CALIFORNIA -- Lingo Inc. (owned by Primus Telecommunications Canada Inc.) has repeatedly refused and ignored my requests to stop charging my debit card, as I do not even use their service. I let my mom use my card to pay them once, months ago, and they charge me every month, despite my consistent requests to stop.
Now, I'll have to cancel my card and file a civil claim against them. They also somehow raised their "taxes and fees" from just a couple dollars to almost $30 over this past month. I see online that many people have had this same issue with them, but they continue these illegal practices without any repentance whatsoever (maybe because they're a multinational and think US laws do not apply to them).
CHEEKTOWAGA, NEW YORK -- I was a Lingo customer for eight years. As cell phones made my VoIP service unnecessary, I tried to cancel a few years ago and got talked into a plan that was $1.99 and would provide free incoming calls and voicemail. I let that exist for a while just so I could keep the phone number (as a garbage number). But over the past few years, the charges continued to increase - from $2, to $7, then to almost $12.
I'd finally had enough and called to cancel. The attempted phone conversation was hell. A huge language barrier (call center sounds like it's in India or somewhere), combined with their apparent desires to protect only themselves and *not* cancel my account, left me frustrated and getting nowhere. I finally refused to continue the conversation.
I emailed them later to make sure they knew to cancel the account, which is what I was trying to accomplish by phone. They replied that the account had already been canceled and would not be billed further. They then explained that I needed to send my equipment back. They repeatedly insisted upon equipment return but did not promptly send the RMA they said multiple times that they would send.
The billing continued after I was told in writing that my account had been canceled. When I called about this, I was given the alleged reasons why my account was billed again, and the reasons shifted as I countered them. They then shifted focus to the equipment (I noticed this trend in my various conversations with them), and said that they would extend the time limit for returning it to 30 days (from original point of cancellation...and this was phrased as if it was a generous exception they were making on my part despite the fact that an RMA was not sent until a month and a half after my request to cancel the account).
I changed my card number so that they cannot continue to attempt to bill me. Meanwhile, a month-and-a-half later, I finally received the RMA with a letter insisting upon return of the equipment (and its details like "Ethernet cord") that I long-believed my contract fees in '05 supposedly paid for, with a threat to charge my account for $75 if I don't. My dealings with this company have left me feeling scammed, lied to, and manipulated. If you sign up, be prepared to go through a massive hassle to get yourself untangled from them.
BOULDER, COLORADO -- They are so bad that I am reporting them to the Better Business Bureau. They turned off my company's phones BY MISTAKE, which they have acknowledged in an email, then guaranteed it would be on by the end of the business day. That was Monday. It is Thursday afternoon, I have called in 10+ times, and the phones are STILL NOT ON!! They are costing me hundreds of dollars per day that my phone is off, and not one person in their company cares at all. They are so pathetic that it almost seems like you're being "punked." I cannot emphasize enough how terrible, unaccountable, uncaring, dysfunctional, and incompetent this company is.
DALLAS, TEXAS -- This company offered me 40 days free service and $9.75 for the following six months and then regular charge of $23 per month for the international phone service without a contract. I was suspicious about this company from various reviews, but accepted it due to their good offers. Since I was vigilant of their service, I was closely monitoring them.
Immediately after 30 days they charged me full payment of $23, where I was to get 40 days free and 6 months 9.75 rate. I called the customer support and spoke to them where they said we have offer only 30 days free and then full charge. When I spoke to them about what they said in the beginning, they acted like they don't know it. When I told them to cancel my account, they want to charge me another 9.95 for return shipment, where the shipping address is very close to my house. They said I can hand-deliver it, but they will have to charge as per their policy.
I am happy that I did not transfer my line to Lingo, otherwise I would have been in a deep pit from which I can never come out. I don't recommend this product to anybody and suggest you to stay away from their offers, because they don't keep their promises.
MCLEAN, VIRGINIA -- Primus Telecom is the owner of Lingo VoIP Phone Service. My name, bank information, mobile line and signature was fraudulently used to open a home phone service account. I spoke to a ** in the security department who disguised himself a CCP which I later learned that he is actually the supervisor of that department. I explained the situation to Mr. ** who was extremely rude, irate and argumentative with me and his conclusion was that this was not a fraudulent account.
I had the police investigate the situation where they stated they spoke to whomever in the security department and they claimed that whomever they spoke to stated that I opened the account and I am the account holder. Although the police mentioned to whomever they spoke with that I do not live at the stated address, nor am I the owner of the email address used to open the account, could not further investigate and had advised me to call headquarters to speak to someone further or to file a small claims suit.
