Review by RogueJawa
Good "Field techs are great, social Media Team very helpful"
- Location: Lucasville,Scioto,OH
- Cost: $39 per month
- Install: about 81 days
Bad "National customer service, doesn't communicate problems well, initially bundled with Dish and that order was wrong"
Overall "Extreme patience and persistence required, only provider in the area, slow speed but better than dialup"
|Pre Sales information:|
Value for money:
(ratings below consensus)
Back in July of 2013 I made the decision to move from the big city back to rural Ohio. Frontier is the phone and internet provider for the area which isn't serviced by a cable company because they say there are too few customers on the road to justify running cable there. I didn't really foresee it being a problem because my mother and a cousin that live on the same road have DSL from Frontier and don't have any issues.
Apparently I'm not that lucky.
So with some optimism I called Frontier to establish service. The lady I spoke to seemed nice and took all of my information. I decided to go ahead and get Dish Network since that's what they bundle with and get their DSL; I have enough bars on my cell phone to make calls so I really didn't want to get their home phone. After a few moments of small talk, because the rep was actually IN my area (which led me to feel even more optimistic), she informs me that my address isn't eligible for DSL service because it's too far away from the office. I asked her where the office was and she told me it was in Portsmouth. After a few minutes of explaining I get her to understand that there are two homes further away from the office than mine that have DSL from Frontier. She then explains that maybe her system just isn't up to date and she goes ahead and processes the order, setting me up with my satellite install and a self-install for my DSL.
A few days later I get a call from a Frontier rep that went to voicemail. She explained that they had to change my service date and asked me to give them a call. I promptly called back and the lady I spoke to confirmed my order, except she had me down for basic phone service and satellite TV. We went through the whole thing again, complete with her verifying the DSL service at a residence further from the office than mine, and she set me back up and made sure my modem was going to ship.
Curious, I called Dish to confirm my installation and it turns out it was all screwed up too. No DVR had been ordered, I had the wrong package, everything. So I fixed that order and crossed my fingers.
The 23rd rolls around and I call to find out when I should plug in the modem and test the connection. The rep told me to wait until 6:00 pm which is how late the techs are usually out. So at 6:30 I hook up the modem and.. nothing. No solid DSL light, just a blinking one. I call them back and they tell me the tech came and said I lived too far away. I asked them how it was possible that two other homes could have service and were further away from the office but mine can't. The rep told me they couldn't answer that and referred me to a supervisor, Michelle, from "Escalations." She said she'd contact engineering and call me back the next day.
I never got a call back from her. I waited a couple of days and called Frontier again. This time I was told they were going to groom the lines and I would get a call from the local manager on when I should expect service. I never got that call either. I waited several more days, called back on a Friday, and this time I got a guy who contacted their dispatch for me and told me they estimated it would be about a week. Ten days later I still don't have service so I call back and get told that they're going to groom the lines the next day, add an extender, that a tech would be out and I should be good to go.
I never saw a tech before I had to leave for work. I called Frontier again to see if everything was still going to go as planned. I was told the tech was out in the field but they left a message with my phone number and asked the tech to call me when they were hooking the line up and tell me how things went. I never got that call either.
I'm so tired of dealing with Frontier at this point that I don't even know if I really care anymore. Despite that feeling I called back again today and was given to a supervisor who told me she was going to get me a technical supervisor and get me some kind of answer. Really at this point that's all I want. I'm on the verge of getting satellite internet because this is just ridiculous. Even with a cap and the horrible customer service satellite supposedly has it can't be worse than what I've put up with from Frontier. At this point even if they put their foot down and tell me I can't have service and I have to send the modem back I just want an answer on why.
Maybe I'm being unreasonable but it just doesn't seem logical to me that two homes further away from the office than I am have DSL but I'm not eligible. It makes ZERO SENSE.
I want to have hope that this supervisor will get me a resolution but I'm running pretty low on hope at the moment. Right now I would tell anyone thinking of getting service from Frontier to stay away from it unless they had no other option.
UPDATE 08/28/13: The supervisor, Nicky, from Washington has still never called me back. I've left multiple messages asking for an update and still nothing. However, as I was leaving for work today lo and behold there was a Frontier van sitting in my yard and a gentleman working on the line. He told me that he couldn't sync from the line itself and he suspected an old coil somewhere was interfering with the signal. He said he had spoken to the guy who did the DSL upgrade for my road and that there was no reason every house on it couldn't have DSL.
Which.. is what I've been saying all along. But it's nice to know that their technicians aren't just a myth fabricated by the worst customer service center I have ever dealt with. Only one CSR has given me real answers and the rest never call back when they say they're going to; including their supervisors. So I guess I'll wait a little bit longer before calling the local satellite company to have Exede installed so I can see how this will play out.
UPDATE 08/30/13: I received a voicemail from Frontier yesterday saying engineering had my service ready to go and that they would send me a modem. I found this interesting because I already have a modem. Out of curiosity I checked it and sure enough, still not synced. I called tech support to see if it was because they said they were sending a new modem or because of some other problem but they said the work order was still open. Needless to say I got transferred to customer service again who to,d me I lived too far out. I told her what the tech told me about the coils and she said "Oh yeah, old coils will block a DSL signal." And then she gave me a service date of October 2nd to get the work done.
Original service date? July 23rd.
Satellite is seriously looking more attractive by the day.
UPDATE 9/10/13: I spoke with Frontier again today, got a pretty nice guy who didn't read from a script and give me a response based on the first note for my order like most of the people I talk to do. He put me on hold for quite a while and kept apologizing for it but I told him it was no big deal. Honestly it isn't, not if you're genuinely trying to help me, which he was. When he came back to the line he told me that a tech had noted on 8/24 that I lived 25,500 feet away from the node, but that the local engineer went out to check and said they were wrong and that I only lived 13,000 feet away from the node. He also was supposed to have taken care of all the technical issues blocking service, but because our area is backed up it will be 10/2 before they can hook everything up.
