I have been a loyal Lingo customer for almost 5 years (since April 17th, 2005) without any issues but the events of the past 1 month have made me feel completely unappreciated and I feel cheated by my phone company. After having the same phone plan for the last 5 years, in November 2009 I decided to switch to a new phone plan offered by Lingo called the “Lingo World Max.”
This plan offered UNLIMITED calling to several countries included in the plan. One of those countries included in the plan was India. Since I have all my family in India and I call there everyday, this plan suited me well. The plan took effect on November 28th but since I was visiting family in India, I did not start making any calls using this plan until I returned home on December 11th.
On December 24th, I received an email from Lingo Customer Support informing me that my usage of the phone was higher than “an average residential customer” and that I may be violating what they call a “fair usage policy.” I was surprised to receive this email from them especially since I had signed up for an unlimited plan and was told that I did not have to worry about the minutes. I called Lingo customer support and asked for an explanation of the email.
I was clearly told by the representative on the phone that the email was generated automatically by the computer based on calling patterns and as long as I was not using the phone for business purposes, I did not have to worry about the number of minutes used and could ignore the email. I confirmed with the representative that I was not using the phone for any business purposes (I do not even have a business) and did exactly as she told me to – ignored the email.
On January 18th, when my wife and I returned home from work in the evening, we realized that we were unable to make or receive any calls. Any attempt to do so would result in a message “Your line is currently out of service” (or something like that). I immediately called Lingo technical support (using the very limited minutes on my cell phone) and asked them what was going on. I was told that my account had been suspended due to the violation of the fair usage policy.
I informed the representative about the conversation I had had with the representative in the past when the above mentioned email had shown up but that did not seem to make any difference. I was told that there was a separate department that would provide the explanation on why my account had been disabled and that department was closed for the day. I was told to provide an alternate number and to expect a call in the next 24-48 hours.
I was quite enraged about not having a working phone at home and asked the representative if at the very least, the phone could be turned on for incoming calls and emergency number dialing (since I have a small child at home) and I was bluntly told that there was nothing she could do to help me. 5+ years of being a loyal customer was not resulting in any courtesy in return. I had no choice but to wait until the morning and call again.
The next morning I decided not to wait for a call and called the department at Lingo that was supposed to provide me with answers. After several tries and my refusal to talk to answering machines, I finally got a representative on the line. This gentleman informed me that I had violated their ‘fair usage policy' which is why my account had been suspended. He told me that even though the plan states and allows for unlimited calling to countries included in the plan, customers would be violating the policy if they used more than 1300 minutes in a month.
I politely informed him that he was contradicting himself and as far as I knew, the word ‘unlimited' meant that there was no limit to the number of minutes I could have used. He agreed but kept quoting the fair usage policy. I was enraged and told him that Lingo was participating in false advertising but he did not seem to care. I finally asked him what needed to be done to reactivate the account and he told me that I would not be able to get the “Lingo World Max” plan back. This was the last straw and I had by now decided to switch to a different carrier.
The reason I am writing about my experience here is because I feel cheated by a phone company that I truly believe is participating in false advertising. I need to voice my experience to other Lingo customers out there that may think that they really have an unlimited plan. Guess what – you don't. I believe Lingo is trying to get rid of customers that are making more calls than they can afford on this so called unlimited plan and are using a technicality to do that (not to mention they used false advertising to get us to sign on).
I am most enraged about the unceremonious way they disconnected my phone line without a call or a verbal warning and left me high and dry without emergency access to the phone. Also when I told them that I would be looking at other carriers to take my business to, they did not seem interested in trying to keep my business. So much for customer service.
MCLEAN, VIRGINIA -- My total minutes used for over two month by placing call is 1101. My signed up on Lingo to keep in contact with my parents at Bangladesh and my brother at. I only call two numbers and I call when it is day time in Bangladesh because of the time difference - I will call at 9 PM EST and in Bangladesh it will be 8 AM. In you advertisement you have mentioned unlimited calls but in your fine print you have hidden the fact that unlimited means 5000 minutes. I have not even used 2000 minutes over two month and today you have unilaterally disconnected my service.
I cannot call back my gravely sick mother. I am crying as I am writing this as my mother may pass away. I am suffering from serious pain and mental pressure because you have disconnected my line by racially profiling my calls and have disconnected at a moment when somebody's life/death is at stake. It is discrimination because of my national origin. I am giving you this warning before I formally press charge for violating my civil rights. A complaint with Michigan/Virginia attorney general will also be filed. This is your final warning. We have 72 Lingo customers who have complained of your discriminatory practise.
I had been a loyal, long time customer of Lingo - I had signed up with them in December 2004 and had no problems with them until last year. Based on their advertisements, I signed up for Lingo's World Max unlimited calling. I paid a $10 fee to make the plan change, which became active towards the end of October 2009. We make calls to India, predominantly to a few numbers. We were happily using the service when on Dec 16 my service stopped working. This being the only landline, my 5 month old infant and mother in law at home, we were pretty flabbergasted about the reason.
When I called Lingo, I was told that they had sent an email 10 days ago (which had gone to my spam folder) about the fact that my usage was excessive and beyond the "normal" residential usage. I asked the guy to tell me how much was "normal" and what was the meaning of "Unlimited." He kept on blabbering about "average use", "expected use" etc. etc. and was never able to answer anything specifically. When I asked to speak to the manager, he said the manager was busy on another call.
Finally, as I was traveling to India that evening, I asked what the options were - and he said that I will have to switch back to the previous plan (which did not have India free) - I could not restart on Unlimited World Max plan. It was almost that I was being punished for going over the limit of the "unlimited" plan. I asked him to switch the plan and restore the service (while at Chicago airport, waiting to board the flight). The next thing I did was to order Vonage right there, before boarding.
