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Frontier’s New Ad Campaign Criticizes Slow Broadband, Like What It Offers Its Own Customers

Phillip Dampier August 27, 2018 Audio, Broadband "Shortage", Broadband Speed, Consumer News, Frontier, Rural Broadband, Video 9 Comments

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In an effort to attract new business, Frontier Communications has launched a new nationwide brand platform it claims will help customers “facing challenges and frustrations navigating today’s internet services market.”

The “Don’t Go it Alone” campaign advertises Frontier as your friend on the digital frontier.

In one ad, a balladeer laments customers trying to use a home internet connection that is too slow and unreliable to depend on for working from home. The ad shows customers flocking to nearby coffee shops “looking for bandwidth” they do not have at home.

While the ads claim Frontier’s FiOS network is faster than its competitor — Charter Spectrum, many Frontier customers living outside of a FiOS service area will likely find Frontier’s ads ironic. That is because Frontier has a poor track record achieving the promised speeds it advertises to its large base of DSL customers. The 2016 FCC Report, “Measuring Fixed Broadband” (the annual reports were discontinued by the Trump Administration’s FCC in early 2017), found Frontier a poor performer. Even its fiber network Frontier FiOS was measured losing ground in delivering advertised speeds and performance.

Minnesota Public Radio reports hundreds of complaints about Frontier Communications have prompted statewide public hearings about the company’s alleged poor performance. MPR shares the stories of two frustrated Frontier DSL customers paying for service they do not get. (3:28)

“Our internet here is horrible, our provider is Frontier,” Monica King Von Holtum of Worthington in southwest Minnesota, told Minnesota Public Radio. “It’s infuriating.”

Her service is so bad, she can tell if a neighbor starts using the internet or another family member starts browsing.

“If I’m literally the only person using the internet, it’s fine,” said King Von Holtum. “As soon as we have one or more people using different devices it just tanks and we can’t get anything done.”

She is hardly alone. In Minnesota, the Public Utility Commission has received more than 400 complaints and comments about Frontier’s frustrating performance. Customers report service interruptions lasting up to a week and internet speeds slower than dial-up.

One customer said Frontier lacks “common decency” because of the way it treats its customers, often stuck with only one choice for internet access in their rural service areas.

A speed test showing 0.4 Mbps from 2013 shows this is an ongoing problem.

King Von Houltum showed MPR the results of a speed test while being interviewed.

“We have 0.4 megabits per second,” said King Von Holtum, who pays Frontier for 6 Mbps service. “And our upload is pretty much nonexistent.”

Melody Webster’s family makes regular 5-mile trips into the town of Cannon Falls to use their local library’s Wi-Fi service. It is the only way her children can complete their school assignments, because Frontier’s DSL struggles to open web pages. Webster has called Frontier again and again about the speed problems, but told the public radio station she gets “lied to or pretty much laughed at.”

That’s a story Frontier’s balladeer is not likely to put to song.

Frontier spent an undisclosed amount hiring the ad agency responsible for the new advertising.

“A brand campaign must be creative and memorable. It also has to drive a client’s business forward,” said Lance Jensen, chief creative officer of Hill Holliday, which created the campaign. “The Balladeer is a fun and accessible character who brings humanity and humor to the frustrating experience of dealing with internet and TV service. We can’t wait to put him to work for the Frontier brand.”

The campaign launches this week in Frontier markets nationally and includes broadcast, radio, online video, out of home, digital and social components.

An “affable balladeer” sings about the frustrations of internet users who do not get the internet service they paid for, in this new 30-second ad from Frontier Communications. Ironically, slow speed is the most common complaint about Frontier’s own DSL service. (0:30)

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Bob61571
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Bob61571

Had a big laugh since I doubt that Frontier has ever completely ironed out all of their various integration issues with all of their many, varied acquisitions.

Frontier needs to spend lots of $ to get their services up to just a average US 2018 standard. Plenty of Frontier places with single digit to low double digit DSL speeds.

Spending $$ on a national ad campaign(when their CFO just quit) to boast about their fabulous services is just ridiculously ironic to anyone that knows anything about Frontier.

L. Nova
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L. Nova

Pathetic.

Investors need to ouster all Frontier board members and replace them with telecom engineers.

Lee
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Lee

The trucks Frontier sends to make repairs to their equipment do not always have the parts the technician needs to do the job correctly. I doubt they will be making many investments in new distribution systems in rural areas. They don’t have the funds to do that.

David
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David

Charter Spectrum, many Frontier customers living outside of a FiOS service area will likely find Frontier’s ads ironic. I do, considering that Frontier is likely to go bankrupt before doing any real upgrades to compete with them, on any real scale. Oh, and I used to have Frontiers 24 Meg, bonded dsl service. Get with the times Frontier, last generation dsl is unlikely to gain many customers.. In the greater Wausau, WI area, where I live, Charter is much faster than Frontiers’ last generation dsl network, complete with rotting telephone lines. I honestly do not need 100 Meg cable, but… Read more »

BHayes
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Please, please get away from these long drawn out commercials that look like a 3 part play. It’s annoying, too long and frankly stupid,

Divine Retribution
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Divine Retribution

I’ve had Fios since 2006 when it was originally owned by Verizon & much better then mind you & I can tell you their internet speed isn’t even half what you pay for. It cuts out constantly, it’s nothing but lag & the bill continues going up every year to the point that you’re paying nearly double what you originally signed up for at the same proposed speeds still getting not even half that. These annoying commercials started back when I first got Hulu in August & every time I hear this hipster douchebag’s voice I want to get violent… Read more »

Christian
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Christian

I hate these commercials so much I’ve started muting the tv every time they come on, but I still hear it in my head it’s so goddamn infuriating!

Chuck
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Chuck

Please stop with the guitar playing beta male commercials. They are mind-numbingly stupid. I change the channel every time I hear that sissy guy start to sing.

Bob sandburg
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Does frontier and their ridiculous commercials realize that a “speed freak” is a person that does crystal meth or speed frequently? Idiots in the advertising game for sure and it’s disturbing to think they might be influencing children in the end. Think about it.

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