SEATTLE AREA (AND PROBABLY MOST OTHER AREAS), WASHINGTON -- What a racket! And Qwest knows it! If you want new land line service with Qwest, and you want control over who your number goes out to, you have to pay extra! That's the way it has always been with Qwest. To keep your number "unlisted" or "unpublished", you MUST pay an extra fee every month. Why? Because by keeping your number private, Qwest can't make even more money from publishing your information--as if the monthly rates they charge for basic land line service is not already WAY too high.
But that's not how the phone reps state the case. The way they put it is that "it costs more to NOT publish your information, and that's why they must charge. They are just simply trying to cover their costs." That takes some major gall and audacity to say this and think people are actually believing it! Just think, if no one published their information, that would cut out all kinds of costs! For instance, there would be no need to print and deliver any phone directories, etc. Don't think for one minute this is about cost cutting, or that Qwest and the phone reps don't know this. It's all about profit maximization.
I have no problem with profit-making, but where I draw the line is paying for my right to privacy, especially when the monthly rates for service are already so high. How is this even legal? But forget rules and regulations. What about ethics and common courtesy? Clearly, not present with the powers-that-be at Qwest and the sad phone agents that are willing to give up their personal integrity and enable them to keep operating this way. Why isn't free privacy the default until we "opt in" to publishing and getting solicitor calls?
But here's an EVEN BIGGER kicker! So you sign up for this unlisted "service" but even after that cost, you still start getting solicitors calling shortly after your phone is connected up. Why? Because you didn't specifically tell the phone representative that you also didn't want Qwest to give your number out to other 3-party vendors. Somehow that's a totally different request than having your number unlisted.
Does Qwest believe that those of us who signed up for the unlisted "service" somehow still wanted to get calls from other vendors with whom they have business relationships? Funny how the phone reps "accidentally" forget and assume you might not want any other privacy when you asked for the unlisted "service". Again, where's the common courtesy?
This is big part of what is ugly in America. Don't stand for it!! If you don't have a choice, you no longer have to be polite about it. Publish your experiences. Let's see how long Qwest continues with these practices as they are brought into the limelight.
I have been polite and patient with Qwest for nearly a decade, but clearly Qwest doesn't work this way. So now the gloves are off. Look for my next Qwest complaint regarding the scam they have with local long distance "ZUM" rates, where a call across town could be costing you more than 4x more than a call from coast to coast.
TUCSON, ARIZONA -- See the official Qwest haters site for this story and more: **. Last October 2008, I was planning a move to a house a half mile away and duly called all my utilities and set cut-off dates. Qwest was my land line phone carrier, and I shut off my service over the phone with them in minutes. The Qwest agent was polite & assured me my phone service would be turned off by October 31, 2008.
Six weeks later, a Qwest bill was forwarded to my new house. To my horror, the Qwest bill revealed that THEY HAD NEVER TURNED OFF THE SERVICE!! Not only that, I was STILL BEING BILLED!! Panicked, I dialed my old number to see if the number was still in service. My voice mail answered! I could NOT believe it!
Still in shock, I called Qwest immediately. This time a smarmy agent admitted, "Yes, there is a record that you called Qwest on October 25." I said, "Well, that's the conversation where I requested the shut off, and I was told it would be no problem to have it turned off on October 31 (2008)." Qwest agent: "There is no record of that request. It also shows you were not transferred to Customer Loyalty." Me: "Well what do you THINK that call was for? To socialize? THAT call was my order to turn off the phone. If the agent didn't process it correctly that's not MY fault."
Soulless Qwest Agent: "There is no record you requested the service be turned off. And, again, you were not transferred to Customer Loyalty and that is the procedure, and it did not occur." Me: "That's not MY fault. That's QWEST's fault. I shouldn't have to pay over $150 dollars because one of Qwest's employees wasn't trained properly."
Frustrated, I ended that call and called again immediately - hoping for a more reasonable Qwest customer service agent, or a supervisor this time. Again, Qwest provided me with an agent without a soul or conscience, who insisted on billing me for two months of service because of their mistake. Trying logic again, I asked that they look and see the call records from that phone number, "You can SEE no calls were made from that number for an entire two months!" Logic held no sway with Qwest.
Trying logic and proof again, "But I have two leases as proof, one ending on my move out date on October 31, 2008, and one starting on November 1, 2008 at my new address!" Qwest did not care about proof or logic. I asked for a supervisor and was told they were "all in a meeting". Sure. I said I didn't believe that, and demanded a supervisor. None was provided to me by Qwest.
