BERKELEY, CALIFORNIA -- I had been a satisfied Earthlink/Mindspring customer for 7 years. Several weeks ago I was contacted by Earthlink marketing to sign up for the new DSL & Home Phone service. What she told me about the program sounded very good. I talked to two other marketing people and they confirmed the program (I have copy of one chat I had). They all told me that:
I would get 500 outgoing call minutes (not counting Earthlink "800" customer service or tech support numbers). NOT TRUE! I am being charged for Earthlink support. Even the website states, “You won't be charged minutes for dialing 611 from your EarthLink Voice phone”.
That my DSL line would be upgraded from 1.2 to 3.0 Mbit/s. NOT TRUE! My line remains 1.2. My account information says I am being charged $40 for the DSL line, which is $10 more than my previous service (for the same speed). I have no problem with the speed, just charge me the original $29.95 and I will shut up. Or, upgrade my speed for the upgraded price. Isn't that only fair?
I would get a new DSL modem, which I could simply swap with my old Earthlink modem. NOT TRUE! When I called tech support to resolve the issues, the tech told me he could not speak to me until I signed up for a $7/month ($84 year) Home Networking support. I hung up and finally fixed the connection problem myself.
I have spent over 4 hours with customer service and technical personnel trying to resolve the problems and not one was familiar enough with the program to give me straight answers; not one could correct the problems I raised, and ALL tried to sell me another service for more money! (And for that trouble I am being charged minutes!)
When I call Cingular or AT&T with a problem, I always get a person who understands my problem and who can do something to resolve it. When I call Earthlink, I get shuffled from person to person, all unfamiliar with the DSL & Home Phone program and all powerless to resolve the difficulties. In the past few days I have talked to **. All are very, very nice. All apologize profusely for not having documentation on the program. All try to sell me a more expensive program. All refer me to someone who is “sure” to help me.
What a terrible way to run a business: Rollout a new product with inadequate information and training to marketing, customer service and technical support personnel. Then give the customer the runaround until s/he tires and gives up. Is there anyone in Earthlink who cares about the business and customers and who can do anything about this situation? I cannot believe that Earthlink has changed that much in the last few years.
My advice: Under no circumstances port your telephone number to Earthlink, unless you don't care to get it back if you cancel your service. There are blogs all over where people report that they cannot cancel their service without a lot of pain and suffering. I wish I had read them before I signed up for the service.
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. ** 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.
ATLANTA, GEORGIA -- I have been an Earthlink customer since dial-up days. I have worked in technical support but encountered a DSL problem at home that I could not solve. I gave this rating three stars because the problem is not yet solved. I would not give regular customer service any stars.
My problem began when my old DSL modem broke after 10 years faithful service. I paid Earthlink for Fedex 2-day shipping. The new DSL modem arrived and did not work no matter how I tried to tweak the connection. After spending hours with regular service reps (**), I was told my call would go to senior tech reps who would call back but didn't.
Regular technical support expected me to wait for their call. Each time I called, the regular technical reps, they were polite, obsequious, and utterly ineffective. The only exception was one tech representative who chastised me for not waiting for a callback. Each time the reps ran through their support script even as I told them I was repeating the same steps over and over again and getting the same results.
At the reps' suggestions, I even called my computer tech support and made sure the problem was not with my hardware or setup. When I called this afternoon, a senior representative came to the phone and was unable to help. He offered to send me another new modem at no cost. I then called the Earthlink headquarters in Atlanta and got patched through to Tier-3 technical support. After nearly two hours of expert support, we determined the modem was indeed not working. Despite my initial frustrations with the regular reps, I was satisfied with the Tier-3 support from Atlanta. The Tier-3 technician *was* an expert who knew his business.
Lesson learned: I will *never* *ever* call the regular support line again; the reps simply do not have the technical skills necessary to solve more than the most rudimentary problems. If the new modem does not work, I will sever my business relationship with Earthlink and move to another ISP.