Before I went further with the police's advice, I called Lingo's customer service one more time and spoke to a ** who advised me that she will make sure that this account be closed and that I will in fact receive a refund of the funds taken out of my account; she will call me to let me know the status. It did not dawn on me until today that ** could not call me back since she did not have my phone number so I called Lingo back again today and spoke to another CCP which stated that ** did notate all of what she told me but that whoever investigated it further notated that this was not a fraudulent account.
So since I was advised by the police to call headquarters, I did that today where I spoke to an ** who is the manager of customer care which stated to me that there was nothing that she can do since their security department is of their own company and she cannot override their decision. She has stated to me that she will contact the supervisor in that department to contact me. I asked her who that person was and that is when I learned that the so-called CCP in the security department that I spoke to was in fact the supervisor of the department.
I have been back and forth with this for a month now...unaware that this account was actually opened long before then and has been withdrawing monies from my account. They finally suspended the account which does not do anything because I will still have to cancel my bank account and get a new one just because this company refuses to investigate further. I have lost a lot of money due to this situation and nothing is being done to resolve it.
I hate to have to file a lawsuit for something that could have been resolved with just a push of a button but if not further investigated, I will be force to. I just want the account closed and to be refunded whatever was taken out of my bank account. I have a home phone number. I cannot use VoIP phone because I myself am a Customer Care Professional at home which it is required to have a home phone in order to take calls. I have had this home phone service since 2010 of February.
So I don't see how this makes any sense. I just want my name off of this account and my money back. Ms. ** has stated to me that I can contact whomever - whether it be her president's office or the BBB, etc. - that this is scam and she handles all of the complaints and all she will do is say that it has been handled. And then hung up on me. I would like for this account to be removed and for the monthly charges plus insufficient fund charges be replaced back into my account. I want my debit card information to be removed.
I got this service and paid $27.95 for my first "free" month and the Lingo box. I got it, hooked it up and it got used for 3 incoming and 3 outgoing calls the first week. After those calls, it no longer worked. I called and cancelled, but I was billed for a full month $29.95. I called them and cancelled again, the customer service lady said she would knock the bill down to $10.95 a month, I told her no - to cancel it. I got charged $10.95 the next month.
Finally I called, got a supervisor and got it cancelled. I got a confirmation e-mail it was actually cancelled. To be safe, I ordered a new card and cancelled the card they had on file so they couldn't take my money anymore. Then, I got an e-mail from customer service telling me I had a $99 cancellation fee. I wrote back and told them they can no longer charge my card as I've changed it and I've been cancelling for months, that I would be happy to send the modem/device back. They wrote me again and told me to disregard the last e-mail, I owed them nothing.
Here we are two months later and I get a phone call w/ someone telling me they put the money back in my bank account, which my bank shows is NOT there. Then she asks if I have the modem. I told her yes, I'd be happy to send it back. She asked what happened with the service and told her everything I typed above and she said she needed to look and see how much activity was on my account. I told her I didn't know the number, she'd have to look it up.
She confirmed the 6 calls in the "free trial" period, but there was still nothing showing I cancelled in time, so I am still liable for the cancellation fee and that I need to send the modem back. She said I owed them $45 or something. Anyway, she says to take care of this, she will transfer me to customer service, then she says "Since you remember what your number was, this won't be an issue..." and she tried to keep going but I cut her off screaming at her "See this is the problem, you and your reps DON'T listen! I just told you I DIDN'T remember the damn phone number! Your company sucks and I don't owe you anything!!" Then I hung up.
Do NOT give these people your card info. It was so bad I filed fraud with my bank. Stay away from them, they are a nightmare!
Back in March 2008, I decided I was getting tired of my $40+ phone bill with my land line company and decided to give Lingo VoIP a shot. They sent me the kit and I was all set up under a 1-year contract. Then the problems began! The call quality was horrible, I'd say a 2 out of 10 on a quality scale plus I would get frequent dropped and lost calls. I called and complained about it and it continued to be bad. Then I had issues with the Lingo service not detecting the touch tone dial buttons from my newer phone on many different occasions when calling various companies. This issue was never resolved as well.
Now the billing nightmares begin! The bills started out at around $25 but kept on creeping up to about $35 a month which was getting close to what I was paying with a land line with much better quality and service. So around November of 2008, I decided to get rid of the service but did not want to be charged a cancellation fee of $100. So, I downgraded my package to the smallest one which was supposed to be around $10 a month, to hold out until March came along when I can get out of contract.
Lingo continued to bill me my regular rate of $35 a month even after I downgraded! I called and complained for them to credit my account. Never done! So, I was desperately awaiting March to arrive and I cancelled and thought, finally, I get to dump this crappy company. But oh no, they decided to still charge me a cancellation fee about a month or so later!
