Frontier Communications' technical problems are drawing the ire of two of the state's top elected officials.
Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam publicly called out the company for its customer service problems that have resulted in more complaints to his office in one month than Verizon had over all of last year. Putnam, whose office also includes responsibilities for consumer issues, said his office has received 144 complaints since April 1. Verizon had 111 complaints for the full year.
"Frontier Communications' customers don't know where to turn for help with their service issues, and I encourage Floridians to contact my department so we can assist," said Putnam, a Republican. "While we do not have oversight over Frontier Communications, we're here to advocate on behalf of Florida's consumers."
His office has been in direct contact with Frontier Communications, Putnam spokeswoman Jenn Meale said.
Almost two hours after Putnam put out his statement, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, also a Republican, put out a statement warning that Frontier's issues are leaving senior citizens in harm.
"The problems created during Frontier's acquisition of Verizon are leaving some Florida seniors without the security services they paid for, and to complicate matters, without telephone service, many of them may not even be able to dial 911 in case of an emergency," Bondi said in a statement. "I asked Frontier to do the right thing, fix these problems as soon as possible, and issue refunds to all consumers who have experienced an interruption in their services, without the customer having to request a refund."
Bondi's office said they have had more than 128 complaints about Frontier since the end of March.
More than a half-million Tampa Bay area Verizon users became Frontier customers in April after that company acquired Verizon's TV, Internet and landline phone service. Almost immediately, some customers reported lengthy outages, reports of bad customer service and poor technical support.