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FairPoint Is Failing to Please New Customers
Complaints range from problems with customer service to issues with caller ID
by KathrynV 12:38PM Sunday Jun 29 2008
After finally starting to take over Verizon's New England network, FairPoint has made a bad first impression with customers which seems to keep getting worse. The main issue thus far has been serious problems with 911 service in Maine which has led to a delay in the network takeover there. However, the Fairpoint Watch Program reports that there are many other problems facing new customers here. A few of the problems include harassing collections agency letters for bills totalling less than $20, concerns about whether FiOS will continue to be available to the small percentage of customers that have the service and a general lack of communication from FairPoint about what's going on with the network. Many customers in New England are switching over to Comcast because of discontent with the new FairPoint network.

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pnh102
Reptiles Are Cuddly And Pretty
Premium
join:2002-05-02
Mount Airy, MD

What Problem?

quote:
Many customers in New England are switching over to Comcast because of discontent with the new FairPoint network.
Seems like the problem is solving itself.
--
This isn't fair! I was only supposed to hate just ONE presidential candidate!

FFH
Premium
join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5

Re: What Problem?

said by pnh102:

quote:
Many customers in New England are switching over to Comcast because of discontent with the new FairPoint network.
Seems like the problem is solving itself.
Not sure where the "Many are switching to Comcast" quote comes from. The story mentions 2 and no more mention at all of any other switching: »www.nashuatelegraph.com/apps/pbc···/-1/news
--
My BLOG .. .. Internet News .. .. My Web Page

VZ FiOS

@myvzw.com
said by pnh102:

quote:
Many customers in New England are switching over to Comcast because of discontent with the new FairPoint network.
Seems like the problem is solving itself.
Or that might just open up a whole new can of worms...

Dogfather
Premium
join:2007-12-26
Laguna Hills, CA

Re: What Problem?

Especially given Comcast has lower customer satisfaction ratings than the IRS.

pnh102
Reptiles Are Cuddly And Pretty
Premium
join:2002-05-02
Mount Airy, MD

Re: What Problem?

said by Dogfather:

Especially given Comcast has lower customer satisfaction ratings than the IRS.
Kinda funny considering how brutally effective the IRS is at doing what it does.
--
This isn't fair! I was only supposed to hate just ONE presidential candidate!

Dogfather
Premium
join:2007-12-26
Laguna Hills, CA

Re: What Problem?

Considering the tax gap is estimated to be $290 billion, I would hardly call the IRS effective.

TadgSoderstrom

@bellsouth.net
The whole report is completely ludicrous, implying that Fairpoint is somehow worse than Verizon. Let's consider a few facts rather than anecdotal reports:

1. The systems Fairpoint are using to manage the network, customer services, and billing are still the same systems Verizon was using. In fact, Fairpoint is "renting" the use of those systems until after the November cut-over, as publicised in many news articles recently.

2. As of this moment, the vast majority of Fairpoint employees supporting this region are the SAME employees who transferred over from Verizon. As someone pointed out, the unions have signed deals, and many management folks came over from Verizon as well... Some Verizon departments that supported this network are located outside of that region, and they STILL support this area according to reports.

Same systems... Same people... The biggest difference seems to be the senior level management which is located in Charlotte, NC. These people have big ideas, and haven't had much room to develop those ideas yet. I say, give 'em a chance...

Tadg

mouseferatu
Too many cats, Too many mice
Premium,MVM
join:2004-03-16
Im not sure
kudos:3

Re: What Problem?

said by TadgSoderstrom :

The whole report is completely ludicrous, implying that Fairpoint is somehow worse than Verizon. Let's consider a few facts rather than anecdotal reports:

Same systems... Same people... The biggest difference seems to be the senior level management which is located in Charlotte, NC. These people have big ideas, and haven't had much room to develop those ideas yet. I say, give 'em a chance...

