I was with Vancouver Telephone Company from the very beginning, which later changed to STARTEC. I had a decent long distance package, and was spending quite a bit since my wife has parents in Bosnia, and we both have cousins living all over Europe. In order to save costs I was on their plan that automatically billed my credit card, and did not send out paper bills. So having been their loyal customer for over a decade I trusted them, and didn't even check my bills...
One day I was updating my credit card and went through bills online, and was VERY negatively surprised seeing they raised the prices without any notification/communication to the customers about it. (Another comment stated the same thing). So I called them, and to say the least they couldn't care less. They informed me they notified customers about that in their paper bills.
When I told them I was on paperless and that they NEVER sent any emails to this effect, the agent was borderline rude and insisted they did and insinuated the reason I never received anything via email may be due to me not configuring something correctly in my inbox. (For reference I'm a seasoned veteran in the IT field, and have ensured all mail from Startec never get flagged as spam etc. Interestingly their Merry Christmas emails were coming in regularly every year).
So it just boggled my mind that the customer service just did not care. And when I spoke to a manager I got the same scripted responses. Seemingly there is an utter lack of knowledge about importance of keeping existing customers (especially the long-term customers, and even more so when they're spending quite a bit with them on a monthly basis.) But alas, no sense in beating the dead horse. The reality is no-one cares whether you stay or go. So I chose to leave. (For a reference I was spending $40-60 each month.)
Lastly I also wanted to share my utter disrespect for their unethical practice of charging for incomplete calls. Namely, they do provide a credit for such calls but A) members have to initiate this themselves, B) the time span allowed 3 months, C) no information/communication about this exists anywhere. But in reality who's got the time to call every month for that!? And how many customers who are on paperless and credit-card billing will even remember to do this? And of course if you do not call, they pocket that money.
PERTINENT USE CASE: We regularly called landlines and mobiles. When we call and if the other party is not at home Startec charges for a 1 min call. For certain Eastern European countries this translates to quite a lot, e.g. cell phones $0.39/min so those add up rather fast.
What bothers me is that STARTEC never bothered implementing a simple programmatic fix for this, obviously since they'd stand to lose quite a bit by doing so, since many customers simply do not have the time to call, or forget etc. That practice is very unethical to say the least. (or better yet: shady / borderline criminal). So people need to know about it. (Both existing customers, and any potential customers considering Startec for their long-distance calling needs). Hope this helps someone.
CT, COLORADO -- I had the long distance cell service with Startec. I called customer service because I was not able to place the call from my cellphone even though my account shows the correct balance. I was told that my account expired and they would not refund my unused money. I asked them to allow me to use it. They said no. Now they have my money and did not provide me with any service. DO NOT USE STARTEC!!!
OTTAWA, OHIO -- My experience with Startec is that they have not kept any of the promises and they tried to make me believe I imagined they have promised me a deal for a long distance rate to Croatia. When I called they have increased a rate since July 2015 from 6.9 cents to 15 cent and have charged me this rate without advising me - or at least it was not obvious. Then they have promised they would switch the rate to 6.9 cents few months ago and kept charging me the 15 cents ever since even though they agreed to give me a credit for the overcharge in the last 3 months.
Their customer service just don't care - speaking to Melissa their manager it was obvious to me that they simply don't care to lose me as a customer. They explained that there was no way I was promised the lower rate and then when I tried to cancel they offered me this rate again!!! I don't believe they would have kept their promise as I once again was not going to fall for this trick so I have cancelled the service and I really feel good about it. They should not get my money as their customer service is definitely one of the worst I have ever dealt with.
If you by any chance prepay the service and don't pay the bill for 2 months because you have prepaid they will automatically disconnect your service. Good luck in getting the reconnect without paying for the new connection fee. Frankly if you choose them as your provider you have really not looked around as other companies provide much better rates and customer servi
VANCOUVER -- This company always overcharge the customer. Do NOT trust them! Even after I cancelled my account they charged me because they had my Visa credit card number and didn't stop it! They were supposed to return my money back, but they never did. I'll never recommend anybody to work with this company. You will lose your money.
This company is a rip off. They sell you prepaid telephone cards for a $0.019 per minutes and then they changed it to $0.119 per minutes. I called and talked with them for 20 minutes and I realized that it is their standard operation. Do not let them to rip you off. Stay away from them.
