ARLINGTON, Wash. — Whenever Alyssa Pries logs on to her computer, it's an adventure.
"All day long I get error messages that tell me to check my internet connection," said Pries. "It's all day."
Pries runs a small business out of her home in Arlington, which she says is increasingly difficult because her internet goes down more than 50 times a day.
"It gets really frustrating," she said. "I don't mind paying for a service if I receive the service, but it just seems like money out the door."
A spokesman for the communications company says an analysis found the family runs six devices in their home and they appear to be maxing out their Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) service. DSL is the only service available in the neighborhood.
Pries, however, believes Frontier has taken on more customers than its network can handle.
"It's like me overselling and never filling my orders, but still taking their money and telling my customers, you paid for it. Sorry that I couldn't get it out to you,” Pries said.
The Frontier representative said the company constantly evaluates its service areas "to explore the best options to expand broadband availability and increase speeds. In some instances, we have facilities that operate at capacity. Upgrades are on a case-by-case basis following careful review and detailed analysis."
The representative promised to send a technician to Pries’ home as soon as possible.
Customers have logged more than 900 complaints against Frontier with the state Attorney General's office over the past six years.
Pries says she would gladly switch internet providers, but feels trapped because no other companies operate in her neighborhood.
"Just this last week I was on the phone for two hours and 45 minutes. It was six different phone calls with customer service, and I got disconnected with them every time,” she said.
Frontier also says help is on the way for rural customers in the form of money through the Federal Communications Commission’s Connect America Fund which will enable it to offer high-speed internet of at least 10 Mbps to additional locations in its service areas.
You can read the company's full statement below:
"Frontier is committed to providing reliable, affordable phone, internet and connectivity services to our customers. We are investigating the two customer cases presented to us by KING-TV and will help resolve those as promptly as reasonably possible.
Every single customer is important, and one displeased or out-of-service customer is one too many. In a large, geographically diverse territory there are hundreds of customer service requests daily and the majority are handled and restored in a single day. Uncontrollable events like severe weather, construction crews cutting cables, cars hitting telephone poles or equipment cabinets or a variety of similar mishaps can cause service disruptions and delay response and restore efforts.
Our network is healthy, robust and daily delivers reliable service. We recognize we experience service issues and delays from time-to-time to some of our customers and apologize for any disruption to services. Our system is constantly monitored, and our crews respond with urgency to troubleshoot and resolve all reported issues.
Frontier understands our rural customers desire the same educational, economic development, and entertainment options that a High-Speed Internet connection brings. We constantly evaluate our service areas to explore the best options to expand broadband availability and increase speeds. In some instances, we have facilities that operate at capacity. This means we cannot accept new customers or deliver additional services. Upgrades are on a case-by-case basis following careful review and detailed analysis.
In addition to its own investment, Frontier has accepted funding through the Federal Communications Commission’s Connect America Fund to enable it to offer high-speed Internet of at least 10mbps to additional locations in our service area. The FCC makes funding available in specific areas where it determines it is not economically viable for a carrier alone to provide broadband service.
We’re confident additional network enhancements we plan to make in Washington will help in addressing Internet speed and service issues for many customers,"
Corporate Communications and External Affairs