First, I love Tennessee. I love everything about it. The living in the country. The driving for groceries. The peace. The quiet. The kindness of the people. The learning to garden in zone 6. The wildlife. The listening to speech patterns to include in my books.
However, I dislike Frontier Communications Corporation. Here's why.
- On January 4th or so, we ordered a bundled service from Frontier to include DISH, telephone, and Internet. It is a two-year specially-priced package deal.
- DISH installed on January 6. Yippee.
- Frontier no-showed for four separate appointments. We called in each time, got transferred four or more times, spent two hours on the phone, then were forced to accept the next Friday after 2:00 time slot. Then one day, on or about January 28th, a supervisor arrived unscheduled and did the work. Yippee. He was the first competent, efficient person we dealt with.
- We paid the first DISH bill, knowing it was billed separately because of the Frontier installation fiasco. We paid the Frontier bill with installation charges, partial month charges, etc. I admit we didn't pick up on the overcharges.
- We were surprised when we got a second DISH bill. I called DISH and was told that Frontier had rejected the charge and the services were unbundled at that point. (When the services are bundled for payment, DISH bills Frontier who then bills the customer.) They assured me they would have the services re-bundled going forward and credit would be issued for any amount due us.
- Then on March 10th we got the Frontier bill and were blow away. It was over twice what had been promised. I called DISH the next day and learned, among other things, that our services were bundled going forward but we needed to pay the bill. I also learned we weren't being charged the special package rate. The agent spouted some nonsense about a gap in billing, therefore the charges were correct, as was the amount included on the bundled Frontier bill. The fact is our DISH bill covered service until March 24th, while the DISH component of the Frontier bill covered from March 10th to April 9th. It took some time for him to understand that we were double billed for two weeks and were due a credit. The man promised to enter the credit and sent me on to Frontier to deal with them. Please note that, at least, he did not transfer me to five different agents.
- Interesting to note is the fact that Frontier Bundles in their marketing seem to apply to special package pricing. In reality, it applies to bundled billing, and apparently the special package pricing is another thing. Based on the original purchase, I assumed when the DISH agent said our services were bundled again, that meant our original price agreement was being implemented. Silly me.
- I then called Frontier Customer Service and spent over two hours on the phone being transferred around from person to person until someone said they could help. I learned that the DISH credit would take a month—I hope we see it. I also was told we were billed for both DSL and dial up—which we don't have. And, was being charged for the Broadband Max Internet service that we don't get. The helpful lady credited those services and reviewed the various line items with me so we could study future bills for accuracy.
- The next day, March 12th, our Internet went dead. I called Frontier. By the time I was transferred to six different people, I learned our service had been suspended. One tech transferred me to a representative in the Philippines whose job it was, apparently, to collect my payment—which is not and never has been overdue. More transfers and calls yielded the theory the service was suspended when the erroneous billing items were corrected. I was told someone would be out next Friday to correct the problem. Even though the service was suspended remotely, they couldn't restore it remotely because a service ticket had been created—by someone, who knows?
- After much demanding and persistence on my part, our Internet was restored—remotely. I couldn't, however, access it because the account was reset. It took another hour on the phone to correct that problem.
Of particular frustration is that with each transfer the account has to be re-verified and the situation re-explained. Though they all claim to communicate and make notes, it appears to me they merely hit the transfer button and dispense with the troubled—and now irate—customer. For the last call, I used our Frontier provided landline to see if that improved the account verification process. It didn't. This technology company doesn't have the technology to identify their own customers.
The service is so bad, the transfers so many, the people so inept or untrained, that I wonder if their purpose is to provide the least possible service or merely to transfer the disgruntled customer repeatedly until the caller gives up and quits trying to correct the problem. Even when our issue was caused by Frontier's multiple screw-ups (and their partner DISH's), most technicians and customer service agents had little interest in helping. They do say, "I'm sorry," a lot, however.
Why do Frontier's employees act this way? Because they can. There is no competition, no choice. Frontier has a monopoly in this area. Cable refuses to serve the area, and there is no other choice.
I once thought that AT&T was hell to deal with, but, alas, they now seem rather efficient and well organized.
This seems to be a situation where this sole provider is too big to function and perhaps too rich (or stupid) to care.
Entry 3/15/16: Within 48 hours, my complaint to the FCC generated a phone call from Frontier, an apology, a credit, and a promise to make it right going forward.