Getting ready to sue Frontier over DSL billing fraud

Update 6/22/16: I sued Frontier in summer 2015 and settled for $500 at mediation. They also finally reduced the DSL fee to $20/month, but my total Frontier bill is still over $80 — too much and I’m considering porting my number to Verizon.

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It’s been 2 years since I got on a 2-year contract with Frontier to get me the DSL Lite with unlimited calls for $50 (probably  before taxes).  After the first month, they removed the promised credits and changed my plan from DSL Lite to “Broadband Max”.  My bill has been over $100!!!

My attempts to get Frontier to honor its contract failed despite communications with “managers.”  So my lawsuit will be for breach of contract — I want my money back!

Today I called to see what kind of promos they offer because I’m tempted to port my number to a cell phone and just keep the DSL until hopefully some day competition with real high speed internet arrives.

Frontier currently markets two DSL plans for Meadview:

DSL Light for $41.99: up to 1 Mbps
Broadband Max $44.99:  1 to 6 Mbps

As you all know, the FASTEST speed here is 1 Mbps and it doesn’t happen very often.  I’m usually in the 600 to 700 kb range for download speeds.

Why is Frontier selling Broadband Max, a product that is not available here?

One guy told me on the phone today that nobody else is complaining. 

What’s up with you people?

I don’t know anybody in Meadview who is happy with the Frontier internet service.

Had a “chat” with Frontier’s Steve and while he had stated that there was nothing they could do for me, he later emailed me this offer:

Unlimited local and US long distance calling, with your calling features like Caller ID, call waiting, Anonymous Call Rejection, internet with speeds up to 6 Mbps, with our Frontier security, with your inside wire maintenance, and non-published listing for $77.45 plus tax.
I asked how he came up with the total of $77.45 before tax.  Currently it’s $88.29.  His offer was supposed to reflect the new customer $20/month deal.  So why isn’t it $25 less?
I’ll update once I have more answers.
PLEASE submit YOUR complaints to Frontier:
Go to https://frontier.com/ and click on Live Chat.
At the end of the chat, you can click on the SAVE button and have them email a copy.
Here’s a copy of my chat with Steve:


