You Can't Disagree to the Terms of Service!
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 web site. 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 web site 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.