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WSAZ Investigates | Disgruntled Frontier customers seek out alternative option

WSAZ Investigates | Disgruntled Frontier customers seek out alternative option
Published: Apr. 14, 2022 at 7:10 PM EDT
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HUNTINGTON/CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - For months, you’ve been sending us concerns and complaints about Frontier Communications. Some of you have been reporting outages lasting for days and some much longer.

“It’s really scary when your phone doesn’t work,” said Frontier customer Jackie Harris.

So, we took those concerns to a Frontier spokesperson who responded with recommendations that company officials say “work very well regarding customer service.”

Those options include using an online chat, Twitter, or a 1-800 number to hear a recorded message about outages. They also said customers can sign up to receive text messages when service is restored. But what’s not in that response is the option to speak with a customer service representative over the phone, something Frontier customers have told us time and time again is the biggest issue.

U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., says the customers are not alone.

“Frontier is terrible”, Manchin said. “I can’t even get customer service from Frontier.”

We also took your stories to state leaders, hoping they could help.

WSAZ’s Sarah Sager asked state Del. Daniel Linville, R-Cabell, what he thought after watching stories WSAZ had previously done regarding Frontier outages, “What do you think after watching that?” “Why did it take having to contact the newsroom? We get more calls about internet service than potholes,” Linville said.

Last year, Linville helped to create the email address telecomconcerns@wvhouse.gov. He wanted to give Frontier customers a way to reach out to a Frontier representative and also loop in state lawmakers.

After WSAZ’s Frontier investigation aired, Delegate Linville says almost instantly, complaints started rolling in.

“My email box started filling up last night. I didn’t even know you were doing the story. Immediately around 6 o’clock everything started hitting,” Linville said.

In less than 24-hours after WSAZ’s story aired, the telecom concerns email address had received 25 to 30 emails, which Linville says is more than what it typically receives in a few months.

Linville says more awareness about the email address helps state leaders hold Frontier to the promises they make customers. Sager asked: “In terms of Frontier’s service -- I know this is something you’ve been following for a long time -- how would you say they are doing right now?

Linville: “So, they are beginning to do a little bit better, but doing a little bit better with how poorly it had been still isn’t good enough. We want to see continued improvement. We want to see it be easier for folks to address all the concerns that they have again whether that’s customer service, billing issues, or service outages. We want to see this continue to get better. I’m glad … Thank you to WSAZ and to you personally, Sarah, for highlighting this because it allows us to hold them accountable. And hopefully we’re going to get to the point eventually where we don’t need this email address, but as long as we need it we’ll have it.”

In our previous story WSAZ asked state Public Service Chairwoman Charlotte Lane if Frontier should add that email address to its website.

Sager asked Lane: “The West Virginia House has the email address telecomconcerns@wvhouse.gov, and they have someone who is forwarding those complaints, as well to a Frontier representative with the company. Do you think that email address should also be put on their website?”

“Yes, I do,” Lane said.

“Those emails would go straight to a higher up with Frontier,” Sager said.

“Yes. I think that’s a great idea,” Lane responded.

Since WSAZ’s previous story, Sager asked the PSC what that process could look like. They tell us one option would be in the form of an order issue to the company from the PSC.

We asked a Frontier spokesperson if Frontier would ever consider adding telecomconcerns@wvhouse.gov to its website as another means of customer service, but never received an answer to that question.

Delegate Linville says the ultimate goal is to get everyone reliable service.

“I’ve already been in contact since last night with Frontier customer service and our dedicated liaison. I’m seeing that Angie is replying back to everyone. That’s exactly what we want to see. We’ll stay on them. We won’t stop. We’re just getting started,” Linville said.

Lawmakers say Frontier customers reaching out via telecomconcerns@wvhouse.gov need to include their telephone number and address in their email. They say that information is critical so your account can be found, and they can make sure everything is followed up on.

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