LONG BEACH (CBSLA.com) — Push came to shove Saturday, literally, during a town hall meeting with frustrated cable customers and Frontier execs.
CBS2’s Greg Mills got in the middle and was pushed out the door when asking for comments.
Frontier Communications got off to a rough start in Long Beach where some angry customers wanted to confront execs over a recent change in service from Verizon.
A police officer who wouldn’t give his name told Mills he was fed up already and called himself “a former customer.”
“I had no landline, no internet, and no cable,” said Heather Raphael.
One man, who wouldn’t give name, said he is so fed up to call him a “former customer.”
“To have 911 services go out on as large a scale as happened here is just ridiculous,” he said.
Frontier took over from Verizon in Long Beach on April 1.
Trouble soon followed for two percent of the customers, like Connie Mistretta
“So, I want all my money back because I can’t get any services,” Mistretta said.
She and other customers complained about long waits to get through to customer service which Frontier said was a call center in the Philippines.
“The first time I couldn’t get anyone. The next time a week or two later I talked to someone who really didn’t have any idea what was going on,” said customer Stephen Ross.
Frontier said they were “extremely disappointed” with the Philippines call center and says service reps are now Frontier employees.
Today, the west region president of Frontier Communications — Melinda White — met with angry, frustrated customers. Or, in this particular case, former customer.
“I canceled my service,” said one man. “Today was the first day in over a month that I’ve heard anybody apologize.”
A few customers expressed their outrage and Mills reported, quite a few used profanity. Overall, not much seemed to be accomplished in this setting.
“What happened,” said one customer, “Chaos, chaos happened.”
After about an hour, White was looking to end the meeting.
When Mills tried to ask her a question, she cut him off and said, “We have our media people and you can visit with them.”
At this point, a member of her entourage manhandled Mills and pushed him away.
Moments later, he cause up to White outside where she said she expected all of the customers’ concerns to be addressed and fixed.
“Absolutely,” she said, “In fact we have been resolving the problems.”
Mills later said the man who pushed him said he was going to have him arrested.
“I said, ‘You’re going to arrest me for you pushing me?'” he said. “I certainly pushed back.”
Mills said when they got outside, “it got to me…we get outside and he opens his coat to me and points to his waistband. Implying obviously that he had a gun. I can take it no other way. And I was shocked.”
Mills said he and the man went back and forth a little more, “using words that you can’t use on TV.”
In conclusion, Mills said, “I could not believe how this man was acting, reacting and over-reacting. Just uncalled for.”