SOS: Phone back, satellite equipment gone, and no trip to roof for 73-year-old

February 11, 2019

Frontier Communications didn’t expect 73-year-old Carol Hall to get up onto her roof in the middle of a Wisconsin winter.

She said the company did, however, fail to show up for two appointments to retrieve a piece of its equipment from up there before demanding she pay hundreds of dollars for the device and canceling the landline phone service she’d had for 50 years.

Hall, of Baraboo, said she had her Frontier phone service bundled with DirecTV and satellite lnternet service about five or six years ago. She retained internet service for a while after DirecTV stopped providing television service, but ultimately decided the internet service wasn’t that reliable and she didn’t use it much anyway. In August, she decided to cancel.

Frontier sent her a prepaid envelope and Hall returned all of Frontier’s internet equipment, except for the satellite dish itself and its attached low-noise block downconverter, or LNB (a device that collects radio waves from the dish). The company didn’t want the dish, and Hall made it clear to company representatives that if they wanted the LNB, they’d have to send someone to get it.

“Truly they can’t expect me to get on the roof,” she said.

After Frontier failed to get the device, it started sending her bills for it. First it wanted $200, and then $300, she said.

“I have spent at least 12 hours on the phone,” she said. “I have been told so many things by this company.”

She said her daughter in California offered to pay the bill and be done with it, but Hall was having none of that.

“It just was wrong,” she said. “I’m sure 90 percent of the people just pay it.”

By the time she called SOS in late January, the bill was up to $423.50, including late and phone service charges, and her phone had been cut nearly three weeks before.

SOS laid out the situation for Javier Mendoza, Frontier vice president of corporate communications and external affairs, on Jan. 28, and called to follow up on Feb. 6. Later that same day he reported “the customer’s service has been restored with no charge and the equipment removed from her roof and picked up.”

“We apologize to our customer for any inconvenience,” he said.

SOS found that Hall’s landline was indeed working on Thursday, when she said the company came out on Feb. 1 and removed the LNB. She wanted a receipt to prove it but the company didn’t provide one, so she said she wrote out one herself and had the technician sign it.