Tadg
I have been a Verizon FiOS customer since they put the fiber network in here. I have not had problems with Verizon FiOS, and I never had Verizon simply ignore a service call when this area had a lot of problems before it went to fiber.

My FairPoint service has been less than stellar. The "Fiber Solutions Center" has deteriorated radically, IMO. My ONT died about a month ago, and it took 5 days to get anyone to deal with the problem. It turns out that "someone" misplaced the ticket...

Since my ONT was replaced, everything went promptly downhill, and getting a resolution was rather like trying to dig my way out of a deep pit with a teaspoon...

The field techs are great to deal with, and go out of their way to get things done well, but you can flip a coin as to what you will get when you call Fiber Solutions, and you will be on hold for a very long time.

******************************************************************************

Thursday:

One: I lost my service last Thursday. The phones came back, but the Internet did not- I did not have an IP. Called FairPoint, and they assured me that it was due to a misconfiguration of "equipment that creates IPs". (DHCP server?)
They gave me a 4 hour repair window.

Two: Called 'em six hours later. FairPoint had forgotten to re-set my IP. When they tried, it didn't work. They told me a network technician would call within 4 hours.

Three: No joy on the network tech 5 hours later. Called FairPoint back, all of the network techs were busy. Told me that they would call back in 4 hours.

As every single call to the "Fiber Solutions Center" leaves you on hold for 20 to 30 minutes, I decided that that was unacceptable, and said that I would hold for a network technician.

"Hold" is the right word... network technician finally gets on the line and suggests that the lease needs to be manually broken (Lease? What lease? The system here is dead). He has us take the router down and remove the battery from the power back up. They will call us back on Friday.

******************************************************************************

Friday:

Heard from no one. Called FairPoint, gave then the ticket number, and told them that reconnecting everything didn't generate an IP. (Surprise!) The guy I spoke to didn't have a clue what I was talking about, but assured me that they would have everything fixed by Saturday.

I told him that I was getting incredibly annoyed, and that I can't work without a connection. He gave me the same line- a network technician would call me back with a solution. I stated that a truck roll was a great solution. The fellow said that he couldn't do that.

******************************************************************************

Saturday:

No joy again as far as hearing from FairPoint. Called FairPoint. On hold for 35 minutes. Got a tech who said that I should have an IP. Told him that I wanted someone out at the house *now*. He couldn't authorize that. Told him to find someone who could. Got a network technician who said that they had "missed the ticket" (Gee, where have I heard *that* before over the last month?).

Finally got an excellent tech out on Saturday afternoon. It took him a fair amount of time to replace the ONT again (the previous tech had replaced the ONT but had not added the appropriate power supply so it was toasted), replace the power supply to the ONT, and replaced a variety of faulty connectors.

As there was still no IP, he had to resolve a number of server side issues that had occurred sometime between Thursday when the "equipment that creates IPs" died, and the Fiber Solutions Center stopped fiddling remotely with my non-connection.

If this is indicative of the very best that I can expect from FairPoint, I hope that I don't have to see the worst.

--
"Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for thou art crispy and good with catsup."

tschmidt
Premium,MVM
join:2000-11-12
Milford, NH
kudos:9
Reviews:
·G4 Communications
·Fairpoint Commun..
·Hollis Hosting

Positive so far

We do not use automatic bank withdrawal so have not been affected by the switchover to FairPoint.

Phones service has been unaffected other then the name on the bill. DSL has improved. FairPoint will no longer be charging a tax recovery fee, whatever that was and I was able to upgrade DSL speed something I was not able to do as a Verizon customer.

One has to assume there will be conversion problems. Hopefully FairPoint will be able to quickly resolve them and make good on their promises to VT/NH/ME regulators.

/tom

Pathfinder
Dazed Confused
Premium
join:2000-03-26
Mount Vernon, NY

2 recommendations

OMG

3 customers voiced concerns. STOP THE SALE! Go back to Verizon. They were perfect.

