FRONTIER'S 'STRING AND CAN SERVICE?' - Three Frontier Calhoun Workers Retire

(08/13/2017)

By Bob Weaver

Spencer newspaper publisher David Hedges lamented in a column last week that it took Frontier 11 days to fix the outage of his home phone.

Hedges said he was likely talking with his curmudgeon personality, saying in the good ole days, when there was an outage, it seemed someone appeared shortly after hanging up the phone.

Hedges says you now flip the calendar and circle a date in the next month.

My longtime friend Norma Knotts Shaffer, associate editor of the Hur Herald, lost her landline service in July, and was told it would be repaired in 10 days.

She lives next door to the Frontier office in Grantsville.

Thankfully a Frontier repairman showed up 14 days later to make the fix.

Thankfully she didn't need her LifeAlert.

Meanwhile, Frontier's phone and "high speed internet" service continues to be disruptive in the greater Chloe area, a problem over many years, with many other customers losing "high speed internet" for days or weeks.

Frontier has long advertised high-speed service with internet speeds up to 6 megabytes per second. An investigation found many customers expecting internet speeds “up to 6 Mbps” frequently received speeds 1.5 Mbps or lower, and in some rural counties the service has been intermittent.

A major landline service that continued for years in the Big Springs-Five Forks area was corrected after the County Commissioner filed a formal complaint with the WV-PSC against Frontier, replacing a sub-station from the 1960s. An nearly equal number of problems have happened in Washington District in recent years, but customers did not ask the County Commission to intervene.

See   2015: RELIEF FOR FIVE FORKS-BIG SPRINGS FRONTIER PHONE CUSTOMERS - "Customers Are Victims, A Way Of Life, Tin Cans And String Service"

Customers should demand credit for outages for both landline and internet services.

Meanwhile, many Calhoun customers have accepted the problem, adapted around it, some with cell phones or relying on other pioneer means to call the police, an ambulance or the fire department.

Unfortunately, cell service has barely been improved in the county in the last two decades.

Perhaps making the problem worse, at least three longtime Frontier workers in this county have just retired after years of service that goes back to the old Citizens Phone Company.

Those workers, who suffered defeat by not being given the higher wages of Frontier's acquired Verizon employees, being the "old" employees of the "old" company, sadly never got their due.

Kevin Church, Mike Boatright and Mike Smith have retired.

Calhoun citizens, when you see them, you need to thank them for their over-the-top efforts to help local customers over all those years, more than just ordinary duty.

At a WV Public Service Commission meeting in Grantsville, Big Springs-Five Forks residents said, "We can always use a string and cans" to communicate.


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