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!!
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS -- I can't even begin to outline all the time/headaches and trouble having this "service" has cost me. "Customer service" often you are told to call back later - they have too much call volume. So-called online account info - haven't ever been given an Earthlink account and password - though they claim I have - and nobody seems to be able then to tell me what it is - so I'm stuck with calling the 800 number only to be told to call back later.
Billing problem has not been resolved though I have called, written a letter, emailed etc... This months bill is abnormally high and I have no idea why and can't get a detailed report of costs - because I can't log onto my supposed Earthlink account (see complaint above). It's becoming kafkaesque. Don't ever ever sign up.
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA -- The worst customer service imaginable; the reps never seem to really understand what I'm saying, & there's a big language barrier to us communicating. I was told I wouldn't be charged for the modem, & I was charged $19.99 for delivery of modem. I also told them many times when I signed up (DSL/phone bundle) I did not want auto deduction, I wanted to pay either by check or notified by email & I would then pay online or phone.
They charged me twice what I was expecting via auto pay! There is literally no customer service, I can't trust that they will actually do what I ask re changes to my account, etc. My phone was not working for a few days & after being on hold forever both online live chat & phone, they said their system was down & I wouldn't be charged for those days of no service. Of course I was charged & had to go through the torture that is Earthlink customer service for a credit. If it wasn't my only choice (no other co. Services DSL in my building) I would cancel service in a second.
GREENBELT, MARYLAND -- 10 months ago I switched from dial-up to DSL - and it was the worst experience ever! I had problems from the beginning signal dropping, restarting several times a day. I called many times since Sept. and spent HOURS on the phone with customer service. Every time I had to go through the same checklist; I switched the modem, I switched the cords, I power cycled over and over but it was never right. Finally, in June, DSL went down for 10 days. That is when they told me - 10 MONTHS AFTER I HAD STARTED SERVICE - my connection problems were because I was more than 16,000 feet from the "loop" and couldn't handle the 1.5 M speed.
At this point I gave up and switched to cable. I asked they waive my early termination fee since I never got reliable service for which I had been charged. More hours on the phone until I said I was filing a complaint with the Better Business Bureau before they credited the fee back to me. I will NEVER return to Earthlink. They don't care about their customers. STAY AWAY!
Earthlink sporadically blocks my use of my email account to send out articles and photographs to multiple recipients. I have now been 48 hours waiting for this problem to be fixed, with no response. I can never reach the Earthlink department responsible. Calling tech support is extremely frustrating and time consuming, and has not resolved the problem this time, nor did it when it occurred previously. Normal hold times can easily be half an hour before speaking to a tech, and the tech who answers usually can't understand the problem, and the problem continues.
I've been bounced from tech to tech as many as seven times in one, hour-long call, with no resolution at the end. My old ISP sold my account to Earthlink and I've been their customer now for over a decade, but being a long term customer gets you nothing at Earthlink. Their tech support system just gets worse and worse.
There are a couple of competent high-level techs, but it takes multiple calls, being bounced from person to person, and cumulatively hours on hold to find one. And still the problem goes unresolved at the end. The company refuses to provide an email address (and they're an email service provider!), I assume because they don't want to hear directly from customers with problems.
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.
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.