Would You Order Broadband From A Company That Can't Even Figure Out How To Let You Sign Up Online?

from the figuring-out-the-basics... dept

Frontier Communications has been growing rapidly as other large broadband providers offload their unwanted DSL customers on the company that seems happy to gobble them up. The company doesn’t have a particularly good reputation wherever it goes — especially on the customer service front — but it’s quite astounding to see that it has now, apparently, stopped offering a way to sign up for service online, forcing anyone who wants service to call or do live chat:

Frontier is so out there on the… frontier of the internet, that apparently it can’t even figure out how to use the web for ordering service, as noted by a source who shared this info with StopTheCap:

?This company can?t manage to figure out how to build a website that supports ordering of products, so they are just going to kill that function,? the source added. ?Customers will be able to see what products they can get within a specific zip code, but that?s it. If they want to order, they are going to be forced into the already overloaded call center.?

And, of course, the end result is that already over-burdened customer service is even more over-burdened:

?I?m sure our former Verizon and AT&T customers as well as our future Verizon customers will enjoy going back to the Stone Age when they couldn?t do what they needed to do online and would have to pick up the phone to call into a Contact Center,? the source said. ?We might as well just have a Frontier Wikipedia page for crying out loud.?

That same article notes that Frontier’s disclaimer about how you won’t see the speeds you’re being promised takes such ridiculous disclaimers to new heights of ridiculousness. Traditionally, it was the slimey “up to” notation for speeds that you’d never see. But many broadband companies have gotten much better about actually living up to promised speeds. But Frontier flat out tells you there’s no way in hell you’re getting the speeds they promote:

?Actual speeds may vary and are not guaranteed. Performance metrics based on Frontier lab validation under ideal network environment simulating ?best case scenario? without network congestion, other factors cause by consumer behavior, or factors caused by third-party providers? behaviors. Consumers may not be able to replicate the performance shown in the performance metrics.?

Isn’t it great that as AT&T and Verizon are looking to shed their DSL customers, they’re handing them off to such a tech-savvy and customer-focused company?

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Companies: frontier communications

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Comments on “Would You Order Broadband From A Company That Can't Even Figure Out How To Let You Sign Up Online?”

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mcinsand (profile) says:

well that explains it!

>>Isn’t it great that as AT&T and Verizon are looking to
>>shed their DSL customers,…

That certainly explains a lot. I had to work very hard to become an AT&T DSL customer some years ago. It took them three months and countless calls to make the connection; my initial request went in November of 2010, and they didn’t manage to get my internet going until months later. During the process of Moe, Larry, and Curly working on my DSL, they tried issuing several numbers to my residence (I don’t have, need, or want a landline phone). When they finally got my DSL working, I got a chance to show my slow wit by taking a month or two to catch onto the fact that I was getting more than one bill/month. They were billing me for one of the numbers that failed, as well as the number that worked.

Last year, I got the brilliant idea of giving them a chance to give me a better offer than TWC. They gave the same cost/month, but this would include a landline phone. Once more, I don’t want or need one, but the person taking the call was not hearing that. She kept telling me how they were giving me such a better deal by including the phoneline, and she kept pushing me to set up an installation time.

Okay, so overall, maybe I did get mixed messages. They sort of wanted my DSL business the second time around, but only if I let them push a service on me that I did not want.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: well that explains it!

That’s kind of the point of removing the online signup I think.

If you allow the customers to sign up online, they will JUST get the service they want and the company loses the chance for the hard upsell. Therefore you cannot allow online signups because customer might… you know… actually get what they want at the price they expect. Can’t have that!!!!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: well that explains it!


When I attempted to setup a TMobile account online, it failed to authorize my credit card – when I called them to set it up over the phone, I got several extra services I did not want nearly doubling my bill and it took 3 billing cycles before they finally removed them.

PRMan (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: well that explains it!

I tried T-Mobile very recently as well.

The only problem I had was that if you “brought” an existing phone over, it would throw out all the new phones. And if you bought a new phone, it would throw out all the “bring across” phones.

Apparently, their system couldn’t conceive of a situation where a family might have some of both.

