Two months after taking over landline phone, television and broadband operations from Verizon, an official from Frontier Communications is apologizing for service outages that have left many customers angry and disappointed.
Two weeks ago, company officials had a tense impromptu meeting with angry Frontier customers. Now, it is making promises to restore service and win back confidence even as complaints continue rolling in.
"We absolutely owe the customers who were affected an apology," said Melinda White, Frontier's area president of the west region, which includes California. "I sincerely apologize for this disruption."
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White said the company “did not know there would be software gaps at this level.”
In the last eight weeks, the I-Team has received dozens of complaints about Frontier from people like Lynda Randall.
"It's very frustrating," Randall said.
Unable to use her phone even in an emergency, Randall said Frontier's customer service hasn't been able to help.
"There were many days that I was in tears talking to these people, because you just couldn't get through to them," Randall said.
White acknowledged communication issues further exacerbated customer dissatisfaction.
“The frustration is then magnified by the fact that they reach out to us and they are not able to get a satisfactory answer,” White said.
More people have complained about Frontier Communications to NBC4's Consumer Investigative Center than any other company.
Frontier customers have written in things like, "This compromises my home security monitoring," "They have no idea how to resolve," "I am furious with this company."
White said she and other company executives know they face an uphill battle when it comes to customer happiness.
"It's certainly not the way we were intending to enter the market," White said. "We understand that we have a lot in front of us to regain confidence."
She would not specify how many customer accounts were impacted, but said it involved hundreds of Southern California cities.
"We don't give statewide numbers," White said.
She said Frontier's software issues have been fixed, and promises to have service to all affected customers restored within the next seven days. The company will settle all refunds and credits with affected customers by the end of June, she said.
"We will be issuing credits for their time out of service as soon as we get them back on the system," White said.
The company also plans to hire 4,000 employees in California, many of them call service workers, and have them in place by the end of July.