Frontier also claimed improved service performance so far in 2018, up from the fourth quarter of 2017. The company claimed 98.3% of service orders met performance goals, up from 94.37% and  commitments met scored at 92 percent, up from 89.98 percent. Trouble tickets declined from 1,712 to 1,244 across Nevada, the company also claimed.

Frontier Grilled About Tampa’s 911 Outage; Manatee County Cutting Frontier’s Cord

Phillip Dampier March 22, 2018 Consumer News, Frontier, Public Policy & Gov't No Comments

A January 911 outage that crippled the emergency response system across the Tampa area came under scrutiny this week at a Hillsborough County government hearing on the matter.

“As a consumer and as a business owner, I’ve not been satisfied with the transition nor do I trust anyone from the company standing up here at the podium and saying ‘trust me.’ I’d like to see something that is guaranteed,” said Commissioner Victor Crist. “I would like to see something in writing that is guaranteed to my voters, my constituents and this board. Can I be clearer than that?”

Taking much of the heat from the clearly exasperated county commission was David Frezza, Frontier’s vice president of network operations.

“We deeply regret that the event on January 31st impacted the emergency services,” Frezza told the county commissioners.

In January, emergency 911 lines suddenly went out of service in several Florida counties around the Tampa Bay area for several hours. Frontier’s explanation initially blamed contractors and an accidental fiber cut.

But at this week’s hearing, Frezza blamed the outage squarely on CenturyLink, which he said removed both main and backup fiber communications cables for a road widening project underway near Clewiston, a small south-central Florida town on the shores of Lake Okeechobee. CenturyLink is the local phone company serving that area. That alone was apparently enough to interrupt 911 service in Pinellas, Hillsborough, Sarasota, Manatee, and Polk counties.

Frontier’s service area in the Tampa region.

The outage took Frontier several hours to track down, which all the more irritated county commissioners because CenturyLink sent advance notice about the work project, although Frezza denied CenturyLink gave the company enough details to recognize its potential danger to the 911 system.

“I assure you that had CenturyLink alerted us to the intent to work on both the primary and secondary paths simultaneously, we would have taken action to prevent such actions,” Frezza said. “Frontier recognizes that regardless of these circumstances, we are ultimately responsible for the quality and resiliency of the services we provide.”

But Freeza also admitted the company had room to improve line mapping and marking to help other telecom companies identify critical Frontier infrastructure. Before the outage, Frontier tracked maintenance notifications via e-mail. But now Frezza said Frontier will do it over the phone.

After several problems dealing with Frontier, including a widely criticized transition from Verizon’s billing systems to Frontier’s own system, county commissioners seemed reluctant to give Frontier just one more chance to explain.

“You have to give us peace of mind,” Commissioner Stacy White said. “We have to be able to tell the citizens of Hillsborough County with a straight face that we and Frontier have everything in place to reduce the likelihood that our 911 systems aren’t going to be knocked down.”

Frontier spokesman Bob Elek said the company had already implemented an improved backup system with two additional network paths for 911 calls and a third on the way.

“We have created enough redundancy in the network to ensure any future events should have backup to make sure it flows smoothly,” said Elek. The county commission curtly told Frontier to “put it in writing and come back.”

One county is not taking a chance with Frontier again. Manatee County officials report they are permanently cutting the cord on Frontier and moving to an internet-based call routing system that will be managed by Motorola. The county made the move after it gave up trying to get their questions and concerns resolved.

“What happened should never have happened. However, just trying to get answers out of them at this point has been hard to do,” said Jake Saur, the county’s chief of emergency communications. “It is set up in two geographically diverse locations, so if one side is knocked down or taken out, the other side takes it up. We don’t believe there will be outages like Frontier.”

WTVT in Tampa covered the Hillsborough County, Fla. hearing regarding Frontier’s 911 failures in January, 2018. (2:01)

1,400 Frontier Workers Walk Off the Job In West Virginia, Virginia

Phillip Dampier March 5, 2018 Consumer News, Frontier, Video 2 Comments

After 10 months of negotiations between Frontier Communications and the Communications Workers of America (CWA) over the phone company’s job cuts, 1,400 Frontier workers in West Virginia and Ashburn, Va., walked off the job Sunday.

