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Florida commissioner criticizes Frontier

Posted at 4:25 PM, May 09, 2016
There have been so many complaints made about Frontier Communications that the state government is getting involved.
 
Florida Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services Adam Putnam said he is "calling on Frontier Communications to resolve customer issues." 
 
“Frontier Communications’ customers don’t know where to turn for help with their service issues, and I encourage Floridians to contact my department so we can assist,” Putnam said Monday. “While we do not have oversight over Frontier Communications, we’re here to advocate on behalf of Florida’s consumers."
 
To contact Putnam's office, call 800-HELP-FLA or visit FreshFromFlorida.com.
 
Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has received 144 complaints, eclipsing in one month the 111 complaints Verizon had received in a one-year period.
 
Frontier Communications is currently providing the landline phone, Internet and TV services previously provided by Verizon in the following counties: Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk and Sarasota. 
 
Customers in California and Texas are also reporting issues since the buyout from Verizon.
 
Customers dealing with trouble can contact Frontier Communications directly by emailing consumer.affairs@ftr.com or calling 800-921-8101.
 
Many who have tried these routes have contacted ABC Action News out of frustration.
 
"I've called every other day and it's so frustrating because they never call me back," Susan Goodnough of Sarasota told ABC Action News. "I'm on the line at least 45 minutes to an hour just trying to talk to a supervisor and then a supervisor can't help me any more either."
 
Goodnough's situation is especially important because she relies on her home phone line to send information from her heart monitoring pacemaker to her doctor.
 
With her home phone line down since the beginning of April, that safeguard has been missing.
 
"[My family is] very worried about it because I am by myself. I have neighbors and everything, but this is a safe guard for me that if anything should happen while I'm alone," she said.
 
Goodnough said she's been "maybe too patient" but only contacted ABC Action News when she had several bad experiences by phone with Frontier.
 
"It's horrible, it's not very nice," says Goodnough of Frontier's customer service department. "I've been in customer service my whole life. My job was to do customer service and this is not the way to treat your customers. They're going to leave, they're going to go elsewhere."
 
Goodnough said she's giving Frontier a few more days until she does the same. She says she's told Frontier customer service representatives about her medical condition and how the home phone line is supposed to be protecting her, but says it hasn't led to a change in service.
 
Today Attorney General Pam Bondi sent a letter to the company requesting better customer service for Floridians after more than 100 customers contacted the Attorney General's Office with complaints about internet, security, phone and television services.
 
“The problems created during Frontier’s acquisition of Verizon are leaving some Florida seniors without the security services they paid for, and to complicate matters, without telephone service, many of them may not even be able to dial 911 in case of an emergency,” pointed out Attorney General Bondi. “I asked Frontier to do the right thing, fix these problems as soon as possible, and issue refunds to all consumers who have experienced an interruption in their services, without the customer having to request a refund.”
 
The Attorney General's Office echoed the same issues many customers have already told ABC Action News: being placed on hold for up to two hours and poor customer service once they do reach a Frontier representative. Many report receiving higher than expected fees when trying to cancel accounts.
 
Attorney General Bondi sent a letter to Frontier demanding better service for all Florida customers.
 
From March 29, through May 9, of this year the Attorney General’s Office received 128 complaints about Frontier. The office forwarded each of the complaints to the company, and so far, the company has been responsive to at least 56 of these complaints.