FFH
Premium
join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5

1 recommendation

Re: OMG

said by Pathfinder:

3 customers voiced concerns. STOP THE SALE! Go back to Verizon. They were perfect.
The story says 30 complaints and the 3 mentioned were the SERIOUS ones(LOL). But 3 or 30 - it doesn't matter because that is insignificant. Except to some crusading newspaper editor looking to drum up a problem that isn't there.
--
My BLOG .. .. Internet News .. .. My Web Page

jester121
Premium
join:2003-08-09
Lake Zurich, IL

Re: OMG

If it's 30, then we're talking a significant population of Maine.

panda
Visualize Whirled Peas

join:2000-01-08
Largo, FL

Re: OMG

said by jester121:

If it's 30, then we're talking a significant population of Maine.
And, they are all members of the same family.

S_engineer
Premium
join:2007-05-16
Chicago, IL
your right...the sampling here was bad. And that would be a newspapers motive too; however, I don't think there were too many people that thought Fairpoint would decent job during this transition. This reminds me of the K-Mart taking over of Sears...everyones waiting for that final gurgle sound before the toilet flushes!
--
Next on Maury Povich's "Wheel-O-Dad", Katrina chooses between 80 potential fathers!

Dogfather
Premium
join:2007-12-26
Laguna Hills, CA

1 edit

Show me a company who doesn't get complaints

As if Verizon was a gem of customer service. Comcast? Oh yeah, the cable company who has lower customer service ratings than the Internal Revenue Service.

Every company gets complaints, especially during a major transition. Adelphia/Time Warner in LA ring a bell?

This is hardly surprising and happens to even the largest companies.
bicker

join:2007-05-10
Burlington, MA

Re: Show me a company who doesn't get complaints

I think the issue is that many people want there to be problems, and want to complain, and want to bash whatever company is providing service. And they get a "two for one" deal with Fairpoint, because they can BOTH criticize Fairpoint for their service AND criticize Verizon for selling to Fairpoint.

In the end, the reality is
--> You get what you pay for --
Verizon sold to Fairpoint, in the first place, because there wasn't enough profit in service northern New England to start with. The quick-to-complain are starting out unreasonable; others will join them in holding unreasonable expectations in short order, I'm sure, when there really are some significant new problems stemming from the Fairpoint acquisition.

mark470
eh?
Premium
join:2002-01-09
Hooksett, NH

service is broken

oh and yesterdays failure that resulted in any call not working.

MANCHESTER – For about 90 minutes this afternoon, residents in southeastern New Hampshire found it tough to make a telephone connection from a landline.

The disrupted telephone service was caused by malfunctioning switching equipment, more specifically a circuit pack in Manchester, according to FairPoint Communications spokesman Jill Wurm.

She said it resulted in some telephone calls from Concord to Salem not being processed. “Some calls were going through and some were not,” she said.

From about 1:30-3 p.m., callers using a landline heard a quick busy signal. And when they tried to use their cell phones, getting a connection was hit-or-miss, with callers oftentimes hearing a recorded message informing them their calls could not go through at that time.

Wurm did not know how many customers’ calls were affected.

She said there was “some impact on E911 but said a backup system was in place.

Bruce Cheney, director of state Emergency Services, said the agency could receive 911 calls but could not directly transfer calls to local dispatchers. Instead, a backup system had to be used causing a delay in routing the calls to the local emergency agency, he said.

The city of Rochester and other towns and cities in Rockingham County were affected, Cheney said, and a problems also were encountered in Keene.
--
my heart belongs to a canadian, she is the best.

HEDP

join:2008-04-27
Miami, FL

...

When companies transition, those transitions are very rocky with billing issues, customer service not having a clue about what they are doing or how to do it, temporary plans in place with nothing yet written on paper so pretty much is a wild goose chase.

