Recently, I got a mailer from PeoplePC containing a CD-ROM and an offer of "unlimited Internet access for just $5.47 a month." I was interested in a plain vanilla ISP, but I dislike proprietary dialers. I was a bit wary when I opened the cardboard mailer and saw that they touted a "Smart Dialer." I always set up my own shortcuts using Windows DUN.
So instead of installing the software on the CD-ROM, I went online and went to the PeoplePC website. The same offer was there on the site: "PeoplePC Unlimited $5.47/mo. for 3 months, then only $10.95/mo." There was also an option to try for free for 30 days. So I clicked. And it seems I had actually begin the process at some time in the past; the website remembered me and asked if I wanted to continue registration.
Eventually, I was asked for a credit/debit card, billing address and phone number, which I dutifully provided. I eventually got to a page that let me begin downloading the PeoplePC software. The red flag went up in my mind, as I had already decided I didn't want to use 3rd party software to connect. But I downloaded it anyway, figuring I could just get through to the end and then set up my own Windows DUN connection.
But after the software downloaded, it then executed on its own and presented me with the Terms of Service, with two buttons at the bottom labeled "Agree" and "Disagree." At this point I was getting cold feet, so I clicked on "Disagree." A dialog box popped up saying "You must click 'Agree' in order to use PeoplePC" - in other words: I COULD NOT DISAGREE TO THE TERMS OF SERVICE AND CANCEL THE PROCESS.
After clicking disagree 5 times and going in a circle 5 times, I just cancelled the app. I thought that would be the end of it. I checked my email as part of my daily routine, and found TWO notices from PeoplePC welcoming me to the service!!! THE SERVICE I HAD NEVER AGREED TO. I fired off an email to their Customer Service stating that I had not agreed to the Terms of Service, I had never logged on to PeoplePC and I had not intended to create an account. I also informed them I would be advising my bank not to accept charges from them.
But I was too slow. My bank statement is already showing the $1 transaction from PeoplePC that companies used to verify your credit/debit card accounts (just a verification transaction so far). They set the billing process in motion before I had even agreed to an account. I got an email back saying that I could not cancel an account by email. I would have to call a phone number and speak to a person to do this. GRRRRR. BUT PEOPLEPC CAN SET UP MY ACCOUNT AND START BILLING COMPLETELY ON ITS OWN.
Furthermore, the hours of operation for this number are M-F during daytime business hours. No way to speak to someone on the weekend or at night. Dear readers, you need to avoid this company at all costs. Their process does not let you disagree to Terms of Service once you start applying. They ask for your credit card information first, before you can even look at the fine print, much less agree or disagree to terms. This is not the way to run a business. Please learn from my mistake.
In February I upgraded to DSL though PeoplePC from their dial up service. I have been a member since 2003. The modem quit working in July and I was sent a replacement one. I was told that as long as I sent the bad modem back I would not be charged. I sent the bad modem back using the box that the new modem came in and shipped it through FedEx using the pre-printed return label. This month (October) PeoplePC charged my credit card $49.95. I checked the FedEx tracking, since I had the original receipt, and they said that it had arrived on July 29th.
I then called PeoplePC customer service and was told that there was nothing that they would do, even after I spoke to a manager, and that they were going to charge me for the modem because their records show that they did not get it. I gave them the FedEx tracking number and they said that it was shipped to someplace else and not them. I used the pre-printed return label that they sent me!
I then told them that if the charges were not refunded that they would lose a long time customer. But the gentleman on the phone did not seem to care even when I told them I would file a credit card dispute. When I got off the phone, I went online and filed a credit card dispute the same day. This was on October 9th, so I have not heard anything back yet.
Update 10/17/2010. My credit card reversed the charges due to the information that I gave them. PeoplePC promptly shut off my internet service on 10/17/2010 and tried to charge me another $45 for disputing the charge. I called my credit card company about it and told them what happened. They said that they will block any charges that PeoplePC tries to put on the card as they are no longer providing me the service and are not authorized to charge my card as of today.
ATLANTA, GEORGIA -- RE: Past Due notice on account # **. Payments were made to this account on 1/17 for $10.95 (**) and 2/13 for $12.95 (**), on our Bank of America account and 3/19 for $12.95 (**); 4/10 for $12.95 (**); 4/18 for $12.95 (**); and 6/19 for $10.95 (**) on our Texas First account as billed. That's 6 months of payments for 6 months of service in 2007. I have not received billing for July as yet. Further more it appears that you over charged us for four of those payments by $2 for a total overpayment $8.00…almost another full month of service!
You say you never received/posted the 6/19 check and have been dunning us for a past due amount of $10.95. While we may owe for July, now half over, your accounts are in error on several other areas: 1. the phone line says we are paid to date when I call to check on balances (as of July 5); and 2. the online service keeps trying to dun us for 6 payments through a charge card or checking account debit for the last 6 months!
