We've had two different lengthy DSL outages at a facility that has an architecture supporting operations in the US and Iraq. The architecture provides personnel management of over 8000 people on a government contract. For the second time in six days we have had an outage starting at about 9:00 AM. The first one was resolved at 2:54 AM the following morning and only because I had a tech badger the Earthlink Help Desk folks and not let them push him off until the next day.
The one today is ongoing as of 6:30 PM with numerous lengthy phone calls and pass arounds. I just got off the phone with the Earthlink Customer Support Desk which is LOCATED IN INDIA to lodge a complaint. I hope it does some good.
When we first got our laptop, we decided to take advantage of the free internet offers for 30 days, as installed in the computer. We tried Earthlink, which said that no billing would occur during the trial period (30 days). We tried it for three days -- it was a nightmare! Terribly slow, connection kept getting interrupted, and downloading would take a century and a half!
We canceled as per the instructions on the site -- written request, certified mail with return receipt. About a week after we first went on, we received the confirmation postcard that they received the cancellation. NOW they've put us in collections for two months of service! WE USED IT FOR THREE DAYS DURING A 30-DAY FREE TRIAL PERIOD! The reps who call are barely audible and difficult to understand. What a ripoff! I plan to report them to the BBB and Attorney General. Internet Users, BEWARE!
COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO -- I'm totally frustrated on the phone and on the chat. I'm just giving up there. The EarthLink operators giving me a hard time just for $2.95 There. Here what, I tried to do to resolve it there. I told EarthLink to deactivate my account, no not done, harassed me and my family at 6am in the morning that I had to call "Qwest" to stop these calls. It stop but someone from EarthLink did take away my money from my debit card without my knowledge.
Then I asked again the operator "Please would you replace my money back that you have taken away from me??" No they have not done it and JP Chase have charged my account 35.00 plus the amount there. The woman at Chase said they would do an investigation with EarthLink, but as of tonight nothing is changed. What can I do with both of them?? Help. I give up!!
BERKELEY, CALIFORNIA -- I pay for 6mps DSL internet connection from Earthlink. I often get service at 1.5 download, and 0.3 upload. I have tried to use Earthlink chat tech support for this problem. The techs give irrelevant advice about changing browser settings, when I don't even use a browser for email. Then they simply stop responding. Today I waited for a response for half an hour on two different occasions, and finally gave up both times.
MARYLAND -- Earthlink afforded me the absolute WORSE customer experience of my lifetime, in every sense of the words. As of Saturday, September 29, 2007 at 12:20 am, after waiting a ludicrous TWO WEEKS from the date of service purchase until the date my service would be active.
After over 15 calls totaling over 3 hours of phone time within a 12.5 hour span of time; after me having to make over seven car trips to relatives' houses and public places to use pay phones due to me not having a home phone; after depleting the gas in my cars gas tank; after being hung-up on by TWO Earthlink customer service SUPERVISORS; and after being lied to no less than FIVE times by Earthlink with no mention of compensation of any sort, I am still without DSL or Home Phone service that was promised to be fully-active and available to me on Friday, September 28, 2007.
Please bear in mind that Earthlink started billing me for service as of Wednesday, September 26, 2007 when my True Voice phone service was supposedly activated... something that makes absolutely no sense because you cannot even use the True Voice phone service without access to the internet.
Prior to Friday, September 28th, I had been in contact with Earthlink SEVERAL times throughout the week making sure that my service would be fully-functional, per Earthlink's guarantee, on Friday the 28th. I was assured many times that the odds I would not be surfing the net with ease and making phone calls on my state-of-the-art phone service, were infinitesimally small. Surprise, surprise, it was everything but.
Once again, America, with all of our jobs from these "big name" companies being outsourced to other countries (i.e. India), this customer service was a thousand times harder than it should have been. Of the 20+ people I spoke to on Friday, September 28th, NOT ONE of those reps were of American descent. ALL of them were Indians. The language barrier was roadblock enough, added to that their sorry excuse of company product knowledge completely sealed my fate for the evening.
Finally, at 12:15am on Saturday, September 29th, I was told that after 13 hours of B.S. I had to endure, nothing could be done for me until after 10am EST because the departments that should be able to troubleshoot my issues, were now closed.