This is a transcript of a chat conversation on 6/17/2015 6:38 PM(UTC).
Christine Baker joined the conversation.
Frontier Chat: Welcome! I’m an automated chat consultant from Frontier. I will assign you to a live consultant in just a moment. Please enter a short description of what you would like help with.
Christine Baker: want the 19.99 high speed internet
Frontier Chat: In order to assist you better today I will need to connect you with a live consultant. Please wait while I find someone to help you.
Steve joined the conversation.
Steve: Thank you for choosing Frontier, this is Steve in Indiana. I can help with checking on internet service. Can I have you verify your account by providing me the last four of your social or the PIN from the first page of your bill?
Christine Baker: xxxx
Steve: Thank you.
Steve: Alright, I have the account loaded here, and it appears that you currently have internet service. The $19.99 is our current promotional rate for service for new residential customers, so you would not qualify for that promotion at this time.
Christine Baker: So my current $44.99 service is the lowest price there is for me?
Steve: Yes, for the broadband max service, that’s correct. You have the lowest standard rate for internet service.
Christine Baker: Can you tell me what the “broadband max” exactly is?
Steve: Broadband Max is internet with speeds up to 6 Mbps
Christine Baker: Are you saying that I should receive speeds over 1 mbps?
Steve: I’m saying you are paying for speeds UP TO 6 Mbps. Not that you’re guaranteed a 6 Mbps connection.
Christine Baker: what am I guaranteed?
Steve: We don’t guarantee internet speeds as many things can go into effect before you’re actually online. We quote up to speeds
Christine Baker: Don’t you think there’s something wrong with selling a plan that provides “up to” 6 mbps, but actually NEVER provides anything over 1 mbps?
Steve: I think my opinion on the matter is irrelevant. It’s what the speeds are advertised under and marketed.
Steve: We advertise Up To speeds
Christine Baker: Exactly, and that’s just FALSE advertising!
Steve: It is not false advertising when we are advising speeds up to a number Christine. I’m sorry that you feel that it is.
Christine Baker: Just for the record, there is no “lite” or other plan for lower speeds such as “up to 1 mbps”?
Steve: I didn’t state that. I said, “for the broadband max service, that’s correct. You have the lowest standard rate for internet service.”
Steve: You could get the lite, let me get you a quote for that service.
Steve: You could get your phone with unlimited local and US long distance, with your calling features and internet with speeds up to 1 Mbps, with your Inside Wire Maintenance and Non-Published listed number for $94.46 plus tax. You’re currently on grandfathered pricing, so are paying $88.29 for the same thing, but with internet speeds up to 6 Mbps.
Christine Baker: Thanks, but, how much is the internet with speeds up to 1 mbps?
Steve: With the phone bundle, $41.99
Christine Baker: what do you mean, it includes the phone service?
Steve: With Phone service, the internet costs $41.99
Christine Baker: how much does it cost without phone service?
Steve: Broadband Lite is not offered as a stand-alone product, you’d need to keep the Broadband Max, and that would be $49.99 for internet without phone service.
Christine Baker: only $5 more than I pay now
Christine Baker: And the “lite” plan is exactly $3 less than broadband max, correct?
Steve: With the migrated pricing, yes.
Christine Baker: what is migrated pricing?
Steve: You’re currently on grandfathered pricing, so, if I change something, I have to migrate your account to current pricing. Which was the $94.49 price I quoted with the Lite package and phone service above. So, yes, it’s $3.00 less with migrated pricing, but it’s overall more expensive for the bundle.
Christine Baker: so in summary, for me to have a phone with unlimited calling and any kind of internet, it’ll cost me about $100 and Frontier has no offers to lower that cost.
Steve: In summary, for the lowest internet rate we would have with your phone would be the $94.46 plus tax rate, which includes your Inside Wire Maintenance, Unlimited long distance and Non-Published listing, that’s correct.
Christine Baker: Any idea why many of my neighors get DSL from Frontier for $15 to $25?
Steve: No, we don’t offer internet for $15.00 or $25.00, so I would assume grandfather pricing on a package that they’ve had for many years, as internet access has steadily increased throughout the years.
Christine Baker: are you saying that pricing for internet has INCREASED?
Steve: Well, if they are paying $15.00, and we’re charging $49.99 for internet, that yes pricing has increased since they took up service. However, I don’t know for sure as I’m not looking into their accounts.
Christine Baker: So, do you think anyone at Frontier could do whatever it takes to give me 2 mbps just once?
Steve: I’m sorry Christine, your speed you are getting is based off the distance you are from our office. Until another office is built closer to you, we’re unable to just increase speeds. DSL speed is based off the distance you are from us. We build and upgrade based off demand in the area. If you’re the only person contacting us about internet speeds, in a business sense, we wouldn’t pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to build out to increase this unless demand is needed for this. If you know of a larger demand, have your neighbors contact us, but from what it’s sounding, they are happy with the service and price that they are currently paying for, so they haven’t contacted us.
Christine Baker: Thanks again for your explanation. So as a customer of 15 years, what do I need to do to get the advertised $19.99 internet?
Steve: The advertised rate of $19.99 is exclusively a new customer promotion, and is advertised as such. While we value your business, we don’t just put customers into promotions. This is much like a car that you buy, you can’t take it back after a year because it goes on sale, you know?
Christine Baker: No, I don’t know.
Christine Baker: How long do I have to disconnect my service before I qualify as new customer?
Steve: 90 days, and you’d have to pay any and all installation costs. Internet installation is $149.99, and phone is $60.00 so, I’m not thinking that would be the best economically.
Christine Baker: Yeah, I agree, porting my number to Verizon is probably a better idea.
Christine Baker: Thank you!
Steve: Sure thing! Glad I was able to explain! 😀
Steve: Anything else today?
Christine Baker: no, bye
Steve: You have a fantastic rest of your day, and thank you for contacting Frontier!
Steve left the conversation.
Christine Baker left the conversation.

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