Hmmm reminds me of Sprint, but they have resolved most issues already, the transition made the company lose over 1 million customers because of it. I can see that same trend with Fairpoint if the problems are not resolved in a timely manner.

hawk82

join:2001-04-26
centralmaine
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable

1 edit

1 recommendation

Too soon to judge....

To me, I think it is too soon to judge how good Fairpoint will be, even if you are a new customer. Gotta give them time to see what happens. As a CLEC DSL/Voice install technician, I like how the FP techs are properly labeling circuits from every install I've done here in the last couple of months, whereas like 2 to 3 months ago, it was touch and go whether the VZ techs cared enough to label a circuit when they installed it. As for my DSL, well I'm still technicially on the VZ network, which has not changed in speed/performance. Price has not changed. My billing was migrated over to FP painlessly (I pay via cc). We'll see.
--
hawk82[at]nailbat[dot]com
IT Consultant
Yes, I use pico... laugh all you want....
soothsayer15

join:2002-03-01
Irving, TX

Re: Too soon to judge....

said by hawk82:

To me, I think it is too soon to judge how good Fairpoint will be, even if you are a new customer. Gotta give them time to see what happens. As a CLEC DSL/Voice install technician, I like how the FP techs are properly labeling circuits from every install I've done here in the last couple of months, whereas like 2 to 3 months ago, it was touch and go whether the VZ techs cared enough to label a circuit when they installed it. As for my DSL, well I'm still technicially on the VZ network, which has not changed in speed/performance. Price has not changed. My billing was migrated over to FP painlessly (I pay via cc). We'll see.
You're kidding right? You think Fairpoint fired all the VZ tech and replaced them? They techs that were there before are probably still there now. The union signed a contract with Fairpoint in the transition. It's your bias that lets you notice the "improvement".

hawk82

join:2001-04-26
centralmaine
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable

Re: Too soon to judge....

said by soothsayer15:

You're kidding right? You think Fairpoint fired all the VZ tech and replaced them? They techs that were there before are probably still there now. The union signed a contract with Fairpoint in the transition. It's your bias that lets you notice the "improvement".
Yes I know that a majority of the line techs are the same people, but I'm willing to bet there are actual FP employees brought into the mix as well. What my point was is that the now-FP employees are doing their job better, from my aspect as a CLEC DSL installer. Whether their managers are cracking the whip or new training or what have you.

Off-topic note, in the past week I noticed almost all of the VZ vehicles have been rebadged with Fairpoint Communications on them now. I wonder if FP will also put up new signage on the COs. Most of the COs in the area have a small VZ sign on them.
mjcrocket
Mjc

join:2000-12-02
Abingdon, MD
said by hawk82:

My billing was migrated over to FP painlessly (I pay via cc).
Billing is still being handled by Verizon. All that has changed is the stationary the bills are printed on. The FP billing center in Lewiston will not be operational until later this fall.

»www.fiscsolutions.com/news/2008_···0708.php

»www.sunjournal.com/story/260389-···irPoint/
hottboiinnc
ME

join:2003-10-15
Cleveland, OH

Re: Too soon to judge....

if it changes. VZ actually has an option that they will DO THE BILLING for other companies. It's listed in their Wholesale Products Page

hawk82

join:2001-04-26
centralmaine
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable

1 edit
said by mjcrocket:

Billing is still being handled by Verizon. All that has changed is the stationary the bills are printed on. The FP billing center in Lewiston will not be operational until later this fall.
Well all I can say is on my CC statement, it now shows as Fairpoint Communications instead of Verizon Internet Services, and the paper bill is now FP, and the billing address is FP. As a site note, my DSL price has stayed the same.
Kirby Smith

join:2001-01-26
Derry, NH
Reviews:
·Fairpoint Commun..

1 recommendation

FiOS availability herring

For FairPoint to undo the FiOS networks in S. NH, they would have to do a lot of work at significant expense, including removing ONTs, replacing residence connections, demarks, cleaning up trunk line pairs that were effectively abandoned, and removing OLTs in the COs. And for what? To improve DSL service as claimed they are going to have to run fiber to the locations farther from the COs than DSL is practical to operate directly.