Have Earthlink not lied to me at 11am EST on Friday and again at 2pm EST and then yet again at 7:15pm EST, I might have been able to speak to a technician in the appropriate department THAT DAY and had this issue resolved. Instead, Earthlink chose to blatantly lie to me to hush me up and hurry me off the phone. Now, I am a very understandably pissed person, writing this blog in complete disgust with a company whose services, I've yet to even use!
It is now Sunday, October 6th, 2007. I finally cancelled my entire account with Earthlink last Monday. According to Earthlink when I first signed up for service with them, I had exactly 30-days to cancel services with them without incurring any early termination fees. Surprise, surprise, at 10:56pm that night, Earthlink charged me a $35.90 fee. This WAS NOT disclosed at the time I cancelled my services.
I was told everything had been taken care of and I given a confirmation number. I only found out about the fee after checking my bank account online the following day. I had a feeling it was Earthlink who was responsible for the charge that was still showing as "pending" but I couldn't be sure.
I went to my bank the next day and sure enough, they were able to conclude that it was indeed Earthlink, who was behind the unauthorized charge of $35.90. When I called Earthlink (as soon as I returned home) I was told that I had been charged for terminating the True Voice phone service, early. That made absolutely no sense considering that the True Voice was part of a dual package that included the high-speed internet. So how can they charge me for just one part of the package, even if the charge was valid?
I started to make my case to the Indian representative and sure enough he was getting ready to tell me that his hands were tied because the charge was still "pending". That's when I cut him off and told him that if he didn't reverse that charge and give me a full refund then I would report Earthlink to the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC). All of a sudden, he could now help me. He put me on hold for a while and when he came back, he assured me that he had taken the appropriate measures to issue me a complete refund, and to expect a credit back to my bank account within 72 hours (3 days).
As of yesterday (Saturday) which was the third day, I had no refund posted to my account. This is messing me up because I have my rent check that is going to clear by Monday or Tuesday and there was sufficient funds in the account to cover the check... that was until Earthlink fraudulently took out that $35.90 out of my account. So now either way, I am screwed. Either the bank will honor the check and clear it but charge me a $30 overdraft fee OR the check will bounce and I will now be late on my rent for the first time in my life and have to pay a $40 returned check fee on my rent.
When I called Earthlink yesterday to ascertain as to why I hadn't been issued my refund yet, after being transferred to SIX different representatives and hung up on once, I was told by yet another Indian rep that as far as she could see, Earthlink made NO PROMISE to issue me a refund, citing that the fee for $35.90 was for "use of the service", even though I never used the service considering it nevered functioned! So, Earthlink had lied to me yet again.
Then, when I threatened the imbecile with a lawsuit, she stated that even if she were to issue me a refund today, it would take 7-10 BUSINESS DAYS to get the credit on my account! So we went from 72 hours to 10 business days! Yet another lie. Then the idiot had the audacity to force me off the phone by saying that she could not "help me at this time but if I called back they could handle this matter" for me. I said, "call back when?" Her response... "in a month"!
A MONTH?! Are you kidding me? So now I have been conned out of a total of $55.85 from Earthlink and still had NO access to either phone or internet services. $35.90 for the fraudulent early termination/use of services charge and $19.95 for the shipping of the DSL modem and phone modem. That funny part is, Earthlink had NO PROBLEM sending me a pre-paid return shipment label to send their modems back! Guess what, those modems are now mine. So after that idiot told me to call back in a month, I told her that I was also apologetic because Earthlink was about to pay through the ** for messing with me.
Anyway, I will also be sending this blog to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) as well as filing a complaint with the Better Business Bureau, in addition to inundating the local news channels and newspapers about this consumer disaster that is Earthlink. I will also post this experience on as many online websites I can find.
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.
NEW YORK, NEW YORK -- I recently found a charge from Eartlink for $9.95 on my Time Warner 3 in 1 pack bill. I never asked for it and they would only tell me what it was not offer any proof that I had signed up for it. (My contract is in writing.) Eventually Time Warner removed and credited me back 8 months but it seemed to me that Earthlink is the slimy one here.