PHILADELPHIA -- A few weeks ago I called Earthlink and ordered wireless internet service. About 7 days later, they tried delivering the package with all installation products via UPS. Because UPS delivers only during the day while I'm working, I had to spend $30 roundtrip on a cab to pick up the package at UPS. This would not be a problem if I were getting a good product, but this was not to be the case. When I got home, I realized Earthlink sent me the wrong product; inside the box was a modem and ethernet connection, all for DSL but not for wireless service.
I called Earthlink to rectify the situation. In all, I was on the phone for more than 90 minutes that evening. It seemed that everyone I spoke to had a scripted response. It was as though they weren't hearing what I was saying. When they realized they were saying the same thing over and over and that I wasn't hearing what I needed to hear to fix the situation, they would transfer me to another representative. In all, I spoke to eight Earthlink employees that evening.
All the while I'd been transferred around from "customer service" rep to rep, I was trying to hook up the DSL to at least get that going until my wireless products would arrive in the mail. I needed internet service badly to work on school papers. I discovered (not surprisingly) that the DSL connection did not work. After being on the phone for 90 minutes I asked that they please quickly transfer me to tech support. I waited and waited for someone in tech support to answer the line. It took so long, by that time I was furious. I canceled the service altogether.
Meanwhile, I've returned the modem and all other products that were mistakenly sent to me for DSL service. Today, I noticed on my checking account that Earthlink had the audacity to charge me for shipping those wrong items! $21.35! I called this evening to demand a refund. I was hung up on by the first rep, and then when I called a second time I demanded to speak to a supervisor. I was transferred, according to the person I was transferred to, to the wrong person. He then lectured me on how "stupid" it was that I was demanding a refund. Yes, he used the word stupid.
He insisted that I be charged until the modem that I never ordered is returned. Then, he said, they'll refund my money. How much do you want to bet the money doesn't get refunded and I have to spend another hour sometime next week trying to resolve the problem?
MIAMI -- Be aware of EarthLink!!!! Back in September, we call EarthLink about the bundle package of high speed internet with VoiP phone service bundle to upgrade our dial-up internet service from another carrier; we were satisfied with the options we were offered and decided to sign up for the service. After all the information was provided and about 25 minutes of discussions over the service everything was set for then to mail the DSL modem, along with the VoiP adapter for the phone service, a day later it was discovered that EarthLink did not provide high speed internet service in this area; so everything was cancelled and nothing was ship to us from EarthLink.
2 months later we notice some unknown charges in our credit card, and put those charges in dispute, since we did not know where they came from. Then we received emails and threading letters from EarthLink for not paying for the dial up service; I tried to contact them immediately, and I was put on hold twice, once for over an hour and 15 minutes in which I gave up and decided to call them back the next day.
After 50 minutes of waiting time, I had a very hard time trying to communicate with the person representing Earthlink, since her English was very limited. I tried to explain that I never signed up for dial up service, and they were charging my credit card illegally since we never had an agreement for dial-up service; I kept arguing with her but apparently she did not understand or simply was just playing dull. She claimed to transfer me to another department and very conveniently the line was disconnected.
Later on I called again and was able to speak with a supervisor and offered to credit me with $21.95 for late charges which I found ridiculous since there was no such thing as late charges, since they charged my credit card $65.85 illegally and gave me a speech about their policy on refunds within 30 days; my answer was your company has committed a tort against me and is fraud charge me for a service I'd never agreed to and you will refund my money in full. He agreed to refund $43.90 which still is not the full amount charged to my credit card, and I will still disputed with my credit card so this thieves won't get away with it.
I came to Knoxville, TN in October of 2005, where I signed up for BellSouth DSL. It took a couple of months before the system worked consistently (and two visits from BellSouth guys). Exactly 3 days after my contract expired so did my modem... I called BellSouth and was told I could send them $59.99 and they would gladly replace said modem. I DON'T THINK SO. I figured Knoxville was a big enough city that I could get another phone company AND another DSL provider so I called and found a really "good deal" on phone service from MCI, but they don't offer DSL. So, I called and got a "deal" with Earthlink to provide my DSL.
