MONTPELIER, Vt. - Regulators in Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine are looking into an allegation that FairPoint Communications faked its readiness to take over the region’s dominant telephone network from Verizon.
FairPoint has been hit with many consumer complaints about billing errors, service delays, and long waits on call-in complaint lines since it took over Verizon’s phone networks in the three states Feb. 1.
Regulators are reviewing an anonymous e-mail from someone who claims that during tests, FairPoint created a computer program “to deceive the audience into believing they were watching a real demonstration’’ of its readiness.
“We take these allegations seriously and will do a thorough investigation,’’ FairPoint chief executive David Hauser said in a prepared statement. He took over in June.
Two calls to FairPoint’s corporate headquarters in Charlotte, N.C., were not immediately returned.
The Vermont Public Service Board has requested that FairPoint respond to the allegations by Monday.
State consumer advocate offices in New Hampshire and Maine said they have asked their commissions to investigate.
FairPoint has faced a litany of problems getting ready for and then taking over the $2.3 billion phone network it acquired from Verizon last year. This month, the Vermont board opened an investigation into whether to revoke FairPoint’s permission to do business in the state.
Regulators from all three states are planning a joint hearing on Sept. 9.