Finally, I said that no matter what - even if were a millionaire - I would not pay this bill. It was THEIR mistake, THEIR inability to train their people, and THEIR poorly managed behemoth that caused this error. The Qwest agent from Hades poured salt into my wound with, "Well, that is your choice not to pay your bill."
Well, Ms. Lucifer, it is certainly NOT my choice to now have a credit collection agency after me. It is not my choice to have this nightmare continue. And, it is not my choice to have to have a huge multi-million dollar corporation steal my money and drag my name through the dirt because of their poor business management.
SEATTLE, VERMONT -- List many customers, I received notification several months ago that Qwest would no longer being providing my wireless service. I was offered the option to switch my service over to Verizon. I was very upset about the upcoming change, so I initially ignored the notice. When the third notice arrived, I finally decided to do something about it.
I called Qwest and after sometime got someone on the phone to discuss my account. My first surprise was the fact that the HTC phone I have ($400's worth) would not work with Verizon's service. The next surprise was the fact that my bill would more than double moving over to Verizon. I thanked the person with whom I was speaking and hung up. I was in total shock.
My children kept reminding me that I had to make a choice, as my service would be ending soon. My next call was geared towards selecting a plan with Verizon that would work for me. While placing the order, I informed the customer service representative assisting me that I was still not sure if I would proceed as I had a Sprint account also. After we set everything up, I told her I would call back when I made up my mind, as I wanted to investigate the same type of plan with Sprint and compare the cost. She told me to take my time and even gave me my order and product numbers.
Well three weeks later, I finally decided to take my number over to Sprint. I called Sprint and asked what I would need to do to port my number over. I also made numerous calls to Qwest to ensure that I understood the process. No time during the 3 month time period, did anyone at Qwest mention the fact that my contract did not end until April of 2009. One of the reasons I decided to go with Sprint was because my contract with them did not end until November of 2009.
At any rate, I called Sprint ported the number over. Done. Or so I thought. Today, February 2, I came home to find my latest phone bill from Qwest in the mailbox. There was a $242 "debit adjustment" on the bill. On top of it, it stated that the debt adjustment was past due. After looking over the bill several times, I finally found the debit adjustment in the Wireless portion of the bill. It was applied to the bill on January 28, 2009. Yet, on February 2, 2009 it was past due?
I called Qwest to find out exactly what a debit adjustment was. The person I spoke with told me after looking at my account that she believed it was an early termination contract fee for my wireless account. I told her that was impossible as I never wanted to terminate my account, but I was told I had to. She then told me that I should have waited for Qwest to disconnect the phone. Disconnect my phone? Why would I want my phone disconnected????
She informed me that she would have to transfer me over to the Wireless department in order to have them answer my questions. But, before she did, she told me that they could transfer me back to make arrangements on the amount past due! While I thought this was already a nightmare, it had only just begun. I went through my story in detail and was met with the most "I don't care" attitude possible.
I explained that after months of investigating, talking and making plans, that I was faced with a cost which I felt was unfair. He read me the technical responses from his screen and said that I chose to terminate my contract early. So, I asked him, so, if I had opted to go with Verizon, would I have paid the termination fee? He told me that no the fee was waived when you transferred your service to Verizon. So, I told him that he seemed high trained in his responses and ability to communicate this information.
Yet, I wondered why his co-workers, three of which I had spoken within the past--one even knew I was going to Sprint--did not communicate this same information to me? He then told me that if I had a complaint he could transfer me to the Executive Complaint Department which was responsible for taking complaints. I said no, this is what I would like you to do, I would like for you to escalate my call. He then asked me, "based on what?" I told him that based on the fact that he could not resolve my issues. He said that because he would not waive my early termination fee did not mean he could not resolve my issues.
I asked him at what point doing our conversation did I ask you to reverse the fee? As a matter of fact, you stated that the early termination fee was $200, but the amount "debited" to my account was $242. He told me that the $42 was tax. I again asked to speak to a supervisor or manager and he again refused. At this point I told him to have a good day and hung up.
I truly believe that they have been getting a lot of calls about their practices in switching over to Verizon and thus, have prepared answers. I totally believe this is a prime example of the big guys really sticking it to the little people. What can we do???
