Monday, December 11, 2017
Business

Florida politicians Putnam, Bondi publicly call out Frontier for service problems

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.

Comments
Tampa: Hundreds protest Trump’s decision on Jerusalem

Tampa: Hundreds protest Trump’s decision on Jerusalem

TAMPA — Hundreds rallied near the University of South Florida on Friday night to protest President Donald Trump’s recent declaration that the United States will recognize the divided city of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.The protest was organize...
Published: 12/08/17
Updated: 12/09/17

Duke outage leaves 7,700 without power near Pinellas Park

PINELLAS PARK — Up to 7,700 customers across Pinellas Park, Lealman and Kenneth City lost power in a Thursday night outage, according to Duke Energy.The outage impacted a cloverleaf-shaped area of customers, with pedals extending in the cardinal dire...
Published: 12/08/17
Express lanes set to open on Veterans. They’re free -- for now.

Express lanes set to open on Veterans. They’re free -- for now.

TAMPA — Drivers on the Veterans Expressway will gain an extra lane from Gunn Highway to Hillsborough Avenue starting Saturday.But there’s a catch: Once drivers enter the lane, they won’t be able to leave it — not until a designated exit about six mil...
Published: 12/08/17
St. Petersburg chamber of commerce charts ‘Grow Smarter’ economic development strategy

St. Petersburg chamber of commerce charts ‘Grow Smarter’ economic development strategy

Times Staff WriterST. PETERSBURG — What started more than five years ago as an exploratory conversation among a handful of business leaders blossomed Friday into a full-blown community discussion of how to nurture business while working to make sure ...
Published: 12/08/17
Visit St. Pete/Clearwater makes Orlando tourists a top target

Visit St. Pete/Clearwater makes Orlando tourists a top target

In a decision driven by some major data crunching, Visit St. Pete/Clearwater next year will focus its tourism advertising on three target markets: Orlando, New York City and its Tampa Bay home."Research is going to dictate our behaviors and direction...
Published: 12/08/17
Having JW Marriott run Water Street Tampa’s new 519-room hotel expected to help Tampa pursue more upscale conventions

Having JW Marriott run Water Street Tampa’s new 519-room hotel expected to help Tampa pursue more upscale conventions

TAMPA — JW Marriott, a luxury hotel brand new to Tampa, will run the new 519-room hotel that the Water Street Tampa project is building next to the Marriott Waterside Hotel & Marina, developers announced Friday.Construction on the 26-story hotel is ...
Published: 12/08/17

Gravel spill shuts down parts of northbound Howard Frankland Bridge

TAMPA — Authorities are cleaning up a load of gravel spilled onto the northbound Howard Frankland Bridge on Friday afternoon, shutting down at least two lanes of traffic.The incident was reported at 2 p.m. on the stretch of the bridge drivers approac...
Published: 12/08/17
A longer wait: Some now try nearly 3 years to get disability insurance

A longer wait: Some now try nearly 3 years to get disability insurance

By the time Teralyn Fleming could finally plead her case to get federal disability insurance, she had been waiting two years and three months. The wait was not a peaceful one — a blood clotting disorder pushed her out of the workforce in 2015 ...
Published: 12/08/17
Why has bitcoin’s price shot up so fast?

Why has bitcoin’s price shot up so fast?

SAN FRANCISCO — Bitcoin has been in a bull market like few the world has ever seen.At the beginning of the year, the price of a bitcoin was below $1,000. It hit $5,000 in October, then doubled by late November. And on Thursday, less than two weeks la...
Published: 12/08/17
U.S. employers added 228,000 jobs in November, unemployment rate stays at 4.1 percent

U.S. employers added 228,000 jobs in November, unemployment rate stays at 4.1 percent

WASHINGTON — U.S. employers added a robust 228,000 jobs in November, a sign of the job market’s enduring strength in its ninth year of economic recovery. The unemployment rate remained at a 17-year low of 4.1 percent, the Labor Department reported F...
Published: 12/08/17