ACN Canada - Overcharged, Kept the Taxes, Difficult to Get Back
Home Phone and Internet - Complaint
BRANTFORD, ON -- I signed up with ACN from a friends referral in March 2013. Tired of big companies nickel and diming me to death I looked into it. Dude who came told me it was contract for 1 year. I said no I'm not signing a contract for a year, what if I don't like it? He said not a problem I'm sure we can make it work. If you don't like it I will take care of it for you. So I agreed and signed on. Paid $114 for Modem to run my internet and phone line through. Dude told me I will get $100 Visa card back and really it's all paid for, no loss. Neglected to tell me to register online so I can receive the $100 Visa card before first 48 days are up. So I missed the Visa card. Tick me off.
Our first month of service from ACN was horrific. They said they were using Ma Bell lines and that the switch would be easy, it wasn't. The modem kept dropping and we were left without phone or internet for days at a time. My sons worked it through with an ACN tech on their cell phones and he walked them through a procedure that will reset their modem. Worked for a week, next time we had some rain or wind, boom... lines down again for 3 days before we could get a tech on a phone to help us fix it. We tried resetting the modem, didn't work. Finally get a tech on the cell phone and he says we need a new modem. Another week goes by and we finally get the new modem, get it set up and internet and telephone working fine. I look at calendar and realize we are paying $38 for internet, $38 for phone and have only been able to use them for 2 weeks out of a month. So I call and complain that I am being charged full usage when I didn't get usage for half the month. I give them the dates the lines went down, when they got fixed, and I repeat this to two different people until finally I get a credit of $38 on my account. I ask about the taxes and am told that it will forward to my next bill and taxes will automatically be included in the credit. So I wait.
21st of the month is when they take the money from my bank account totaling $86/month. They take $98 this time so I call them up to find out why. Can't get through to them. Every time I am on hold, music playing in background, I get cut off and busy signal comes on. I dialed them three times to get someone and kept getting nothing. So I go online to the chat feature and finally get someone to talk with. I am wondering who I am speaking with because they don't sound particularly smart and keep giving me the same responses. Nothing is making sense. So I explain the problem... over charged... not given the credit I was promised and I wanted my money back. Once I give the chat person the total I was over charged... she says it will come back on my next bill. I say to her, "that's what I was told the last time and you overcharged me an extra $10 for a late fee on a bill that is paid the day after I am invoiced through automatic payments." She keeps repeating the same statement. So I ask her... "Are you a robot?" No answer. I think their chat feature is computer software set up to only respond to specific questions.
Next day I call ACN again, wait on "forget" for 20 minutes until finally a real person comes on. I explain everything again and they say they will credit me the over charges. I asked about the taxes and say to them, I don't want the credit on my account because I can't trust them to follow through, I want the credit put back in my bank account just like they take it out. They tell me I will get all my money back and everything will straighten out.
Next week I find a $48.00 credit on my account which is great but what a hassle to get it back. I still don't get the full payment because I was charge the full 86 (supposed to be 43) and then charged an extra 10 bucks for late fee, plus the taxes on all of that. Meanwhile, we are almost 3 months into usage of ACN products. Every month I call and complain to them about my invoicing. No results, just same stuff... "it will be credited on your next invoice" and I am practically yelling into the phone that they keep saying that, but it's not happening.
Fast forward to September. My landlord is selling the house, I gotta move and I end up living with a friend. I call to cancel ACN and am told that I will be charged $112.00 for breaking the contract. I argue with them and say I'm not paying it because it's not like I have a choice here. I cannot transfer my account to my friends house so I have to cancel. I get no results from ACN Canada customer service. I call up my sign up dude and explain the situation. He says he will look into it. Never heard from him again until I call him up 2 weeks later and ask what is going on. He starts to argue with me that I need to take my account with me and put in another line where I am staying, this will stop the contract breakage. I start to remind him of our conversation at the start of all this and say that he's lucky I stayed on because I didn't get my 100 Visa card either. Anyways.... he starts trying to get me to give him my friends numbers so he can bother them with a call, that might stop my cancellation fee. Total Bulls**t!!! I hang up.
I call ACN and tell them I'm cancelled and not to take anything more out of my account until I get a final bill from them. OMG! they take $46 dollars one week before they are supposed to, then proceed to take another $56 and $48 1 week later. I'm totally pissed now. I call sign up dude again, start to rave into his ear and tell him I calling Better Business Bureau and consumer affairs Canada if this doesn't get solved immediately. I put it right back into his hands, give him all the data from March onward, the over charges, the figures I've come up with for taxes charged on late fees I never had, extra charges. I'm freaking on this guy. He says he will take care of it. Finally I get satisfaction and am told that I will get a $48 dollar credit to my account and that is the end of it. I accept because I'm tired, and don't want to mess around with them anymore. I print off my return shipping label, package their modem and ship it off to them. I mailed it October 14, 2013 Canada post, with signature required and receive an email from Canada post on October 21 telling me ACN received the modem and signed for it October 18, 2013. I'm happy, they are happy, I am walking away from all of this and never using them again. But Wait!!!!!! I get an email end of October saying they haven't received the modem yet. I return the email and give them the tracking number telling them they have it... look around again for it. Nov 12 I get another email stating they have not received the modem and that this was my 2nd notice and they will bill me $65 for unreturned modem. That wasn't hard to clear up as I still had the email from Canada post, which I knew I would need to keep to prove I returned it, and once I got through the lines to a real person, he was personable and helped me clear it up.
My recommendation. ACN is not a good service. There are problems with the modems, the lines don't react well and you get static and noise through the lines. Billing is terrible and I don't think real people actually man the chat lines, if they are real they don't speak English well enough to solve problems efficiently. They deliberately not mention taxes to you so they can keep the tax after they play with their books and take your charges off and do all kinds of sneaky little things like that. They demand automatic withdrawal, which is always bad and I will never do it again. You have control over what they take out, when and why until it's already gone. Then you have to pull teeth to get it back. It's just not worth the mediocre modem and telephone service they provide. They use Bell Canada lines and there is no reason those lines should be that full of static and dropping all the time. It's their equipment. Terrible stuff. I would never recommend them to anyone.