Small business in Wisconsin cancels its unusably bad internet service from Frontier; Frontier demands $4,300 cancellation fee

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/02/23/cheesehead-danegeld.html

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All these shitty ISPs need a motherfuckin visit from the backhoe fairy. Everywhere.

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If Frontier has a binding arbitration clause, we’ll get late-stage capitalism Bingo!

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It doesn’t pay to pick a fight with somebody who buys their ink by the barrel.

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I can vouch for Frontier’s disastrously weak service. My elderly mother living outside of Rochester, NY has Frontier DSL and it goes out almost every other day in addition to being slow enough to not even handle minimum Netflix. Her only other option is Comcast - similarly horrid. I havent been able to convince her to switch to what would at least be much faster albeit equally untrustworthy, but I admittedly haven’t been trying too hard due to Comcast being the rock to Frontier’s hard place. Greenlight Fiber is making a lot of noise about moving into the area but that’s all it’s been so far, noise.

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Dear Frontier, You are currently my ISP but unlike the small businesswoman you are trying to harm I have other options. I’m only marginally satisfied with your service so switching is simple enough for me. I’ll follow this story, it has all the markings of the Trumpian mindset which encourages business to take any liberty it chooses. Please let your next bit of publicity reflect respect for the people that you need to stay in business. Losing me will mean little to you, not much when I reach out and encourage family and friends to go elsewhere…but it all adds up and someday you might miss us.

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Install and use PingPlotter to help document when the outages and high latency occur. This is simple and vital to placing the blame back on the ISP with evidence they cannot deny.

My son put this to good use with his cable ISP to the extent that they dug up and fixed an almost-new coaxial cable run.

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If the “early termination” penalty isn’t in the contract, it won’t survive even a minute under scrutiny in court. Period. Take 'em to court and make 'em pay for it themselves!

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Verizon was our area provider until they sold to Frontier. There was a campaign for high speed internet, even fiber, in our neighborhood before the sale. I’m now under the impression Verizon agreed because they knew they were on their way out. Now our area is a no-man’s-land after the sale. Slower speeds, frequent outages, high latency, and service runaround from hell. Frontier borrowed heavily to buy and killed every promised service since they went into debt to make the deal. I wish we had a local internet company willing to come to our area so badly. My one hope ran fiber to a neighborhood half a mile away that is higher income but when we contacted and petitioned told us we were “on their list.” That was three years ago. Keep asking, same response. I hate them all.

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This reflects the odd business mentality I cannot understand. These businesses are involved in a race to the bottom for service and quality, but keep increasing their fees. There are only a few ISPs in my area, and they just emulate each other. All it would take is one firm offering slightly above average service to put the rest out of business. They don’t seem to care about losing revenue, because that just leads them to squeeze the remaining customers even harder to make up the difference.

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That’s classical Oligopoly behavior.

a small group of businesses essentially conspire to keep things the way they like, and not to compete. In fact raw revenue isn’t as important as making sure there’s no competition, because gearing up for a war on providing better services is far more expensive than doing nothing.

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and those stock prices, they must rise. can’t invest, and have the market look at you funny. the ceo and cfo won’t get their ten million dollar bonus for the year

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How in the world does Frontier think they can demand contract satisfaction when they have not held up their end of the contract for years? Frankly, the fact that they already sent it to a collection agency tells us they have no intention of fighting it it court.

Candace Lestina should not only not pay the collection agency one red cent, but, if she has documentation of the poor service, should take Frontier to small claims court for refunds.

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I doubt the contract says that frontier has to conform to any standards at all.

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You are not going to see a lot of progressive business thinking in Wisconsin. This is ground zero MAGA country.
Foxconn, Scott Walker, Koch industries, Madison scandals, Kenosha scandals, etc. And it takes a LOT to become a scandal where most of it is fully condoned by elected officials.

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The only hope is that at some point one of the 5G providers will put up an antenna close to her place. I figuratively can’t wait to see all of these ISPs go down once 5G kicks in.

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Wisconsin was a swing state. It went for Trump by a relatively narrow margin (and voter suppression is thought to have contributed to that). Yes, there are some deeply conservative areas and the Republicans still control the state legislature, but there are also a lot of liberals and Walker lost his 2018 re-election bid.

Frontier’s HQ is in Connecticut, anyway.

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Thanks. Is the free version good, or would I need to go Pro?

looking at the versions, (https://www.pingplotter.com/products/features.html) Pro seems to be an overkill. The free however keeps only a ten-minute history, which won’t help you, so Standard seems to be the right fit for you. There are better free versions though- https://www.netadmintools.com/alternatives-to-pingplotter

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