In addition, there would be the outrage factor. If FairPoint forced me back onto DSL, to avoid rewarding them I would re-sign up with GWI DSL, this time on both phone lines. I haven't read that the requirement for competitive land line access has been eliminated in the FairPoint deal.

kirby
15/15 + 5/2
jadziedzic
Premium
join:2005-12-12
Nashua, NH

Re: FiOS availability herring

said by Kirby Smith:

For FairPoint to undo the FiOS networks in S. NH, they would have to do a lot of work at significant expense ...
Where did you get the idea that FP is going to "undo" the fiber network?

From Fairpoint's "Northern New England FAQs':

Will FairPoint continue with the project that Verizon has started to bring fiber access network services to northern New England?
FairPoint will continue to support the fiber access network services, but will not market the product by the name "Verizon FiOS" because "Verizon FiOS" is a proprietary product that is a trademark of Verizon.

The fiber access network which Verizon deployed in southeast New Hampshire came with the merger. FairPoint plans to make the best use of the infrastructure it purchased from Verizon. The existing network and services will be supported and maintained by FairPoint. Expansion of the network is being evaluated at this time.

If you're lucky enough to be in an area where Vz ran the necessary infrastructure prior to the sale you can order FP's "fiber access network".

Tony

PaulHikeS2

join:2003-03-06
Manchester, NH

Fairpoint is now under the microscope

Good or bad, they are being scrutinized to a level that Verizon was not in the months leading up to the transition. I'm willing to bet these same issues would have come up without the sale...the only difference is that now it's news.
--
Jay: What the @#$% is the internet???
bac522

join:2003-08-04
Manchester, NH

Re: Fairpoint is now under the microscope

So...maybe Fairpoint should have thought about that before buying the lines from Verizon...They put themselves under the microscope, not Verizon.

PaulHikeS2

join:2003-03-06
Manchester, NH

Re: Fairpoint is now under the microscope

said by bac522:

So...maybe Fairpoint should have thought about that before buying the lines from Verizon...They put themselves under the microscope, not Verizon.
I don't think Fairpoint is complaining about this, which is what your post implies. My point was that consumers should take these complaints with a grain of salt since neither the systems nor the personnel have changed, so it's likely the problems that are now news still would have happened under Verizon, albeit with less publicity.
--
Jay: What the @#$% is the internet???

Proofinthe

@verizon.net

Pudding!

The CEO said (And I don't make this up) "..we make some fine pudding!"

You have people calling in that never paid their bills. And they complain they can't get service until they pay their bills. But they never had this problem with Verizon!

Ha.
billt1

join:2001-08-29
Concord, NH

Worst customer service I have ever had

I am a business customer and was without DSL and some phone service for most of a week. I do not have the time nor would you want to read all I had to go through. I was on the phone a minimum of 1 and a half hours a day with Fair Point(mostly on hold)for 5 days straight. Even with all my exhaustive efforts it took two weeks from my initial call to have a service tech visit.Customer service was absolutely terrible and at one point the customer service Rep suggested that if Internet was that important to my business I should seek out a reliable back up. I took her advice I have contracted to switch to Comcast. My first year savings is $2000 and $1000 each year there after, and I get way more services. For the 18 years I was with Verizon I never would even think of switching

jcabotl

@verizon.net

Re: Worst customer service I have ever had

I just got off yet another call with Fairpoint. While I realize that they are supposedly using the same people as Verizon, I've run into issue after issue.

1. Billing
When we were switched from Verizon to Fairpoint, I had a coupled billing of Directv, Home Phone, Business Phone, Internet Service, and Cell Phone. I now get separate bills (got 4 yesterday).

While certainly not perfect, Verizon at least got my bills correct each month.

