A California legislative committee will hold hearings on problems former Verizon customers are having more than a month after their service was switched to Frontier Communications.
Frontier purchased Verizon’s FiOS and DSL businesses in California, Florida, and Texas, taking over the fiber and copper networks on April 1. Outages and various other service problems hit customers almost immediately, and Frontier still hasn’t solved all the problems.
Mike Gatto, a Democratic legislator from Los Angeles who is chairman of the California State Assembly’s Utilities & Commerce Committee, issued a statement yesterday about the “ongoing Frontier Communications telephone and Internet outages after the Verizon FiOS changeover.”
“There has been an alarming rate of telephone and Internet outages in Southern California and consumers are frustrated with the lack of a solution to this months-long ordeal,” Gatto said. “These problems need to be resolved swiftly. Cities are unable to live stream council meetings and residents are at risk because of the inability to dial 911 in an emergency. My committee will hold hearings on the impact on our constituents and the appropriate government response if these problems persist.”
We contacted a Frontier spokesperson yesterday about Gatto’s statement but haven’t heard back.
We’ve heard from a couple of customers about lengthy service outages. Clayton Gibson in Colleyville, Texas, told us he lost Internet and TV service for nearly a week “Each night we are told a tech will arrive, only for them to not show,” Gibson told Ars last week when the outage was still ongoing.
It turned out that some unrelated construction work knocked out a FiOS line, according to Gibson. While that initial problem didn’t affect the Gibsons’ service, it did affect a neighbor—and the Gibsons subsequently lost service after Frontier fixed the neighbor’s connection. “A Frontier technician reconnected the line for our neighbor but in the process disconnected ours,” Gibson said. The problem was repaired last weekend.
Another Frontier customer in Los Angeles named Gary said he lost service for more than a week shortly after the Verizon/Frontier changeover. It turned out the problem was fixed with a factory reset of his modem, but Frontier employees couldn’t figure out what the problem was in a timely manner.
“On the first day after an hour and a half of troubleshooting, I was informed that I was part of an outage and service will be restored by Tuesday morning,” Gary told us while his service was still down. “The next day another supervisor told me I was not part of an outage and my service will be restored by the end of that day—both were wrong. Then I was told that they would dispatch somebody to my home who never arrived, I had supervisors tell me they would call me back and follow up with me and they never did, and on and on and on and on.”
We contacted Frontier about both cases but never received any further information.
NBC4 in Southern California had a report of an 83-year-old customer who says her phone service was out for a week. “On an oxygen tank 24 hours a day, [Marlene] Vernava said her landline is critical because it is connected to her medical alert system that tells family and doctors if something is wrong,” the report said. “The day after NBC4 investigated Vernava’s story, Frontier and Verizon technicians came out to fix the problem the next day.”
NBC4 said it also heard from “dozens” of former Verizon customers who had problems following the switch to Frontier.
Some say they wish Verizon had never sold to Frontier. “Our FiOS/Internet have been out 6 days w/ no end in sight. #bringbackverizon,” one customer tweeted yesterday.
The Frontier problems are similar to those that occurred late in 2014, when the company purchased AT&T wireline operations in Connecticut. Outages hit some for weeks in that case as well.
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