I received a telemarketing call on September 7, 2006 from Bellsouth. The lady asked me how much I was paying for my Internet. I told her I paid $15 or so for my AT &T dialup service. She then offered me phone service, exactly what I have now with no bells and whistles or long distance plan, and Extreme DSL 3.0 for $47.95 plus whatever taxes she could not see in her system. These taxes likely were state taxes local to Kentucky. The telemarketer had a thick accent so I made her repeat the offer probably 10-15 times.
She also offered me a $75 gift card from Visa or MasterCard to pay for the modem and a $125 cash back voucher. While the telemarketer could not quote me an exact price, she did say that most of my taxes were included in this rate so that a price of $50-53 would be reasonably close to a correct price for my monthly service. She never broke down exactly how much each service cost but said that the two together would be $47.95 plus tax. Since I am a Ph.D. student at a local seminary and since my wife and I are not overwhelmed with prosperity, I accepted the offer, and then the problems started.
First, when the e-mail came in, it said Ultra DSL 2.0 instead of Extreme DSL 3.0. The regular price was listed, but a link in the message said that promotional pricing might not be included in this given price. When I called Bellsouth the next day, a representative said that Extreme 3.0 might not be available in my area and said that that circumstance might explain the order. No one actually checked to see if it was available; they simply assumed that it wasn't; as it turns out, that was the least of my concerns.
I am willing to use 2.0 instead of 3.0; the problem is that the price I was quoted, not surprisingly, is not what I got. I did get the free modem and the $125 voucher, but I called Bellsouth the day after the telemarketing call and 2-3 other times to ask them if their system showed the special promotional pricing. All I was told, time and again, was that since I had not! been billed, they couldn't tell. When my first prorated bill came in, I noticed that I got the normal $32.95 price for the DSL Ultra with no discounts whatsoever. I talked to 8-10 Bellsouth representatives this week, getting bounced around from DSL to residential, back to DSL, etc.
Most of the reps gave me the same song and dance saying they could do nothing to help me except for one supervisor in residential who said that I was not the first person to call with a complaint like this, that she had received quite a few calls like mine, and that I should threaten to disconnect my service and see if that got me anywhere. Perhaps, she maintained, I could get a credit for 2-3 months of service or at least for $15 a month for a few months.
Admittedly one or two of the representatives offered me a credit--one for a month of service at essentially the price I was promised and one for 2 or 3 months of service at that rate, but I turned them down because I expect them to give me what I ordered. I already accepted a lesser speed of DSL; I refuse to pay more for it than I was told I would have to pay. The reps kept telling me about \"straightforward pricing\" and \"codes\" which, according to them, mean that no one, even the CEO, could change the pricing for DSL. Now I have until Friday the 13th to cancel the service and owe nothing.
I have contacted the Better Business Bureau and am contacting you to know what I should do and also to tell anyone and everyone to, if at all possible, avoid Bellsouth, cancel their services, and encourage others to do so. Thank you.
MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE -- I was contacted by Bell South in Feb., 2006. The program was they were going to give me DSL, and discounts on my bill, and I had to sign a 3 year agreement. My bill would go from $99.00 to $74.95. They were supposed to send all the equipment for the DSL connection. But, I could not get the discounts unless I agreed to the DSL.
In March of 2006, I called and wanted to know where the equipment was to get started, because they had not sent anything. After several rounds, the supervisor came back to me and said they don't have DSL in my area, and they couldn't send the equipment. I told the supervisor to cancel the whole deal.
After another round of lies from Bell South in August of 2006, I decided to change over to another phone service in Jan. of 2007. When I did that, they came back and said I owed them for the 3 year agreement that was supposed to be cancelled. They turned it over to a collection agency, the collection agency turned me in to the credit bureau, and now my credit is ruined. Bell South/ATT is a lying organization that would do anything for business. They even have the government in my state under their thumb.
HAMPSTEAD, NORTH CAROLINA -- I called to find out the difference between DSL Lite and DSL Ultra. I was connected to a representative in the Philippines who was reading off a paper telling me the difference in the amount of KB and MG. When I told her I just wanted to know which one is the faster one she started reading from the top again and didn't answer my question. I told her, "I hear what you are saying. Now tell me which is the faster one", and again she started reading from the top of the page.
I told her I have a 5 year old that can read, I'm asking you to answer my question. When she started reading to me again I hung up the phone and called BellSouth again and asked to speak to an American in America. It was then that I got satisfaction to my question. I am living in America, paying for my service with American money, why can't Americans have these jobs?
FLORIDA -- May of 2005 a BellSouth Rep. convinced me to sign up for internet Advertising. I am not a novice at this type of internet advertising as I spend over $100,000.00 per year on advertising programs. After 2 months with no results (no ads were found on the internet), I was receiving bills of over 1600 per month. I requested cancellation, and was "reminded" in the small print they had sent me I only had 15 days from the date of the contract -- although I had been told not to look for results 45 to 60 days.
I never received any verifiable advertising from BellSouth and after a year long campaign to fight them I paid them off over $5600.00 and never received any advertising. If I had the time or money they would be criminally and civilly charged and in court. Their customer service, ethics, and operation should be illegal. I have reported this instance to the FBI and the State of Florida Attorney General. They do it because they can. I hope and pray at least one other person or small business is spared the cost and grief of dealing with this company. Never, Never, Never sign anything with BellSouth!