I called and complained every week for 3 weeks and they told me they would credit my account (within 3-5 days) and it was an error. They lied, still no money! Being paranoid that I was dealing with the mob version of VoIP, I cancelled my card so they wouldn't get any more ideas and bill me. I then called one last time and told them to send me a check or I will sue and also create a website dedicated to consolidating fraudulent cases by other Lingo victims. Still no refund to this day!
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA -- I became a Lingo customer approximately 2 years ago because of the unlimited long distance and international calling plan for one solid monthly fee, call as many times as you want and talk as long as you want for one monthly fee. The only country I call is Mexico, 1-2 times a week. A few months later they said the monthly fee for this plan was going up, I said OK, still a great deal. Then went up again, I still stayed with Lingo. By now the plan was $49.95 a month, then they said they had dropped Mexico from the plan, and now I had to pay per minute for my calls to Mexico plus the $49.95 fee.
Approximately a year later, I come to find out that I could have switched to a less expensive plan for my US calls since I still had to pay per minute to call to Mexico anyway, no different than the local phone company. I took my loss and requested to have the plan changed to a basic plan, requested their lowest basic plan, the customer rep said $14.95 per month.
Almost 3 months went by and the request to change calling plans is still "pending". However they still kept hitting my bank account for the $49.95 plus all the per minute charges to call Mexico. Every time I call some customer rep in India (or wherever they move their customer service dept. to) says, all they can do is take my complaint and forward it to someone that will handle it and to expect a phone call back within 72 hours. I did that 4 times, never got a call back. The last time I asked to speak to a supervisor, who told me that she would personally call me back, never did.
I written email after email - nothing, no response. If you are a customer of Lingo and you are going through something similar, save yourself a lot of trouble and just cancel it, advise your credit card co. that any future charges to your credit card are not authorized. Their customer service dept is not a design to "service the customer", it's designed to take messages only. The fact that this people know how to speak English does not mean they understand American consumer expectations of customer service. They don't live in the US. so they can not understand what you are going through.
We tried to call in and we tried to email you on numerous occasions during the month of May, 2006. We could never reach anyone, and no e-mails were answered. So with no other recourse, we contacted American Express to have them stop paying on the monthly charges. Finally I reached someone last Friday (8/11/06), and was told a supervisor would contact me within 48 hours. Dust, nada, zero response.
Today we get our AMEX bill with something accusing us of theft of service. Well kids, you have finally tripped my trigger. I want a credit for ALL charges from Lingo and Primus – some months we were dually billed from both – for all charges dating from the time we first tried to contact you, which is 5/15/2006 within the next 10 days.
If this does not happen, I promise to (as opposed to threaten to): contact every BBB in each city/state in which we do business (over 20); contact the national BBB; contact the FTC, FCC, and possibly the FBI to investigate you for fraudulent business practices. My oldest son is a producer for TV commercials, and other media. He does commercials for Disney, and Wal-Mart. He has taught me the value of “Viral” marketing.
I promise to start a campaign to get the word out about your methods of business. Locally, one of the TV stations would love to get their teeth into this. Not a big market (Kansas City, MO) but hopefully, it would get picked up by the networks. Let me be clear. This is not about the money. We can well afford the amount of unethical billing. This is now a principle thing. Again you have 10 days from proof of service via certified mail. I am e-mailing you this in advance.
We ordered this service in March. We were supposed to get a month of free service, which we technically got, but the activation fee was 2x the price of a month of service. It was over two weeks into our free month when we finally got the router. Throughout our time with Lingo, we had constant service interruptions and never did have 911 service because they said their system could not recognize our address, even though the local phone company and all other local services (electric, water, trash, etc.) have no problem with our address.
The first month they billed us, they billed us for our phone number plus the interim phone number they assign when you initiate service. We e-mailed them about this and about other billing questions (because it is virtually iimpossible to get through to their customer service. The one time I did get through, I talked to one of the rudest people I've ever talked to. He made me verify about 10 pieces of information, and when he finally let me ask my question, he said that was a question for the sales department and I would have to call back in 2 hours.)
Finally, my husband was completely fed up with the horrible service, so he called BellSouth to switch our service back. They told him they would take care of cancelling the Lingo service, but today we received a bill from Lingo and our service hasn't been cancelled. When we called, they said they cannot backdate the cancellation & we will have to pay for the entire month & a half. Also, there is a $40 cancellation fee.
They have yet to ask why we cancelled the service. I imagine they already know. Do yourself a favor and steer clear of this horrible company. The people are rude & poorly informed, the rates just went up, the service stinks -- you may or may not be able to complete calls to your home. If this is VoIP, count me out!