Attorney General Ellison: Investigation into Frontier continues despite bankruptcy
Will continue to protect Minnesota customers’ rights and fight for reform of Frontier’s business practices, despite chapter 11 bankruptcy filing
April 16, 2020 (SAINT PAUL) — Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison asserted today that his Office’s investigation into Frontier Communication’s business practices is continuing regardless of Frontier’s filing for chapter 11 bankruptcy in federal court in New York earlier this week. He vowed to continue to protect Minnesota customers’ rights and fight to reform Frontier’s business practices.
Frontier — through its entities Frontier Communications of America, Inc., Frontier Communications of Minnesota, Inc., and Citizens Telecommunications Company of Minnesota, LLC — provides telephone service to approximately 90,000 Minnesota households and businesses, as well as internet service to many more households, in many parts of rural Minnesota and southern portions of the Minneapolis–Saint Paul metro area. Frontier has said it will continue to provide service to its customers during the bankruptcy proceeding.
“Part of being able to afford your life means knowing the full cost of what you’re getting, getting what you were promised, not being overcharged for things you didn’t ask for, and not being unfairly charged to get rid of things you didn’t ask for. But when people signed up for telephone or internet service with Frontier, that’s what happened to them,” Attorney General Ellison said. “That’s why regardless of Frontier’s bankruptcy filing, my office is going to keep investigating Frontier, advocate for changes to their business practices, and protect Frontier’s customers in Minnesota.”
Attorney General Ellison’s Office is currently investigating Frontier’s promotion, advertisement, sales, billing, and provision of internet and bundled internet-telephone services pursuant to Minnesota’s consumer-protection laws, including state laws banning deceptive trade practices and consumer fraud. The Attorney General’s Office begin its investigation into Frontier Communications’ conduct before the January 2019 report by the Minnesota Department of Commerce, which found the telecommunications provider failed to provide adequate, reliable phone and internet service to its Minnesota customers. The Department of Commerce found that “[m]any of the issues reported by consumers show direct violations of Minnesota law and [Minnesota Public Utilities] Commission rules, and indicate broad, systemic problems with Frontier’s service quality, recordkeeping and business operations.”
Chapter 11 is a form of bankruptcy involving the reorganization or restructuring of a debtor’s — in this case, Frontier Communications’ — business affairs, debts, and assets.
While Attorney General Ellison continues to help Minnesotans afford their lives by seeking to reform Frontier Communications’ business practices, we ask both individuals and businesses that have experienced or continue to experience issues with Frontier to report complaints to the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office by calling (651) 296-3353 (Metro area) or (800) 657-3787 (Greater Minnesota), by filing a complaint on the Attorney General’s website, or by writing the office at 445 Minnesota St., Suite, 1400, Saint Paul MN 55101.