TWIN CITIES, MINNESOTA -- In August, I went kayaking and although I had my cell phone in 2 plastic bags, it got soaked. I called Qwest to order a new cell phone and was told that Qwest was going to be merging with Verizon in a few months and that then all customers will need to get a Verizon phone. I was told that inventory for Qwest phones was low for this reason. I was told they had a cheap pink Sanyo for $50. Although pink is not my color, I did not want to buy an expensive phone only to have to purchase another one soon and bought the pink Sanyo.
I noticed right away that if I called a number, then pushed end, and called another number that although the second number appeared on the screen, it would connect with the previous number. I learned that to avoid this I had to hit end at least 2 times. This happened to me several times a day if I forgot to push end 2 times. It was also annoying to the people I that got called back not without my intention. If I called my mother at 9 pm when she goes to bed and pushed end and then put it in my purse, and then at 10:30 called my son when he gets off of work, it would connect and call to my mother's phone, waking her up.
This also costs me minutes as I am on a 1000 minutes (no free evening or weekend minutes) plan. Since I rarely even get close to using all of my minutes this was not a big issue at the time. In the meantime, I subscribed to the Qwest broadband and had several problems but that is another story.
On Sept. 25, I received a call from a hospital in another area code - 130 miles away - that my mother was in the hospital. Since my turnover day was the 27th (I thought 12 am the beginning of the 27th each month) I knew that I would probably be going over in minutes so I bought two phone cards at a large discount store to avoid overages.
The cashier failed to activate the cards. I had no real choice but to use my phone at the hospital to notify my relatives. Thinking I had a new 1000 minutes on the 27th, I made an 111 minute to my brother in Texas. I would never have talked that long with him had I known the new minutes do not begin until 12 midnight at the end of the 27th.
When I received my bill, which is typically around $35 and it was over $200, I was shocked. I looked over the bill and there were at least 50 times that the issue explained above - where a previous number is connected when I dial another one - occurred. I tried to explain this to customer service as I feel I should not have to pay for the approx. 50 some minutes. I was put on hold and shuffled around and when I asked to talk to a supervisor, it was impossible to do so without first telling the story and then being put on hold while they told the story, and then I had to correct the errors in the retelling of the employee to the supervisor.
I made several calls about this trying to get to the right person as they kept passing me around. During my third or fourth call, I remember a customer service person telling me that it was my fault because I bought a cheap Sanyo instead of a SAMSUNG. He said: "the phone calls doesn't it and you can get calls, can't you?" He went on to tell me that if I were to by a KIA car instead of an expensive make, then I shouldn't expect the air conditioner to work. WHAT!!! If I buy a new product car or phone, cheap or expensive, I do expect it to work.
Then I was told it is normal that people call back the same number (50times?) - which I had mentioned as supporting my issue with the faulty phone and could be seen on the bill. The customer service representative was insinuating that I was lying and repeatedly told me that I had to go to a Qwest booth at a nearby mall to verify that the phone was the problem and then they would reduce my bill.
My mother was in the hospital for 3 weeks and I was visiting her daily and once out taking her to doctors appointments. The service representative told me the booth was only 10.5 miles away. I did get to the booth about a week ago and the person there said they would put the info into the computer. I had been told that once this occurred, the bill would be corrected and I would be notified.
The trip to the mall to have it verified that I am not lying was a great inconvenience and meant that my son had to wait an hour for me to pick him up. I asked that the manager in the booth call and draw attention to the fact that I had come in so they don't say they weren't aware.
Two days ago, my phone was cut off and I am FURIOUS because I have been very proactive in trying to take care of this. This is 2 days before my turn-over day and I repeatedly asked not to be put on hold, as I do not wish to go over on the minutes in trying to resolve this. I was told I wouldn't be on hold but a couple of minutes. I shortly talked to the 3 people, that I was shuffled around to, and on hold for over 40 minutes before I hung up.
At the 25-minute point, my phone said low battery and since I accidentally left the charger cord at the hospital out of town, I now charge my phone in the car. I ran out to the car to plug it in before the battery ran out and I would have to start all over YET AGAIN. As I didn't have the car key along and didn't want to run into the house as I might miss someone getting back to me off of hold, I sat and froze outside in the car (winter in Minnesota) and listened to the recording about how Qwest values its customers and values my time - NOT.
Let me digress. Many years ago, when my children were small and had ear infections, my phone had radio noise interference on the line to degree that I could not hear the other person and visa versa. So when it was much below zero and I had to call the doctor, I took my sick children in the car to call the doctor and then had to tell them that "no" the nurse cannot call me back. I spent much money in quarters at the pay phone up the road.
