The Worst Company I Have Ever Worked With
VIRGINIA -- Hello. I'm writing to review Cavalier Telephone. This is the worst company I have ever done business with. I'm frequently faced with Customer Service Reps who do not have the necessary information to do their job, which is bad, but with this company, it is more a matter of the actual company policies that are underhanded and downright illegal.
I signed up for Cavalier Telephone in Virginia in early March 09. Thankfully I did not take them up on their offer to refer anyone else because I wanted to see how it worked out first. I would have been mortified if I had gotten anyone else caught up in what I'm dealing with. It took them over 10 days to get my service activated, even though I received my DSL modem long before then. Once I received notification that my service had been activated, I attempted to install the modem. I am very computer savvy and have never had a problem with self-installation. However, with this service, the installation did not work at all, and would have been impossible for a non-computer person to follow. When I had trouble with the install, and received a notification that I needed to call tech support, the number provided in the install wizard was for directory assistance in New York, not their tech support.
I finally found the number for their tech support and called it. After waiting on hold for over 15 minutes (the standard time for anything other than signing up) I got an agent who did not know anything about how modems work. She was just following a script, and not very well at that. She even went so far as to tell me the reason I couldn't pick up the wireless signal was because of my computer, even though I was picking up other signals in my complex at that very moment, and have used the same computer to pick up wireless signals everywhere from my public library to the local coffee shop. We finally scheduled a technician to come out (they had offered a free professional installation, which I had not expected to need to take them up on).
The day before he was to come, I figured out how to fix the problem myself (the install defaults to a silly option for security and you have to manually fix it, which works differently depending on whether your wireless is managed by Windows or other software). He came out anyway just to check for any other problems. While he was here, he literally asked me show him how I got the wireless running. Turns out that they didn't even train their own installation professionals on how their convoluted install process works before sending them out to perform installs.
Even after my wireless was installed, I continued having problems, so another trouble call was scheduled. The technician did not come during the scheduled window, even though I explained that I was leaving town the next day and would not be back for two weeks. So, they agreed to call me to schedule a trouble call for when I return and to credit me back for the time that I was without service (basically since I joined).
Of course, they did not bother to call, but it was too late by then anyway. My previous phone company had agreed to beat their offer, so I decided to switch back. Turns out, when Cavalier asked during sign up if it was okay for them to place a freeze on my long distance carrier preventing anyone from switching me without my express permission that they also illegally placed a hold on my local and regional carrier. So, in order for me to even schedule a "number port" from them to my new (formerly old) carrier, I had to call them. I did, and was told that it would take 7-10 business days for them to allow the number to be accessed by the new carrier, and then 7-10 more business days before the actual service could be switched.
Not wanting to stay with such a terrible company a day longer than necessary, I decided to suck it up and just get a new number. After all, they claimed that the reason it was going to take so long was because of the complex issues involved with number portability (although they seem to be the only ones with these complex issues...). So, I called my carrier back and told them to set me up with a whole new number. I also asked them at that time if I needed to do anything to notify Cavalier that I was cancelling. They indicated that it is not possible for two phone carriers to be on the same line at the same time, so once their service kicked in on my activation date, Cavalier would no longer be my carrier. As such, I did not have to call them unless I Just wanted to. I almost did not call them since I figured even an underhanded company like Cavalier wouldn't try to charge me after I'm with another carrier, right?
Turns out that they claim it takes up to 10 business days for their system to fully close out an account. I am incredulous, asking them why it takes them 10 days to discontinue service when other companies can do it in a matter of hours. No, they corrected me. My actual service would be disconnected within 24-48 hours from the time I made the request but it would take the system 10 business days to close out the account and they planned to continue charging me during this time. I pointed out that on April 17 my other carrier would begin providing service and there was no way they could possibly claim to be providing service when I had another carrier providing service on that line. No matter, it is evidently standard practice for them to charge long past the time the service is disconnected anyway.
By this point I am livid. I mean, I have never had full internet service; they refused to let me port my number gracefully, and now they are telling me that they are going to knowingly charge me for services they have no intention of providing. So at this point I mention the 30 day guarantee. It seems if you cancel within 30 days, you are supposed to be responsible for only the shipping, fees, and taxes you were charged. Well, since my phone worked even while my internet wasn't, and since the shipping, taxes, and fees came to roughly an amount that I would consider fair for the phone service, I was willing to accept that and instructed them to cancel my account immediately under the guarantee.
But then the agent informs me that since it takes them 10 days to close out the account (even though my service would be disconnected within 24 hours of the request) that would put me past 30 days from March 17, and so I would not be eligible for the 30 day guarantee. I almost laughed before I realized the agent wasn't kidding. I am telling them to cancel my service on the 24th day of having it, after multiple calls telling them it isn't working (so it's not like I waited until the 29th day or anything) and they are saying that since they can't get their ducks in a row to close out my account until two weeks from today (the 10th business day) that I am not within the time of the 30 day guarantee--even though I am calling on the 24th day!
Basically, this company is dishonest, underhanded, and sneaky, and they also have poor customer service (even before they knew I was planning to cancel), poor tech support, and poor software design. In short, they are just plain bad. Please please do NOT work with this company under any circumstances no matter how good the deal they are offering seems.
(to put this in perspective, I had had several bad experiences with my previous carrier over the past 5 years, which is why I originally left for Cavalier Telephone. The experiences I have had with this company are so bad that I am literally THRILLED to be going back to that carrier, even with a 5 year history of problems.)