Frontier Of Failure: Verizon FIOS Fumble Costs An ISP The Game (Opinion)

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xt1

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Apr 22, 2016
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I used to work at a Frontier DSL and FIOS support call center. First, I feel your pain, I really do. Frontier outsources their tech support to 3rd party call centers, these call centers make money per call that comes in. I was told to get a contact number for future reference, but if the call was dropped I could not call the person back (since we only made money on inbound calls). I would have to write notes in a ticket and leave it open for the next agent.

Leaving tickets open was considered a bad thing for call center agents and technicians in the field. So many agents had the bad practice of closing tickets to make numbers look better. Some ticket get closed in error due to bad ticket generator user interface and poor employee training.
The turnover where I worked was high. This lead to inexperienced agents and poor customer service.
Field agents would be rarely available for dispatch and they would only work about 4 or 5 tickets a day. They understandably tried to fix things at the CO and then work their way out ( this could solve numerous customers problems ). Some techs would never show at the customers place and leave notes that were obviously copy and pasted or the tech would not even test at the location but would test elsewhere (and then log that they tested at the ONT or NID.
I am sorry you had problems.

Please reply if you want to know more.
 

mnivek

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Oct 11, 2012
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What's really sad is that this is the level of service for a recognized media person, with access to a highly visible communications platform, and STILL you get that kind of service. How bad is it for the thousands who are not Editor in Chief somewhere?
 

Frontier_frustrated

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Apr 22, 2016
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So I'm in Texas where we were never told all Verizon FiOS was "migrating" to Frontier.... How did I find out.... a letter and an outage... on the same day. Regardless, the run around was real, the customer service was saying it was all on my side when after hours of troubleshooting, of which I already did since I am a seasoned IT pro, it narrowed down to an outage several towns over.... I was assured the outage was "temporary" and will be contacted back when a resumption of service was expected. Fail on all parts: contact on resumption, updates, or even account access to pay!
So at this time, I can't even pay?! How did I find out this little nugget, my wife was scheduling a payment, Verizon said you don't belong to us anymore, and Frontier said well you don't have an account to edit to add your spouse...... FFS
 

gggplaya

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Were you forced into Frontier??? Did they buy your account from verizon??

Around here, frontier is a little overpriced, but that's because they operate in areas where you can't get cable or other DSL. They were the only ones willing to invest in rural areas. So the price is understandable.

Luckily for me, i live closer to the city, so i have comcast. The speed is great and outages have only lasted a few hours during some wicked storms. It's only $60 per month for 105Mbps, $40 for 20Mbps. DSL where i live is $20 per month for 3Mbps, those are your only 3 options.
 

skit75

Splendid
I still have service, but I haven't tested speed since the switch-over. I will test a bit tonight. I was originally on the FIOS 75mbps/75mbps plan.


Update: Received my first bill from Frontier today. No change in price and I am still getting my bandwidth as far as I can tell. Downloaded a 1.3GB file at just under 10MB/s.

So far so good but I haven't had to deal with customer service, yet.
 

skit75

Splendid


Yeah, sort of. Verizon made the decision last year to abandon west coast operations in favor of concentrating on high speed roll-outs on the east coast. Frontier was the result. It seems like any contractual obligations should be null and void since.... Verizon got out of their part of the deal.
 

Quinn_1

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Apr 22, 2016
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I wouldn't mind seeing internet services becoming a government run service (at least as an alternative). The Internet has become a critical service in the modern world.

Chattanooga appears to be a model pioneering example of city-run (10gbps) internet service. https://epb.com/

Sometimes critical services and capitalism just don't pair well.
 

bryandameron

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Dec 31, 2007
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In a rural area where only option was verizon DSL at 3 meg. They sold out to Frontier who oversold access plus took forever to do "upgrades". During the first 6 months or more after the buyout, speed was less than dial-up if it worked at all. I eventually found out they were not using any of the back bone lines in the state but were hopping from CO box to CO box. They eventually finished some of the upgrades enough that they started offering 12 meg connections. The problem is the lag is horrible and its not consistent. I can't even stream movies due to the constant switching between HD and normal.Definitely one of the worst ISPs out there but where I live now, I have no other options.
 

jaber2

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Jan 21, 2012
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I used to work for an ISP long ago, this is typical pass the buck system, they are lying to you, you should look at replacement asap, don't be surprised if you get a bill and have to pay for the month you didn't get any service or see your bill going higher next month, they can lose you easy and continue to stay in business, you can't vote these guys out of business, just unsuscribe
 

WatchingUser

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May 29, 2015
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I wouldn't mind seeing internet services becoming a government run service (at least as an alternative). The Internet has become a critical service in the modern world.

