The switch to Frontier Communications from Verizon took place April 1, and ever since some customers have lost coverage for their land lines, internet and television services.
Tuesday, the managing spokesperson for Frontier Communication's Florida base says that less than 1 percent of their Florida customers are experiencing problems because of the merging of systems from Verizon, signaling that the total percentage of customers dealing with problems is overall very low.
The spokesperson, Bob Elek, reiterated that the company understands customers are frustrated and says he and his colleagues feel terribly that their service has been affected.
The company calls the problems a top priority and says they are working furiously to remedy them, which have been "spotty." Elek says part of the problem may be "code" issues that emerged during the transition, which can be a technical computer problem that is not easy to spot and tedious to fix.
Frontier also admits that their Video on Demand library has been limited, saying they are in the process of transitioning a massive content library. When asked why this wasn't done sooner, the spokesperson admits to ABC Action News that this "should have happened" already, but added that in some cases Frontier is still working out distribution rights with content providers, causing some delay.
When asked why some Frontier customers were being left on hold for an hour or more at a time when trying to resolve these issues, the company spokesperson says part of the problem is that Frontier recently set up a temporary "offshore" call center to help with customer contacts while former Verizon call center reps are trained on Frontier systems.
When asked why that wasn't done sooner, Elek offered a metaphor: A homeowner can't paint a newly-purchased house "until you own the house."
Elek also says the overseas call center is "temporary." The company is "clearing" about 2,000 troubles per day, a number that might sound high but includes a network that spreads from as south as Port Charlotte out to Winter Haven and then north of the Tampa Bay. Elek, a longtime Verizon employee, says that number is also relatively consistent with busier days with Verizon.
Frontier Communications will also be holding customers to their contracts during the integration. Frontier also said they are not letting people out early unless they pay the early termination fees.
Here is a statement we received:
"The same terms and conditions apply. All customers will be eligible for service credits on a case by case basis. Being out of service is obviously not good and we apologize and regret every instance where we have not met expectations — that will be factored in to the service credit situation. We are working daily to improve the experience for customers who have had issues during integration and we hope they will provide us with the opportunity to earn their trust going forward."
As for paying for services without any connection, most carriers have language written somewhere in the contract that states carriers don't guarantee availability of wireless networks.
While some customers have told ABC Action News that customer service with Frontier is unreliable, it might be their only and recourse. Customers dealing with problems are encouraged to go to MeetFrontier.com or call 800-921-8101.