FairPoint asks for yet another extension to resolve problems

Taking a quote right out of the movie Office Space, FairPoint executives yesterday said during a joint meeting with the PUC commissioners in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont that it needs more time to ‘plan to plan' to resolve ongoing billing and customer service issues in New England. But that plan is not going to come quickly. Vicky Weatherwax, who became the company's vice president of business solutions in July, told the panel that it will evaluate how to apply the recommendations on a resolution plan it gets from outside analysts by the end of November.

FairPoint's newly-appointed CEO David Hauser emphasized the company continues to make progress in resolving its issues. For one, he said that customer calls now are answered in 20 seconds or less about 89 percent of the time. At the same time, Hauser acknowledged the ILEC continues to struggle with billing issues for its wholesale and business customers.  

"We have identified the areas that need further attention and have improvement plans in place for those areas," he said.

Hauser's statement did little to satisfy the PUC commissioners concerns. Although commissioners continually asked for a clear resolution timeline, FairPoint did not specify one.

"One of the reasons we're here today is, frankly, frustration," said Vermont Public Service Board Chairman James Volz during the session. Volz added that FairPoint had promised previously that the issues were going to be resolved by May.

One potential bright spot for the beleaguered telco: Regulators in the three states will not pursue further investigation into claims that FairPoint faked readiness to take over Verizon's lines in February.

For more:
- New Hampshire Union Leader has this article

Related articles
FairPoint: NH consumer advocate says no more concessions
FairPoint disputes Verizon cutover readiness allegations
FairPoint faces new allegations over Verizon network acquisition
The rural space-time continuum