CWA urges state regulators to take action on service quality at Frontier Communications

States regulators in several states are investigating service quality issues at Frontier Communications. CWA has been actively participating in those proceedings by calling on Frontier to invest in its network and workforce to improve service quality.

Most recently, CWA urged the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO)  -- which is investigating customer complaints against Fronter - to address Frontier’s refusal to recall dozens of trained and experienced Ohio technicians, who are currently laid off, to make much-needed repairs. Since Frontier’s acquisition of Ohio landlines from Verizon in 2010, Frontier has cut CWA represented workforce by 70 percent, meaning fewer resources for maintenance, repairs, and customer service. 

“We believe paying to import technicians from outside the state to perform ineffectively, instead of employing local technicians who are already familiar with the network, shortchanges customers and Ohio communities and puts them at risk,” said eight CWA local presidents in a letter to PUCO. “We believe Frontier needs to invest in its local workforce to ensure the long-term viability of our network and connectedness of our community.”

Last week, the Minnesota Department of Commerce and Frontier reached a settlement that requires Frontier to issue refunds to aggrieved customers and establishes a framework for dealing with future service quality issues and maintenance breakdowns. CWA Local 7270 President Mark Doffing spoke at a Minnesota Public Utilities Commission hearing last October and highlighted how Frontier has left the community behind through a lack of investment in their local workforce. 

Earlier this month, CWA members in California called on Frontier to honor its contract with its employees and stop the company's offshoring of good US jobs. In Connecticut, CWA reached a two-year tentative agreement with Frontier that protects current staffing levels in the state, a general wage increase, and more. Also, in a settlement with the Nevada Attorney General’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, Frontier agreed to provide refunds to some customers and to pay $1 million for the enhancement of Elko County’s broadband services.

In August, the New York Public Service Commission launched an improvement plan for Frontier subsidiaries in that state after becoming aware of escalating complaint rates and significant service quality issues. In March, the West Virginia Public Service Commission (WVPSC) ordered Frontier to move forward to hire a consultant to conduct a thorough audit of Frontier’s operations in the state, after the WVPSC released a series of customer complaints about Frontier’s service quality.

CWA continues to monitor and participate in state regulatory investigations of Frontier in order to ensure that the voice of Frontier workers and customers are heard by the regulatory agencies. 

Links:

PDF iconLetter from Eight Local Presidents to the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (CWA, Oct. 21, 2019)

Minnesota regulators OK Frontier Communications' settlement with state on landline service (StarTribune, Oct. 17, 2019)

Minnesota CWAers at Frontier Bring Concerns to Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (CWA, Oct. 4, 2018)

Frontier Communications workers in California call on the company to stop offshoring, preserve good US jobs (Speed Matters, Oct. 4, 2019)

Frontier is under new scrutiny over service quality in West Virginia (Oct. 25, 2019)

Bargaining and Mobilization Update (CWA, Oct. 24, 2019)

Frontier cited by Attorney General's office (Elko Daily Free Press, Oct. 8, 2019)