Florida attorney general confronts Frontier over service issues

Frontier Communications is being taken to task by Florida regulators over network issues associated with its acquisition of Verizon's properties. The state's Attorney General Pan Bondi has asked the telco in a letter to remedy network problems and issue refunds to all consumers affected during the transition period.

"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," said Bondi in a letter. "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."

Since the service provider took over Verizon's (NYSE: VZ) operations in the state in April, Bondi's office said it has received 128 complaints about Frontier. Bondi's office said that Frontier has been responsive to about 56 of these issues.

One segment of Florida's population affected by the switchover are elderly voice customers who say they lost 911 emergency services.

Additionally, a number of customers have complained that the telco's use of an offshore contractor for customer service have resulted in long telephone call hold times to resolve issues. 

Meanwhile, Adam Putnam, the commissioner of Florida's Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, said his organization has received 144 complaints since April 1. Putnam said in a release that that's more in a little over one month than the 111 complaints lodged against Verizon in a one-year period.

Florida is just one market where reports of poor customer service and issues have continued to bubble up.

In California, state lawmakers are calling for a speedy resolution to a month of ongoing network issues and will hold hearings this month to learn more about the impact of the outages on consumers.

For its part Frontier has maintained that the majority of the issues related to the cutover from Verizon have been largely resolved.

"All service issues related to the conversion have been substantially resolved, and the level of reported outages is now trending at approximately the levels we expect for these properties," said Dan McCarthy, CEO of Frontier, during the first quarter earnings call.

Frontier did not respond to FierceTelecom's request for comment on the issues in Florida.

For more:
- see the Florida AG release
- see the Florida AG letter (PDF)
- Tampa Bay Business Journal has this article

Related articles:
Frontier faces California assembly hearing over ongoing network issues
Frontier's McCarthy: Verizon asset integration could have impact on Q2 subscriber adds
CenturyLink, FairPoint and Frontier protest special access changes, say it will impact rural market growth
Frontier stands firm on belief that regulating ILEC Ethernet access pricing could distort competition