Saturday, March 28, 2009

FairPoint Communications - A Review

I hate to say this when it comes to FairPoint Communications taking over Verizon's northern New England operations: I told you so.

Way back in late 2007/early 2008 I said the deal to sell Verizon's wireline assets to FairPoint was a bad idea and a bad deal for consumers.

Now that FairPoint is in sole control of the assets, things have been going from barely adequate to worse, with the telecommunications company facing hefty fines, decreasing revenue, loss of customers, and well below average customer service.

FairPoint announced service orders weren't going to be processed until four to six weeks after it made the changeover from Verizon's computer systems to their own around the first of the year. That seemed reasonable under the circumstances. But the changeover was made 3 months ago and service orders made before the changeover still haven't be completed. The wait for a change of service from an old address to a new one is approximately six weeks. Orders for new lines is just as long. (A couple that are friends of ours made the move from Wolfeboro on the north side of Lake Winnipesaukee to the town of Belmont on the south side of the lake this weekend. They put in a service request to have their phone connected three weeks ago. They were told they won't have service until some time in mid to late April at the earliest. I'm betting they won't have service until mid-May. Calling the local cable company, they were told they could have phone service in two days at the latest. Now that's customer service.)

Is it any wonder they're losing customers?

My family made the change to the local cable company's VoIP phone service just after the transaction between Verizon and FairPoint was completed. We saved almost $50 a month since then compared to FairPoint and we're quite happy with the service. Other friends and acquaintances have dumped wired phone lines altogether and use their cell phones exclusively. This is not good news for FairPoint.

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