Anger Boils Over at Long Beach Town Hall Over Frontier-Verizon Switch - NBC Southern California

Anger Boils Over at Long Beach Town Hall Over Frontier-Verizon Switch



    Anger Boils Over at Townhall Over Frontier-Verizon Landline Switch

    Frontier customers in Long Beach voiced their frustrations with the bumpy takeover from Verizon, leaving many without landlines or internet. Jane Yamamoto reports for the NBC4 News at 6 on Saturday, May 14, 2016. (Published Saturday, May 14, 2016)

    Emotions were running high — even resulting in a reporter getting shoved — during a town-hall meeting held in Long Beach Saturday as frustrated customers voiced their problems with dead landlines and no internet to a high ranking Frontier executive.

    Dozens of customers have reached out to NBC4 since Frontier Communications took over Verizon's landline phone, TV and internet service on April 1.

    More than 100 customers came face-to-face with an executive at the Long Beach Expo Arts Center hoping to get answers regarding their long lists of problems.

    "We have no TV, no internet, no phone," Kelly Mantooth said.

    At the meeting organized by Assemblyman Patrick O'Donnell, some complained about not having a phone line to call 911, or speaking with Frontier and Verizon customer service reps for hours and getting no help.

    "I think Frontier would agree they have an obligation to customers to fix this issue," Assemblyman Patrick O'Donnell said.

    Frontier executive Melinda White tried to explain what happened.

    "I am sincerely sorry for the frustration that this conversion has created for you," White, Frontier Communications West Region President, said.

    But customers say they weren't getting answers from the Frontier executive.

    In a separate room, more than two dozen service agents and technicians worked to help people on the spot.

    "Do they even know what they're doing?" a woman shouted from the audience.

    Many of the customers have complained to the California Public Utility Commission, which regulates the service.

    "We've had 584 complaints lodged regarding transition," Drisha Melton of the California Public Utility Commission said.

    As White left the meeting, she wouldn't stop for additional comment, resulting in a member of her entourage shoving a reporter.

    Mantooth said after the meeting, a technician made a surprise visit to her Long Beach home and began restoring each device one by one. She said she plans to stick with Frontier, but that's not the case for all who attended the town hall — many told NBC4 they had already -- or were planning to -- switch carriers.

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