#1 By: Cory Doctorow, February 19th, 2014 12:00
#2 By: David_Aubke, February 19th, 2014 12:13
Count me as a happy subscriber. We were the first to get Verizon DSL out here in our part of the sticks. It was slow (< 1Mb). We were at or maybe even beyond the physical range limit for the service so we took what we could get. Since Frontier took over, the speed is more regularly between 1 and 1.5 Mb - which is blazing fast. Many of my neighbors are still stuck with dial-up or satellite. The best part is the customer service. When you call, you get someone who knows what the hell they're talking about. That wasn't AT ALL the case when it was Verizon.
#3 By: petzl, February 19th, 2014 12:18
Not sure if Frontier should get too much credit.
A (sufficiently large) warm pool of primordial ooze could manage a company better than Verizon.
#4 By: Robert Absten, February 19th, 2014 12:27
I'm not sure this is because Frontier is so much better than Verizon - although Verizon was quite bad - or a combination of other factors. Since the Verizon divestment cell service has notably expanded and improved here in the Mountain State, leading many households to drop the land lines. Less lines, less complaints. Also, our primary cable provider (Suddenlink, which gives Verizon a run for its money in a race to the bottom of the customer service rankings) has been ungodly aggressive in marketing its own phone service, leading to, again, less Frontier lines and less complaints.
Is Frontier better than Verizon? Sure, it's hard not to be. Is is really any good? Not really.
#5 By: MrWoods, February 19th, 2014 12:31
Not to take away from Frontier (good job guys!), but I wonder how influential the government oversight was in ensuring this victory
When the state Public Service Commission approved Frontier's acquisition of the Verizon network in May 2010, it imposed several conditions as part of the transaction.
Those included requiring the company to invest nearly $280 million to improve service quality and increase broadband deployment by the end of 2013. Regulators also said Frontier must ensure that at least 85 percent of households in the old Verizon network have broadband access by the end of 2014.
#6 By: Ben Frazier, February 19th, 2014 12:45
This is funny, because I suffered the absolute worst customer service (of any type of service or store) at the hands of Frontier. Mind-blowingly bad.
#7 By: Michael Wendell, February 19th, 2014 13:18
Maybe phone service is better, I never had it. But as far as broadband goes, things went from mediocre to absolutely horrible here in Morgantown when Frontier took over. And at least I could get someone from Verizon on the phone when things did break, Frontier's customer service has been atrocious. When I was a customer, which ended about a year ago, Frontier broadband was literally unusable. Netflix, for example, simply did not work (although it worked fine before the switch over). I've since jumped to [major cable internet provider] and my connection speeds are consistently ten to fifteen times faster. Nevertheless, I find the claim that customer service requests have dropped by 70 percent to be somewhat dubious, and if so, most likely due to reasons other than a better service experience under Frontier.
#8 By: Maurice Reeves, February 19th, 2014 13:52
I find the complaints about Verizon interesting, and not just because of Louis CK's bit about "go make your own" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KpUNA2nutbk) but also because I've got Verizon for FIOS and mobile, and the service has been routinely outstanding on both sides. Not only is it outstanding, but every six months or so, Verizon calls me and offers to increase our FIOS speed at no extra charge. We're at 40/20. Yes, it costs more, but I've had literally NO problems.
Maybe it's because Xfinity/Comcast is so aggressive in our area, so Verizon takes customer care and retention more seriously.
It seems likes some regions have great service and others suck, which says to me that some mid-level managers in the corporate structure actually are competent, and others (those in charge of WV) suck. If only Verizon would sweep house more often and get rid of the managers who suck. If only more companies in general would do that.
#9 By: Joshua Hastie, February 19th, 2014 15:03
When Frontier took over from Verizon here in Southwest Ohio, our DSL speeds fell, outages became a weekly occurrence (and often lasted hours, sometimes days) while customer support was laughable: just binder jockeys 9 times out of 10 who had no answers for us. We continue to get speeds lower than advertised and we pay a silly amount for the privilege, but in our rural area there are no other options, save satellite.
I found a contractor discussing the situation in a forum while trying to research our speed problems. He revealed that before Verizon had handed over its territory to Frontier, it had actually stopped taking subscribers, because its network was overloaded. When Frontier took over they threw open the gates again, and that's why speeds had plummeted. Meanwhile they were busy upgrading the infrastructure that Verizon had been neglecting (I suppose that explained a lot of those outages) but our service never seemed to improve as the years went by.
So, it definitely sounds to me like a regional, case-by-case thing.
#10 By: Mark Herber, February 19th, 2014 15:34
As someone living in an area which was taken over by Frontier a few years ago, I can't say that this is at all indicative of the overall performance of Frontier vs. Verizon. At least in my area, Frontier's level of service has plummeted from "okay" to downright dismal. This isn't just pertaining to residential service either--their business service has suffered tremendously as well. Since they took over operations in this region, they've forced two abrupt renumberings on all static IP customers, as well as switching all of their DSL customers from MAC authentication to PPPoE without warning. In the case of the latter catastrophe, much of the first level tech support wasn't even aware that the change had occurred and incorrectly told tons of customers that their lack of Internet connectivity was due to private equipment failure.
As if to add insult to injury, Frontier also raised rates on all offered services--in the case of their IPTV offerings by nearly 100%--as well as replaced the reasonably flexible and browser-friendly customer portal with a horrible monstrosity that is not only difficult to use, but also refuses to work reliably on anything other than Internet Explorer.
Verizon is a company that has done a lot of bad things, but let's not give Frontier credit where credit is undue.
#11 By: Ambiguity, February 19th, 2014 16:06
Wow. I hadn't bothered to recreate my account after the move from disques, but I just had to chime in, being one of those "lucky West Virginians."
Yea, there phone service is OK, but their Internet is ATROCIOUS -- and if I had access to a blink tag, I'd use it. We spend well over $100/month for DSL and phone, and often we have sustained period where the best download speed we can get it < 30K. Low res YouTube videos are often unwatchable, and often my kids just give up on Netflix.
Their customer service is poor. I once had to trouble-shoot a problem with their mail server for them by firing up a protocol analyzer and watching my packets fail. Last time I tried to open a trouble ticket they told be flat out that they couldn't help me unless I rented one of their modems from them at some absurd price.
And I'm not just venting -- I do know a little about what I speak. I used to be in telecommunications, and I actually had equipment co-located at their CO, so I got to know their network pretty well. The line guys were fine (whenever we had issues we found that bringing some beer and pizza to the CO worked a lot better than opening up a formal trouble ticket), but the rest of their technical organization was abysmal.
Just goes to show that random numbers -- 0.68 in this case -- really don't tell much of a useful narrative.
#12 By: Edwin Gore, February 19th, 2014 20:02
#13 By: Greg Koos, February 19th, 2014 22:40
Frontier bought the Old GTE network from Verizon and service improved in a very short time. Internet issues resolved in real time with real people,
#14 By: manybellsdown, February 19th, 2014 22:41
My Frontier-that-was-Verizon seems pretty awesome to me, but to be fair my only other option was Comcast. My experience just talking to their customer service was so terrifyingly bad I'd take Frontier even if they were manned by Lovecraftian cultists.
#15 By: Ambiguity, February 20th, 2014 10:07
You know, Frontier used to be called Citizen's Communications.
#16 By: gilbert wham, February 20th, 2014 10:28
Grass in here is sure lookin' plastic...
#17 By: Cory Doctorow, February 24th, 2014 12:00
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