My Move With Qwest - It's still not over 4 months later
VANCOUVER, WASHINGTON -- Dear Qwest:
Please read this letter and know that it is a cry for your company to reorganize its billing practices and promises to the public, (your profit). Customers detest being lied to and treated as though we are uninformed.
I have been a client of Qwest for the last eight years. It is incredibly difficult for me to provide you with any piece of positive feedback. It can not be easy to read a letter that reeks with negativity, but that is what I am experiencing from your company. A lack of quality, broken promises and reliability. … And now you want to start offering cable as well. I sincerely recommend that you first put your house in good working order. It would make far more sense to make profit with respect from your users than to make profit and have them feel as though they were used.
In July this year I made what was to be a simple move from Portland, Oregon to Vancouver, Washington, just across the river. Same services, no change in what I currently had. A seamless transition. OK… with from for error, I would say a maximum of three phone calls for clarification would be sufficient.
We, (Qwest and I), are now going into the fourth month since my move. Collectively I have spent more than twenty five hours on the phone and made over fifty calls to Qwest to resolve the trouble and incredible inconvenience you have caused me. Each call ends with …”you should have no further problems”. It is hard to abbreviate the nightmare I have been through, but I will try. Imagine if I were including everything verbatim.
Having not received a bill for a while after my move, I called Qwest and was told to wait for a revised final bill. In this call there was discussion of several inaccuracies going toward my final bill as well as a review of bundling and services at my new address. Each service and charge was gone over in detail and the fees for my new address were itemized. A few days passed and I received a bill for my new phone number for sixty five dollars. I knew this could not be accurate, so I called customer service and found that there was no record of the previous phone call and the services to be bundled at my new address. Keep in mind. Nothing was changing from the services I had at the old address. My wireless was missing. Direct TV was missing, Broadband was missing. I was told that the charges would catch up and to wait and also, keep waiting for that revised final bill on the old number. Each call, the customer service representative would note an inaccuracy on that final bill and change it.
Great! Here we are on page two. There is no way to keep this to a one page business letter. It’s like a mini series with at least two episodes a week.
The next item to arrive in the mail was a disconnect notice on my new number. I called and spoke to the representative and said I wanted to make sure that the billing issues were straightened out before I paid it, but also did not want to lose service, so would pay it in hopes that the monies would be distributed appropriately when all the billing caught up with itself. He then told me that there were no other services attached to this bill and that he would be happy to set them up for me. Having gone through this horrible experience with Qwest on a move just over a year earlier, I had gotten the email from the person who set up my new service and he told me to contact him if anything went wrong, so I declined going over yet another new order with this representative and told him I would contact the original guy. I sent several emails. No response. Then I got response saying he would check my order between other customer service calls. No response for a couple days. I emailed again. I got an email stating that he had a disabled family member that took a lot of his time and he couldn’t pay attention to this problem like it should be handled.
I received a letter from Qwest Collections telling me that my credit status was in danger with Qwest. I’m thinking, how can this be, I don’t even have a final bill. So I called Qwest again. I was then told that the final bill was in progress and that my cell phone phone was not bundled. I then found out that it had been separated from my main bill, had a balance on it and was still being billed to the old address. They were going to disconnect service if it was not paid, even though I had no bill. The amount was ridiculous and somehow the charges were messed up from having been separated from the main account. At any rate, my services and rates were once again reviewed and once again I was assured that a revised final bill was being sent. The representative transferred me to the collection department where the agent told me that this was normal and that it is a form letter that is sent to every customer that is sent a final bill. I asked how I could be sent to collections when I didn’t even have a final bill. He told me that it sounded like I needed to talk to Billing and that he needed to transfer me back to them, but they were closed.
OK… we are now about half way through the story of my experience thus far and every time I call Qwest your “hold” voice says to me; “Your call is important to us.” “We want to hear from you.” “We know your time is valuable.” Do you think I believe any of this at this point?