Guess what? Earthlink will only provide DSL if I am a BellSouth customer!!! I stayed with BS (appropriate acronym, I think) and ordered Earthlink. Then my old Compaq router wouldn't work with their modem, so at the advice of one of Earthlink's "senior techs" (not sure what makes them senior) I went out and bought a Linksys wireless router. Everything worked great... for a month. Ten hours of "tech support" later, they tell me what I knew when I called them the very first time. The modem will not, for some unknown reason, stay in the bridging position so my router won't work. Feb. 12 I am assured they will send me a new modem, which will arrive in 3-5 business days.
Feb. 15 I receive not one, but two return shipping labels for the modem I have but no replacement modem. Feb 20 and still no modem so I call back to have the nice Indian or Pakistani guy tell me "Oh we're so sorry. We'll get that right out to you." Feb. 28... no modem. I call back. (At this point I should tell you that if you want to talk to anyone at Earthlink, you must have at least an hour of free time.) "Oh, we're so sorry. There was some confusion. We'll get that LABEL right out to you." NO! I don't need ANOTHER label!!!!
I am finally transferred (again) to a "senior representative" who assures me he is seeing to it that my new modem will be sent to me ASAP and I will have it no later than Mar. 4. March 7... no modem. I call back. Only THIS time, I select the option for cancelling my service. I get a new ** on the line who tells me they have sent me the wrong label (an RMA instead of an EMA) but he will be shipping me a modem overnight and refunding two months worth of payments. Well, we'll see if it actually arrives. I'm not holding my breath, as I look horrible in purple. A word to anyone who is considering Earthlink. DON'T!!!
WORCESTER, MASSACHUSETTS -- Totally frustrating, a nightmare, I will never recommend EARTHLINK to anyone! I was tossed around regarding internet connection for almost two weeks and the problem was never resolved; I was on phone with them almost daily for 1-2 hours regarding internet connection. The shipping cost of $20 for equipment was taken from my account without my knowledge; monthly fees were deducted from my account and yet no services had been provided AT ALL.
I had an extremely difficult time canceling my order because they were trying to convince me to wait over and over; moreover they told me to hire services of an electrician to come and connect my internet. I had to yell and insist that I wanted them to cancel my order before they finally yielded. Another $90 was deducted supposedly because I terminated services that were never connected for even a moment and the grace period of 30 days will still 2 weeks away.
When I questioned this, they turned around to say that the $90 was being held because I hadn't returned their equipment. Again it was not my fault because they sent me another modem 2 days later, after I had terminated services. My money has not yet been refunded to date. Some of their staff members are rude and have no clue about what they are doing.
I called Earthlink to inquire about internet service. I erroneously gave them my credit card number as I intended to have it installed. After hearing more about their charges and services, I declined to hire their service and told them I do not want their service. Lo and behold I find that they turned me into collection for an unpaid bill.
After many attempts to contact them I finally get a live person. They tell me that they have no record of me and therefore there is no charge. I called my credit card company who called them (with me on the phone) - we got the same reply. I've emailed, mailed, everything I can think of... I still have an uncollected fee from them which I refuse to pay as I did not have their service. I have/had a very high credit score and they are going to taint that. NEVER EVER use EARTHLINK - they are scams...
I pay $29.95 for Earthlink internet service to this day. I have had Earthlink since 2008 at this price. It's not the fastest speed, but I'm in no hurry. I recently wanted to upgrade our cable service, but was told I would have to upgrade the internet service to theirs. The price I pay now is $64 for Earthlink and local cable. To upgrade both shot up to $90. I asked how much just for upgrading just the cable, not Earthlink. That was $99. Well since Earthlink kept their promise of $29.95 a month, I decided to stick with them.