Frontier Communications’ promised “seamless” takeover of Verizon’s internet and TV service today is shaping up to be a public relations nightmare for the company.
Customers throughout Frontier’s service area are continuing to report that their internet service is out despite the assertion by a company spokesman that problems were fixed at 9:30 a.m.
“They’re lying,” said Clearwater real estate attorney Marc Silverman, whose internet at his office was out as of 11:30 a.m.
Told that customers were still experiencing problems, Bob Elek, a Frontier spokesman, said, “That is counter to what I am hearing. That’s the first I am hearing of this.”
The Tampa Bay Times has received complaints of continuing internet outages from Frontier from Davenport, in Polk County, to Bradenton and Tampa.
The problems are especially frustrating to business people whose work hinges on a healthy internet connection.
Carlos E. Gonzalez of Bradenton works from a home office for Ceridian as a vice president of Customer Success Operations, and he said his internet has been out all morning.
“I just packed up my office,” he said. “I am going to drive to the nearest Starbucks so I can connect to their wifi.”
Counts Johnson, a residential builder who lives and works in South Tampa, said both his home and officer internet is still inoperative.
“I’m kind of giggling about it now,” Johnson said. “But as each hour goes by, my blood pressure goes up.”
Elek, the Frontier spokesman, said outages had begun at 7:49 a.m. Frontier, he said, had not yet determined the cause, backing off an earlier statement that a cable had been cut.
“We’re trying to get to the root of the problem,” Elek said, noting he did not know how many customers had been affected.
The sale (Feb. 5, 2015): Verizon sells its Tampa Bay TV, Internet, landline phone services to Frontier
Customer service (June 15): Should Bright House, Verizon customers be worried?
AT&T wireless customers throughout Tampa Bay also experienced outages Friday morning, though it was unclear if that was related to the Frontier problems.
Frontier officials had said they expected a seamless transition that customers would hardly notice. While the company had said some minor problems might be encountered during the changeover, they indicated those would occur in the early morning hours, closer to midnight than the morning commute.
Some outages were expected with the transition. Predictably, local customers reported having no Internet when they woke up, tweeting about the outage almost as if it were inevitable.