So unless something changes my next update will be in October.. and hopefully I'll be able to give them a higher score.
UPDATE 10/04/13: Nope. Still no DSL. Now I'm dealing with the social media team after complaining on Facebook and Twitter. My new service date is 10/8 and supposedly all they have to do is hook up the outside wiring. We'll see. Next stop is the state attorney general. This review is turning into a blog with all the updates. I also revised the monthly price to show only the price do the DSL and not the combo with Dish. Also lowered the install coordination rating to reflect yet another missed install date and the fact it took me half a day of phone calls and social media complaints to get an answer on a new service date. RR on the social media team was polite and helpful at least.
UPDATE 10/10/13: Finally, some good news to share. Going the social media route and working with their Social Media Team has paid off, also a nice lady named Dawn from Customer Service who followed up with me this evening. A field tech came out yesterday morning and completed the outside wiring. I spoke with him before he left and he said I was good to go, that he'd been able to synch from the outside wiring and I had a DSL signal. Unfortunately I tried both modems and neither one will synch up. I spoke with Tech Support, Social Media, and Dawn from Customer Service and they are sending a tech back out tomorrow to inspect the inside wiring. I told them if they needed to, and if it would help, I would happily pay for the install of a new jack.
I've updated what ratings above that I can, and hopefully tomorrow I can update this from home to reflect fully working service inside the house.
UPDATE 10/12/13: My service was finally established on 10/12 and the tech who came out was amazing. Nicest guy in the world, really, and he took the time to make sure everything was working and connected before he left even though it was originally a self install. I'm very pleased with the local staff. The national staff, with the exception of Dawn (wherever you are) and Ree from Social Media, leave much to be desired. I appreciate all of Ree's work in coordinating with the local staff to keep me updated and Dawn from Customer Service who did follow my account after we spoke and called to see if there was anything she could do to help.
The service for the last 24 hours has been pretty reliable. I'm running the Frontier branded Netgear 7550. It kept hanging on one of the setup steps initially but the tech was able to resolve that issue and had it up and running, altogether I don't think he was there for more than 15 minutes, maybe 20 at the most. He was very professional and I appreciated that. As far as value for money.. well that's kind of subjective. It's nothing like the cable connection I had at my old place but the road I live on doesn't have enough subscribers to interest Time Warner so they never ran cable there. Before Frontier took over it was a Verizon area and they hadn't even established DSL service this far out. So it IS slow and I'm paying roughly $30 for speed I can't achieve, but it's faster than dialup and cheaper than capped satellite services.
Exede is not an option without topping some trees. I don't know about HughesNet, I never looked into them because I've heard they're the worst satellite provider there is. Verizon is the only reliable cell provider that reaches the valley I'm in and I wasn't prepared to pay the premiums they ask each month. Speed is pretty much around what I expected for the area. To me slow DSL, roughly 700Kbps to 1Mb, is better than no service at all or dialup in the area that I'm in so .. value for money is pretty good, at least for me. For someone else it might not be worth it, and if I'm lucky they'll keep upgrading and it will get better. Frontier crews are around all the time, I assume updating Verizon's antiquated network. Before I moved out of the county originally I lived in the biggest city the county sports and Verizon only had DSL service established within a few streets of their offices so I'd say Frontier has made leaps and bounds toward expanding that. They advertise up to 6Mb/s but I knew there was no way I was getting close to that.
Oh, and I still have two modems. The tech didn't seem interested in taking the other one with him so I guess I have a spare in case something happens to one of them. This is a change because most places are very adamant about getting equipment back.
- Despite the speed I was able to update Steam and download some game files.
- iPhone and iPad are able to update reliably.
- DVR has a connection to the outside world and now allows for scheduling away from home, can order PPV, haven't tried any OnDemand services but the informational apps work fine.
- Not dialup.
- It IS slow.. but this is subjective.
- Does not handle multitasking well.
Verdict: Better than having nothing at all or having dialup.
UPDATE 11/03: About three days after the install I began to notice the modem losing sync a few times between noon and about 7:00 pm. I attributed this to network congestion, but after a few more days the modem was losing sync quite a bit more often; seemed like it would drop every ten to fifteen minutes and my speeds were basically dial-up equivalent.
I sent an email to the general manger for my area and he said he would look into it. We discussed a similar problem my mother's modem had experienced and what the tech had suggested to fix it, I told him what my speeds were at install and what they were at now. I noticed a change the next day and in two days everything seemed to be back to normal. I've had no other issues and fairly consistent speeds at the rate that I expected for being so remote.
I've also been told I'm getting two months free for all of the install issues! It's not FiOS or cable and I can't really do streaming which would be a dealbreaker for some, but I'm able to waste my time in Final Fantasy XIV: ARR and that makes me a happy subscriber!
UPDATE 02/13/14: Credits were given as promised, but to this day I've never received a follow up from the general manager. There are still days where the service is impossible to use because the modem loses sync every 15-20 minutes. I can tell you that the initial elation I felt at finally having working service has since worn off. I'm not even going to bother trying tech support given their past performance. In late Summer/Fall of 2014 I plan on moving back to the city and the area I'm moving to is serviced by WOW. I'm looking forward to canceling Frontier and getting my cable service back. Unless something major happens I doubt I will update this listing until I terminate service.
UPDATE 05/17/14: Terminated service on the 15th. Trying to charge me $10 to disconnect the account which hasn't worked in a month anyway. Up yours Frontier. Good riddance.
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updated 192 days ago