But when I called, I got exactly what I wanted and they didn’t even try to upsell me much (just a kind offer if I wanted more data, I said, “No thanks.”).

DOlz (profile) says:

Fair is fair

“Actual payments may vary and are not guaranteed. Payment metrics based on Frontier lab validation under realworld network environment simulating “normal case scenario” with network congestion, other factors cause by consumer behavior, or factors caused by third-party providers’ behaviors. Frontier may not be able to replicate the payment shown in the performance metrics.”

James Burkhardt (profile) says:

Re: Live Chat

Technically, but it still funnels you through their overworked sales reps. The point of an online signup form is to avoid the wait and dealing with upsells (and ‘mistakes’ on the part of the rep, which always seem to increase your bill)

So lets adjust the question. Would you buy broadband from a company that can’t even figure out how to process a sales form? A process that’s been around for at least a decade?

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Live Chat

“Isn’t the live chat option “online”?”

Technically, perhaps, but that’s not what is usually meant by online signup. Live chat is no different than using the phone: you still have wait for, and talk to, a sales rep.

One of the huge advantages to being able to sign up for things online is that you don’t have to talk to a sales rep.

Anonymous Coward says:

I tried to get service from Frontier last year. I wanted to dump Time Warner. I called orderd 22Mb service and set up the install

Nobody showed to install my service. I called back and was told they had no record of my appointment. I set up another appointment and the day before my install they called me and told me they could only offer 6Mbps because they had no high speed ports left in my

And now they keep stuffing my mail box with flyers advertising 22Mb speeds!

ItsAllWeGot (profile) says:

We have lived in the boonies for years and in various locations throughout the State, but always the only option for phone and DSL was Frontier. So, I am guessing they are pretty much only interested in zero-competition locales. Well, except for even worse providers like satellite.

That said, they charge what they think the market will bear and that is kinda OK for Capitalism, but what irks me the most is the service they provide. Or, make that “don’t provide.”

Our DSL contract does not state ANY minimum speed. It does not state “broadband,” it does say, “ADSL Internet” and they live well within that promise. On a good time of day we can get 6M-down but mostly it is barely above 1M-down.

After 8:30pm, the Netflix test videos will struggle to climb to 640 x 480 so fuzzy movies with sound drop-outs, is a constant way of life unless you are watching at 10:00am over morning coffee.

Providing such “service,” it comes as no surprise that they are forcing customers to call. They want more of the good stuff ($$$) to erode those speeds even farther. But, when they have a captive audience, that’s their prerogative.

Anonymous Coward says:

From the "so, how would I do that?" department...

> “Would You Order Broadband From A Company That Can’t Even Figure Out How To Let You Sign Up Online?”

… er, yes: because if I need to order Broadband, chances are that I can’t get online to access the online signup.

A more pertinent question is: “would you order broadband from a company whose tech support requires you to be online to access it?”

ltlw0lf (profile) says:

Re: From the "so, how would I do that?" department...

… er, yes: because if I need to order Broadband, chances are that I can’t get online to access the online signup.

Much as I’d like to agree, internet is available on your phone (in most cases,) at work, or down at the internet cafe or local library by now. Getting access to the web isn’t as difficult as it used to be.

A more pertinent question is: “would you order broadband from a company whose tech support requires you to be online to access it?”

I had that argument with my ISP once. They used to have a good website to go to in order to see upcoming scheduled outages, as well as unscheduled outages, so if my home network couldn’t get out, I could go and check on my phone if they knew about it before calling (you know, troubleshooting 101.)

They took it down, because if you didn’t have access to the internet, it wasn’t all that useful. When I called to let them know their internet was down, and then had to run back and forth between half a dozen techs before someone who knew it was down would tell me so, and I asked them where they moved the website, and they told me it was pointless to have the website up when the internet was down, I asked them if they sold smartphones (yes, they are a reseller of Verizon phones,) and if the internet on their smartphones was the same internet that they use for their home use, and they said no, whether it dawned on them that I could use their smartphone to check to see whether their home internet was down for my area.

Sadly, my ASP is far more intelligent and responsive. I wish they could do home internet, because they seem to handle my servers far better than my ISP does.

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