Frontier executive sorry for 'bumpy start' to Verizon switchover

LONG BEACH, Calif. (KABC) -- For weeks, hundreds of customers have been complaining about the switchover from Verizon to Frontier Communications that has left many people across California without telephone and Internet service.

The complaints have been flooding in on social media. Business owners have said the outage slowed down their operations and at least one police department said it affected emergency services.

Hundreds of customers have lodged complaints with the California Public Utilities Commission.

Frontier took over 3.3 million landline, 2.1 million broadband and 1.2 million fiber-optic customers in three western states in April.

In California alone, the company had to switch 1 million customers.

Melinda White, the president of Frontier's West Region, acknowledged the transition "has been a bumpy start" and apologized for the customer problems.

"I don't blame them one bit for being frustrated," White said. "It's tough when you call an 800-number and expect to get help and it just doesn't happen."

White says the problems boil down to the ability to transfer data for more than 1 million customers, in addition to software delays and gaps in customer service.

"This was a situation that we couldn't have foreseen," White said.

One mistake, she said, was the decision to use an offshore customer service company during the conversion. She said that company will be phased out by July.

Frontier's U.S.-based customer service reps have been beefed up to 10,000 nationwide, and the number of customers still without service are now down to a few hundred, according to the company.

"We are so very sorry about the disruption," White said. "This was absolutely not our intent. We certainly never want to disrupt our customer service."
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