Chattanooga appears to be a model pioneering example of city-run (10gbps) internet service. https://epb.com/

Sometimes critical services and capitalism just don't pair well.
Lets take a bit of time to think about that statement.
You're basically giving over your privacy to an inefficient institution that shuts down every other year because the yahoos cannot agree on anything. Capitalism pushes companies to do better than their competitor unless there are no competitors in the area they have a monopoly but that will not last long as other companies will strive to do better.
Bottom line is everything works itself out.
 

Frontier_frustrated

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Apr 22, 2016
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Frontier "acquired" Verizon FiOS services in several states..... no customer interaction was solicited but it apparently went through the FCC

 

tostada

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Email all of the following in the first list, and your regional president for your area.

daniel.mccarthy@ftr.com (CEO)
kathleen.abernathy@ftr.com (EVP)
steve.gable@ftr.com (EVP and CTO)
john.jureller@ftr.com (EVP and CFO)
john.lass@ftr.com (EVP and field ops)
cecilia.mckenney@ftr.com (EVP and chief customer officer)
mark.nielsen@ftr.com (gen counsel & secretary)
tim.travaille@ftr.com (SVP, integration)
kath.weslock@ftr.com (EVP & chief people officer)

regional presidents by name.

melinda.white@ftr.com (president west region)
rhonda.lutzke@ftr.com (president south region)
becky.potts@ftr.com (national region)
robert.pero@ftr.com (central region)
ken.arndt@ftr.com (east region)
mike.flynn@ftr.com (southeast region)
gregory.stephens@ftr.com (mid-south region)
 

skit75

Splendid


Except this industry has spent the last couple decades creating these non-compete zones. Now that nobody can compete based on zip code, where is the incentive to spend money upgrading the last mile connections? There is no reason to worry if an alternate provider can't even knock on your door to offer a competitive service.
 

rayden54

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May 14, 2013
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I had a well thought out reply. Now all I can think is "Was that me? I think that was me. Did I say it sucked monkey balls?"

It really is that bad either way.

1.8 Mbps. That's it. Less than half the 2010 definition of broadband, let alone the 2015 definition. It's not cheap either. Close to $50/month. Oh, and they're the only ISP in town (technically if I lived in town I could get Comcast, but I'm a couple miles from the city limits so Frontier it is).

You said Frontier's upgrading the infrastructure where you're at? I haven't seen a single improvement since Verizon first ran the lines close to 8 years ago. We've been stuck with Frontier for probably 5-6 of those. As far as I can tell, they never plan to change anything.

I hoped, I really hoped that the FCC classifying broadband as a utility would mean that we'd get some sort of upgrade. Hell, even meeting the old definition of broadband would be nice.


To make things even more interesting, I can't get 4G LTE coverage out here either and according to speedtest.net, my 3G speed is a mere 0.28 Mbps.
 

FrozenFusion

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Apr 22, 2016
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During the migration in my area a couple weeks ago, I was without internet for "only" a day, but I too feel the switch-over was horribly run. The main problem: there was a major lack of communication across the board, externally, and seemingly for them internally. Did they not have pre-planning meetings? Long hold times, nobody really knowing what is actually going on, just: "they're working on it and it's expected to come back up within 48 hours". Their "live-chat" support had a queue of over 200 and an estimated 2 hour+ wait(I gave up after 30 minutes when the estimated time didn't seem to really be reducing). I didn't know if there was something that I needed to do to get things up and running(reset the router?). Despite how long it took here, if they had sent clear information pertaining to my specific area regarding exactly when it was going to happen, what was going to happen(there was NO mention of an expected downtime at all), approximately how long they expect it to take and outlining anything customers needed to do, it would have been much less frustrating.

The only thing they did send: "On April 1, 2016, your Verizon services will transition to the Frontier network. That means if you currently have Internet, TV or Voice service, it will be provided by Frontier Communications.", along with links to their website containing NO specifics to my area's switch-over. The links did contain the number to their support line however. That email was sent a few days before the switch-over.
 

