Fresh Off $77M 3Q Loss, FairPoint Hires Marketers

FairPoint Communications Inc. suffered a $77.3 million loss in the third quarter, a $52.2 million spike from the year-ago period.

The bankrupt rural telecom service provider reported the latest unaudited numbers on Monday. On Tuesday, news broke that the company is trying hard to repair its image – it has hired two marketing and communications firms in Maine to help it attract customers.

Public utilities regulators welcomed the strategy, The Associated Press reported. If the move brings in more revenue to help stabilize FairPoint’s finances, so much the better, officials said.

Union leaders agreed, AP said, as long as FairPoint doesn’t cut jobs in the process.

FairPoint needs to reverse its falling sales numbers, which plummeted 18 percent in the three months ended Sept. 30 as compared to the same quarter last year. This time, revenue totaled $268.3 million, down from $328.3 million as more customers dropped their landline service and even switched telecom providers altogether.

Since acquiring Verizon landlines last year, FairPoint’s billing, provisioning and customer service have been riddled with errors and long waits. FairPoint’s also experienced e-mail outages, which proved more than inconvenient for business users. As a result, many subscribers have taken steps to reduce or even limit their reliance on FairPoint, a problem FairPoint aims to fix with new marketing campaigns.

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