The Frontier Communications customer service office in Fort Dodge that was closed for renovations has been permanently shuttered by the company.
Greg Hinz, the company's general manager in Fort Dodge, said the money budgeted for operating the office will be invested in its local network, which includes fiber optics, traditional copper wire and switching gear.
''That's where the need is right now,'' he said Thursday.
-Messenger photo by Bill Shea
The Frontier Communications customer service office that once occupied this building at 600 First Ave. N. in Fort Dodge has been closed permanently. Company officials initially said the office was being closed temporarily for renovations.
''I think for the long run it's going to work out for the best for our customers,'' he added.
Hinz said the company will maintain a presence in Fort Dodge with 18 employees in management, sales and service technician positions. Frontier also has four service technicians based in Belmond.
The office at 600 First Ave. N. closed in the spring. At that time, a sign was posted on the front door stating ''Frontier is temporarily closing the doors of its Fort Dodge retail store as we renovate the space.'' The sign indicated that the store might reopen in late June.
However, it never reopened. Hinz said the retirements of two of the three customer service agents who operated the office was a factor in the decision to close it.
Rhonda Lutzke, the president of Frontier's region which includes Fort Dodge, said the majority of customers who came into the office were there to pay their monthly bills.
Frontier customers can pay their bills by mail, online, via automatic bill payment plans through their banks or at three local stores. Those stores are Hy-Vee, 115 S. 29th St.; Hy-Vee Drug Store, 214 S. 25th St.; and Monterrey Mexican Store, 1214 Central Ave.
The drop box at the office where customers could deposit payments is no longer in use.
''We apologize for any inconvenience this decision may cause customers, however, I am confident that our other payment options will meet their needs,'' Hinz said.