ST LOUIS, MISSOURI -- They charged you before even you use the service and also after canceling the account! There is no refund at all! As they would be richer and richer with the small amount of money they charged poor people each month! The customer service is awful. They are rude and disrespectful. When you wanna open an account it is easy like a piece of cake! When you want to cancel it takes hours to do it! They are awful awful awful!
CANCELING an account DURING a billing cycle WILL yeald one FINAL invoice with your unbilled calls, its only natural, you use you have to pay , right ?
As for cancelation you just have to stay with them untill they offer you a cancelation confirmation number, its that simple . If you hang up, if you request by e-mail, if you send a letter....that won't do .
ROCKVILLE, MARYLAND -- I signed up for Startec last May 26th when I didn't have a phone card handy and had to make an emergency call to the Philippines. After talking to a really nice agent about the details of their services such as not having to dial the access number when dialing from my cellphone, I started making my calls. When I opened my bill from my AT&T on June 2nd, I almost had a cardiac arrest after seeing a $1345.51 bill.
So I called Startec's customer service to clear up the miscommunication and was on hold for almost an hour while they were trying to trace the phone call when I signed up. Finally, they gave me a 24 hr waiting period for them to locate that call so we can listen to it together. I'm still waiting for them to trace it. When I asked to talk to a manager, I was given a 48-72 hr waiting period for them to call me back?! I wrote a letter and faxed and emailed it to corporate and customer service and got this response:
"I apologize if there was miscommunication during the sales call and this is the reason we send out the welcome package to clear up any questions or concerns the customer may have. Startec does not issue credit for charges that were incurred through another provider. If there is anything that I can do to further assist you please feel free to contact me."
But let me clarify that the "Welcome Package" was sent to me BEFORE I talked with the agent and had no instructions specifically for the service I was trying to avail. The person who wrote that email didn't even give "its" name but instead just left the regular customer service line so when I try to call them back, I have to retell my story over again. STARTEC THINKS I'M STUPID FOR FOLLOWING THE INSTRUCTIONS THEY GAVE ME WHEN I SIGNED UP.
ROCKVILLE, MASSACHUSETTS -- This company is a scam. I had technical issue and they couldn't fix it for 3 weeks. When I tried to cancel my account I finally got a supervisor. Nice Guy - He told me the Problem was with my Local phone Company and offered me a different plan; I had to pay upfront for this plan. He assured me that it would be no trouble going forward. Sure enough next time I tried to make a call I had the same issue. I cancelled the account and asked for my money back. The response was - this account is not refundable. The nice supervisor never told me this!!! I sent the complaint to BBB. Like I said - scam!
Please do not give your debit/credit number to Startec. When I first open up my account with them almost 2 year ago I asked them if there was any monthly fee, they said no. For cell service is just as you go that you can only pay the minutes you used, no monthly or other charges. After carefully look through my bank statement last seven months before I closed my account in June they had been charging me an extra amount. They managed to take 27 dollars to finally close my account.
Surprisingly I received the statement today from Startec even though I closed my account in June and have not been using them since. I immediately called them to have him explain the charges. He said my account is not close and I need to pay monthly fee and because I have not been pay that there are late charges. I told him to close my account he refused saying not until he receive money from me. PLEASE BE AWARE WITH THIS COMPANY. PLEASE MAKE OTHERS AWARE!
I recently bought Startec prepaid calling card, thinking it's going to solve a lot of my problems regarding long-distance calling. I was fooled by the constant advertisings that Startec is bombarding everyone with nowadays. The experience till now has been pathetic. The calls never get through. I had people back home in India waiting for my call and here I was all messed up after buying this service. Finally I had to buy the same calling card which I earlier used to.
Secondly, these people fool us by saying there are no hidden costs but the truth is far from true. They charge quite an amount! I just don't understand what makes these people have such poor business sense? I mean if they cannot give a quality service why advertise and promote so much? Ultimately the truth's going to be out anyway and nobody is going to buy their services.
And last but not the least, their customer care department is equally rotten. No one ever picks up the calls. It's very frustrating to say the least. So I would really ask you all to exercise your discretion while buying the services of such hoax companies.