leoherbie

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Apr 22, 2016
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I used to have to Verizon DSL in Michigan which was then taken over by Frontier. When I first signed up with Verizon the service was slow (2.5 down) but it was good enough and fairly reliable. This was around 7 years ago. The past few years the DSL degraded to the point where it was cutting out daily and also 2.5 down is no longer fast enough. The outages happened most often during the Spring especially when it was rainy. I called tech support on numerous occasions only to have my time wasted and eventually told that it must be my internal network or wiring. I know for a fact this is not the case but since I was running my modem in bridged mode this is what they told me. Even when I took my modem out of bridged mode they concluded that everything is fine on their end so it must be something in my house. I work from home as a software developer and so this reliability was really problematic for me. I decided to sign up for a backup service through HughesNet. This service was absolute garbage. I knew it would be bad but the latency caused many of my developer tools to not work correctly. I guess they were never tested on high latency networks which I totally understand not being a priority in the software world. So anyway, I finally found a fixed wireless service to provide quite expensive but reliable internet and I ditched Frontier. I did have to build an 80 foot tower in order to get over the trees in my yard which is probably not an option for a lot of people. Plus this service costs me $90 a month for 11 down. I was so angry with Frontier and worried about not having them as an option that I filed a complaint with the FCC. The first complaint was marked as resolved after Frontier supposedly contacted me. They never contacted me at all. I then filed a second complaint reiterating what was in the first complaint while also stating that Frontier had never actually contacted me. With this complaint I actually got a call. The person on the phone claimed that they couldn't actually resolve my issue because I no longer had service. I asked him why I would continue to pay for service that barely worked. He told me that if I wanted my issues resolved I had to sign back up for service. I mentioned that my neighbor had just be told several days ago that Frontier no longer had available DSL ports. The Frontier guys basically said that he could not guarantee service availability but the only way they will fix anything is if I have active service. To summarize: I had Frontier. It was terrible and didn't work a lot of the time. I cancelled because I didn't want to pay for something that didn't work. I complained to the FCC and Frontier ignored me. I complained again and they responded that they can only fix my service if I was still signed up but I may no longer be able to sign up.
 

Quinn_1

Commendable
Apr 22, 2016
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Except this industry has spent the last couple decades creating these non-compete zones. Now that nobody can compete based on zip code, where is the incentive to spend money upgrading the last mile connections? There is no reason to worry if an alternate provider can't even knock on your door to offer a competitive service.
Yes, this is a good explainer on just some of the problems. Also, there seems to be a double-standard from critics of government run programs. Consider the implications if any of these became private companies: US military, fire department, police department, NSA, CIA, etc.
 

ottopia

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Apr 22, 2016
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Guess I am lucky in this regard. I have Frontier FIOS and it's the best broadband service I've ever had (and there isn't a close second). The one support interaction I had was pretty smooth and they got a tech out next business day.
 

skippyboy92362

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Jul 31, 2009
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When it comes to ISP.s this is just the tip of the iceberg for there services. Outages, bandwidth caps, and extra charges seem to be the normal thing these days. Far from me to support government regulation but this is one area were we need them to step in put some standard rules down and it needs to happen soon. Until then the ISP's will keep running over us consumers especially in areas where they have no competition.
 

EthanH

Reputable
May 17, 2015
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I'm in a suburb of Portland, OR that was the first area in the country where Verizon's FIOS transferred to Frontier. Initially it was great. I spent well over the 10 hours the story author mentions trying to get functional service from Verizon, most of it on hold listening to ads featuring America's stupidest people praising Verizon. In contrast, Frontier often answered the phone without even going into the hold queue.

Service at the time was clueless but well-intentioned. Connectivity problems? We'll overnight a new router and see if that helps. That didn't work? OK, a tech will be out this morning to replace the ONT box. Still not working? Oops, we screwed something up at central. All fixed.

Within a couple of years, we dropped landline service. This made finding the account information nearly impossible for Frontier reps, as it is tied to a phone number in their database. The only number acceptable was one provided by Frontier; if there was none, the account didn't exist.No matter that I payed bills every month and provided the account number listed on the invoice. I'd usually get a call back within a couple of hours from a supervisor who managed to verify that the account did, in fact, exist.

Frontier stopped offering the speed combination I purchased, making things more difficult. They did, however, honor the grandfathered provisioned speeds and usually managed to meet or slightly exceed the promised limits.

Last summer brought a three week outage. Calling the service was fruitless. Finally, I got lucky and got a rep who said "I think I see what's wrong. Let me check." Within a couple of minutes service was restored.

Frontier seems clueless as ever but now mixes in Comcastic levels of customer service.
 

bonnieville

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Apr 22, 2016
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For what it's worth, We live in Fort Wayne, In.

We were switched over to Frontier several years ago and didn't have one problem at all.

Just lucky here that it went so smoothly.

Really sorry to hear about your problems with them.

DSLR site has a lot of complaints since the switch was made.

You might be able to get help at their site.

Good luck!
 

thewrayj

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Apr 22, 2016
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I spent a few years working in digital production in Hollywood.
At the office, we had a Time Warner business account, which caused nothing but woe as I constantly struggledwith their service while uploading TBs of video.
At my apartment, however, I paid a promotional rate of $65/month for a rock-solid 300/20 connection, which I would recommend to anyone with the option.
 
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