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Minnesota Department of Commerce launches further investigation into Frontier Communications’ billing and customer services practices

12/19/2019 11:09:16 AM

Minnesotans experiencing billing or customer service issues are encouraged to contact Commerce at 651-539-1883 or telecom.commerce@state.mn.us

For Immediate Release

SAINT PAUL (12/19/2019) – The Minnesota Department of Commerce has launched another investigation into Frontier Communications, focusing on the company’s billing and customer service practices. The Department’s previous investigation into the company in 2018 found that Frontier Communications failed to provide adequate, reliable phone service to Minnesota customers.

The primary issues currently under investigation include whether Frontier failed to inform customers of their service options and whether Frontier enrolled customers in long distance service plans that customers did not want or use.

“We are concerned about Frontier’s practices when customers are signing up for service and the prospect that Minnesotans are being overcharged for their phone service,” said Commerce Commissioner Steve Kelley. 

Minnesota consumers should reach out to the Department of Commerce at 651-539-1883 or telecom.commerce@state.mn.us if they have experienced these, or other issues related to Frontier’s billing and customer service: 

  • If you only want basic telephone service and have no need for additional features, but Frontier did not offer stand-alone local telephone service to you as an option.
  • If you have been told that you cannot disconnect local telephone service without losing your internet service;
  • If you have been told you cannot purchase internet service without also purchasing local telephone service;
  • If your bill shows you have been paying $29.99 for the Digital Phone Essentials package, which includes 30 minutes of long distance service, but you were unaware that you can subscribe to Digital Essentials for $21.99 if you only want to pay for long distance service when it is used; 
  • If your bill shows you have been paying $39.99 (or more) for the Digital Phone Unlimited package, which includes unlimited long distance service, but you were unaware that you can subscribe to a lower price local service plan where you pay for long distance service only when it is used; 
  • If long distance service was added to your account without your knowledge or consent;
  • If you have long distance service from Frontier, but were not informed that the service could be provided by the company of your choice;
  • If Frontier does not identify the long distance service provider on your bill. 

Commerce’s first investigation into Frontier Communications resulted in a settlement agreement between Commerce and Frontier earlier this year. The settlement aims to hold Frontier accountable for its service quality and reliability issues, as well as providing tangible remedies to Minnesota consumers. Once the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission issues its order, Commerce and the Commission can assist Minnesota consumers on filing claims for the remedies outlined in that settlement. The Commission regulates companies providing local and long distance telecommunications services in Minnesota.

Frontier Communications of Minnesota, Inc., and its affiliate, Citizens Telecommunications of Minnesota, LLC, provide telephone service to approximately 90,000 Minnesota households and businesses, as well as internet service to many more households, in many parts of rural Minnesota and the Twin Cities metro area.

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With You Every Day

Wherever you are in Minnesota, the Department of Commerce is with you every day. Whether you’re filling up on gas, purchasing a home, working to reduce energy consumption or rebuilding after a disaster—we are with you, no matter what.

The Minnesota Commerce Department oversees more than 20 regulated industries, ensuring that Minnesota businesses are strong and Minnesota consumers are protected. Our mission is to protect the public interest, advocate for Minnesota consumers, ensure a strong, competitive and fair marketplace, strengthen the state’s economic future and serve as a trusted public resource for consumers and businesses.

Media Contact
Emmalynn Bauer
Director of Communications
Minnesota Department of Commerce
office: 651-539-1463 | cell: 651-358-5155
emma.bauer@state.mn.us 

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