With Fairpoint, I've been essentially tripple billed. They take a payment (via a check never-the-less), but don't "post" it to my account. Then, I have to call them (and get transferred around 10 times ... each time "queuing up again") to get to talk to them about it. Then, its up to ME to prove that they cashed my check. I have to now copy all of my bank records showing the check (front and back) and send them a fax to prove it. They'll then "investigate" it.

They even owed me a $100 credit from "overpaying" because of this mess which they "applied to a closed account". How nice of them. How about applying it to MY account?

2. Customer Service
At least with Verizon, they seemed to know where to route you. Fairpoint doesn't apparently have a clue. They put you into a group saying so and so will help you here. As soon as you get on with that person (and run through the whole account number fiasco each time), they'll say you've got the wrong department and transfer you to someone else.

The CS folks are just brutal now. I realize its a difficult job, but after wasting my business day trying to get these things ironed out, the last thing I want is to be dismissed by someone that doesn't give a darn. I'll bet if it was their money, they'd care.

3. Service
Our FIOS has nose-dived in performance since July 1st. Our speeds are down easily 50%.

Our phone service now has static (never happened before with Verizon). And, we don't have any new "interferences" (same band phones, etc.) that would cause that all of a sudden.
Tradgic

join:2007-11-11
Rochester, WA

Re: Worst customer service I have ever had

I can sport opinions with jcbotl. I am a small business owner, and I moved away From one place to get ride of Qwest and come into a area that has worse service. I moved here 2 weeks ago, it took Fair Point 1 week to get my phone on, and 13 days to get the internet up. I was sold a 1.5 Mb/s down and a 256 for a promo of $20, and then $45 after 3 months. Our tech was here this last tues.. early, and it was great and very unexpected. But even after instructing the tech to make the modem transparent and to use specific passwords to get into the modem, he never did it. The worst part is that if the techs don't hook up your initial service, you don't get support from fair Point. now for the big problem that really chaps me, yesturday (The just 27 hours after getting the new internet service hooked up) I needed to remotely connect to a customer in Aussie. I lost $500 for this service to teh customer because of the Fair Point Modem dominated my network. I couldn't see my router in teh chain anywhere, using any method. SO I call Fair Point to get tehm to tell me the password. I reset my modem then ran into the smallest problem. apparently the resetting of the modem had enabled some password. My inquiry to fair point was, What is teh default password for the modem. 4 tech tried to tell me that it was root using the password 12345. Completely wrong. after 4 attempts with 4 different techs, I just about canceled because the repair center wanted me to pay 470 to get a tech out here to set the modem up right and get into the modem. Also the reps told me I couldn't access the modem threw a router on a wireless connection. Sure, whatever no biggie, but I want a tech out here to make the log on there laptop using the said to be required wired connection. ( I don't have a ethernet on this laptop ) this out come was a bit bother some because they apparently didn't know there own propmotional hardware, and don't offer any other choices. Also I asked for the modem requirements to connect to there network and they told me that there was no way they could provide this information and told me to memorize the modem harwardware specs in full.

2 hours pass and I finally get to customer sales to cancel my account that is now about 30 hours old. To be honest the only reason I am still a Fair Point DSL customer is becuase the Female on the other side had a sexy voice, thats besides teh point though she was nice had a sense of humor, so she conviced me to hang out and be patient. I allow her to transfer me to repair again, I was told I had to pay another $70 to have a tech come out, but then after abusing her in ways that seemed verbally impossible, she forwarded me to Teir 2 Network support. I spoke with Justin, he was a smart ass cool guy who knew what he was talking about and suggested I enter the modem login as "admin" and the password "admin" Yay it works.

Bottom line is I lost 1 month of income about 2,500 in tech support, spent 2.5 hours to get the correct default password for there hardware used in my region. So far this company seems worse then Qwest, and with that in mind, Fair Point has made Qwest look like a well behaved 6 year old!!!!