Fines and penalty

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and agencies from six states, have sued Frontier Communications, charging that the internet service provider charged customers for more expensive and higher-speed service than what was actually provided.

In the complaint, the plaintiffs allege that Frontier did not provide the speeds promised based on the plan tier that the company advertised and sold to consumers over the phone and online.

More specifically, the allegations charge that Frontier’s Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) service didn’t provide promised speeds and service that the company’s advertising and marketing represented. The lawsuit comes after thousands of consumer complaints since 2015.

The laswsuit come less than a month after the company emerged from bankruptcy and is another challenge for new CEO Nick Jeffery. Frontier has had service issues in the past, with West Virginia Senator, Shelley Moore Capito asking the FCC to deny Frontier RDOF funds in West Virginia because of the company’s history of poor service.

The FTC’s complaint was filed with the attorneys general from Arizona, Indiana, Michigan, North Carolina, and Wisconsin, as well as the district attorneys’ offices of Los Angeles County and Riverside County on behalf of the State of California. Frontier provides DSL service to approximately 1.3 million consumers, many in rural areas, across 25 states, according to the FTC.

Frontier quickly responded to the lawsuit. In a prepared statement, Frontier said:

“Frontier believes the lawsuit is without merit.” Frontier alleges the complaint includes baseless allegations, overstates any possible monetary harm to Frontier’s customers and disregards important facts.

It offered the following rebuttal claims:

  • Frontier offers Internet service in some of the country’s most rural areas that often have challenging terrain, are more sparsely populated and are the most difficult to serve.
  • Frontier’s rural DSL Internet service was enthusiastically welcomed when it was launched and has retained many satisfied customers over the years.
  • Frontier’s DSL Internet speeds have been clearly and accurately articulated, defined and described in the Company’s marketing materials and disclosures.

The company plans a “vigorous defense.”

Join the Conversation

2 thoughts on “FTC Sues Frontier Communications Alleging Poor DSL Service Didn’t Match Claims

  1. Frontier needs to check out their exchange in Rusk, TX. I’ve spoken to customers and Frontier repair people in this area and it is the worst. A nursing home in the area purchased multiple cellular hotspots to place within the nursing home in preparation for when the Frontier DSL goes out multiple times throughout the day and night.

    1. DSL has never been a commercial (small, medium business) product. It is at best a lower grade consumer (residential) product. Any business which attempts to operate using this level of data communications is questionable at best.
      There are many reasonable business grade services, many of which come with service level agreements and guaranteed restoral intervals.
      If you are going to be in business, BE in business!

      I liken this to buying a Ford Ranger to do the job a F350 flatbed with dualies should do. You know the ones with the bumper dragging the highway because they are overloaded and the front wheels are coming off the pavement.

      I agree that Frontier or any DSL provider should strive for quality including up-time, but DSL is still only an up-to service. The providers are only required to provide a minimum of 80% of the time purchased speed. Even with higher end services the 80% speed level is all that is required. That means that you are purchasing 1Gig but I am only required to test to 800Meg to verify you are getting what you are paying for. Remember, data/DSL/HSI are unregulated services. That is why you will get your voice/phone restored before your internet (unless you are using voip).

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