I called Qwest repeatedly to do something and nothing happened. When I first called, I said that if the problem were underground, the ground would freeze soon. I was reassured that they have machines that can dig through frozen ground. A few weeks - yes weeks later - I was told that the ground was frozen and they couldn't take care of it. Finally, a few more weeks of frustration I decided to call the FCC as a last resort. Within 2 hours someone was at my door to help me and they took care of it. What is it going to take to resolve my current problem? I want to be able to use my phone again.
PHOENIX., ARIZONA -- To help reduce monthly phone service cost for an elderly parent, I recommended switching from landline to VoIP with her current phone service provider, Qwest. The cost of broadband service and VOIP was less than regular phone and long distance. No brainer, right. Now the fun begins. After receiving the equipment and installing it after the date given by Qwest we were up and running with no problems. Then after four days of use, the phone line went dead.
I called Qwest CS (customer service) and was informed the original residential phone number was changed to a new number. I told the CS that no I requested the same number and according to their paperwork I received with the equipment indicated our original number was still the same. After further review the CS agreed and said the sales department made a mistake with the porting of my number and they will need to correct the mistake. No problem I told them, mistakes happen. The CS told me it will take three to four days to correct.
After four days of no service I called Qwest CS and was informed the mistake had been corrected and service should be working correctly. I informed them that no the service was not working and when I called our phone number I reach a nationwide bank branch in Phoenix. I informed the CS after talking with the bank I was informed that the number I've dialed (original number) is not the number I reached. The CS said I have a technical problem and will need to talk with that department.
After talking with the technical department and explain the issue they informed it will take a couple days to resolve and will call my contact number when resolved. After not hearing from Qwest in four days (eight days no service) I called them and was informed that my issue was not a technical problem but a sales issue. The CS said that when my number was ported the sales department made a mistake and would have to talk with them to correct. I informed the CS that the porting problem was supposed to have been corrected. The CS said no it hadn't and the sales department can only help me.
I was transferred to the sales and I requested to speak with a supervisor. I was placed on hold for about 15 minutes when the supervisor (SCS) responded with an apology for the long delay and wanting to know how he could help me. I explained the issue and that I have an elder parent with no ability to reach out without her phone service. The SCS agreed and will personally handle this issue. The SCS requested I give him until the next day to resolve and I agreed.
After another four days, including weekend, he responded and informed me that the problem was a technical issue and he had forwarded my issue to the supervisor in the technical department with instructions to keep me informed of the progress. After not hearing from the technical SCS in two days I called and was informed the engineering department was now working my problem and that the problem will be resolved by the end of the next day.
I am now approaching the 21st day with no relief in sight. The technical supervisor will not take my call now and keeps giving me a message through the CS that an engineer is still working the issue and they will call me when resolved.
CANON CITY, COLORADO -- Two months ago, after seeing and hearing many ads offering better pricing through "bundling", I called your sales representatives to see if I could save, since I had your phone service, premium DSL, and DirecTV. I was offered a bundling package that totaled $135.00 per month.
I was shocked when I got my first bill in May for $210.00! I called and was not able to get a satisfactory answer, other than that I was being billed a month in advance, pro-rated. It took three days, and several hours on the phone, a lot of that on hold. During that time I spoke with someone named Cara who gave me a voice mail number of 1-877-892-7181. She said she would investigate the issue but she never returned my calls when I did not hear back from her.
I also spoke to someone named Ashleigh who gave me a reference number of **, and email address of **. She did not respond to my email asking if she had found the answer to the problem. I continued to pursue the issue and the result was that I was told by Beth at your "Customer Loyalty Center" on May 28, 2008 at 11:10 a.m. that my next bill in June, would be $135.00, tax total as I had been promised originally.
When I got that bill, it was $157.60! I was discouraged, and angry to the point that I decided to stop using your service. However, I thought I would try one last time to resolve the issue. I called and spoke to someone named Eric at customer service at 10:47 a.m. on June 23, 2008. I was put on hold again for a while. He came back on and said the reason my bill was not $135.00 as promised, was because DirecTV was not giving me an $18.00 credit because when I "bundled", I was not a new DirecTV customer.
I told Eric that no one at Qwest told me I had to be a new customer of DirecTV in order to take advantage of the bundling discounts. He was curt to the point of being rude and basically told me I was "stuck" and that my bill would always be $157.00. I told him in that case, I would discontinue my phone and DSL service with Qwest. Eric then said that I would have to pay a $200.00 early termination fee. I told him I would not pay that fee, because I feel like I was lied to and that Qwest had broken the "contract".
His response was that Qwest had done everything they were supposed to do, and that the fault was with DirecTV. I told him that my bundling package was sold to me by Qwest and I was not told the truth about what my bill would be. He then said that Qwest would just "send me to collections" for the fee. I terminated the call at that point.
As a result, I have signed up for cell phone service, through another company and will get my TV and internet through cable. I "Googled" problems with Qwest bundling and was amazed to see the number of people who have had similar problems. I am sure that loss of my business will not affect you, and I'm sorry it had to come to that, but I feel like I had no alternative.
COLORADO -- I just added on a new feature to my phone service. It's called Star 78, and it blocks unwanted calls. Lately, we have been getting calls early in the morning and late at night, from those annoying 1-800,888 and 866 numbers. I called Qwest, and asked if there was a way to block unwanted calls, and they told me about this feature. I liked how it sounded, so I agreed to it. Now with my DSL service, phone service and long distance, my monthly bill will be even less!
Now I just Star 78, get a menu, and it gives me the option to enter phone numbers I want to block. It even allows for cell phone numbers to be blocked. One number that has become quite a nuisance is 603-214-3593, which is something called Focus Group. I looked it up, and its some marketing firm. They are now blocked. I can also now see all the calls that are coming in, similar to caller ID, and back track to what numbers have called. You can also edit to remove blocked numbers, if you choose. Pretty cool features. Great job Qwest, for having this block feature!
COLORADO -- My wife and I are senior citizens, South of Calhan, Colorado. We've been on this ROTTEN rural dial-up (runs at 28K) for years. We can't afford to pay the typical $40/$50 a month thing for high speed. I'd think I'd gone to heaven if I could get 115K as a dial up thing. I'd be willing to pay $25 a month for that, so I'm not trying to get something for nothing. They don't care... their Qwest is for money. Right, Mueller?
DENVER, COLORADO, COLORADO -- I have had Qwest Communication for 37 years. In October, I received a really good offer for both phone & TV from Comcast. I changed on 11-5-09. Comcast told me not to tell Qwest about changing until it is done, because they get really mad when you leave. I notified Qwest on that day, and the woman said that because I had just paid for November, and since I pay for the month ahead, I would receive a check for November back in the mail. I did get a check back from DirecTV for their half of the bill paid ahead, but from Qwest Communications, I received a bill for another $112...I was flabbergasted.
I wrote Edward A. Mueller, Chairman & CEO of Qwest and he had a really "nifty" woman call me and she just kept saying, "Well, you really do owe us money". And I just kept saying "No, I really don't, you owe me". So I went to my bank, got copies of all the past 6 months checks, corresponding with the last 6 months bills, all of which clearly state that the Flat Fee Bill is paying ahead. My services included unlimited local and long distance service plus 2 other services. I had no other charges on any of these bills. There is tax for the service, but that is all.
After hours and hours of searching for all these records, and putting it all in order and writing a lengthy letter to Edward A. Mueller, and adding all the copies from the bank and from me, I get a letter from a guy in Cody, Wyoming stating that he had reviewed my file and that to the best he could ascertain I was not paying ahead for everything and I still owed $47...
Obviously, he couldn't grasp the concept that I paid ahead every month for a long time. So, now I am really angry. I am sending everything to the AG office, however they have never been of any help to anyone that I know of, and I want to know if there is a class-action lawsuit for me, too? I will give up the phone all-together before I will ever use Qwest again. It is hard to believe that they choose to harass senior citizens like this. Their statements state quite clearly that I pay for the month ahead.
They have now sent me to a collection agency. I have sent them a bill for my time, and they have not paid me for either the bill for my time nor the November re-payment. Maybe if we all band together, we can put them out of business. I have found several other great phone companies that do not do this bilking of senior citizens. I do work for a law firm, so I already have legal help.
Since the day I signed up for the DirecTV 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 anytime 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 DirecTV would install as well. So I think that my woes are over and that I have no more issues.
Well once the DirecTV 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 DirecTV 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 unhelpfulness on my worst enemy. If I wasn't bound to pay a contract cancellation fee I would have severed ties with both companies.