The nature of the problem I’m about to relay will not be news to some of you, I’m sure. But just the telling of it will make me feel better, so I trust that you will be patient.
Earthlink's euphemistically named “service” is dreadful. If it were worth the harassment I would no doubt suffer as a result, I’d cancel my contract now. Frankly, they are not worth that much of my time and trouble. But, really, the company is guilty of thievery and someone should be arrested for it. Sadly, I am not so empowered.
My latest difficulties occurred this past weekend when I was unable to connect through my DSL. I tried logging on for 24 hours, each time getting a message that the internet service was down, “please try again later.” Repeated attempts to get through to the call center resulted in a recording telling me of “unusual call volume, so we’re unable to assist you now. Please try again later.”
While not a logician by profession, fairly straightforward logic tells me that getting this message means a system problem. On Earthlink’s end. Not mine, but theirs.
I finally reached a person on Sunday morning. “Brett” covered his East Asian origins very cleverly by choosing such an all-American pseudonym, but that’s beside the point. The point is that he did not help me. His parting “help” was that I should go and get the computer checked. No, I told him, the problem is your system. Did you do an update or something, I asked, since I couldn’t even get through for a full day? Whether he couldn’t understand me or was ordered not to directly answer such questions I don’t know. But I do know that suddenly he couldn’t spend any more time on the phone with me, that he’d have to schedule a call-back.
I have been this route before with Earthlink. I know that call-backs are fictional. No one ever calls back, and certainly not within the allegedly scheduled time. So it was no surprise to me that the call-back never materialized. It should have occurred at about 11 am (Central time) yesterday. What a shock – I’m still waiting.
I’ve had the “service” for less than a year and this is the third serious encounter I’ve had. Each has been more unpleasant and inconvenient than the last. The problem has always ended up being on Earthlink’s part, though they were always reluctant to address it.
And here’s what makes this scenario criminal: I have upheld my end of the contract, and they have failed to uphold theirs. I have paid each month, while they have repeatedly not provided me with the service for which I’ve paid. I get no credit for being without service. I never get timely attention. So I think it well within my rights to cancel our contract, but I know that Earthlink will never treat this issue so simply, directly, or honestly.
Now, I know that the best response I can expect from a complaint is a form letter composed by one of their unfortunate minions. Still, as I wrote above, it makes me feel a bit better to tell someone that the instant this contract is up I will cancel.
What would really make me feel better would be to see them arrested for being thieves, for being a fraud, for violating basic consumer trust. I can’t make that happen. But I can spread the word, and I will.