The Communications Workers of America claims they have been unable to reach an agreement on a fair contract with Frontier despite three extensions. The original contract expired in August, 2017. The CWA claims their members have waited long enough and called a strike.

“We have been very clear throughout the bargaining process that our top priority is keeping good jobs in our communities,” said Ed Mooney, vice president of CWA District 2-13. “Going on strike is never easy. It’s a hardship for our members and the customers who we are proud to serve. But the job cuts at Frontier have gone too far — we know it and Frontier’s customers know it. It’s time for Frontier to start investing in maintaining and rebuilding its network in West Virginia.”

The CWA claims Frontier has let go of some of its most experienced technicians while outsourcing an increasing number of jobs to outside contractors. Frontier has also cut over 500 jobs in the area since 2012 and has announced a plan for additional layoffs this month. The union claims Frontier’s customers are suffering too.

“We’re taking a stand,” said Johnny Bailey, president of CWA Local 2226 in Bluefield. “Customers are waiting way too long to have their problems resolved, and too often we’re back fixing the same problems over and over again. Frontier is leaving West Virginia behind. The network has been neglected and there are just not enough experienced, well-trained workers left to handle the service requests.”

According to CWA, complaints filed with the West Virginia Public Service Commission have increased steadily over the past three years, rising 69% from 639 in 2014 to 1,072 complaints in 2017.

“The complaints at Frontier have risen so high in the last few years it is has gotten to the point [… where] we are embarrassed by the product that we have to serve,” said Jeff Anderson, president of CWA Local 2004, which covers large parts of north-central West Virginia, including Harrison, Marion, Monongalia, Taylor, and Doddridge counties. “In some areas we have good service but we beg for that and we ask the company and we will do anything we can to get our people better service cause ultimately that is what keeps our jobs.”

Frontier countered the company is already extremely generous with its workforce.

“Frontier is one of West Virginia’s best employers,” the company said in a statement. “Average annual wages for the Company’s union employees exceed $64,500, and more than half of all union employees earn more than $75,000 per year. For comprehensive family medical coverage, most employees pay less than $150 per month for family coverage, with no annual deductible and low co-pays. Including employee benefits, the Company’s average employee cost per CWA member is more than $100,000.”

Frontier said it has activated its strike contingency plan, which will require Frontier’s management, outside contractors and Frontier employees from other areas to handle service calls and other tasks formerly done by striking workers.

Customers can expect to encounter Frontier’s picket lines in several places:

CWA Local 2001

  • 1500 MacCorkle Ave., Charleston, WV
  • 9542 Route 152, Wayne, WV
  • 601 5th Street, New Haven, WV
  • 215 Clay Street, St Marys, WV
  • 32 Craddock Way, Poca, WV
  • 518 Main St, Clay, WV
  • 66 North Pinch Road, Elkview, WV
CWA Local 2002

  • 1014 Old Logan Road, Logan, WV
  • 405 Hinchman St., Logan, WV
  • 58 Resource Lane, Foster, WV
  • 501 Logan St., Williamson, WV
  • 305 Main St., Man, WV
  • Franklin Ave., Madison, WV
CWA Local 2004

  • 1325 Airport Blvd., Morgantown, WV
  • 145 Fayette St., Morgantown, WV
  • Collins Ferry Rd. and University Ave., Suncrest, WV
  • 289 Pricketts Fort Rd., Fairmont, WV
  • 214 Monroe St., Fairmont, WV
CWA Local 2006

  • 3000 West St., Weirton, WV
  • 910 3rd St., New Martinsville, WV
  • 995 Mt De Chantal Rd., Wheeling, WV
  • 1515 Chapline St., Wheeling, WV
  • 115 Pike St., Weirton Heights, WV
CWA Local 2007

  • 435 Maplewood Ave., Lewisburg, WV
  • 120 Appalachian Dr., Beckley, WV
  • 200 Woodlawn Ave., Beckley, WV
  • 209 Chestnut Ave., Oak Hill, WV
  • 3215 Mountaineer Hwy., Maben, WV
CWA Local 2009

  • 1135 6th Ave., Huntington, WV
  • 4500 Altizer Ave., Huntington, WV
  • 1285 W Main St., Milton, WV
  • 2018 Mt Vernon Ave., Pt Pleasant, WV
CWA Local 2010