A couple days later, I get a collection notice from an outside collection agency on my old Qwest phone number of which I still have not received a final bill. To say I was livid, would put it mildly. This was becoming common on nearly every day I would arrive home from work to race to contact Qwest before closing. Now I was calling from work and Qwest was eating up my time there. Promise after promise, only to have the nightmare continue. I called the collection agency and was treated rudely by the lady who was helping me. When I told her that I was asked to wait for a final bill, she said she was going to find that representative and “slap them up the side the head.” Then she instructed me to pay up because this is what I owed. I was outraged at the treatment she was giving me. Almost criminal. This is the one time in all the calls I have been on with Qwest, that I lost it and told her she was the straw that broke the camels back and began to recapitulate all that had happened thus far.
She said I was angry and she was turning the call over to a manager who just said; “I’m sorry.” “How would you like to pay for this?” “Do you want to make a payment arrangement?” No! I didn’t want to make a payment arrangement. I wanted to pay for it all right there and have the problem go away and never deal with Qwest again. I paid it and told the representative that I was certain my problems were still not over. He assured me that everything was fine now. Two days later I got the final bill on the old phone number.
In a few days I called to make payment on the old wireless bill and found that my wireless was still being billed separately. When I asked to have it put on the same bill as my home phone, the representative informed me I would have to change my cell phone number to a Washington number. I agreed to this and was transferred to a representative in Utah who spent over an hour on the phone with me and was unsuccessful at completing the order. I then agreed to have him call me back on my day off to complete the process. The wireless was associated successfully and a review was once again done on all five services that I have to qualify for the bundling discount rate.
I still had not gotten a bill with all of my services on the same bill when a disconnect notice arrived with an account number on it. Not a phone number, but an account number that made no sense. It was the Direct TV Portion of my bill that was not associated with any phone number. This was my first bill regarding it, and it was a disconnect notice from Qwest. Can you possibly begin to imagine what I felt like and how frustrated I am at this point?
Out of sheer desperation I went to my manager’s office at work and asked to close the door to her office and call Qwest, eating up more of my company time. I called and was in touch with a representative in the “Loyalty” department who began to sort through everything. She found that I was still being billed a monthly charge for long distance to my old phone number. She found that Direct TV’s billing was not associated with my new phone number and being billed correctly. I told her that at this point I was feeling that I needed to be compensated for my many hours on the phone with Qwest and these continuous problems. Or as Qwest states; “We know your time is valuable.” She said she would work through this problem, correct it and talk to me about an appropriate compensation for my trouble. I was given her email to provide her with some additional facts from one of my bills at home and a phone number to leave a message with her coach.
Three emails later and three calls to her coaches voice mail over the course of a week; no one either called me or responded to my emails. I was not surprised. I called again. This time I got a rather complacent individual who knew nothing of what I had been through. She said she knew how to reach the party I had been emailing and sent her a text message. Pause… then she says, obviously reading her response; “don’t give me attitude girl!” She tells me that the representative has turned my problem over to “Complex Billing”, another department and that they would be calling me in a couple of days. Now doesn’t it make sense that she would have needed to relay that information to me… the customer? During this phone call, I got an email from the representative in “Loyalty” telling me it should be taken care of. I told the girl that I was speaking with that this is not acceptable and that I would like a phone number or an email address for someone with authority in Customer Service or Quality control. She says; “Oh, I’m Retention.” I tried to explain what I was going through and told her that I had been told that I would be compensated. She said, “Like a personal check?” I told her no... I certainly didn’t expect that. I knew that would be impossible. But I said, “Something…. Like your best wireless phone at no charge.” She asked if she could place me on a “brief” hold. I accepted. Ten minutes later, I was still on hold. I wondered if she was just sick of the call and wasn’t coming back. She finally told me that she had gotten her manager and was explaining the problem to her. Her manager finally comes on the phone and tells me that this has been turned over to “Complex Billing” and that she is sure that I will hear from them within forty eight hours and that that is all she has to offer.
That is where it stands today and I have yet to be contacted by Qwest Complex Billing.
At this point, hearing the word “Qwest” just makes me cringe. No compensation can erase this from my mind, albeit God knows I have been put through enough to qualify for free services for life. Ha! But come on… show some loyalty to your paying and so very patient customer. Do something! Straighten this mess out and reward me to prove that “I am important to you.” “My time is valuable.”
Upon going to my mailbox today, I have yet another disconnect notice and charges for supposedly breaking my wireless contract with Qwest. I have the same cell phone with the same lame company, Qwest. Go figure.
It’s not over.