Attorney General Tong and Consumer Protection Commissioner Seagull Announce Investigation Into Frontier Communications Following Over 1,000 Consumer Complaints
More than 1,000 Consumer Complaints to Attorney General Regarding Excessive Charges, Poor Service Quality, Unsatisfactory Customer Service
(Hartford, CT) – Attorney General William Tong and Consumer Protection Commissioner Michelle H. Seagull today announced an investigation into Frontier Communications following consumer complaints regarding excessive charges, poor service quality and unsatisfactory customer service that began after Frontier acquired Southern New England Telephone Company (SNET) in 2014.
Since June 2015, the Office of the Attorney General and Department of Consumer Protection have jointly received over 1,000 consumer complaints regarding Frontier. Those include complaints involving charges for equipment already returned, poor voice, video and internet quality, unsatisfactory customer service, charges that exceeded promised rates, and charges that continued after services had been cancelled.
The Office of the Attorney General and DCP have issued a civil investigative demand seeking comprehensive records regarding customer complaints, including contracts, correspondence, and billing records to determine whether Frontier’s actions have violated the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act. Should violations of law be identified, Frontier could be required to pay fines and comply with other injunctive relief to protect consumers.
“Since Frontier took over SNET, we have seen a steady onslaught of consumer complaints ranging from poor service quality and customer service to improper charges and excessive rates. Jointly with DCP, we are seeking comprehensive records from Frontier regarding their customer complaints to determine whether the company may have violated the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act,” said Attorney General Tong. “Frontier made promises to Connecticut that they had the ability to provide safe, adequate and reliable service, and they need to live up to that promise now.”
"It's important that consumers and families get what they pay for - especially when it comes to utilities like internet access that are increasingly important in every day life," said Consumer Protection Commissioner Michelle H. Seagull. "Like the Office of the Attorney General, we have had a steady stream of complaints about issues with Frontier, and I am pleased that we are taking this next step in our investigation. I want to thank the staff at DCP and the Office of the Attorney General who have put so many hours of hard work into this effort."
“PURA supports the AG’s effort to protect consumers of telecommunications and video services in the state. The AG’s investigation into certain consumer complaints arising from The Southern New England Telephone Company d/b/a Frontier Communications of Connecticut (”Frontier”)’s competitive services is critical to maintaining a level, consumer-friendly playing field. PURA expects a cooperative investigation and encourages Frontier to resolve any consumer protection issues identified in an expedient manner,” said Marissa Paslick Gillett, Chairwoman of the Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority.
Assistant Attorneys General John Wright, Lauren Bidra and Mike Wertheimer, head of the Consumer Protection Department are assisting the Attorney General in this matter.