  • 280 North Baxter St., Sutton, WV
  • 134 Center Ave., Weston, WV
  • 355 Dewberry Trail, Buckhannon, WV
  • 34 South Florida St., Buckhannon, WV
  • 525 Davis Ave., Elkins, WV
CWA Local 2011

  • 483 Brushy Fork Rd., Bridgeport, WV
  • 428 W Main St., Clarksburg, WV
CWA Local 2105

  • 117 Tavern Rd., Martinsburg, WV
  • 200 Carskadon Lane, Keyser, WV
CWA Local 2276

  • 300 Bland St., Bluefield, WV
  • 226 Labrador Dr., Bluefield, WV
  • 401 Lazenby Ave., Princeton, WV
  • 917 Harrison St., Princeton, WV
  • 257 Virginia Ave., Welch, WV
  • Route 52 – 18774 Coal Heritage Rd., Welch, WV

WBOY-TV in Clarksburg talks with a Frontier worker about the strike and the quality of Frontier’s service in West Virginia. (1:48)

 

Frontier Communications Under Investigation in Minnesota for “Lousy Service”

Phillip Dampier March 2, 2018 Consumer News, Frontier, Public Policy & Gov't, Video No Comments

The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (MPUC) has opened an inquiry into whether Frontier Communications is meeting its service obligations to customers after receiving a major spike in complaints about the phone company.

The MPUC acknowledged it has been “receiving a large volume of complaints related to the service quality, customer service, and billing practices of Frontier Communications.” The regulator is concerned that “after attempts to mediate these complaints, many of them remain unresolved.”

The investigation will include the Minnesota Department of Commerce and Minnesota’s Attorney General, both tasked with determining if Frontier is complying with MPUC rules and Minnesota state law.

Frontier provides service to more than 98,000 landlines in Minnesota, doing business as Frontier Communications and Citizens Telecommunications. Most Frontier customers are located in northeastern and southern Minnesota, as well as communities like Apple Valley, Burnsville, Farmington, and Rosemount.

A survey of filed complaints found many involved Frontier’s DSL internet service, which customers complained was slow and prone to frequent outages. Other complaints involved inaccurate billing and missed service calls, which sometimes led to delays of days or weeks before service could be restored.

“I’d heard a bunch of complaints of poor service all across my district,” said Rep. Rob Ecklund (DFL-International Falls) in a news release. “I am a Frontier customer myself, and the service has been lousy.”

Other customers had their complaints published in the Timberjay newspaper, which has been the unofficial meeting place for frustrated customers who cannot get satisfaction from Frontier.

“This has been the worst service experience of my life,” said Melissa Holmes, of Embarrass in northeastern Minnesota. “My whole neighborhood here on Wahlsten Road in Embarrass has had service issues with Frontier for decades. Repeated calls to the company go nowhere.”

The newspaper blamed Frontier’s wrong priorities in a scathing editorial last fall:

Prospects for an improvement in Frontier’s service quality appear unlikely given the increasingly tenuous financial condition of the company. Frontier went deeply in debt in early 2016, when it completed an $11 billion purchase of landline infrastructure formerly owned by Verizon in California, Texas, and Florida. The acquisition more than doubled the size of the company, but also prompted a major restructuring, which included significant layoffs.

Frontier officials had touted the acquisition at the time, arguing that the company knew how to make money from traditional landline infrastructure even as the industry is rapidly transitioning to wireless. But the company has yet to demonstrate it is up to the challenge and as complaints over poor service have mounted, the company has hemorrhaged customers, particularly in more populated regions, where customers often have viable alternatives.

In response, Frontier claims it updated its billing software and is making “process improvements” in the way it conducts business.

If you live in Minnesota and wish to share your views with the MPUC, you can visit their website, register, and comment until May 25, 2018.

The state’s initial investigation and report on Frontier is due on May 11.

KSTP-TV in Minneapolis-St. Paul reports Frontier is under investigation by the state telecom regulator for poor service. (2:21)

Troubled Frontier Suspends Shareholder Dividend, Loses $1.01 Billion in the Last Quarter

Phillip Dampier February 27, 2018 Consumer News, Frontier, Rural Broadband 2 Comments

Despite the massive amount of extra money from the Trump Administration’s corporate tax cuts generating huge revenue spikes for America’s telecom companies, Frontier Communications disappointed investors with today’s news it was suspending its quarterly cash dividend to shareholders after reporting a net loss of $1.03 billion on revenue of $2.2 billion during the fourth quarter of 2017, despite a $830 million tax benefit resulting from the reduction in federal tax rates.

