PORTLAND, Me. (Nov. 5, 2014) – FairPoint Communications spokeswoman Angelynne Beaudry today issued the following update on customer service:
When the unions went on strike, FairPoint immediately began to implement the contingency plans the company had established for each operational system and work center. Pursuant to these plans, managers and non-union employees were immediately deployed to key front-line operational positions and calls were rerouted to alternate call centers.
We very much appreciate the patience of our customers as we continue to ramp up our contingency workforce and to increase the number of experienced telecommunications professionals and call center staff who can diligently, capably and safely meet the needs of our customers.
Our consumer call center was overloaded during the first week as we sought to filter out nuisance calls including the use of auto-dialer services resulting in call volume being over 250% more than expected. The long answer times had customers calling back multiple times adding to the queue. We have added additional call centers and more representatives are coming on line. But our volumes are still some 30% higher than in the past.
Our attention was focused on ensuring service to critical infrastructure, high volume and critical care related customers. We regret some of our customers have been inconvenienced as we had to reschedule their appointments. We have also prioritized service to wireless towers in order to maintain wireless traffic for major wireless carriers. We have sorted through unnecessary trouble calls and acts of vandalism. In addition, a winter storm impacted a large segment of Maine and we adjusted our plan to respond accordingly.
We have been adding to our contractor work force every day to supplement our management team and more are scheduled to come on line. We expect storm related repairs will add to the backlog. We are acting quickly to prioritize jobs as necessary, and we appreciate the patience our customers are showing during this time.
While we do not want to minimize the impact of the strike-related service interruptions on our customers, it is important for us to share some key facts with the public, including:
- Network reliability has continued uninterrupted although our efforts have been complicated by several acts of vandalism by unidentified culprits;
- While in the aggregate a small, albeit important, number of our customers have been inconvenienced, the vast majority have not been impacted by the strike;
- Emergency 911 service has remained fully operational at all times during the strike; and
- Investment and construction in our network continues.
In short – FairPoint is working hard every day to eliminate the backlog of customer service requests and mitigate the disruption caused by our workers walking off the job.
Once again, we thank our customers for their patience, and we want them – and the public at large – to know that FairPoint will not rest until we get our full contingency workforce in place and we are providing our customers the excellent service they expect on an ongoing basis.
FairPoint maintains multiple contact numbers depending on your service need, so customers with concerns or questions about their FairPoint service should reference their most recent billing statement to identify the appropriate number to reach one of our trained and dedicated staff.
FairPoint Issues Statement Regarding Pending Mediation
PORTLAND, Me. (Nov. 4, 2014) – FairPoint Communications spokeswoman Angelynne Beaudry today issued the following statement on misleading claims the Unions have made to media regarding mediation:
Mediator Asks Parties to Meet
This evening, it became generally known that a mediator assigned by the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Services (FMCS) to the negotiations between FairPoint and the IBEW and CWA contacted each side’s negotiators last week and asked the parties to attend meeting at the FMCS offices in Boston. Yesterday, the Company agreed to attend a meeting and proposed November 18 for it. ur chief negotiator spoke with their chief negotiator and learned that they have agreed to attend on the 18th.
This meeting reflects the normal process followed by the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service in all labor disputes. It is simply exploratory on the part of the FMCS.
To this point, neither party has changed the positions that led to the current deadlock, and no assumptions should be made about either party’s decision to attend other than the parties’ respect for the FMCS process. The suggestion by the unions that our attendance at this meeting is somehow related to service levels or our storm-related response is completely unfounded.
About FairPoint Communications, Inc.
FairPoint Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: FRP) provides advanced data, voice and video technologies to single and multi-site businesses, public and private institutions, consumers, wireless companies and wholesale re-sellers in 17 states. Leveraging an owned, fiber-core Ethernet network – including more than 16,000 route miles of fiber in northern New England – FairPoint has the network coverage, scalable bandwidth and transport capacity to support enhanced applications, including the next generation of mobile and cloud-based communications, such as small cell wireless backhaul technology, voice over IP, data center colocation services, managed services and disaster recovery. For more information, visit www.FairPoint.com.
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