Once Vonage was set up, they took almost 6 days for number transfer (happened on Jan 6, 2010). While looking up my credit card statements, I was appalled to see Lingo charges continuing on the card. I called them up to ask what the charges were for and was told that since I had not canceled the service, those were month charges for Jan and Feb. I asked the representative her name, her agent id and asked her to tell me what service did Lingo exactly provide in Jan and Feb to me, for which they charged my credit card. She said that even though I did not use the service, as per the terms and condition, as the account was still active, they had billed me.
I corrected her saying that it was not a question of me "not using the service" - "there was no service available to me from Lingo" as the number had already been ported out of Lingo and I did not have any other number on the account. So if Lingo decides to bill me, it is charging for nothing and I am going to take this further - to the courts if required. She then said that she will request a credit for the two months that they charged me without service. I will wait to see if it actually occurs.
I signed up with Lingo with their World Max Plan which was advertised as an unlimited plan and they have a 2 year contract and early cancellation fee. 3 Months later now they are saying they have changed their policy since then and only 800 minutes are allowed as part of the plan. They are asking me to change my plan and pay more by subscribing to a per minute usage plan.
If I cancel and don't want to pay higher amount I will be charged early cancellation free. So Lingo is running a scam and fraud where they lure people in by giving out these promotions and ripping them off a few months later either by forcefully increasing rate or by charging early termination fee. These actions are unlawful and Lingo should be brought to justice.
MCLEAN, VIRGINIA -- I took the service as they advertised for UNLIMITED plan to 80 countries, and then after a month (of course after trial period) I received an email indicating “Lingo-High-Usages” and referred to Section III Part of Lingo's Terms & Conditions and gave me a warning for suspension. Anywhere in Lingo's Terms & Conditions or anywhere in policy they have never mention about any certain number of hours or minutes. So continued to use.
After two weeks from the day of warning notice I got Suspension Email referring same Terms & Conditions, that email provide me a phone number to call them to resolve the issue. I called them - nobody received the call. So I called them to their regular customer service but after waiting for 30 minutes lady gave me the same number. So I called them again and same situation, nobody receives the phone, so I left message.
Since then today is the 3rd day I am trying to reach them continuously, I left messages SIX times in three days. Sent an email, got reply to call customer service with detail! So I called the so called customer service and lady told me they are going to call me within two hours. Now it is 6 hours - nobody called me.
I used less than 1000 minutes before I got first notice, after first notice I used less than 700 minutes (these minutes included 800 numbers, local, USA, and International). So LINGO Executive can you tell me why should not you reactivate all account and let us make calls as a real "Unlimited plan" as you advertised!
MCLEAN, VIRGINIA -- Lingo has sold the plan as "Unlimited" and yet after 500 minutes of international called they suspended my service claiming high usage account. I have filed complaint to FCC asking them to shut down this company. If you are going to file a lawsuit or complain to FCC here is the name of the CEO: K Paul Singh. Those who live in VA might be able to find out his address and resolve the issue with him. Lingo Direct numbers: 703 902 2800, 703 650 5977, 319 466 7314.
I have home security monitoring service and now it is not effective. I can't even call 911 in emergency. I hold Lingo liable for putting our lives at risk. How would these people feel if their access to safety were taken away? Please make sure you dispute all the credit card charges with Lingo so that they don't get paid at all (including the shipping) and dispose off the phone adapters. Hope Lingo criminals will pay a serious price for their crime soon. Their office address: 7901 Jones Branch Drive Suite 900 McLean, VA 22102.
PLEASE do not waste your time trying LINGO. It is not worth it. I switched to Lingo unlimited plan and they have disconnected my home phone after 2 month saying that too much uses when I used less than 1000 minutes. Residential Lingo world max plan is not truly unlimited it. Unlimited word is there to scam consumers to signup for their service. If you signup for Lingo World Max plan thinking you are getting unlimited calls you will be cheated. My service was cancelled for using about less than 1000 minutes in a month.
I had received warning email stating that I'm over using and using as a commercial line even though I just calling friends and family. If you are thinking about taking Lingo service think twice and read the fine print. They will disconnect without noticed and no responses phone call or email after suspended your service. Also they do not mention how many minutes you can use it per month. That means even 500 minutes can be deemed by Lingo as a non single family usage. LINGO TOTALLY SUCK!!! Tax (hidden) charges are way too high.
Even though they said residential customer has 4999 minutes, they have suspended my account yesterday and till today I couldn't reach the management. The receptionist kept telling me someone will call me back on my contact number, no one ever did. I don't understand how the hell calling more than 10 people in a row and using more than 500 minutes in two week can be considered not a residential calling pattern.
Please take my advice - don't you ever take LINGO. They have the worst customer service, I called the number many times, I reached to the customer representative after 20 minutes, then she tries to connect me to management, and after 20 minutes tells me someone will call me back. This happened two days in a row. I have sent emails but no response other than the automated responses. I don't know what to do now.
Lingo suspended my service without my knowledge. Later I got a e-mail stating service is suspended due to high uses. I took unlimited plan and tried to contact customer service to get an explanation but never able to reach them. I left at least 10 voice messages and sent few e-mails to customer care but they never responded. With many attempts finally I reached a customer service and she told my line would be retain within 24 hours but already over 3 days no connection established. I do not know what else I can do to retain my service. NEVER EVER TAKE LINGO.
Lingo suspended my service in after 2 weeks and they billed me for next month without providing me their service!!! I already have submitted complaints in FCC and BBB, but I did not get any response from these two organizations. Please respond if any one got any response for their complaints yet or not. I am wondering whether there is any consumer protection law from Lingo type cheat company or not.