Frontier saw revenue declines across almost every product category: Data and Internet services, $939 million (down 7.3%); Voice services, $687 million (down 11.2%); Video services, $310 million (down 15.1%), but the company slightly improved its churn rate (customers coming and going) to 1.83% for Frontier Legacy service areas (areas not acquired from Verizon or AT&T) and 2.22% for customers in California, Texas, and Florida acquired from Verizon (compared with 1.92% and 2.33% respectively in the third quarter of 2017).

The losses are attributable to:

  • Frontier DSL is not competitive with cable broadband in most Frontier Legacy service areas. Cable companies continue to steal customers away with better value broadband packages at much faster speeds;
  • Frontier FiOS delivers much better internet speeds, but customers in former Verizon service areas are upset about poor customer service and on-time repair visits and billing errors;
  • Frontier landline customers have been disconnecting for years, especially in copper-only service areas.
  • Frontier FiOS TV customers are getting better pricing and promotional deals from competing cable and satellite providers, or are cutting the cord entirely.

The average Frontier Legacy customer pays $65.11 a month. Customers with Frontier FiOS in California, Texas, and Florida pay an average of $107.35 a month.

Despite the anemic results, Frontier CEO Daniel McCarthy was optimistic.

“Our fourth quarter results highlight the ongoing progress on our key initiatives to improve customer retention, enhance the customer experience, and align our cost structure,” McCarthy said in a press release. “We are pleased with continued improvement in subscriber trends and churn in our California, Texas and Florida (CTF) markets, and the continued operating efficiencies achieved in the fourth quarter.”

But McCarthy rattled investors with news Frontier’s board of directors had voted to suspend the company’s dividend payout to shareholders, one of the key reasons investors buy Frontier common stock. Frontier intends to use the $250 million it would have handed shareholders to pay down the company’s massive debts.

In 2018, Frontier will pay more in interest on its outstanding debt ($1.5 billion) than it will spend on network upgrades and other capital expenditures ($1.0 billion to $1.15 billion). Most of the company’s debt comes from Frontier’s aggressive history of acquisitions, buying landline service areas from Verizon and AT&T.

Despite predictions by Frontier’s executives that its $10+ billion acquisition of Verizon service areas in California, Texas and Florida would deliver dramatically better results for Frontier and its shareholders, a botched transition and ongoing complaints about poor customer service and billing errors alienated Frontier’s adopted customers. Many canceled service and have no plans to return.

With Frontier’s financial condition concerning some financial analysts, Frontier is considering selling off its newest service areas to raise money.

Search This Site:

Contributions:

Recent Comments:

  • Bill Callahan: Buffalo? Syracuse?...
  • Fred Hall: Haha.....someone at Sinclair didn't provide enough "grease" for Ajit's palm...
  • Joseph Lindberg: I pay $93.45 for just TV select $6.00 or so for two TV boxes each the cheap ones not dvrs and $14.99 or something in tax and $64.99 for the TV select ...
  • Norm Mueller: Do not even consider this company for your service provider, or you will forever regret it like I do. This started because Comcast's promotional rate...
  • Katherine. Voss: I sent all my contract buyout forms. Got no credible response. This is a scheme. I am sending information to proper agencies....
  • Noemi Romero: i have been waiting for 3 month and 2 weeks now for my refund and every time i call is like no one knows what the hell i am talking about. like seriou...
  • Josh: Sounds risky....40 million subscribers is insanely high, and clearly that guy running it since ‘92 knows what he’s doing. I forgot AT&T owns hbo ...
  • alan: i stopped pissing $ away on paying to see commercials 20 years ago did the direct tv , dishnet card programing my own cards ..then that became a sma...
  • Denis Cartledge: I live in a small (Australian) New England regional town, population ~3,500. The main north south New England Fibre Trunk runs up our main street, wh...
  • James Thompsen: You pay more you get mor.... hey wait an Effin minute!...
  • Joshi: Honestly, I'm glad Comcast did not win the bid. If they won, things would have gotten a lot worse since they bought out NBC Universal and Dreamworks s...
  • Stephen Collins: The modem increase is the most unconscionable of the bunch....

Your Account: