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Qwest Landline Service: Rotting, Stinking Dinosaur
Posted by on
In the town where I live, Qwest is an exclusive provider of landline phone service. This is a dying business and what baffles me is that Qwest itself is doing everything it can to accelerate the process. There are countless stories here and elsewhere on the internet of people leaving them in disgust. Here's mine.

It started innocently enough, when I noticed on my bill: "Give us a call for a free account review. See how much you can save with Qwest." I took the bait and called them. Lo and behold, they tell me indeed I had been paying too much, for features I never used. They promise me my next bill should be lower.

I get the next bill and it is HIGHER than before. I'm puzzled. Maybe it's just because of the transition to the new plan? No, the bill after that is also higher.

I call again. No problem, they tell me, we can fix it all. I get my next bill and -- surprise -- it is higher still!

Over the next several months I call them repeatedly. Every time I'm told, "OK, there's been a mistake, but we'll fix it all for you. Retroactively." And after every such "fix" my bill continues to increase.

I don't know what to think. Isn’t there someone at this company – one person -- who can actually get it right?! Can the entire company be so utterly incompetent? I refuse to believe it. I call one last time. I get a representative who explains to me that ... it's actually all my fault! It's quite clear to her that 6 months earlier I called Qwest and requested that my bill be increased (!!!), for the same service. So there, she explains, you got what you wanted. Certainly nothing will be changed retroactively.

I'm dumbstruck. "Does it really make sense to you that I would call Qwest for an account review, so that I could pay more for the same service?" -- "That's what you did", is her answer.

Things only get worse from this point on. "Isn't there someone at your company who can help me?" -- "No, sir." -- "Please transfer me to your supervisor" -- "I can't do that. And he won't do anything for you."

After I ask her for the 4th or 5th time, she relents and all of a sudden it is possible to talk to her supervisor. But, there's a trick. They first put me on hold, while behind the scenes she explains to him the situation. As she sees it, of course. When the supervisor at last speaks to me, he begins with the same premise, that the customer is always wrong and needs to be convinced of that. He launches an intense line of questioning: "Why are you calling now, when the change was made many months ago?" -- "Because to date I haven't been able to get your company to fix this." -- "I think you've been happy with this change. My proof: I see that you paid you bills on time." -- "I do pay my bills on time. Always. Are you really suggesting I shouldn't have paid my phone bills for six months??" -- "Our system shows that you requested back in January that we increase your rate!" -- "...??? On what planet do you live where customers call and ask to pay more?!" -- "Some of our customers do that!" -- " ....????..."

Eventually, he says that I've taken too much of his time. To make me go away, he offers me twenty bucks. A one-time credit. This doesn't cover the amount of the overcharges. But that's what His Highness is graciously giving me. Take it or leave it. I tell him that I will be leaving Qwest. He is completely unconcerned with that. I ask him how his company, which sells an old-fashioned landline service, plans to stay in business with this sort of customer treatment, in the age of iPhones, Droids, Google Voice, Skype, Magic Jack, and Vonage. He does not understand why I ask this. We conclude, "Can I help you with anything else?" -- "No, I see that you can't."

I've had it with Qwest. I'm canceling my landline, and I swear that I will never again touch any "product" by this company, be it phone, internet, TV, whatever else. Oh, yeah, and I'm getting myself a brand new Droid cell phone. Something I really should've done 6 months ago.

#1. After posting this review elsewhere on the internet, I received a letter from Qwest. "Thank you for being a Qwest customer. We appreciate your business and look forward to serving you for many years to come. [...] Contact us today at 1 866.210.4693 for your free account review".

#2. I ordered Droid X. Once it gets here, I'm canceling Qwest. The Droid hasn't shipped yet, because of "exceptionally high demand" for it. Translation: "because we have throngs of people rushing to dump their landline".
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User Replies:
Skye on 09/12/2010:
What reason are they giving you for the bill increases? We recently had an account review, added the star 78 feature, and our bill has gone down about $15.00 a month. Our DSL internet is also through Qwest also. I don't believe landlines are a dying business. Many people, including myself, still have landlines.
GenuineNerd on 09/12/2010:
I recently switched my landline telephone service and internet back over to AT&T. Landlines are proven to be reliable. When I had Road Runner with Time Warner Cable (and Adelphia high speed internet prior to the TWC takeover), my internet connection has been intermittent, with it going out every few days. I transferred the phone service over, because I wanted everything on one bill. The service got even worse, and my phone and internet were out for hours at a time. I became fed up with TWC when a close friend died, and I was expecting a good number of phone calls and e-mails...when the service went out again. I had technicians over a number of times-they installed a new splitter, and checked all of the connections inside the basement, in my apartment, outside the building, and at the pole on the street. TWC determined that my service problems were at the main line on the street. I contacted AT&T and switched the phone back, and the internet over. Since then, I have had no phone or internet problems. I still have my cable TV service with Time Warner, however.
Nohandle on 09/12/2010:
Nicely written review. I know nothing about Qwest but do know what it's like to finally get disgusted with a company. I did with my landline company and finally swapped my telephone service over to Comcast. I've always preferred a landline that doesn't go out when when there's no power, but it got beyond ridiculous. No problem with my service but the monthly bill was a time consuming process trying to get it straight.
Qwest on 09/13/2010:
Hello, Steph from Qwest here,

I'm sorry it's been such a frustrating set of events to try to save some money. I would like to review the situation from start to finish about what we could due to improve your billing situation, and take care of the costs that were generated by the changes. Please email me at talktous@qwest.com with:
1) your billing phone number
2) your billing address

Thank you

Stephanie Lake
Manager, Talk To Qwest Team

"At Qwest your account information is confidential and protected by law, so I need your permission to access the account.”

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Posted by on
To Whom It May Concern:

I established an account with Qwest/Direct TV when I moved into a new apartment complex in late May 2010. After receiving an installation date and time with Direct TV, the first installer that came to the apartment was over three hours late. He did not call to inform me that he was running late nor did he apologize when he arrived. He in fact seemed quite put off that he was there at all. After installing the box and not performing any diagnostic testing, he informed me that my apartment was not wired for Direct TV and that he did not have the time to address this matter. He then told me to call my apartment complex and have the maintenance department come out and wire the apartment. When speaking with maintenance I was informed that was not their job, but that the apartment was in fact wired for Direct TV and the installer had not correctly hooked up the equipment.

I waited an additional week for another Direct TV subcontractor to come out and he was several hours late as well without a phone call. However he did apologize and was quickly able to set up service. He stated that all three rooms in the apartment were wired for Direct TV and wasn’t sure what the previous subcontractor had problems with.

On July 3, 2010 I had scheduled another Direct TV subcontractor to come install a HD box in the living room and install the basic box in the bedroom. The time frame given was between 9am and 1:30pm. At approximately 2pm I began calling Direct TV to see if the installer was still coming. I then had two hours of calling Direct TV and Qwest and six different phone numbers to try to find an agent that could tell me the status of my appointment. I was told that because it was Saturday they could not find that ticket information and that I would just need to wait at the apartment or call Monday if the installer did not show up. At that time I went to my apartment complex manager and was given a cell phone number for a local Qwest manager. She was able to contact a Direct TV agent and I was assured that someone would call me right back. No one ever called me and it wasn’t until after 6pm that the installer showed up with no explanation or apology.

Now that the installation issues have been resolved I am confronted with any equally frustrating billing issue. Apparently because I only have Direct TV and no other services, I have been told to call Direct TV with any technical issues and to call Qwest with all billing issues. Each time I have called Qwest regarding my account I am told that I need to call Direct TV. When I explain my situation, I am still informed that I need to call Direct TV. It has taken a Direct TV agent to call Qwest and explain my situation twice to even have a Qwest agent agree to look up my account. Each time I give my account number, name, address or phone number, the agents have been unable to find my account. My statement comes from Qwest with all of this information on it and I am perplexed with the multiple conversations I have had, why agents can still not find my account. I have been left on hold several times for so long that I have had to hang up. When I have asked for a manager, one is never available.

I set up bill pay with Bank of America and my first bill of $29.99 showed that it cleared from my account in late June. However, when I received my updated bill, it showed a past due of $29.99. When I called Qwest, I again went through the same procedure of being told to call Direct TV. My bill comes from Qwest; the account number listed on my bill is a Qwest account number, but according to Qwest is incorrect. I have never been given a correct account number. I finally handed this issue over to Bank of America last week and until today have not been able to resolve this issue. Direct TV and Qwest have wasted 3 days of my time and multiple hours on the phone without an apology. Having phone calls last 40 minutes with close to a 25 minutes hold is unacceptable. It took a conference call with my bank today to receive a correct account number and it is the first time I have been advanced to a manager. If I had a choice, I would not continue my contract with your company, however, with my apartment complex, I do not have a choice.

I am sure you can see my frustration. I am an emergency room nurse and work in a call center as well. In fact, we are taught that the customer, whether it is a disgruntled patient or caller, is always right. I know we do not live in a perfect world and that there can be difficulties finding correct or accurate information. I do not feel that I have been treated as a valued customer. I expect Qwest and Direct TV to provide the services I have paid for in a timely and professional fashion and up to this point, I feel both companies have failed miserably. I hope that this is not the service I continue to receive. I would appreciate any feedback or compensation for my time that you might have and I hope to correspond with you in the near future.
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Cell Phone Nightmare
Posted by on
PORTLAND, OREGON -- I have been with QWEST for 8 years. I had my home phone line, a shared cell phone plan with two cell phones, and high speed internet through them.

In August of 2005 I broke my cell phone. I called to buy a new one to replace it. I did NOT want to change anything about my plan, just wanted to simply replace a phone. The representative informed me that I could get a phone for a cheaper price if I extended my contract. I SPECIFICALLY asked if anything would change about my plan, and he assured me that my plan would remain EXACTLY the same. Later, I discovered that this was a total lie and that I was slammed.

When I received the next month's bill I had huge overage charges. I discovered that this was because the representative changed my plan from an older plan (shared loyalty) to a new plan that was more expensive and had fewer minutes, causing me to go way over on my minutes. At that time I spoke with a manager who credited off all the extra charges. She then, supposedly, changed my plan back to the old plan I was on (the one that I expected the contract to continue as).

However, I soon discovered that neither phone in my shared plan now had voicemail. After calling QWEST they told me that my voicemail which had always been free would now be $5.99 per phone per month. After repeated calls they explained that while they were somehow able to "build back" my old plan that I could no longer get voicemail on my cell phones unless I paid these new charges.

I spoke with two different managers about how unfair this was. I wanted my voicemail put back on free, as it always had been. Simply buying a new phone did not give them authorization to change my plan, particularly without notifying me. These two different managers (one named Will and the other's name I forget) promised that they would send a request to the "back billing department" to add the voicemail on for me and then have it credited off every month. They told me that this back billing department would call me by a certain date to let me know what was happening. I received no call.

I called QWEST again and spoke with a manager after the date passed. This manager said he was going to research it and would call me back. Two days later and no call. I called again and spoke with another manager who said he was going to research the problem and call me back in 15 minutes. Three hours later I had still received no call back and had to call QWEST again. This is horrific customer service and completely inexcusable.

Finally, a new manager told me there was nothing he could do to get my voicemail back as I'd always had it without being charged these new fees. I told him I then wanted to deactivate my three services from QWEST (home line, cell phone package, and high speed internet) and to transfer me to deactivation.

I spoke with Tamra in deactivation. She (again) said that she would send a request to the "back billing department" but we would have to wait a few days to get an answer. She claimed there was no way for her to simply CALL the back billing department and straighten out this ridiculous problem over the phone. Tamra said she would call me on Friday to let me know what the final outcome was.

Thankfully, Tamra did call me on Friday, January 13th, but told me that the back billing department was unwilling to complete the request. I told her I was extremely angry, felt lied to, slammed, tricked, etc. I then asked her to deactivate my three QWEST services. She then proceeded to tell me that I would have a $200 deactivation charge for leaving my "contract" early. This is completely unethical, as I NEVER agreed to a contract that changed my plan. I do not feel that this contract was valid, as it was not the contract I agreed to. The QWEST representative slammed me and changed my plan when I agreed to the contract. I was agreeing to the contract if I got to keep my old plan and all its features, including the free voicemail.

I am extremely upset with QWEST and their unethical business practices. Not only did they slam me and trick me into an invalid contract, but now they are charging me $200 to leave a contract I never agreed to in the first place!!! In addition, I feel that I was strung along, as numerous QWEST managers, the back billing department, etc. did not return my calls as promised.

Today (January 13th)I have deactivated my three QWEST services (cell phone, home line, and high speed internet). I am extremely disappointed to have to do this, but feel I have no choice. I would like to at least see some recourse so I am not charged $200 for leaving a fraudulent contract.

I would appreciate if someone would contact me as how to proceed in my complaint with QWEST.

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User Replies:
spiderman2 on 01/14/2006:
You should file a complaint with your state's Public Utility Commission.
DebtorBasher on 01/14/2006:
Tell them you want a copy with your signature of the new agreement they claim you made,(they won't have one) or that you want a copy of the tape (sometimes they will tell you they are taping an agreement). I have had similar issues with companies in the past, not to your extreme, but I told them that I have all of my converstations with them on tape, and it clearly proves that I did not request any changes and that the rep told me there would be no changes...you would be surprised how fast they can clear the issue up in your favor when they think you have it on tape. Try it, it works every time. I've used this with phone companies who decided to add or change long distance service on me without my approval, and I've used it when NOPEC decided they would voluntarly change my eclectic power company from mine to theirs.
Starlord on 05/09/2007:
deleted by poster
Starlord on 05/09/2007:
We made the mistake of ordering a cell phone from Qwest. When it arrived, I went though the process for activation, only to find it did not work where we live. We never got to make or receive one call. Every time we tried to use it, we got a recorded message stating we were not authorized to use the Alltel network. I called Qwest and asked for an RA number, so I could return the phone. The people on the other end fooled around and kept having me do dumb things that had no effect on the phone, and kept telling me to call back the next day, or in a week. As soon as it had been 30 days since we received the phone, we were informed that the phone now belonged to us, and that our total was $500, counting the phone and the early termination charge. They even threatened to shut off our landline if we did not pay this bill. I told them I would be embarrassed if I was Qwest, and my phone would not work outside the median on Interstate 10, while my Tracfone worked everywhere. We got the bill paid off, and then the Arizona Attorney general conducted an investigation of Qwest for mobile phone fraud. Of course, no one ever told us, so we could not register in time to get a rebate. We finally got even, though. We signed up with an outfit called Transcend Broadband, and have our internet(high speed) and our phone service through TB. We pay a flat fee monthly for our phone service, which allows us to call anywhere in the US or Canada free of charge. It was so much fun to tell Qwest to pull their lines out of our house. Somewhere around here, we still have the world's most expensive paperweight.
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Buyer Beware
Posted by on
Since the day I signed up for the Direct TV and Qwest (now CenturyLink)bundle through Qwest it has been nothing short of a nightmare. I got an email confirming my order and that a Qwest representative would arrive on a day two weeks later any time between 8am and 4pm. Well that day came and went, and I then spent three hours on hold with Qwest as they tried to figure out what went wrong.

Another week went by before they would come out and actually install this time, and two days following Direct TV would install as well. So I think that my woes are over and that I have no more issues. Well once the Direct TV installation representative leaves we discover that he installed a regular receiver and not a DVR one, something that I specified we wanted at least three times while on hold for three hours.

One more week goes by.

Two months after the initial debacles our TV signal starts going out, we only get certain channels, and there is a "searching for signal" box in the lower right screen. We try and fix the problem per FAQs and the on screen message but to no avail. We then call Direct TV and spend yet another hour on the line as they simply ask us to perform all the tasks we had already done to fix the signal. Finally they agree to send out a rep, and that it will be in two days, from 8 to 12.

At 11:50 the representative arrives and informs us that he cannot do any work because his "hands are tied" because the complex has Qwest satellites and that we must now call Qwest in order to get it fixed. So now I'll just be paying for no TV for yet another week.

This has been hell, both companies are unhelpful and will not hesitate to put you on hold for literally hours. I understand that call center personnel have to deal with petty complaints but they still act as if our legitimate ones have been no real concern and do little to address the concerns or complaints.

I wouldn't wish this nightmare of prolonged frustration and un-helpfulness on my worst enemy. If I wasn't bound to pay a contract cancellation fee I would have severed ties with both companies.
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jonthethird on 09/29/2011:
It appears Quest is a reseller of DirecTv, and, as such, is responsible for the maintenance and service issues. All DirecTv is doing is providing the signal. Such arrangements are common in Apartment Complexes. The costs are usually higher than if you had DirecTv on its own, with your own dish.
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A HUGE Lesson In Customer Service
Posted by on
Hang with me a little - because by the end of this you'll understand why Qwest could tear a page out of Apples customer service handbook!

I ordered an IPad for my son and the engraving was wrong so I called Apple to see what could be done.

"We're sooooooo sorry about the mistake. We realize it's a gift and it should be right". I tried to argue that it was my mistake and was going to offer to pay for the change and he would not let me accept the blame. Here is what he did do.
1) We'll set up a return for you. You won't get it, but if you do, we're mailing you a return label now which you can used to return it to us - at our expense.
2) We'll get the new one expedited right away with the engraving you want.
3) We won't charge your credit card a second time in the meantime - If however I need to I will call you back before we do.
4) We're going to give you a free cover to protect the face for making this mistake - which color would you like. Some colors are not on the website let me tell you what they are.
5) My name is Darren, here is my personal number. Please call me directly if something goes wrong.
6) I'm sorry again for the mistake. We should have gotten this correct the first time.
7) Is there anything else you think I can do?
I hung up almost embarrasssed and think I owe Darren an IPad.

Today I also got two phone calls today from Quest wanting to lower my phone bill and one last week wanting my business back after two years. Here is how the 2nd call went today:

Me. "May I stop you please. I've already spoken to someone earlier today about this and also last week. If you just fax the information to me at the number you just dialed I'll take a look at your rates."
"Are you currently a QWest customer?"
"No, I'm not but if you want to Win me back here is your chance".
"Well I'm calling to lower your rates, so the call you got was from another department. Thank you. Have a nice day Sir". Click! ! !

Can you spot the difference?
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Starlord on 05/10/2011:
I have never known of Qwest (the ten-=state phone company) to sell ipods. I got suckered into buying a cell phone from Qwest once, and eneded up with a $500 paperweight, but I was enver offered an ipod by Qwest. Is there another company using the name Quest,offering phone service? If so, advise Qwest, as that is copyroght infringement.
Susan on 07/14/2011:
They were trying to compare the level of customer service you get from Ipod vs the kind of non-customer service you get from Qwest, not that Qwest was trying to sell in Ipod.
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My Move With Qwest - It's still not over 4 months later
Posted by on

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.
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CrystalSword on 10/31/2007:
Kind of reminds me of when we first moved here, don't remember which phone company it was...think it could have been Ma Bell at that time. I waited and waited for a phone bill, get home from work one day and the phone has been shut off. I have to go find a phone to call the phone company, they said the phone was shut off for non-payment of the bill....the one I never received!!!

I asked what address they were sending it to and they told me...no wonder, they were mailing it to my address in another post office district, so it was bouncing back to them in the mail since city and zip code were wrong!

Our phone exchange was from one city, address went through a different post office so city and zip code were giving the phone company's computer fits. Five months into the move, we finally got it straightened out!!! Now we have phone service through our high speed internet and I don't have to mess with the high cost of Qwest!
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Incorrect Billing AND Issues with Customer Service
Posted by on
Here is a letter I mailed to Qwest today:

To Whom It May Concern:

I am writing this email in response to a series of events that began as a billing issue and has now evolved to include the quality of your customer service representatives as well. Allow me to explain the situation:

At the beginning of May, I contacted a Qwest representative in Iowa City to set up an account that would be scheduled to begin May 21, 2007. Within a few days of account initiation, I decided to cancel the service; as a graduate student relying solely on student loans, it was simply an added expense I could do without, especially when I knew I would be on campus 8 hours or more per day where there was access to computers and free Internet service. Therefore, on May 25, 2007 I contacted customer service at 1-800-244-1111 to disconnect my service. I was told by whoever handled the call at the time that this would be taken care of, and that I could expect to receive a prorated bill within a few weeks.

In June I received a bill in the amount of $48.09, which I assumed had been processed and mailed around the time I had called to disconnect my service and therefore had not taken into account that I had already terminated the service. I had been told that this could very well happen, so I did not contact Qwest, expecting that I would be receiving the correct and prorated bill at any time now.

You can imagine my surprise, then, when in July I received a bill in the amount of $85.08. The bill was dated July 1, 2007. Given the fact that I was extremely busy with my program and in class every weekday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., I did not contact Qwest until July 10, at which point I was told that even though I was calling during the appropriate business hours, the Loyalty Department was temporarily unavailable that afternoon. The reasons for this I cannot recall, but I am sure that this information is accessible by you or by someone who works for your company. I then called again on Saturday, July 14 not knowing the Loyalty Department was not in operation over the weekend.

On July 23, I finally reached a customer service representative in the Loyalty Department who was exceedingly polite, friendly, and helpful. As I explained the situation, I was informed that there had been no previous record to show I had canceled my Internet service on May 25. I was completely surprised and baffled by this, yet this young man assured me that the problem would be taken care of immediately. He said my account would be credited in the amount of $96.55, and that I could expect to receive a statement showing that I no longer had an outstanding balance with Qwest within 7-10 business days.

Once again, you can imagine my surprise when I received yet another bill the first week of August, this time in the amount of $76.48. I thought maybe the credit that was to have been issued July 23 had been applied after this bill had been processed, so I waited it out. I then received another bill for the same amount the first week of September, this time with the threat of a collection agency referral notification.

At this point my frustration had understandably grown, but I firmly believed that a final call to the Loyalty Department would resolve the issue.

I called today at 4:45 p.m. and spent 45 minutes on the phone, most of which were spent speaking to a woman named ____. By the time I got off of the phone with ____, my blood was boiling. While I do not wish for ____'s position with Qwest to be compromised, I think that for future reference she needs to know that a lot of the stress and frustration I experienced as I spoke with her could have been prevented had she simply said from the get-go that she did not have the authority to drop the charges on my account. From there she could have informed me that she would submit my case (rather than use “escalate”, which clearly has a negative connotation) to management for further review. Though this only would prolong the issue, I would’ve been perfectly content with this response, and I would have completely respected her position.

Instead, I felt like _____ and I were arguing a case of my word against her records, which made me feel as though she was questioning my integrity and honesty, an enormous insult. Yes, $76.48 is a lot of money to me now that I am in grad school and on a very strict budget. Even still, it is certainly not a sum of money I would ever jeopardize my character over; I would not be disputing these charges if I did not believe that I am not responsible for them. With that said, I am asking for the last time that you please credit or eliminate the charges unrightfully issued to my account.

I have no idea why there is no record in your system of my cancellation, or even of my phone call on May 25, but I can tell you that I absolutely did call, and the most proof I can offer you is a copy of my cell phone bill from May which shows that I did indeed call Qwest customer service on May 25, 2007.

Thank you for your time, and I anticipate hearing back from you. I can be reached by email at _____, or by phone at _____.

Just want to include an update: As of today, September 20, 2007 I have yet to hear from a Qwest manager. After my call on September 7, I was told my case would be given to management, and that I would hear from them within 2 business days. Additionally, I ended up mailing this letter to Qwest headquarters in Denver, CO and have not heard from them either. The worst part is that today I received a letter from a collection agency. If anyone has any suggestions as to what I should do, I'm willing to listen! This is insane!
Resolution Update 10/04/2007:
After several phone calls, emails, and finally a letter mailed to Qwest executives in Denver, CO, my billing issues have been resolved and Qwest has eliminated all of the charges.
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Answer to the letter I got from Qwest
Posted by on

Thank you for your recent e-mail inquiry to Qwest. Thank you also for
the rather detailed account of a former trainee of Qwest. I will
address that in a moment.

First allow me to address the reason for what kept happening. There is
a simple explanation and it is this: There are a few older bill that
went unpaid that caused a specific department to disallow you to have
anything on your line besides basic dial tone. Every time an agent
added the requested features, the review that comes through found the
old bills and disallowed the features and removed them.

Here is the good news. There were a total of 4 bills involved. The
total of them is 2.99. This amount is not reportable to credit
agencies, nor collection agencies, so they are mostly off the radar. As
of September 23rd, those bills have been zeroed out and you are clear to
have unimpeded service now. I apologize for this issue.

