Oregon Regulators: Avoid Frontier, Get Comcast
Call Frontier's New $500 Install Fee 'Simply Ridiculous'
by Karl Bode 02:56PM Tuesday Apr 12 2011 Tipped by darcilicious
Frontier Communications has been rather ungracefully trying to offload or otherwise scare away the 100,000 FiOS TV customers it acquired in its deal with Verizon, first with a huge 50% price hike and botched DirecTV offer
, and now with a massive $500 installation fee
to frighten off new customers. All the while (alongside starting the ball rolling to back out of TV franchise agreements) Frontier has been insisting they aren't leaving the TV business, despite efforts to migrate all of these customers to DirecTV as quickly as possible.
While you might think this might raise the ire of regulators who feel they were lied to during deal approval, the only complaints so far we've seen are in Portland, where the Metropolitan Area Communications Commission (MACC) sent a letter to Frontier
asking if ditching these customers was the plan all along. The letter also questioned Frontier's claim they couldn't afford programming costs, noting that smaller cable TV operators nationwide don't appear to be having problems. Frontier ignored the complaint, and MACC's now responding in kind by telling people to go sign up with Comcast
"For new customers, MACC is recommending against initiating a new relationship with Frontier. The $500 installation fee is simply ridiculous and unjustified, particularly when weighed against free or typical $30 installations by Comcast and similar offers from satellite providers. Whatever the benefits of Frontier's FiOS video, we do not believe the service is worth that initial investment. "We urge new customers to contact Comcast first, since it provides a locally franchised service in many ways superior compared to satellite providers."
While MACC may be motivated by Frontier's bad behavior and a concern for consumer welfare, they're also directing consumers to Comcast because MACC doesn't get franchise fees from satellite providers.