After 3 calls to your 800 number, I still have not received satisfactory service from you company and have been shut out of my account since July 3. We have gone to a cable modem service. I called to cancel the account yesterday, July 10, and they informed me that we were $23.95 overdue, but I have only received a past due notice for $10.95 yet the automatic phone service informed me that I was paid up on July 9. Please cancel the account and send me a final CORRECTED statement and make appropriate corrections to your records.
MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE -- Two months ago, which was in the middle of November 2007, I cancelled PeoplePC internet Service by phone. Today I suddenly found that they continue charging me for the service. So I called them, what did they say? They said they had no record for my cancellation and asked me of the cancellation number!! I do not know when I cancel their service. They would give customer the cancellation no., and they didn't give me my cancellation no. two months ago!! At last, they gave me today's cancellation no. But where is my money for the last two months' service which I didn't use. How mean they are!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I mistakenly tried a 30 day free trial of PeoplePC. The service was okay, but I decided to stick with my other provider. I had to email the company to get a phone number to call, to cancel. Here is the number 1-866-772-6277. It was easy enough to get through, but the customer service reps do not speak clear English (imagine that!!). They pressure you into accepting 2 more months of free service, and they lower the monthly price after that. Okay, so I call to cancel again before the time is up, and it is more of the same.
And, because you can barely understand the CSR, you don't really know what you are agreeing to. I just wanted to cancel!! Then they try to get you to keep the PeoplePC email address, for a fee of $1.50 per month. It goes on and on. I am now convinced that these companies benefit greatly from the consumer not being able to understand the CSRs. As far as I am concerned, this is horrible customer service. They make it nearly impossible to cancel. I will never try PeoplePC again!!
GALVESTON/HOUSTON, TEXAS -- Watch out! PeoplePC Internet Services sound like a great deal, but here in Galveston Texas, the service is sporadic and you can get bumped off anytime! I signed up for a 30 DAY FREE TRIAL and then called to CANCEL easily within and way before my 30 days were up. THEY tell you that they will give you two more free months and this is MISLEADING.
Even though you told them to cancel, they keep your account open for two more months and then hit you with another monthly charge. You have to call them AGAIN and then they act like you never told them to cancel in the first place. You have to cancel AGAIN and they won't refund your money, saying they can only cancel your account once.
So, moral of the story is: If you CANCEL YOUR ACCOUNT, ASK FOR A CONFIRMATION NUMBER. Do not take the 2 additional free months. AND: When you call them, they have a recording that's say that they are experiencing "high volume calls" and it's better for you to call back. DO NOT HANG UP, STAY ON THE LINE. The wait is not that long at all (6 minutes). They are just trying to buy themselves time for their misleading, unethical policies. I will never recommend them to anyone!
FARMINGTON, MISSOURI -- We are really getting tired of getting disconnected from the internet or seeing the page that says, "This page cannot be displayed". And it always says that it is due to our internet connection or that we are not connected when we are connected. We are starting to believe that AT&T was better than you guys and that we should never have switched just to save money. We have come to the conclusion that cheaper is not always better!!
In January 2006 I got an invitation to try PeoplePC internet service for half-price for six months. I was using an old Windows 98 computer, and I just wanted a cheap internet service for this machine. I had no intention of keeping the service. In fact, I made a note in my computer to cancel the service on June 6 so I would not be charged full price for another month. I gave them my credit card number and tried to download the software. When I couldn't download, I called technical support.
With my computer being an older model, it did not have the resources to carry the load. She told me the only way it would load would be for me to upgrade my computer. I didn't want to put the money into it, and, since I couldn't download it, I wanted my money back. She told me they would refund my $44.95, but due to bookkeeping technicalities, it would not show on my credit card statement until June. My June credit card bill came in and no refund from PeoplePC. July came and no refund.
I called People PC and spoke to a person who was clearly from India, and told him what had happened. He was so sorry there was nothing he could do because no one had put any message on my account that I would be getting a refund. He did assure me that my account was not active and had never been active and I would not be charged any more money by PeoplePC. I told him that I knew I was not going to be charged anymore. But I wanted my money back that was promised, and he simply told me I would not be getting my money back. I feel I have been ripped off for a service I did not get.
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA -- My children received a new computer for Christmas. In their effort to get online, one of my children used my credit card to establish an account with PeoplePC. I discovered this the same day that it occurred and immediately contacted PeoplePC the same day requesting that they cancel the account and provide a refund. I was given a tracking number for e-mail correspondence - (Your Email Tracking Number is: **) - which changed with each e-mail correspondence.
I was instructed to contact a phone number and select member services, which does not exist on the 'new' phone menu. Upon return from a business trip that lasted 10 days, I did contact PeoplePC by phone and was told that I had only 7 days to cancel my account, and could not expect a refund. I then faxed PeoplePC's home office with a copy of the e-mail log attempting to cancel the account and have received no response in over 5 business days.
To top this all off, there was supposed to be a 30-day free trial before billing began. My son registered on Jan 3rd and the billing was posted Jan 4th. This company exhibits the worst customer service of any online company I've dealt with.