BEAVER, Ohio (WCMH) — Imagine having no phone service for a month. That’s what one small community in Ohio said they had to deal with from their phone company recently, and fed up, they decided they Better Call Jackson.
“It isn’t just not good, it is unacceptable,” Roslyn Valentine said. She and a group of other residents from the small community of Beaver, Ohio, say they are a small town living with a big problem.
In early December, nearly two dozen residents lost landline phone service. In an area with spotty-to-no cell service, it was frustrating, to say the least, but for Valentine, it was scary.
“My father has a heart monitor that is connected to a landline,” Valentine added. “Without that monitor, we are not sure how his heart is performing.”
The phone lines stayed down for days, which turned into weeks. Residents tell Better Call Jackson their phone company, Frontier Communications, gave them the run-around.
“If we had an emergency, what were we to do?” Bessie Mosely, a 33-year resident of Beaver, said. “It was 24 days we were without a phone.”
NBC4 tracked down the Connecticut-based Frontier Communications. Javier Mendoza, the Vice President of Communications for Frontier, released the following email statement:
“On December 12, a still-unidentified third party knocked more than a 1/4-mile length of large-diameter cable off its support poles in a remote area outside of Waverly, Ohio. Frontier crews were immediately dispatched, however, the damage was extensive, requiring 10 days to complete, with weather and unsafe conditions causing delays. Frontier restored service by December 25.”
The residents have their phone lines working now, but they are still not happy with Frontier.
Frontier also apologized to customers who felt they received poor customer service or were not properly informed of how things were being restored.
“We apologize for any inconvenience and thank our customers and the communities we serve for their patience as our team worked to repair damages and restore service,” Mendoza said.
Still, residents were not satisfied with the service or how it was handled.
“I would say it happens between five to seven times a year if not more often,” Valentine said.
Better Call Jackson took their concerns to Matt Schilling at the Public Utilities Services Commission of Ohio (PUCO), which regulates landline telephone service companies like Frontier Communications.
“There are service quality standards,” Schilling said. “If a customer is out for 72 hours or more, the company must credit them one month of service.”
In this case, Schilling said PUCO was able to help get phone bill refunds or credits for customers who complained to them.
“The best resolution we have is to get these monthly credits for customers,” Schilling said.
Their advice to anyone in the same boat? Give them a call or send them an email. For more information, visit their website: https://www.puco.ohio.gov/