Now, speaking to the statements from the former Qwest trainee, I must
agree with some of the things he mentioned, namely that the job in which
he was hired is grueling and is sales based. The job title is not
Customer Service Representative, but Sales Agent. The 6 weeks of on the
phones training is initially getting their feet wet in the office
environment and in the early stages is related to billing calls, which
are the most difficult type of calls to handle. The goal is not
unreasonable. $600 a day is not hard to reach. If I sold you a 7m
internet today, it would give me a Net revenue in the tracker of about
$390. That is one sale. A single Long distance is worth nearly $100.

This 6 weeks is also to weed out those that are dishonest and weak. I
was in sales for nearly 4 years and I was in the top 3% of the entire
company 3 years running, all without slamming or cramming a single
order. I am the last of my training class in which only a handful
graduated. Please understand that Qwest is a business and Businesses
are in business to make money. The only way to do that is to sell
products and services to those who need them. It is done every day
without negative issues and we have far more happy customers than not.

The person writing those statements is dishonest in his own way. In an
economy in which 1 out of every 10 people cannot get a job, NO ONE is
quitting their job ON PRINCIPAL. The truth is that he either couldn't
hack it or was caught trying to cheat in some way.

I sincerely hope that this response finds you well and can lend some
understanding to how things happened the way they did. Now that the
issue that was causing the problem has been cleared, I invite you to
come back to us. If this option is something you would like to explore,
please call us at please call 1-800-850-5252.


Qwest Customer Care
Consumer Markets

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ChuhBaca on 10/25/2010:
I knew someone that worked for Qwest. I don't believe they hire anyone to be purely customer service. Everyone that you speak with on the phone is trying to make a sale. That's a bad approach, in my opinion. They have already have you as a customer and when you need support, you just get another sales pitch.

Also, the response says they have many more happy customers than not. Qwest is notoriously bad for customer service, and I would say that they have many more indifferent customers than unhappy.
Skye on 10/25/2010:
Anytime I've had to call Qwest, nobody tried to sell me anything. I find Qwest to be very easy to deal with, and very helpful.

david_co on 10/26/2010:
Just to note: I am NOT currently a Qwest customer, anymore
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Qwest is the worst! DO NOT DO ANY BUSINESS WITH THEM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Posted by on
COLORADO -- Back in the summer of 2001 I needed to get home phone service, and at that time Comcast didn't offer home phone service. So I ordered home phone service through Qwest. My service was fine until I needed to get Caller ID, voice mail, and other calling features. In 2002 is when the issues started. My services would disappear. I would call in to have them placed back on, they would disappear. I was fed up and asked customer service and ask them why my services that I'm paying for would disappear after I would call to have them placed back on. I asked them if it was my bill, and they said no. I also asked them if anyone called in to remove my services, they again said no. I also asked them if there is any record of me calling in to have my calling features/services turned back on, they again said no. Qwest doesn't keep accurate and up to date records even though I was told that it would be noted in my account each time that I would call in to have my calling features/services turned back on. I should keep on calling to have them placed back on after they have been removed. I then called customer service again and asked them to investigate then they transferred me to another customer service agent who then placed me on a written correspondence only restriction where I could only request changes in writing to the "Channel Support Team" I wasn't allowed to call in about my services. When I attempted to make my service right customer service would inform me that either 1) they couldn't find my account, 2) the systems are down or 3) they were unable to access my account. Even repair was unable to access my account. I couldn't get cell phone service because of my credit score/history and prepaid cell phones are too expensive. I needed phone service with no long distance, voice mail, Line Backer wire maintenance, caller ID and non-published and that's all. Some genie in the sky was changing my services without my authorization and Qwest wouldn't investigate the issue and find out who or what was causing my issues. I spent many, many hours on the phone with Qwest. I've almost had to go to the hospital due to chest pains because of Qwest's issues. Just to note: this is a direct quote from the Better Business Bureau "Following our second notice of the complaint, if the BBB still does not receive a response from the business we will call them as a reminder; four business days from the date of the phone call, if the BBB has still not received a response your complaint will close as unanswered. The BBB serves as intermediary between the consumer and business and does not have any law enforcement authority to force a company to issue the consumers request for resolution. It is voluntary for the company to resolve and address all of your concerns – we are not an enforcement agency. In the event that the matter is not resolved using the BBB Self-Regulatory process, you may wish to speak with an attorney for further guidance." Also to note: according to the Better Business Bureau Qwest has an "A" rating with the BBB. I feel that rating is a crock and inaccurate!

