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WSAZ Investigates | Cut lines leave Frontier customers struggling for answers on service

WSAZ Investigates | Families struggle to get answers when phone service will be restored
Published: Apr. 29, 2022 at 7:21 PM EDT
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HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - Since April 27, we have been emailing back and forth with Frontier Communications, trying to find out what’s going on with two customers who said they hadn’t been able to find out why their phone service wasn’t working.

After numerous emails, Frontier said American Electric Power cut two of their large cables, resulting in the outage.

For about two weeks, Marylee Crawford said she has been having problems with her phone for around two weeks and since April 21, she says it hasn’t worked at all.

“I miss my phone, she said. “When my girls were to go to the store, they can’t even call back and see how I’m doing.”

Crawford lives just a couple minutes from Ritter Park in Huntington.

With her landline not working, her daughter Ann Hamlin got Marylee her first cell phone, but it’s not something she’s ever used.

“I’m 100 years old, so your hands and things, it’s not like they used to when you were young so sometimes the phone slips out, but with my regular phone I can hold on to it better,” Crawford said.

Hamlin said those struggles prompted her to start calling Frontier repeatedly to get her issues resolved.

She said someone was supposed to come to their house on April 24, but no one ever showed up.

“I haven’t gotten the text or anything about what’s going on like an update,” Hamlin said. “Nothing whatsoever.”

Crawford isn’t the only one struggling. About 20 minutes away in Wayne County, the Thompsons are dealing with similar issues.

”Never had I ever had a phone problem like this. For the last two, three weeks, it just comes and goes. It may not work for three days, and they may get on and work an hour to go away again.”

Danny and Phyllis Thompson live in Lavalette. They say they have serious health problems and while Phyllis does have a cell phone for emergencies, Danny says he doesn’t know how to use it.

“Without the phone, I can’t get ahold of emergency services, and that worries me real bad,” he said. If something were to happen and the phone’s not working, we’re just hung out to dry.”

They too have reached out to Frontier multiple times and say they have not been able to get any answers.

WSAZ started reaching out to Frontier to see if we could get their phones working and some answers.

After asking for an interview and sending several questions, Frontier ignored our request for an interview but sent an email saying:

“The outages are not a result of Frontier service. There are outside issues that are impacting service for some in this area, including stolen cables in Huntington, and accidental large cable cuts that happened because of work being done by other companies in the area.”

And in a follow-up email when we asked more questions, we were told both Marylee and the Thompsons were affected by AEP accidentally cutting their cables.

We reached out to AEP to find out more information. Their spokesperson told us by phone that a contractor struck a cable, causing the outage on April 20.

Since we started working on this story, the Thompson’s phone was restored around noon Thursday.

However, Crawford is still waiting.

Frontier has not told us how many people are dealing with this outage.

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