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Frontier Makes Bad First Impression On Former Verizon Users

Customers experienced widespread phone, Internet and TV service disruptions as Frontier Communications began its Verizon wireline takeover in three states this month.

Frontier Communications has begun its Verizon takeover in three states this month, but it's not going as smoothly as the telecommunications provider would have liked.

As of April 1, Verizon wireline customers in California, Florida and Texas were switched over to Frontier. The transition prompted widespread service outages across Frontier's new markets that have so far lasted a week.

Frontier's $10.54 billion purchase included Verizon's TV, landline phone and broadband Internet business, as well as the Basking Ridge, N.J.-based provider's fiber-based Fios network in California, Texas and Florida. These services are largely aimed at consumers and small-business customers. According to Verizon, these assets served about 3.7 million voice customers and 2.2 million broadband connections.

[Related: Partner Frontier Acquisition Of Verizon Wireline Assets Could Impact Small-Business Sales]

One Florida-based solution provider who sells telecom services to enterprise customers hasn't seen its large customers be impacted, but the small provider has been dealing with Internet and TV disruptions stemming from the changeover.

"I've been living it," said the telecom professional, who didn't wish to be named. "It's been a pain from a personal standpoint, but I haven't heard anything from my customers."

While the acquisition was first announced in December 2015 by the two carriers, many customers said they received little notice when the switch would occur.

"I didn't get advance notification, but when I started to see some hiccups, I figured that's when they were starting the takeover," the solution provider said.

Frontier's twitter page, @askfrontier, has been inundated this week with frustrated former Verizon end users -- including business users -- in the affected areas, with one user stating that TV and Internet access has been down for three days. Customer service representatives for Frontier have been busy keeping up with the influx of complaints and reaching out to new customers who have been sounding off via social media.

The Stamford, Conn.-based based telecommunications provider is acknowledging its takeover difficulties. Frontier on Monday issued a formal apology to its customers.

"Given the size and scope of this transaction, some of our customers experienced service disruptions," Frontier said in a statement. "This is not the result we intended, and we apologize to our customers experiencing any problems."


On Tuesday, Frontier told customers that it may need until mid-April to get all video-on-demand titles for the Fios television service up and running again.

Given that Frontier is a smaller company in terms of market share than telecom giant Verizon, digesting Verizon's assets and transitioning customers over was likely to be a challenge in the beginning for Frontier.

"It's the nature of the business," the solution provider said. "When you switch carriers, you should expect some interruptions. As a user of the service, I don't want to feel the pain, but I understand it, being in this business."

In its newly acquired markets, Frontier will compete with incumbent providers including Time Warner Cable and Comcast.

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