Update -- Fairpoint Customer Service Problems

March 30, 2009

Since the recent cut-over from Verizon’s systems to the systems built for FairPoint, there have been widespread problems relating to customer service. It appears that the new systems are not performing as expected, causing delays in order processing for FairPoint’s customers and for customers of competitive telephone and DSL providers. It has also resulted in many instances of inaccurate billing. These problems have resulted in large increases in the volume of calls to FairPoint, causing an overload on FairPoint’s customer service lines and affecting its ability to answer calls within a reasonable time. The Public Advocate and the Public Utilities Commission are working to ensure that FairPoint resolves these issues as quickly as possible, and such plans are already in place. We expect to see continual improvement at this time but some continued problems for the next few months.

Our Advice – If your issue involves inaccurate billing, it is best not to worry about it immediately and wait for the next billing cycle to see if it has been corrected. FairPoint has assured us that current billing issues will not result in inaccurate reports to credit bureaus and that it will ensure that no customer is over-charged. If you are waiting for repair or new installation of service, and are not getting adequate service from FairPoint, we suggest that you bring the matter to the attention of the Public Utilities Commission by calling 1800 452-4699. If they do not satisfy your concerns, or if you have questions, you may also contact us, the Public Advocate, by calling 287-2445.