TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA -- I just moved to Tallahassee, FL and needed to connect local phone service. I originally went into the Embarq store to see how much they would cost to have both DSL and home phone service. The rep I spoke to said that "dial tone" service with no "bells and whistles" would cost $15 a month and the DSL would be $24.95. He then added that for "$4 more I could have voicemail, caller id, line protection, etc." I said, sure and he then stated that my bill per month would be $62. I may not have taken too many math classes in college, but if memory serves me $15 + $24.95 + $4 = 43.95, not 62. I told the rep that I changed my mind and only wanted the $15 dial tone service.
After trying to give me the DSL package with a free month and other things I didn't need...I finally convinced the rep (or so I thought) to give me just dial tone. I left the store with a massive receipt with cryptic codes on it and a date that my service was to be connected. Unsure of the rep's skills, I called Embarq after my service was turned on and was informed that my account had DSL, Voicemail, Caller ID, and all the other features I didn't request. I told the agent on the phone that I did not request any of those features and that I JUST wanted dial tone for $15 a month. She said she would take care of that and credit back my account.
The next month I receive a bill higher than expected and I noticed that unlimited *69 was placed on my account. I then called Embarq again explaining the situation. The first agent I spoke to said he could take *69 off my account, but that he would not credit my account because I "probably used it" I explained that I never requested anything on my account and that refusal to credit my account constituted "cramming" (the telephone term similar to bait and switch). The agent said I was being hostile and disconnected the call. I called back an hour later and had a credit applied to my account by speaking to a supervisor.
I thought everything was finally solved with Embarq, but this month I never received a bill and was almost late in paying. I was smart enough to go online and pay by electronic check before they charged me another fee. If this were 10 years ago, there wouldn't be anything I could do. However, I decided that enough was enough and I'm switching to VOIP for $9.95 a month and disconnecting my land line. LECs can't afford to treat their customers like AT&T did years ago.
EUGENE, OREGON -- I went online 12/21 to pay my phone bill as I have been for years. CenturyLink took over Qwest. Now the web page says there will be a charge to pay online. I called to complain. The customer service person explained that "nobody" gets the money that it's just to insure my "bank" pays the bill. I tried to explain to him how a DEBIT card works and he hung up on me. No one will ever be able to explain to me why I get charged for PAYING my bill!!!
LORAIN, OHIO -- I moved to Lorain OH and was very busy with all the things moving entails. My wife calls to see about internet access through AT&T and was told it's not available here. Well, CenturyTel was so I signed up. Nothing but trouble ever since. Tech support call after tech support call. Rude customer service people, you name it. When I tried to cancel I was told I would be billed $200.00. Wow, what a trap. I am thinking of canceling service anyway. Sometimes you just have to cut your losses.
AUGUSTA, MISSOURI -- I received a flier from CenturyTel stating I could get FREE Professional installation for DSL. However, when I called they informed me that I would be charged $2.00 (every month that I had the service) if I had a premise visit. I called and they said they had a lot of complaints but couldn't do anything about it. They said it was a poor choice of words on the flier!
ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI -- I had CenturyTel install phone service. The service technician used my bathroom and had diarrhea on the wall, the floor, it was a mess! I called CenturyTel immediately to tell them it needed to be cleaned. They responded by telling me to call a cleaning company and send them the bill. I did that and sent CenturyTel the bill. That was August 15th, as of today Dec 16 I had to pay the cleaning company the $276 and I have heard nothing from CenturyTel. I have spoken to two representatives concerning this matter and they tell me they will take care of it. This is unethical behavior since they told me to call the cleaning company in the first place.