ED Magedson – Founder
Frontier Communications3 High Ridge Peak Stamford, Connecticut United States of America
We've been residential customers of Frontier Communications for ten years (it used to be called Citizens Communications), have always paid our phone bills on time, and have used them as our ISP for most of that same period. The Dial-Up service, as many might expect, has been increasingly poor. In fact, I've complained about it on a number of occasions after taking all the necessary steps to insure that the problem wasn't with my computer.
Each time I was told that nothing was going wrong on their end, that they weren't trying to "persuade" me to switch to DSL with increasingly lousy service, and yet each time I complained, the speed of the service improved markedly for the next few weeks or months. Why? I don't know and they would never admit it. However, it got so bad this past year that I seriously considered shutting down my Internet account.
The fact that they raised the price of Dial-Up added to my dissatisfaction with the service. Then we heard none other than Maggie Wilderotter, the CEO of Frontier Communications, on a local radio program. She was pushing a DSL promotion that advertised a month of DSL at no extra cost, with no obligation to continue the DSL service after the 30-day period, and a reduced price for it for the next year or two.
I called up the show and spoke to her personally and she assurred me of the sincerity of the offer. So I went for it and have been sorry ever since. Only a few days after the DSL equipment was hooked up, I began receiving emails from Frontier that said I had to sign an electronic contract accepting a 2-year promotional period at reduced cost or I would be charged for DSL at the regular rate.
Say what? I was still on the 30-day trial period and hadn't signed or accepted anything yet. Besides, the contract had all sorts of restrictive and punitive language in it that I didn't like at all. I couldn't sign that thing even if I had to, and since I was still on the trial period, I didn't need to consider it seriously, not yet, anyway.
I called up customer service to ask a question or two about the promotion, such as if I accepted it, would I be able to disconnect from it without a penalty if we moved because our house was for sale. They said yes. I said I'd keep that in mind in trying to decide whether or not to continue the service after the 30-day trial period was up. Later, I received a second email telling me to sign the electronic contract.
Then we received a phone bill that credited $135 to our account for installation of the DSL equipment. I presumed they had intended to debit AND credit that amount so that the installation was free, as per the promotion. When I brought it to the attention of customer service, they told me to forget about it.
I was concerned that when they found out they'd credited our account the money without debiting the same amount, the debit would show up 3 or 4 months later, and coupled with our regular bill, we'd be socked with a nearly $200 phone bill, which is something we simply cannot afford.
As the trial period was ending, I decided that I probably wouldn't continue with the DSL because websites were telling me that I needed to upgrade to a more modern browser "soon" yet my old operating system wouldn't support them the downloading of such a browser. Therefore, I knew paying more for DSL might be a complete waste of money.
I received a third email from Frontier warning me to sign the electronic contract or I'd be charged for DSL at the regular rate. Attempting to discontinue the DSL at the end of the trial period was sheer torment. I spoke to so many different customer service reps, mostly in the Deland, FLA office of the company, that I lost track, and heard something different from each one of them.
They will give you their extension but when you call them, all you can do is leave a voice mail message, and if you have an issue that needs dealing with NOW, you have to speak to someone entirely new. Frankly, I forget much of what they did and said to make declining the DSL service as painful as they could. I spent hour after hour and day after day waiting on them, talking to them, and listening them push a continual load of nonsense.
I was repeatedly deceived, occasionally insulted, and even threatened a time or two, while Maggie Wilderotter, the CEO of the company, was called a liar by one rep for advertising the 30-day free trial, which she and the rest of them contended did not even exist. Once they put the equipment in your home, you were signed up and that was it. The only question was would you get a promotional rate or pay the regular price.
As for the $135 credit? That was placed on my account by the first woman I'd spoken to when I asked the question about discontinuing the promotion if you have to move. This person had gone ahead and signed us up without even getting my permission. When I finally got back to her, this "nice lady" had done a complete about face and tried to force me to accept the promotion.
Because of what that woman had done, for the entire month, it appeared to all of them as if I'd already signed up for the promotion when I hadn't signed anything or agreed to anything. I'd taken the CEO at her word, which apparently wasn't worth squat.
I told them to take their equipment out of my home, NOW! Getting them to do even that much was a major hassle. They promised to send me packaging so I could send it to them because they insisted that no place existed locally for me to drop it off. That was a lie. There WAS a local facility with a small office and they did accept equipment from people who didn't want it anymore.
They said the service rep would be out to disconnect the DSL at the box outside our yard and would stop by and pick up the equipment, but he never came to the door even though we were told to wait for him all day long on a Saturday. A few days later, another guy did come to the door, but only after I'd spent several more hours on the horn being insulted, threatened, and lied to. He apologized up and down for our treatment by Frontier.
He admitted that I was 100% right about everything I'd been claiming and knew it for a fact because he'd personally ferried Ms. Wilderotter around town when she came here and he'd heard what she said on the radio. He suggested I complain to her and everyone else right up the chain of command. He also said he didn't like working with people at the Deland office, implying that they couldn't be trusted.
The last guy I spoke to in customer service promised that everything would be put right, including removing the charge for one month's DSL at the regular rate (plus a charge for the modem) that appeared on my next phone bill. He said those charges would be credited to my account the following month. Oh, they were credited, alright, but the credit was several dollars less than the original debit.
These and other peculiar debits, along with our monthly bill, were taken out of the original credit. We actually paid much less even for our regular phone service, or so it seemed, for about three months. If ever they got around to debiting us that credit, it would be more difficult make heads or tails out of the various charges. It's what's called a scam.
A couple of days ago, the other shoe dropped. Although Frontier reps had told me to forget about the $135 credit to our account ("Don't worry about it!" they repeatedly contended), especially after all the time and trouble they'd put me to, they finally got around to charging us for it. And they tacked on a $2 late fee, to boot! The result: a phone bill received over Thanksgiving weekend that is $186!
What the charge is for, exactly, they didn't even bother documenting on the second page of our bill. They simply call it "other charges" on the first page and add it to the total. Am I supposed to be happy about it because they actually gave us that money several months ago? Not when I have to pay it back all at once. In fact, the first bill they'd sent us after that mysterious credit didn't even include a payment envelope.
At this point, I'm seriously considering making a formal complaint with one or more of the appropriate regulatory agencies, sending a complaint note to Ms. Wilderotter, personally, complaining to the radio station and/or lying in wait for the next time Frontier comes on the air pushing a load of bull, and last but not least, shutting down our Internet account completely and possibly even disconnecting our phone.
We don't have a cell phone account and we'd be forced to get one, I suppose, even though I don't like cell phones and think they have made most of the population act like idiots (it must be the brain tumors they're developing slowly but surely). Anything to get out from under with this crooked company.
If anyone has any great ideas on how to deal with the complete jerks at Frontier Communications, I'd love to hear it.
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 11/29/2009 03:24 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Frontier-Communications/Stamford-Connecticut-06905/Frontier-Communications-Beware-of-Frontier-Communications-DSL-Promotion-Scheme-Stamford-530332. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.
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