Earthlink Complaint - DSL & Home Phone
BERKELEY, CALIFORNIA -- I had been a satisfied Earthlink/Mindspring customer for 7 years. Several weeks ago I was contacted by Earthlink marketing to sign up for the new DSL & Home Phone service. What she told me about the program sounded very good. I talked to two other marketing people and they confirmed the program (I have copy of one chat I had).
They all told me that:
1. I would get 500 outgoing call minutes (not counting Earthlink "800" customer service or tech support numbers). NOT TRUE! I am being charged for Earthlink support. Even the website states, “You won't be charged minutes for dialing 611 from your EarthLink Voice phone”.
2. That my DSL line would be upgraded from 1.2 to 3.0 Mbits. NOT TRUE! My line remains 1.2. MyAccount information says I am being charged $40 for the DSL line, which is $10 more than my previous service (for the same speed). I have no problem with the speed, just charge me the original $29.95 and I will shut up. Or, upgrade my speed for the upgraded price. Isn’t that only fair?
3. I would get a new DSL modem, which I could simply swap with my old Earthlink modem. NOT TRUE! When I called tech support to resolve the issues, the tech told me he could not speak to me until I signed up for a $7/mo ($84 year) Home Networking support. I hung up and finally fixed the connection problem myself.
4. I have spent over 4 hours with customer service and technical personnel trying to resolve the problems and not one was familiar enough with the program to give me straight answers; not one could correct the problems I raised, and ALL tried to sell me another service for more money! (And for that trouble I am being charged minutes!)
When I call Cingular or AT&T with a problem, I always get a person who understands my problem and who can do something to resolve it.
When I call Earthlink, I get shuffled from person to person, all unfamiliar with the DSL & Home Phone program and all powerless to resolve the difficulties. In the past few days I have talked to RON, ANDY, MIKE, SAM, KEVIN, SEAN, JEAN, CINDY, JIMMY, TROY, NEAL, and lastly STEVEN. All are very, very nice. All apologize profusely for not having documentation on the program. All try to sell me a more expensive program. All refer me to someone who is “sure” to help me.
What a terrible way to run a business: Rollout a new product with inadequate information and training to marketing, customer service and technical support personnel. Then give the customer the runaround until s/he tires and gives up. Is there anyone in Earthlink who cares about the business and customers and who can do anything about this situation? I cannot believe that Earthlink has changed that much in the last few years.
My advice: Under no circumstances port your telephone number to Earthlink, unless you don’t care to get it back if you cancel your service. There are blogs all over where people report that they cannot cancel their service without a lot of pain and suffering. I wish I had read them before I signed up for the service.