Rep. Tina Pickett (R-111th) called attention to ongoing problems area residents and businesses are experiencing with services provided Frontier Communications. Pickett highlighted the issue at both the recent Susquehanna County Township Supervisors’ Association meeting and the Montrose Chamber of Commerce Legislative Luncheon.
The county commissioners also highlighted Pickett’s efforts and, at the Wednesday, Oct. 26 meeting, said that they would be posting a consumer complaint form on the county website, www.susqco.com.
Commissioner Alan Hall said service from the company has been a “big issue” at the county’s 911 center, with battery back-ups at Frontier facilities not being maintained. The county, he said, sued the company over that very issue several years ago.
The commissioners said they are looking for the public to respond like they did with the roads issue, which was effective in getting the promise of an additional $23 million full depth reclamation paving project for SR 29, from the New York state line to the Wyoming County line.
“We can’t fix this unless the public gets behind it,” Hall said. He said complaint forms would be available at the Hallstead library, as well as at the courthouse and online.
Pickett also has links to the consumer complaint forms on her website, RepPickett.com, and at the Chamber luncheon, said she has a thick stack in her office that she has already received.
According to a release issued by Pickett and Rep. Clink Owlett, the forms may be used by the by the Pennsylvania Office of Consumer Advocate (OCA) to file a formal complaint against the company.
Pickett and Owlett met with OCA after seeing an increase in complaints to their district offices about Frontier’s services.
“Area residents are paying good money for these services and have a right to expect their phones, internet and televisions to work properly,” Pickett said. “The complaints we are hearing are not only occasional, short-term problems but also long-term service interruptions or outages that are simply inexcusable in this day and age.”
“As we have said many times before, broadband service is a necessity, not a luxury,” Owlett said. “The problems Frontier customers are experiencing are not only inconvenient and frustrating but have even caused a loss of business and revenue for campgrounds and other lodging facilities that have missed out on bookings because of service issues.”
At the suggestion of the consumer advocate, Pickett and Owlett are inviting anyone who has had problems with Frontier to fill out a simple, one-page form that asks for account and contact information, a timeline of issues and a brief description of their experience.
OCA also plans to hold a town hall meeting to gather further information from affected residents. The date has not yet been determined.
SCRC Receives County Backing
The Susquehanna County Recreation Center (SCRC) received county backing last week, as the commissioners signed on as a guarantor for a USDA Community Facilities Program loan, and approved entering into a sub-agreement for sponsorship of the non-profit organization’s application for a Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program grant.
Commissioner Elizabeth Arnold said the commissioners had met with representatives from SCRC the week prior to the meeting and were very pleased with the business plan the group has put together and the benefits the proposed rec center would provide to county residents.
Hall said that, in the past, the county has also served as a loan guarantor for both Endless Mountains Health Systems and Barnes-Kasson County Hospital.
SCRC’s Ashley Kilmer attended the Wednesday meeting and explained the recreation center would be operated in a similar structure to a YMCA, with a membership base, and partner with organizations to service the county well with indoor health and wellness programs.
She also said the facility would “morph” into several different things throughout a typical day, with plans that include a day care center, provide senior services and offer a mental health component.
SCRC has secured the land for the project, located off the Interstate 81, Gibson exit, and plans to break ground next year. Construction is anticipated to take about 14 months.
Arnold commended the SCRC team for the work they have done in the past six years.