In closing, DO NOT SIGN UP FOR QWEST SERVICE WHETHER HOME PHONE, INTERNET OR TV SERVICE. Also below you'll find the address to Qwest's "Channel Support Team":

1005 17th
Floor 4
Denver, CO 80202

Also, I have another Qwest address for you:

Qwest Communicaions Channel Support Team
1005 17th Street
Suite 430
Denver, CO 80202
ATTN: Mr. Mark DeCarlo, Supervisor Channel Support

I looked on the Qwest website, www,qwest,com, you can email Advice.Line@qwest.com the link for the page is: http://news.qwest.com/ethical-standards.
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Alain on 10/23/2010:
Try sending an e-mail to talktous@qwest.com with your billing address, phone number, and a copy of this post. See the review, "Qwest is incompetent-Home phone and internet service" posted 10/9/2010 for more details (response from S. Lake of Qwest).
david_co on 10/23/2010:
I'm not a qwest customer anymore; I've tried sending emails to that address and they don't answer.
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False and Deceptive Advertising
Posted by on
DENVER -- In response to a solicitation from Qwest Communications International I agreed to sign-up for Qwest Unlimited (intraLATA and interLATA) residential long distance telephone service beginning January 5, 2005. Initially I had been able to place unlimited, uninterrupted long distance telephone calls, consisting almost entirely of in-state calls. Shortly thereafter I began to experience frequent, unexpected disconnects when calling a friend across the state. On more than one occasion I called Qwest Customer Service to complain of the regular disconnects. Concerned that my monthly long distance calls were totaling an average of roughly five to six thousand minutes per month, the Qwest Customer Service representative asked if I had been running a business; I assured them that I was not. For a short time thereafter I was able to once again place unlimited, uninterrupted long distance telephone calls in which four hours or more per call were not unusual. It was not long afterwards that the disconnects resumed. Further complaints to Qwest Customer Service yielded no resolution of the disconnect problem.

Failing to resolve the disconnect issue through Qwest Customer Service I began filing complaints with the local regulatory authority: the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission, hereinafter referred to as the WUTC. After several complaints had been filed with the WUTC I was promptly contacted by Qwest Customer Service. I informed them that the regular disconnects had (temporarily) stopped. Shortly following the calls from Qwest Customer Service I received a call from a Qwest engineer admitting that Qwest monitors long distance calls and uses programmable timers, as a precaution, to disconnect telephone circuits that they believe may have been accidentally or inadvertently left open for long periods of time. Once again the disconnects temporarily stopped. This was followed not long after by a continuation of the regular disconnects. Each time the disconnects began I immediately called the WUTC to complain. The disconnect problem continues to this day, with brief periods of unlimited, uninterrupted long distance calling.

Throughout this ordeal Qwest representatives persist in blaming my local telephone carrier, Verizon, the carrier of the receiving party I call most often, CenturyTel (now CenturyLink,) as well as my telephone equipment, which I have long since replaced to no avail. Over the last couple of years Verizon has placed traps on my phone line in an effort to determine if the source of the disconnect problem is the result of Verizon’s equipment. According to Verizon, each time the results have shown Verizon’s equipment to be operating properly. Qwest has never explicitly informed me - by phone or in writing - that they have performed similar troubleshooting efforts. After five years the WUTC, adding further insult to injury, continues to accept excuses from Qwest Communications thereby holding Qwest unaccountable for its actions or lack thereof.

As someone who is on Social Security Disability and has long suffered from post traumatic stress disorder, depression and other psychiatric disorders, I feel greatly betrayed by Qwest and the local telecom regulator. I unequivocally believe Qwest is solely responsible for the regular disconnects and that they are not the result of equipment malfunction or any other random act. In other words, as a frequent caller I firmly believe that I am being targeted by Qwest in an effort to coerce me into discontinuing my current, unprofitable Qwest long distance calling plan. It is my contention that Qwest must honor their UNLIMITED calling plan as promoted and advertised. Enduring regular disconnects for five years and counting is simply unacceptable and I intend to hold Qwest accountable.

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Alain on 08/29/2010:
I would hope you involve an attorney in holding Qwest accountable since they will surely have one on their side.
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