- Internet & the Web
The Filipino Frontier Communications-Verizon Connection
Over three million customers new to Frontier Communications are frustrated with the poor customer service. This is because Verizon has sold part of its services to Frontier for around $10 billion. The customers that are impacted are those formerly Verizon customers in Texas, California and Florida with Internet, TV, DSL, and FiOS.
The big question is will history repeat. When Frontier bought AT&T in Connecticut in 2014, the customer service was horrific in the switch over transition and over 900 complaints with Consumer Protection were filed. Of those, 240 with the state attorney. Eventually, the company was forced to refund $50 to 170,000 customers because of the mess. Their packages range from $20 to 60, minus any federal and state fees, which usually add another $10 to the overall bill.
To handle the overflow of angry customers, Frontier has contracted with Sykes in Cebu, Philippines, where trained customer service reps try to resolve billing issues etc. Sykes also handles AT&T accounts and their six story building is one of the largest. True, Frontier does have American customer service but are small in comparison. These Filipinos earn just $340 a month working 160 hours, while US employees doing the same job make close to $500 a week. American customers are deluging the Frontier accounts regarding their accounts they cannot even access with a Frontier ID created from the Frontier website. Of course, when the American encounters a non-native voice even in English, many ask where they are located. When they are told “Southeast Asia”, many immediately think “Vietnam”, which angers them more because of history. Because of the bad rap the call centers in India have created (mainly because of their accent and speed when speaking English) and because of unwarranted suspicion their personal info is comprised, many hang up and try to reach an American call center.
Good luck! Most Filipinos speak English much easier to understand than those in India. They go through hours of learning how to speak clearly in English (which, BTW, is their second language and taught in schools). English is their main language used in all businesses there. It is hard to find someone who does not speak some English, especially in city environments.
Frontier’s popular, Video on Demand content from FiOS TV will take longer to fix than the other services. This affects video from premium channels including HBO, Showtime, Starz, Cinemax, and Epix. It may be several more weeks, while billing and account issues should be resolved by April 10.
The majority of calls are from California and Texas and as of April 6, 77% were Internet connections failing, 12% TV failing and 10% total blackout where customers have nothing.
The areas most affected are:
Los Angeles area, San Francisco bay area, Portland, Ore., Las Vegas, NV., Dallas area, TX, Tampa area, FL.