FairPoint expects normal New England operations by June

FairPoint has set a June deadline for reaching normal operations. It plans to focus on improving its call centers, billing, and order processing, with improvement checkpoints built into its plan.

A business stabilization plan was submitted to the Maine Public Utilities Commission on Tuesday, and outlines the factors that have continued to mount since February, when FairPoint took over Verizon's landline and Internet network in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont. Maine customers have complained of lost, late or duplicate bills; unfilled orders; and long waits on hold when trying to reach customer service representatives.

In its PUC filing, FairPoint acknowledges problems with the new systems put in place for the changeover that affected billing and service flow. The call volume has swamped the company's call centers, with an expected 351,000 calls for the month of March -- more than twice the monthly average for the previous six months. Compounding matters, FairPoint employees answering those calls have been learning a new system, slowing down an effective response.

FairPoint says it has been making incremental improvements, it has addressed many of the billing concerns, and it has reduced the volume of calls to the service center. However, customer orders are still in need of fixing, with about 30 percent of customer orders for service tagged with various problems. That's about 10,000 orders glitched up and in need of repair.

For more:
- Kennebec Journal reports on FairPoint's latest. Article.

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Maine PUC: FairPoint generates largest number of complaints.
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