Lebanon Town Supervisor James Goldstein is asking town residents who have issues with their Frontier Communications service to contact the New York State attorney general. He has already filed his own complaint with the attorney general, Goldstein said, and hearing complaints also from residents will help his cause.
“Please go on line to the attorney general of New York State website and file your complaints regarding Frontier service so we can build some momentum,” Goldstein has asked his constituents. He said he would ask both the Lebanon Town Board and Madison County Board of Supervisors to pass resolutions addressing the grievances and asking for investigative action by the attorney general.
He has demanded answers when it comes to promises made by representatives of Frontier Communications. Goldstein recently contacted Jan Van DeCarr, Frontier’s manager for government and external affairs, with questions about proposed upgrades taking effect as of the new year.
“I have been hearing different things from constituents who have contacted Frontier – some are reporting new charges of $30 to $50 per month to take advantage of the upgrade, which is outrageous considering Frontier got a state-funded grant to do the upgrade and in addition, has not provided the DSL high speed service it claims it provides to its customers in my township ever since it was advertised,” Goldstein wrote in an email to Van DeCarr. “I would know. My Internet at my house goes down several times a day minimum and there are constant problems with viewing and speed.”
Goldstein said he had repeated complaints from numerous constituents, some of whom have said Internet speeds are non-usable or they have waited up to a week or two to have service restored. Some have had to battle Frontier for reimbursement or credit for nonfunctional Internet or phone service, he said. Recently, he has also heard from some residents who were supposed to be eligible for broadband upgrades but were now being told they will all have to purchase new modems and other equipment to utilize the upgrade.
“This is unacceptable,” Goldstein told Van DeCarr.
Since the purpose of the broadband expansion was to allow rural residents in communities like Lebanon to have accessible affordable high speed Internet and broadband, Goldstein requested specific information as to exactly what service customers should be requesting and why, and what the costs will be. He said he heard many different scenarios from constituents who have contacted Frontier in recent weeks, and none of it is consistent.
Now, Goldstein wants Frontier to answer for what he called misleading information.
“I am advocating that Frontier give all Lebanon customers a one-year refund or one-year credit given the shoddy and inconsistent as well as incompetent internet service over the last year as well as the very problematic phone service that was advertised and charged as something different,” Goldstein wrote. “Many have been charged for high speed DSL for years when your system never even approximated that on a daily basis. Where I come from, this is known as false advertising."
“The customers we serve are important and one displeased or out-of-service is one too many," said Frontier Communications spokesperson Javier Mendoza. "Frontier is committed to our customers and the communities we serve, and focuses on resolving issues as quickly as reasonably possible, which is why New York State invested $500 million to incentivize broadband providers to bring service to those areas. Thanks to the state-supported broadband build-out, customers will now receive unprecedented fiber-to-the-home service of 100 megabits per second (Mbps), compared to the federal definition of broadband at 25 Mbps, and should call Frontier to get connected to the new, faster network.”