Vt. regulators examine Consolidated Communications complaints

MONTPELIER, Vt. (WCAX) Vermont regulators Friday kicked off two days of evidentiary hearings dealing with complaints about poor customer service at Consolidated Communications.

The Public Utility Commission is investigating the internet and phone provider over a spike in consumer complaints last year as well as an internet outage in March that affected 83,000 residents and small businesses in Vermont and New Hampshire.

The focus on the investigation is on poor response time to customer complaints. Outages are supposed to be fixed within 24 hours under a state requirement.

Consolidated officials have blamed a surge in retirements two years ago and harsh winter storms as part of the problem and have said they have dedicated more resources to the state.

The company is also trying to change the 24 hour response rule to 48 hours.