FairPoint Communications has been in business providing telecommunications services to New England for more than 100 years. Today their service is centered on Northern New England, but they have operating units and provide services in 17 states. They operate the largest network in Northern New England and have over 15,000 miles of fiber throughout the region. The company has been on an expansion and upgrade move since 2008 to expand into areas with less than adequate coverage.
FairPoint Communications Provides Local Service and Support
When you go with one of the larger companies for telecommunications services, someone like Cox Communications, Comcast/XFINITY, or Time Warner Cable, chances are when you need help, you’re going to speak with someone in a call center somewhere out of the area, and quite likely outside the US. This won’t happen with FairPoint Communications. Everything is local with them: sales, service, and customer support. This local influence helps the company provide best in class service to all their customers.
FairPoint Internet Offers Three Options
Most service offerings through FairPoint.com is offered through FairPoint Bundles. This includes Internet service from FairPoint.net. We’ll talk about FairPoint Bundles a little later. If you’re a casual Internet user, or only have one computer, the 4 Mbps option should be ideal. This is enough bandwidth to allow a movie to be streamed while someone is cruising the web.
The next package up is the 15 Mbps Internet package. That’s enough bandwidth to allow two or three movies to be streamed at the same time, or for two movies to be streamed while someone is having a go at “Call of Duty” online. The super Internet package, offering 30 Mbps, is enough to allow up to six or seven movies to be streamed at once.
Phone Service Through FairPoint is a Little Different From Most
Most Cable companies offer two basic Phone packages: Domestic unlimited and an International calling package of some sort. They also usually offer extra calling services like Caller ID, call waiting, call forwarding, and voicemail, as part of a basic package. It appears that FairPoint breaks their phone offerings down into Basic/local calling. Domestic long-distance, and international calling. It also looks as though you need to order the extras separate.
TV Service Can Either Be Cable TV or DirecTV
Different FairPoint business units, such as FairPoint Charlotte offer different TV packages. However, the basic offerings are digital and HD through FairPoint, or satellite programming through DirecTV. Pick a package with a few dozen channels, or pick a package with a few hundred channels. It’s up to you.
The website is pretty shy on information regarding available TV programming packages, especially what’s available through DirecTV. I’m guessing that what’s available through the DirecTV option is what would be available through DirecTV otherwise. These include regular TV packages, International programming packages, special entertainment packages, and packages that give you the sports networks you want so you don’t miss a single pass, pitch, punt, or playoff game.
Some FairPoint Business Units Offer Budget Energy Programs
More and more these days, we’re seeing smaller players enter into the energy delivery and distribution business. Many of these smaller companies are able to offer both better rates and better service to customers because they’re local. When you call one of these smaller co-ops, like FairPoint Energy, you talk with your neighbors, not someone in some other part of the country.
You Have to Call to Get Bundle and Pricing Information
FairPoint Bundles allow you to combine different types of services to cut down on the number of monthly bills you have to pay and, hopefully, how much you have to pay. Everybody in the industry allows you to bundle Phone, TV, and Internet services. Not many companies allow you to bundle your energy service with your telecommunications services, though. FairPoint does.
However, in order to find out what types of bundles are available, you have to call and speak with a customer service rep. You can’t tell the website that you want a certain number of channels, including a specific set of channels, a certain Internet speed, and local and domestic long-distance calling and get a price right there on the website.
In each of the different categories, you’re told that there are various options available, ask to tell the system where you live (by entering either a zip code or your phone number) to see what’s currently offered. However, the only thing that shows up when I do this is a $17 a month deal for 15 Mbps High-Speed Internet, with the price locked in for four years.
On the TV page, you’re told that you can choose from TV packages that offer more than 190 HD channels, and the best in news, sports, weather, entertainment, and more. You’re also told that you can choose the DirecTV option and gain access to even more programming options. However, there is nothing available on the website as to what these packages entail or how much they cost.
Customer Service Options Abound Online
I spent a little time checking out the customer support pages on the fairpoint.com website. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the FAQs are well-organized and very well-written. They convey useful information without being overly wordy. This is different from many FAQ pages I’ve looked through, where they’ve been less than useful. Customer service, with live people that you probably know and see on a daily basis, is available 24/7 and is just a phone call away.
Their support pages also offer basic information in a downloadable format. Need to know some basics about Internet security? Check out the PDF that’s been put together for you. They have PDF files set up to help you setup and configure your Phone and voicemail accounts, as well as your webmail account.
You can choose to call customer service (and pick from English, Spanish, or French language operators) or you can grab the keyboard and chat live with one of their support reps. For those “Hey, is this possible?” type of non-emergency support contacts, they also have a support email address you can write to.
FairPoint strives to deliver state of the art service with constantly improving service quality levels. What is acceptable level of service today will be considered substandard service tomorrow. Their commitment to infrastructure upgrades will continue to make them a leader in their field and service areas. If you’re looking for a new service provider, give them a call or check out our dealfinder below to see if they have service offerings that fit your needs.