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High-speed internet

The latest installment in the ongoing saga of Customer Service in the Telecommunications Industry comes from Donna and Alan Matts, of Oregon:

The Matts, who are in their early 70s, emailed SOS on July 23 to detail their three-months-long back-and-forth with Frontier Communications that started with their decision to switch to TDS for telephone, internet and television service — known in industry marketing lingo as “the bundle.”

Donna said that upon signing up on April 18, TDS told her that it would contact her prior providers of the services — Frontier for internet and landline telephone and Charter Communications for cable TV — to let them know they were, in effect, fired as of April 29.

“I called Frontier on May 1st to double-check that they had been contacted,” Donna wrote, “and I was told at that time that they had been.”

Apparently that didn’t mean Frontier would stop billing them because they received two subsequent invoices from the company in late May and late June for $57.16 for service from May 25 to June 24. Both times, Donna called the company, and both times she was told that all she owed was $16.68, plus tax, for service from April 25 to May 1.

During the first call, she was told the problem would be fixed. During the second call, she was told the company “would try to straighten out our account by putting in a ‘dispute’ form/request for us,” Donna wrote. “Someone would call me back in a few days. No one called me back.”

No one fixed the problem, either, because the next letters the Matts got were from Frontier warning them that their account was past due, and from Credit Collection Services. Donna called both, but this time, no one was offering to fix any problems.

On July 19, Donna said, “we received another invoice from Frontier (not from the Credit Collection Services). To get them off our backs we paid the full amount of $57.17, but we are totally disgusted with the whole ordeal.”

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SOS spoke with and emailed Javier Mendoza, Frontier vice president of corporate communications and external affairs, on Aug. 6, and emailed again on Tuesday. Mendoza responded later Tuesday saying the company would be “crediting the customer for the amount in question and contacting credit reporting agencies to have them remove references from the account.”

How Frontier was going to issue a credit to an account that had been canceled wasn’t clear, as SOS let Mendoza know.

Donna, meanwhile, said Wednesday that they’d gotten two messages from Frontier’s Bruce Fitzpatrick and during a call with him later that day said he offered a refund of only $28.78 because their internet service was the only charge the company could pro-rate. But then later that afternoon, she said he called back to apologize for the “’misunderstanding’ and he talked to his supervisor/manager and they have decided to refund me the entire last payment that we made to them.”

“We should receive the $57.17 that we sent to them on 7/19/19,” she said.

SOS will check back in with the Matts to make sure that happens.

Auto warranty refund received

John Mandt confirmed Aug. 12 that his July credit card statement showed two credits — for $138 and $137.89 — representing refunds of payments on the auto repair warranty he’d signed up for in March.

Mandt had canceled the warranty within the 30-day window for doing so but had made little progress on a refund from Advanced Vehicle Protection Center LLC and payment processor Mepco until SOS intervened.

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