Qwest/CenturyLink Complaint - Fraudulent and Unlawful Fee by Qwest
Resolution Update on 07/13/2011:
We submitted this complaint to BBB 6/22/2011 and got a response today 07/12/2011 by Qwest. They issued paperwork to adjust the final bill, would notify the collection agency to stop sending us letters, and would have it pulled from the credit bureau.
DENVER, COLORADO -- (03/29/2010)
We had been a customer of Qwest for the last 8 (eight) years and we've always paid our bill on time and we have never missed a payment.
Problem: We are being charged for a $200 fee as part of a "2-year Internet plan" that we NEVER signed up for or agreed upon. We called in to disconnect service and it was WAIVED by an employee named EMMA, but it seemed like that fact was totally ignored and then they're still charging us $200 the early termination fee.
Details: On Monday, February 15, 2010; at 11:50a PST, my husband, Ryan, spoke on the phone with one of Qwest' Customer Service employees, Emma, to let her know we were moving out and needed to disconnect our phone and Internet service. She mentioned the $200 fee as a penalty of early disconnection, my husband told her he never agreed to such a contract. She spoke with her manager, who AGREED to WAIVE the erroneous fee. Emma then told my husband an updated bill would be sent to us reflecting the correct final charge. We never received it. (If they are a reputable and such a reliable company they can access the recording of this call, it will prove that she WAIVED the fee for us.)
After emailing them again a couple weeks later, we received a reply from "Nancy" on 03/04/10 apologizing and informing me that the revised final bill would be sent immediately. We finally received the bill for $248, still incorrect! We chatted online with Customer Service again with "Juan" at the "Idaho office". After explaining everything to him, he informed us that no one there could help me, and that we would have to wait until the next morning to speak with the billing department.
On March 16, 2010 @ 9:38a, my husband contacted the billing office and asked for the manager. Darren at the Boise office answered. Once again, my husband explained everything to him, including his conversation with Emma. The manager argued with him about this $200 fee for about ten minutes, insisting that it was valid and justified, even though we have NEVER signed up for any yearly plan! The manager then continued to say that we were sent information about this multiple times, which we were NOT!! My husband told him this a number of times, but the manager wouldn't listen and continued to insist that my husband just doesn't remember, and treated him like he was either making it all up or didn't know what he was talking about. The fact is, Emma had already waived the fee!!
We are completely furious and frustrated with this company! The $200 charge is unfair and UNWARRANTED! He has been a customer of Qwest for years, but if this is how we are going to be treated by them, we will have no hesitation to look elsewhere for professionalism, competence and decent customer service.
Reply #1 from Qwest:
Date: Mon, 22 Mar 2010 16:59:38 -0500
From: Qwest. Support@Qwest.com
Subject: Re: Qwest.com Customer Support (KMM16888259I15977L0KM)
Thank you for your recent e-mail inquiry to Qwest in regards to the 200.00 early disconnection fee. There is not a paper agreement you would have signed to set this up. It's done as a verbal agreement. At the time the service is ordered we send you a thank you letter confirming the changes that have been made to your account. In this letter it explains that you've entered into a 2 year agreement and it provides you the terms of the agreement. We also remind you every month when the bill prints that you are receiving a reduced monthly rate because of your 24 month term agreement and the date the agreement expires.
The discount you have received every month based on this agreement is 10.00. In some cases when an agreement is being disputed we will remove the 200.00 fee but go back and bill you for the months you received the 10.00 discount in error. In your case you had the service for 20 months and received a 10.00 discount per month. Unfortunately the amount of discount you received totals the amount you are being billed for with the early disconnection.
I can go ahead and remove the 200.00 early disconnection fee but we will need to go back and bill you for the 10.00 discount you were receiving monthly because of the agreement you did not sign up for.
Qwest Customer Care
As I've stated many times before, I never agreed to any such contract - verbal or physical - nor have I ever received any letter about being in such a contract. As for the $10/month discount on my bill, that was from packaging two services - phone and internet - NOT because of a 2-year contract I had supposedly signed up for. So yes, you can go ahead and get rid of the $200 fee since I was never in that agreement in the first place (as you stated). I was told it was already waived anyway.
Reply #2 from Qwest:
Date: Thu, 25 Mar 2010 10:16:55 -0500
From: Qwest. Support@Qwest.com
Subject: RE: Qwest.com Customer Support
I understand your frustration with this issue, howerver both You and Qwest are responsible for making sure you are getting the services you requested at the price you agreed to. We provide you a detailed bill each month in case there was an error made on our part. Up until you disconnected your account there were no calls questioning the discounts you were getting or why your bill stated you were in an agreement that expires in 2010.
I can meet you half way on this as you have been an excellent customer with Qwest and adjust 100.00 of the 200.00 fee. You may not have received the thank you letter that was sent but the information has been provided on your bill every month since the service was connected.
You were receiving 2 different discounts on your phone bill for the Internet service. You were getting a 5.00 bundle savings discount and a 10.00 Promotional Discount.
It appeared on your bill each month as follows:
Your savings this month
Thank you for being a valued Qwest customer with Savings for Bundling.-Internet Service. Bundle Savings based on the 1 product(s) you currently have is $5 per month. This bill includes a Bundle Savings of $5.00.
You are receiving a reduced monthly rate for your Qwest Connect service because of your 24 month term commitment. Your agreement expires on 06-19-2010.
Bundle Savings Discount
Qwest Connect SLVR w MSFT (01/17 - 02/16) $5.00
Total Bundle Savings $5.00
Promotional Discounts Discount
Qwest Connect (01/17 - 02/16) $10.00
Total Promotional Discounts $10.00
Total savings this month $15.00
Qwest Customer Care
Physical & emotional damage (Updated 06/22/2011):
We are still receiving letters from the collection company saying that he still owed Qwest $175 and his credit is completely ruined because of this fraudulent and unlawful fee. Years and years of good credit down the drain because of this.