Popular Internet Service Provider Caught Purposefully Misleading Its Customers?

By Joseph Farago | 2 weeks ago

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In the modern age of advertising, it’s common knowledge that companies’ advertisements might not be entirely truthful. For one internet service provider, its fraudulent marketing has caused distress and irritation among its consumers. The Federal Trade Commission has pointed out this company, Frontier Communications, and has filed a lawsuit to reimburse its customers that have been fooled.

Frontier Communications is an American telecommunications company responsible for high-speed internet service. But the provider has had complications with the law since 2021, with many customers filing complaints expressing dissatisfaction with the company’s internet speed. A court order was issued this past Thursday in the state of California, making serious accusations against the internet provider. The Federal Trade Commission’s order states that Frontier Communications either needs to prove that its internet services are as efficient as advertised or reimburse its misled customers.

The court order filed against Frontier Communications comes after six lawsuits were issued against the company last year. The telecommunications company had already been in hot water with different states in the US, with citizens who expressed dissatisfaction with Frontier’s services. The lawsuits also outline customer complaints who felt that Frontier had falsely advertised high-speed internet when the services provided were much more underwhelming.

This past week, the Federal Trade Commission order was approved with a 4-o vote. The order explicitly stated that Frontier needs to reimburse its customers who have been deceived and for the company to notify individual consumers when it cannot refund them accordingly. The only way the internet service provider could circumvent these orders is to prove that Frontier provides quality high-speed internet on a customer-by-customer level. Since there are hundreds of complaints outlining the company’s fraudulent marketing, it’s unlikely that Frontier will be able to prove its services are as speedy as advertised.

Alongside the court order’s ultimatum, the mandate also comes with a financial requirement. The order states that Frontier will have to pay for 60,000 California residents’ fiber optic internet service to rectify the company’s fraud. The mandate also imposes limits on the company’s sign-ups for its digital subscriber line.

The most prominent part of the order is the judge’s insistence that Frontier is honest and transparent about its internet services. If the customer is receiving a more costly internet package, Frontier needs to let them know if the internet speed isn’t up to par. Other customers paying for inadequate services could also receive a discount on their packages. This is a massive hit to the company’s revenue and brand integrity.

Though many have found Frontier guilty of their falsely advertised internet speed, the company is doubling down on these claims of wrongdoing. A spokesperson for Frontier spoke about how the company has been dishonestly accused of providing slow internet and wanting to leave the complaints in the past. The spokesperson stated that the company is only dedicated to providing “access to high-speed internet” and didn’t acknowledge the deceptive advertisement from its past campaigns. After an alarming court order with numerous fees from the Federal Trades Commissions, Frontier has a lot to make up for to regain customer loyalty.