Clearwire's cancellation policy should change!
Unlike other people, I have been able to get a "decent" signal (2/5), but, like others, I have never been able to surf the internet anywhere near the advertised speed.
Because of Clearwire WiMax not being reliable (disconnects, particular about the placement of the modem, which renders a spot in my living room an eyesore) I am now considering the switch to traditional internet providers.
I forked over the activation fee in favor of signing a contract, wanting to test out the new service without committing myself. I am glad I did not sign a contract, as, having in theory "paid" for the privilege, I can now cancel whenever I want.
I found out what canceling would entail, and the road is almost deceptive.
In order to cancel, your "rented" modem must be shipped and received by Clearwire's warehouse. Now, there's no problem with a company wanting to reclaim their equipment. However, I consider it a mean policy towards customers when Clearwire charges customers for services paid for, but rendered unavailable. What do I mean by this? Let me attempt an explanation.
In the first place, when you ship the equipment, you can no longer make use of the internet service that were promptly charged you a month prior for this simple reason: no modem, no service. So, during the modem’s journey to Clearwire’s warehouse, you, the customer, are without the service for which you paid.
If, for some unfortunate reason, you did not allow enough time to ship the modem and your billing date comes around without the equipment being received by the warehouse, you will indeed be automatically billed again. As long as the equipment is not received by the warehouse once you initiated a cancellation request, your account is not considered cancelled.
What does this entail?
It will be an interesting road ahead for a customer who wants only to go through a simple cancellation process. If you choose the first situation and mail back the equipment, setting aside such a time as would ensure its arrival before the billing date you would have been cheated out of the service for which you have paid during that time. A recommendation given by a Clearwire representative is 7 to 14 days prior to the billing date: Given the fact that there are at most 31 days in a month of billable service, this certainly makes up a significant portion of that period!
If, on the other hand, you have good faith in your shipping agency but the very same entity failed in your expectation, you would be automatically billed again for a service that, in the act of shipping the equipment, you expressed full commitment in canceling.
But what about simply returning it to a Clearwire store?
I inquired the very same. The answer? It matters not. Clearwire Store is not Clearwire Warehouse. Returning to the Store might simply cause a delay, as the Store would then, on its own time and schedule, forward your equipment to the Warehouse. As I have noted, your account is considered active and billable as long as the Warehouse have not received your equipment.
That’s right, and I’ll admit this much in favor of the company. If Clearwire’s Warehouse received the equipment within seven days after having billed you, they will issue you a refund.
Well, if I get a refund, what then is really the issue here?
I don’t know, but I’d rather not place friendly calls to Clearwire to remind them to give me a refund when the charge should not have been made in the first place! I’d rather not be unfairly treated if I should choose to mail in the equipment before the billing date. In fact, I’d rather not be so shocked by this cancellation process that I felt compelled to write this review.
But life sometimes doesn’t float the same boat. That’s my 3 cents on this matter.
(If I have spoken ill and false, I should be embarrassed if I don’t correct myself immediately in some form or other)
When new customers are signing up for Clear, they have no choice but to buy the modem in whole and pay activation fee if they don't want a contract. On the other hand, signing a contract for 2 years will waive activation fee and allow the customer to rent the modem versus buying the equipment. So, my complaint in part is no longer valid with regards to customers who decided to buy the equipment and pay the activation fee without signing a contract, since the modem is no longer property the of the company.