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The Best Internet Deal for Consumers

If you are now or are considering buying Internet services from Frontier, you should be aware of their treatment of their customers. Also be aware that Comcast provides faster service 60/60 for $30/month (not 50/50 for $60) with no extra fees (not for non-existent “taxes” or any other fabricated excuse), and Comcast’s commitment includes FREE unlimited service for up to four (4) mobile phones, and FREE WiFi every time you are near a Xfinity access point. There is a reason Frontier is in financial trouble!

I feel that a huge problem with Frontier has been adding extra fees into telephone and other consumer charges, after making a commitment for services – typically increasing the consumer’s cost by $20 or more per month over the amount to which the consumer agreed. Frontier also charges “rental” fees for “required” equipment that they routinely (40%-50% of the time) do not deliver. I feel that at the very least their billing policy is unethical and very likely illegal.

I feel Frontier is brazen and unapologetic in what I feel is deliberate billing abuse. The two actual billings above are for essentially the same services. Comcast charges $30, period. Frontier a little more and then adds several hard to verify “taxes and other charges” the customer is supposed to simply accept without thinking. Frontier implies these “taxes and other charges” are required, but Comcast apparently is not required to charge them for the same service to the same customers in the same State. Both cannot be telling the truth, can they?

Frontier is the surviving fragment of the historic Baby Bells: it has the ultimate state-of-the-art technology buried under the hubris of the traditional and obsolete over stuffed management structure – the cake is really excellent but there is too much frosting for this cake to remain edible. If Frontier is not forced to modernize their business model we are in danger of loosing community access to the technology.

No individual citizen can compel Frontier to change. We had hoped Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill would do better than this with a class action to make whole all Indiana consumers who were involuntarily charged “rental fees” for routers that Frontier never delivered, or to restore money collected for “taxes” that are rightfully due from Frontier, not the Indiana consumer.

Mr. Nash is not “disputing his bill” he is asking Indiana to compel what he feels are abusive and/or fraudulent utility oligopolies to comply with Indiana and Federal consumer law as it would apply to any other Indiana business.

A side note or importance: Frontier keeps referring to a charge for a router, which for about half of their customers they do not even deliver but charge a monthly rental fee. Comcast also will provide a router and charge a monthly rental fee. Comcast’s router, by the way, allows any Comcast customer in range to connect to Xfinity WiFi. If you are in a place of business which buys Comcast services and has their router, your own Comcast login credentials allow you seamlessly to use that business’s WiFi.

While Frontier extracts the rental fee over their customer’s objections, Comcast has no problem if their customer would prefer to simply buy a compatible router and not pay any monthly rental fee. Companies like to collect rental fees because they never end and so represent a permanent income. If you buy a router outright you have a clear one time expense that does not give the company a perpetual income. Your payback period on a router is about one year ($89-$120 outright for a router vs $10 every month forever to rent).

The issue here is not a router, it is extra charges placed into the bill and represented to the customer as required by government instead of being honestly disclosed at the time the customer agrees to terms and honored in the billing. This is legally known as BAIT & SWITCH: the company promises one thing in their advertising then charges you something else. At the very best the company “discloses” the extra charges in tiny print that you are not supposed to notice. If you doubt my observation, buy services from Frontier and at the time you are ordering try to get them to commit to exactly how much these extra charges will be: you are morally entitled to know the exact amount in advance before you agree. You will be told it is about this much but we can’t really know until you are billed. And Frontier’s advertising will never say you will be charged $39 for Internet plus $18 for other charges for a total cost of $57. This would compare unfavorably with Comcast (and other competitors) at $30.

Picture of justice

Picture of justice

The document returned from Attorney General Curtis Hill’s office is as follows. Essentially, AG Hill decided Frontier should investigate itself and Frontier decided that Frontier did nothing wrong. Whodathunkit!

Complaint Number: 11561091 Company Code:

Customer Name: John Nash Phone: 2603730914

Thank you for referring the complaint of John Nash to our office for review. We appreciate Mr. Nash bringing this matter to our attention.

The Complaint states that:

  • Mr. Nash is disputing his bill for services with Frontier.

Frontier has investigated the above statements and offers the following response:

  • Our Frontier Residential Gateway(router) is Frontier equipment provided with every service order and specifically designed to work with our service. Our advertising and our residential Internet terms and conditions make it clear that our service includes equipment charges, such as the router charge, and neither our advertisements nor our terms and conditions provide any exceptions. A customer may choose to use their own router, but if the customer does, our router charge continues to apply. Also, we cannot support or repair the non -Frontier equipment.

  • Though infrequent, when a customer chooses to use a non-Frontier router, we see increased complaints and more difficulty with troubleshooting, performing online resets, and providing simple resolutions, so it costs more to serve that customer. Therefore, if a customer uses their own router, the charge still applies to cover these cost. Frontier cannot support or repair non-Frontier equipment.

  • Mr. Nash requested to upgrade his Internet service to the Fios 50/50 speed. The upgrade took place on September 6, 2019. Once the upgrade took place the customer should have received a new modem, which he did not.

  • Frontier advised Mr. Nash that the price would be $53.99 per month for the Fios 50/50 speed. The Frontier agent did not advise the customer that he would receive a new modem or that he would see the $10.00 router fee on his bill. Frontier did not send Mr. Nash a modem like they should have.

  • Mr. Nash has disconnected his account due to the new modem fee.

  • Frontier issued a credit of $9.99 for the shipping and handling of the new modem since the customer was never sent one. Frontier also issued a credit of $10.00 for the router fee charged on the September bill.

  • Frontier spoke to Mr. Nash and explained all of the above.

We trust that this information will assist you in closing this complaint. We regret any inconvenience that Mr. Nash may have experienced as a result of the above matter.

Frontier Specialist: Tami Lee Department: Customer Relations

Telephone Number: 1-844-320-4445 Ext 1122543 Fax Number: 1-518-773-3717